The other day I got the dreaded "A disk read error has occurred | Press Ctl + Alt + Del to reboot" message on trying to boot up my computer. Based on the research I did, I believe I have a corrupted boot sector or failed hard drive. I was using Intel's Matrix RAID feature (on newer motherboards with ICH6R or higher) to run both RAID 0 and RAID 1 using only two physical drives.
The OS and programs reside (or resided
) on the RAID 0 volume and my data was all stored on the RAID 1 volume. I found Intel's instructions on how to recover from a crashed drive (http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-021015.htm
), which I plan to do. The trouble is that step 2 is to replace the failed hard drive--that is expected, but I do not know which drive failed and I do not know how to find out. I tried running both a Linux distro off CD (Mepis) as well as Bart PE (WinXP boot disc), but neither one could run any diagnostics on the drive(s), even though both seemed to "see" a C: drive and an E: drive (I ended up with an optical drive being named D:, in case you're wondering).
Does anyone have any thoughts on 1) how to determine which drive has a problem (both feel like they're spinning when I touch them) or 2) whether it's okay to try replacing one and then, if that doesn't work, try replacing the other without destroying the RAID 1 volume? I believe I have virtually all of my data backed up (and I definitely have ALL of my pictures backed up, in multiple locations--phew!), but I'd still like to recover the data if possible, both to save time and to avoid losing anything at all.
Thanks much! I knew I should have stuck to plain old drives, but I couldn't resist trying Intel's cool new feature when I built my computer.