sata raid woes

HELP ME SOMEONE! I have spent the better part of the last 24 hours in a futile attempt to salvage my data. Here’s the full report.

My previous setup was an Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe motherboard with an integrated Silicon Image 3112A S-ATA RAID controller. Connected to said controller was two hard drives, identical Western Digital WD800JD’s in a RAID-0 (Striped) array, forming one nice 160GB drive.

I’ve always been under the impression that in a RAID config, the array data was stored on the drive and not dependant upon the controller. Apparently, that is not the case. At least not all the time. The SI3112 is a “fakeraid” controller as I’ve seen it referred to, using a combination of hardware and software to accomplish the job.

Now jump forward – with the new motherboard (Asus K8N-E) comes a new RAID controller. It’s apparently manufactured by nVidia themselves, beyond that I can’t tell you much about it. I despise the BIOS and RAID ROM config on this new board. I’ve tried rearranging the drives to the difrerent SATA ports on the motherboard, tweaking every possible option in the BIOS and RAID config. I hit a brickwall everytime. I actually had Ubuntu Breezy recognizing the drives and the array this morning, but for the life of me it wouldn’t mount the NTFS partitions. The three distinct NTFS devices were listed in /dev/mapper after using dmraid, but they absolutely would not mount. I should’ve saved the error message for posting here to see if that helped anyone. Something in the neighborhood of “bad superblock” I think…

I only want my pictures and a few other important files back. They are priceless. When I got my new DVD burner a while back, the first thing I did was burn my MP3 collection to a few discs, but I got interrupted and never went back and made backups of anything else. My last full backup that I know of was done probably 2+ years ago – before I got the new Canon, and before several of these documents that I need were created.

Take my advice folks – BACKUP your junk. Get an online storage account from somewhere like StrongSpace. It’s more important than you realize and you won’t realize it until it’s too late. After you back it up, TEST it and make sure your restore works.

I’ll now open the floor to you for your input on how to rescue me from my data disaster. It just sucks knowing the data is sitting there but I can’t access it.