Hello everyone. I searched for this problem every way I could think of and I can't find anyone talking about it on here (or anywhere else online) so I'm starting this thread. Here's what I can tell you:
A few days ago I restarted my computer using "restart" in Windows (can't remember why) and when I came back to it, startup repair was running. I didn't select it or anything, it was just up and scanning when I came back to the computer. I decided Windows must have had a reason to do it, so I let it go.
Here's my problem: I have been running the computer with RAID 1 since I built it. The motherboard (Asus P6X58D) has a built-in RAID controller. Windows is on this RAID array as are all of my files (no other hard drives in the computer). Startup repair seemed to be taking forever so I left my house and ran some errands. When I came back home, Windows was on the login screen. I logged in, opened Windows Explorer, and instead of there being just a Local Disk C: (and D: the DVD-rom) there's now a System Reserved E: (a boot partition assigned a drive letter) and a Local Disk F: From what I can tell, startup repair somehow changed my BIOS setting from RAID to IDE and Windows 7 is now seeing one of the 2 RAID 1 hard drive as C: (everything that was on the RAID array) and the former mirror as F:
What's weird is that F: is not even close to being a perfect mirror of C: It had at least a couple hundred megabytes of missing files (yet the ones on it are all accessible and are all (I think) on C:
I physically pulled the drive now marked as F: out and started the system up. When it started it just showed Local Disk C: (as it did when both drives made up the RAID 1 array) and no longer showed these new E: and F: drives. Popped that second drive back in and E: and F: came back.
That's when I went into BIOS with both disks installed and noticed that my storage configuration was somehow switched to IDE from RAID. I switched it back to RAID and when the computer booted I got this message:
BOOTIMGR is missing
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart
I went back into BIOS and switched it back to IDE and it went back to having C: E: F: again.
For the hell of it I swapped the drive positions (my case has hot swap bays so I just yanked them out and put them back in each others place) and once again went into BIOS and changed the drives to RAID and booted up again. When the computer came back on, I got this different message:
Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:
1. Insert your windows disc
2. Choose your language
3. Click "repair your computer"
blah blah blah (I'm sure anyone that can help me knows this screen well).
So I exited out of that, changed the BIOS back to IDE again. When Windows loaded this time, I now had 2 "System Reserved" with assigned drive letters, which I'm sure means there is now 1 "System Reserved" partition on each hard drive (weird). I didn't run anything to make it happen, so I'm guessing the computer did it when it hit that "Windows failed to start" screen (if that's possible).
Can anyone think of why the computer would have automatically started up and gone into Startup Repair without me selecting anything?
Is it even possible for that program to modify BIOS from RAID to IDE? Seems impossible, yet that's how BIOS was set when I finally went in.
More importantly: is there any way for me to get the two drives back into RAID 1 now that this has happened? My best guess is that I'd have to format the drive that Windows now sees as "E" and "F" and then either use the Windows disc to "repair" the RAID array (if it can even do that) by restoring the mirror of C: to that second drive, or using some third party software to do it.
My guess is maybe the drive that Windows now sees as F: may be failing and the startup repair saw this and decided to disable the RAID 1 array and save all of my data by making the good hard drive a regular IDE drive and left the other "mirror" drive alone, which was then detected by Windows, assigned F: and had what is left or something. Odd that all of the files on it seem to work fine.
Pretty weird, right?
Hopefully someone here has experienced this or has a better understanding of how all these things could have happened.
Maybe I should just use 1 drive and ditch the one that Windows now sees as E and F. If I do that, I'd sure like to get rid of that new "System reserved" that has appeared on C: though. Maybe I can format that and then use the Windows disc to replace the MBR since from what I can tell, that's the only place it resides now?
Thanks for reading