Confusing system problems raid, hardrive or what?


Mar 1, 2012
please excuse my noobness and sorry for the long explanation. please skip to my question at the end if you like.

I'm looking for some advice.

i'm running an older system
windows xp (32 bit) sp3
asus mobo with ICH10R
i have 2 drives running my OS in RAID0 (plus internal and external back up drives)

my system has been perfect since 2007. then over christmas it went down.
i worked out the problem was something wrong with the old mobo ( a foxconn using ICH9R ).. i wanted to do a straight mobo swap but i couldnt so i went for the asus, which is similar.

to my joy the raid worked, i did a windows repair and i was off. first thing i did was make a drive image back up with paragon (version 9) the system was stable and no issues.

until a couple of days ago.
i suddenly had a low res display.. i checked device manager, and it said i had no graphics card and no CPU!..

so i switched off and took out the graphics card and put it back in.
on boot up. the display was fine, but now i was getting all sorts of crashes and system problems.

i did a check disk on C and it showed allot of errors. now the system wouldnt boot.

i guessed that it might be a loose connection with one of the raid drives, sure enough the power cable wasnt all the way in.. and the SATA cables could also have been loose, i pushed all the connections in as best i could

did another check disk, again lots of errors but this time, my system started and appeared stable.

i made a new drive image. this took yesturday.

now today i decided to work normally on the system and see what happed.

at first all was well, but then i started getting applications crash out on me and fail to load because this or that file coulddn't be read.

on restart. everything works, for a while.

my system is in trouble.

so here's my questions

Do you think i've busted my array, or do you think one of my drives within that array is starting to fail?

what do you think the best way forward is for me?

try my lasted drive image on a new drive? will this also duplicate the problems ive been having?

Re-install/repair windows?

many thanks!


I would start by testing the two drives your system is on. Unfortunately a lot of times that means you will have to break the raid set. Whatever brand drives you have check the manufactures website for the tool they recommend and test the drives. I wouldn't bother dealing with any of the images, and would just backup your data files then reinstall Windows if both of the drives test ok. Running a Raid0 set with your OS on it is a pretty terrible idea if you are not comfortable rebuilding your machine at any time.


Mar 1, 2012
thanks for the reply. i would really rather not break it and not have to reinstall windows xp and all my programs.

i'd rather get a new drive. non-raid. for the OS and move a backed up image onto that.

if the image is from a time when the raid array was broke, will that image be viable?

it backed up fine at the time and this was after disk check fixed all errors. at that moment of back up, the system seemed solid.

what do you think?

also you suggest testing the array and reinstalling windows. if they test good, would this not be the same as running a windows repair without breaking the array?

ps RE not a good idea to have raid0 as OS disk. yes i agree, but it was fine for 5 years and wouldve continued to be ok i think had one of the SATA cables not become loose. and i did regular image back ups so i figured that would save me in this event.
the drives are most likely failing. 5 years is a very long time for a consumer drive in daily use and you probably have sectors failing. look at the chkdsk report and see if there are bad sectors. the SATA cables being "loose" would not cause this. its either connected or its not.

You can use the image from before the problems started but really an OS reinstall is the best idea. especially if you've been running the same XP install for 5 years. ideally you should probably upgrade to 7 while your at it as XP is about dead at this point


Mar 1, 2012

thanks for that information it's exactly what i wanted to know: that the SATA cable was not the issue and that the drives are probably just worn out. this is a good reason to go for a new drive rather than a fix on the array.

i think i'm going to try the latest drive image and if i have problems then go to an earlier version. and if i still have problems, i'll go for a re-install.

BTW i'm sticking with xp for various reasons, primary of which is that i'm using this PC as an audio workstation and i'm controlling allot of music hardware with it, through MIDI. apparently, the experts in music computers are not at all happy with win7 regarding MIDI jitter. i need accurate midi timing so i have to stick with XP. my xp had a fresh install in january