Hallo! (I'm sorry that some of the screenshots and other pictures posted in this thread are in Swedish. I will try to translate as much of it as I can.) I recently (2009-01-26) bought an SATA RAID controller card at Clas Ohlson (artikel 38-1065) with PCI interface. The card is based on VIA VT6421 controller chip. http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2420/2089587891_e388abfc10_m.jpg http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2059/2090374372_e0a320a42f_m.jpg Note that the pictures above are only sample images from VIA's photogallery. The card from Clas Ohlson looks like the one below. Click on the picture to see the product page at Clas Ohlson Sweden. The page is Google translated to English, because unfortunately there this article is not available in Clas Ohlson UK. http://www.clasohlson.se/Archive/Images/Products/Lo/381065_X_2007-07-11_081249_584.jpg The card I got actually has a black PCB board, but otherwise it has the same layout. Here below follows some pictures that I've taken before the installation. Click on the pictures for higher resolution. http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/8793/20090128505lojh5.jpg http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/7163/20090128506lokd5.jpg http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/6361/20090128507lowp6.jpg http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/8625/20090128510lovn9.jpg http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/5056/20090128512logt8.jpg http://img502.imageshack.us/img502/2078/20090128513lofb8.jpg http://img264.imageshack.us/img264/2485/20090128515lowb2.jpg http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/308/20090128520logo6.jpg http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/3286/20090128521losl8.jpg http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/1791/20090128585looa2.jpg http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/4298/20090128524loye6.jpg http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/6673/20090128527lokm5.jpg http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/9518/20090128530lord2.jpg http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/963/20090128531loey8.jpg http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/1853/20090128532lohf6.jpg http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/6577/20090128538logi2.jpg http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/8248/20090128540lotl1.jpg http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/4425/20090128543lovd9.jpg http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/388/20090128546locx2.jpg http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/6960/20090128548loix4.jpg http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/2992/20090128549lovy3.jpg http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/3347/20090128584lorc6.jpg http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/507/manual01lokv5.jpg http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/9974/manual02lopd2.jpg http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/8871/manual03locy0.jpg http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/3866/manual04lojg2.jpg http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/4707/manual05lost4.jpg http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/7779/manual06lowe5.jpg http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/6066/manual07long5.jpg VIA's Press release for the chip is dated "13 January 2004" which suggests that it's a relatively old chip. The card itself may be little newer, because the card I bought is stated to be compatible with Windows XP which also is printed on the packaging, and on the drivers CD disc that followed with it it says in the Readme file that it besides XP also is Vista compatible. I have installed the card in the new computer that I have custom built my self few months ago. The card is actually intended for an older computer, but I decided to test it on the new one first. After installing the card, starting the computer and loging on to Vista, under Device Manager I could see that Vista already has detected the card and installed appropriate driver for it dated 2007-05-25, version 6.0.6000.6161, supplier VIA Tech. I have tried to run the automated driver search utility in Device Manager to search for newer driver via Internet but it didn't find any newer driver. Here follows some pictures on that as well. http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/6885/devicemanager01loqg2.jpg http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/6919/devicemanager02lopb9.jpg http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/2843/devicemanager03lofk5.jpg http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/7019/devicemanager04lozi7.jpg http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/2674/devicemanager05lowb3.jpg http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/8730/devicemanager06louk5.jpg http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/9248/devicemanager07loqt1.jpg I have turned off the computer, disconnected a SATA drive from the motherboard and connected it to the controller card. When I started the computer and logged on to Vista it was possible to access and use the harddrive with no problems at all and it was relatively fast when copying files to or from the diskdrive. Then I got the smart idea to insert the drivers CD disc that followed with it in hope to be able to install a newer driver for the controller card. That idea would later proove to be a very bad idea, but I'll come to that later on. The installation process completed successfully though. Here are some pictures again. http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/9371/installation1lodc7.jpg http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/2315/installation2lozj8.jpg http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/9682/installation3loon8.jpg http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/3886/installation4loeu3.jpg http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/7756/installation5logj4.jpg http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/5203/installation6lotl7.jpg http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/8205/installation7loix7.jpg Already during the first boot up (during system restart) after installing the driver, the harddrive that was connected to the controller card started to behave wierdly. When Windows started to load (after the loading status bar) a message saying that the harddrive must be checked for inconsistancy (what ever that means). It was possible to push a button to cancel the operation, but I let it continue and do what Windows or more precisely CHKDSK thought was necessery and it was also recommended to let it scan the drive. http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/6597/20090127383logk3.jpg http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/8031/20090127387lorg3.jpg http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/2278/20090127392lomq9.jpg Note that the operating system is not installed on the harddrive that was connected to the controller card. I don't remember exactly, but I think that after the CHKDSK had run it's scan the usual "Configuring updates" screen showed up because I had let Windows Update install some minor updates prior to the system restart. The configuration process had come to 99% and it seemed to have stopped there completely (I let it stay so in about 12 minutes), so I restarted the computer manually. http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/746/20090127394loos1.jpg http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/3245/20090127397losa6.jpg http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/5623/20090127399loch8.jpg http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/3114/20090127402lobr6.jpg After the restart the Windows restore screen showed where I had choosen to start in Safe Mode. Windows started to load the drivers but when it was almost finnished it stucked. The last driver that was shown in the list at the moment it stucked was "crcdisk.sys" which suggests that this is the driver it failed to load and therefore stucked. http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/6290/20090127415lohz9.jpg http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/5026/20090127417lohy2.jpg http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/8899/20090127418lojt5.jpg I restarted the computer manually again because there was nothing else I could do. Then I let Windows start in the normal mode, but it all just started over again and CHKDSK showed and started to cound down to start the scan again. But this time it started to do something called "Lägger till en indexpost i index $0 för filen 19" or "Inserting an indexpost in index $0 for file 19" or similarly in English, which appeared to repeat infinitly many times without any end. I didn't stand to wait much longer and I assumed that it had stuched because the LED lamp on the controller card wasn't blinking intensively so I restarted the computer manually again. http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/4063/20090127423loim5.jpg http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/7155/20090127424lozr2.jpg http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/2488/20090127425logr4.jpg http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/7650/20090127426logf9.jpg http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/6499/20090127428lolp3.jpg After the restart the CHKDSK showed up again but I canceled the check to see if it was possible to log on to Windows at all. After a successfull log on I opened Windows Explorer and there I could see only one of two partitions on the affected harddrive and that's device G ("Backup"). The icon for device I ("Archive") partition was also visible but the partition label "Archive" was not visible (it was labeled "local disk" instead). Neither was the diskspace bar visible that showes used and free diskspace. More importantly it was not possible to access the affected partition I ("local disk"). If I double-clicked on it the error message "I:\ is not available. Access denied" showed up which usually only showes if the harddrive or the the partition on it is locked by a software such as Acronis Disk Director. http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/4941/20090127430lojy6.jpg http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/9388/20090127431loms1.jpg http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/2702/20090127432loux6.jpg http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/8859/explorer1lowg8.jpg I entered Device Manger and there I could see that not everything was alright because the controller card had an exclamation mark on it's icon. Driver was dated 2006-11-08, version 5.2.3790.540. I clicked on the button "Uppdate driver" to search for newer version of it via Internet but no newer drivers were find. Then I clicked on the button "Restore previous driver" under the tab Driver in the properties for the controller card. The exclamation mark dissappeared and the previous functional driver (6.0) was restored. http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/6949/devicemanager08lotj7.jpg http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/2479/devicemanager09lodv7.jpg http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/2493/devicemanager10loas3.jpg http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/9224/devicemanager11lodt9.jpg http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/7523/devicemanager12louw4.jpg http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/5943/devicemanager13loyz4.jpg http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/4991/devicemanager14lojt8.jpg http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/9784/devicemanager15lowd8.jpg http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/7922/devicemanager16lown4.jpg I also uninstalled the RAID utiliy software and other associated VIA software that had been installed. http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/1677/uninstallation1lolc1.jpg http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/6246/uninstallation2logf2.jpg http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/6784/uninstallation3loff8.jpg http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/6517/uninstallation5lokh3.jpg http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/5919/uninstallation6loqa6.jpg http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/4702/uninstallation7lora2.jpg http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/9754/uninstallation8lomi8.jpg http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/8809/uninstallation9louc1.jpg http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/2258/uninstallation10loao8.jpg I tried to restart the computer again, but once again CHKDSK started with it's "Inserting an indexpost in index $0 for file 21" kind of operations. Then I restarted again and and another "Inserting an indexpost in index $0 for file 23" showed up but it was for the file 23, so the operation was not always processed for the same file. I restarted one more time and it said "Inserting an indexpost in index $0 for file 2423". Restart 1: http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/6360/20090127434lowe9.jpg http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/7742/20090127435loqa3.jpg http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/8954/20090127436looz3.jpg http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/1907/20090127437lojz5.jpg Restart 2: http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/7338/20090127440loej9.jpg http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/4131/20090127441losh8.jpg http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/6354/20090127442locw1.jpg Restart 3: http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/7416/20090127443lokk7.jpg http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/9272/20090127445lobb2.jpg http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/8028/20090127446lofr1.jpg http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/6439/20090127448lozv7.jpg I restarted the computer once again, canceled the CHKDSK scan, logged on to Vista and I could only conclude that the affected disk volume was still unaccessible even after uninstalling or disabling the old driver. http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/5962/20090127449lofi1.jpg http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/6541/20090127450louh3.jpg http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/773/20090127451lope0.jpg I shut down the computer, disconnected the harddisk from the controller card and connected it to the motherboard. Still, it was the same story, CHKDSK started to scan Archive partition. I would gladly let it do what ever it is that it wants to do and let it do it for several hours or days if neccessary only if I knew that it didn't worsen the situation more then it improved it. I am afraid of the opposite though, it was since CHKDSK started processing the partition that it became unaccessible. http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/6831/20090127454lofr0.jpg http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/1087/20090127455losh1.jpg http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/2810/20090127456lohl1.jpg I restarted the computer one more time, canceled the CHKDSK check, logged on to Vista and started Acronis Disk Director (DD). Once I was in Acronis the Archive partition on the affected harddisk was marked with a red C. What ever that means... Corrpupted perhaps?... I right-clicked on it and chose the option "Check" and then "Check partition for error". It found just about the same errors as CHKDSK. That can be explained by the fact that "Check" is in fact CHKDSK run internally from within Acronis DD. I then chose "Check" again and the option "Check and fix errors and locate bad sectors". It had been doing this for about two hours and doing some corrections to the partition. http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/2060/acronis1lots4.jpg http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/9895/acronis2lonp1.jpg http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/3019/acronis3lovm3.jpg http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/8923/acronis4loij4.jpg http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/6078/acronis5lopj9.jpg http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/4762/acronis6lovi4.jpg http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/5256/acronis7loqp2.jpg http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/3226/acronis8lovq2.jpg http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/7748/acronis9lovl6.jpg http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/2379/acronis10lodp5.jpg http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/4034/acronis11lojs4.jpg http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/4487/acronis12lore3.jpg After the Acronis DD had performed the operations the partition's correct label showed up in Windows Explorer. But when I double-clicked on it's icon the same error message showed up as before and I couldn't access the partition, even thou I had shut down Acronis DD (because it's not possible to access it otherwise because Acronis DD locks the partition). http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/5055/explorer2looh9.jpg After a restart of the computer I could still not access the partition, but the positive thing was that CHKDSK didn't show up during system start. But it was still not possible to access the partition. I started Acronis DD again and did a new check but it found no errors to correct. If I right-click on the partition and chose Properties I can see i.e. the used and free diskspace. But if I do the same and right-click on the partition in Windows Explorer and choose Properties it says 0 Byte used and 0 Byte free space. So Acronis DD recognizes the partition and reads it correctly but Windows Explorer does not. http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/4593/acronis13lokc4.jpg http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/2879/acronis14lobj1.jpg http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/5830/acronis15lors2.jpg http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/262/acronis16loht6.jpg http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/6706/acronis17lofe9.jpg http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/9972/acronis18loof3.jpg http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/9930/acronis19locz1.jpg http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/4681/acronis20lopz7.jpg http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/6207/acronis21loen0.jpg http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/7425/acronis22loiz4.jpg http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/4392/acronis23lojj4.jpg http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/4121/acronis24lozk7.jpg http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/5913/explorer3lopw4.jpg In Acronis DD it's possible to restore partitions with help of Acrnois Recovery Expert. But it's obviously only possible to restore partitions from free diskspace (that is: old partitions that once used to be there). "You must choose one or more free spaces where you think the deleted partitions are located. Please choose all the free spaces, on all the hard disk drives, if you are not sure about the location of the deleted partitions." Since my partition is not a free space, and since it's not even possible to mark used (allocated) space in the manual mode there seem to be nothing that Recovery Expert can help me with. http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/9616/acronis28loxi8.jpg http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/2647/acronis29loux1.jpg http://img516.imageshack.us/img516/1944/acronis30lowp4.jpg http://img502.imageshack.us/img502/9292/acronis31lonv2.jpg http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/3352/acronis32lozg9.jpg http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/5633/acronis33lozr7.jpg http://img516.imageshack.us/img516/5503/acronis34loyl4.jpg http://img502.imageshack.us/img502/4295/acronis35locj3.jpg I have no clue how I am supposed to proceed with this issue to restore my Archive partition. So if any of you have any suggestions let me know. Note that the affected harddrive is functioning properly otherwise, i.e. the Backup partition which is also part of the same harddrive is accessible. Remarkably the drive letter for Archive partition has changed at least once during my testing without any notice, from letter E that it had from beginning to letter I that it has now. Is there any rescue for my diskpartition? I think I have wrote down every detail in this lengthy report. All except the fact that I have also tried to run a scan of the disk with the OSS software Testdisk which also found my Archive partition and which I used to rewrite the partition table, but it didn't make any difference. I had previous experience with Testdisk and it once restored one two diskpartitions for me when they didn't appear in Windows Explorer by analysing the diskdrive and rewriting the partition table. But this time that didn't help. I have uploaded many pictures to clarify it all together, and I admit that it's a pure luck that I documented it all so carefully both before and during installation of the card. I hope that it was woth the trouble, and that someone on this forum can help me solve this problem. When it comes to the controller card I think that VIA manufactures very good components, and I don't think that there is anything wrong with VT6421. If anything is wrong it would be the year of production or year of introduction. I think it's little bit too old for todays modern computers. It's true that it still works well even on new computers with the right drivers, but it's obvious how well it works. But it's primarily the manufacturers fault who included the CD disc in the packaging with those defective or non-compatible drivers while it even says in the Readme file that it is Vista compatible. It's the manufacturers responsibility to supply the users and system makers with drivers, and Microsoft has clarified that since the new directives for Vista where the responsibility is is solely on the components manufacturers to supply and develope drivers. The price for this card is not so wrong either. 300 SEK is about $35 US dollar for a controller card from Clas Ohlson is not a small amount. For the same money I could have bought a SATA controller card from i.e. Speed dragon or STlab at some major computer store here in Sweden. Just because something doesn't cost much doesn't mean automatically that it's worthless. Besides if it was worthless it woldn't cost anything, it would be free of charge. Products from renown manufacturers like Promise Technology, HighPoint Technologies, 3ware or Adaptec can be just as bad. Many users put their trust to perephirals with controller chips from Silicon Image. But their SiI3112 chip has shown to be very buggy and can lock some older SATA harddrives from Seagate among others, not to mention their SiI3114 and SiI3512. My recommendation to all of you who plan to buy a separate SATA controller card, for one or another reaseon, is to carefully examine the product in question. The chip is the most important component on a controller card. Except for noting down the brand or manufacturer who made the card and the modell number, don't forget to note down the chip name and modell used. Also find out when it was manufactured, both the chip and the card it self and look it up on the Web and read others experiences before making any decissions on purchasing it. This of course applies to any computer component or perephiral purchase, but especially controller cards vary very much in quality, stability, and price. It may have to do with the fact that many people today just buy a new computer when the current one becomes too old, and also the new computers come with SATA interface built-in which allows for better harddrive performance while saving physical space in the system so that several diskdrives can be connected to the computer, hence expanding the durability of the computer. So there is usually no need for an additional SATA controller card or any such expansion card. Thanks in advance! P.s.Thanks to ImageShack for their free Web space for my pictures! Without such Wen sites it wouldn't be as easy to upload pictures for public access.(http://www.imageshack.us/) P.s.s.Too bad that the http://tag can't be used on this forum. I had made both small thumbnail pictures and high resolution pictures and linked them together like [URL.][IMG.][/IMG.][/URL.]. You will have to wait a little bit now before you can click on the high resolution picture links, because I have to update the links, all 134 of them, and delete the IMG (thumbnail) tags from within the URL tags.