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Dell Dimension 9200, RAID1 (Mirror) Failed, QuickTime Problems

Problem Summary. A specific Intel hard drive controller with RAID functionality has many known problems with Windows XP and Windows Vista (see Intel Release Notes 20071018, 20070406, 20070223). An incompatibility with QuickTime and Windows Vista on the Dell Dimension 9200 may cause the RAID system to fail resulting in a computer crash, rendering the computer unusable. Another symptom of this problem is that the QuickTime player will not play smoothly and then ultimately may freeze up when trying to play a QuickTime video, such as a movie trailer from the Apple website.

Problem Solution. The following steps should resolve this problem.

  1. Install the Intel Drivers and software for the Intel Matrix Storage Manager. It will be necessary to restart the computer after installation.
  2. Install the latest version of the free Apple iTunes (and QuickTime) software. The latest version of the QuickTime software is installed with iTunes. It will be necessary to restart the computer. Shutting down may take a while. If the system seems to get stuck during the shutdown process, simply wait until the hard drive activity seems to stop and then press and hold the power button until the computer is shut off. Then start it again.
  3. The performance and reliability of the computer should improve.

Problem Recovery and Temporary Work-Around. The following steps should help in the recovery of the system if the RAID drives report a problem.

  1. When the computer is powered on, there is a message stating, “No boot device available – strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility.” Restart the computer.
  2. When the message “Press <CTRL-I> to enter Configuration Utility” appears, press and hold down the CTRL key and press the I. This will enter the RAID setup screen.
  3. There will be an error message stating, “Failed RAID volume detected. Recover volume? (Y/N).” Press the Y key for Yes. The status for Disk 0 should change from “Error Occurred” in red letters to “Member Disk” in green letters.
  4. On the Main Menu, choose option #3, Reset Disks to Non-RAID. This will bring up the RESET RAID DATA menu. A warning message will state, “Resetting a disk causes all data on the disk to be lost.” The first drive listed should be Port (drive) 0 and indicate Member Disk. Do not do anything to this drive.
  5. Use the down arrow to select Disk 1 (the second drive on the list labeled as Port 1) that has the message “Error Occurred.” Press the space bar while highlighting the second disk to select it, then press the Enter key to reset Raid data on this disk.
  6. A message will state, “Are you sure you want to reset RAID data on selected disks? (Y/N).” Press Y for Yes.
  7. A screen will show up stating “Degraded Volume Detected. Degraded volume and disk available for rebuilding detected. Rebuild completes in the operating system.” The drive on Serial ATA port 1 (the second drive) will be listed and highlighted. Press the Enter key to request rebuild of this drive. This will copy all information from the first drive (drive 0) to the second drive (drive 1).
  8. Now at the Main Menu, both drives will be listed as Member Disk. A message will state, “Volumes with Rebuild status will be rebuilt within the operating system.” From the Main Menu, choose option #4 and press Enter to exit.
  9. A message will state, “Are you sure you want to exit? (Y/N).” Choose Y for Yes. The computer should restart. If prompted, chose to start Windows normally.

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* Other keywords for this document are: RAID failure

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com