I am trying to help a friend with their PC. When the PC boots it gets the PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable error. A bootable USB drive for Windows 10 was created. The PC will boot to Windows 10 on the USB. I tried to use the Windows Repair and it said it could not solve the problem. I am attaching a pic of the boot screen when booting to the hard drive (showing the error) and another pic that shows the configuration of the drives. Any recommendations?
Usually, if you see PXE invoked in this way, it is an indication that no other bootable device has been detected. How have you configured the BIOS? What is the boot order that you have configured? If the priority of the array is lower in the boot order than PXE, then it will *never* get invoked (because PXE always will).
I left the boot order as he gave it to me: 1.) USB KEY 2.) CD/DVD ATAPI iHAS 124... 3.) Hard Disk: Intel Volume0
Network:Realtek PXE B04 D00 is an option for the boot, but it is not included. Should it be part of the boot order?
Let me change my question as I do not want it to boot from the network.
Do I need to move the Hard Disk:Intel Volume0 up in priority?
I have a fairly technical background, but I haven't done anything with mirrored drives. If I can't get the PC to boot, I'd like to take one of the drives out and copy the data from it. I have the equipment to do that, but I'm thinking I need to make some kind of configuration change before I take a mirrored drive out. Is that true?
I will answer both posts.
First of all, when you enable PXE (Network Boot), yes, it is included in the boot order. BIOSs may implement this differently, however. Some include it as an entity in the boot order. Others leave it out of the boot order and invoke it only if no other bootable devices are detected. I don't like this latter method as it means that, if you have a bootable local drive, you cannot PXE boot.
I answered the first question that way as the theme carries over to the second. If you have a bootable drive, you cannot boot from a USB key or from a CD/DVD if the drive is ahead of these items in the boot order. By having the USB Key and CD/DVD entries ahead of the drive, this ensures these options are available. There's a negative to this as well, however. If you have a bootable drive plugged into USB or you have a bootable CD/DVD present, then you will always boot from these devices and never from the bootable drive. [Aside: this is why Microsoft added the "press Y to continue" to their CD/DVD boot agent] This negative is not as big an issue if the BIOS implements support for an override. For example, pressing F10 during POST in many BIOSs pops up a menu that allows you to manually choose what media to boot from.
Now, let's add your RAID1 array to this scenario. When you created this array, you created one or more volumes on this array. In the BIOS boot menu, the physical drives in the RAID1 array do not appear. Instead, these volume(s) that you created will be exposed and they will be exposed using the name(s) that you assigned to them during the RAID setup operation. Further, these volumes will each be exposed as an entry in the list of storage (or hard drive) devices.
If I understand what you are saying, you have an older BIOS that supports Removable (or Floppy) Devices (which also includes such things as USB-based bootable devices), Optical Devices (CD and DVD drives) and Storage (or Hard Drive) Devices. For each of these Device types, you set the order for booting from them. If you have a Floppy Drive and a bootable USB key, for example, you set which has precedence for booting. Then, you set the overall order for Device types. For example, Removable Devices before Optical Devices and Optical Devices before Storage Devices.
The problem with the above methodology is that you cannot control the order at the individual device level. For example, you might want USB keys to be before CDs and DVDs but USB storage devices to be after local storage devices.. In later BIOSs, the boot order has been turned into a monolithic list where you specify the order across all bootable devices, regardless of their type.
The only way I am going to know is if you sent me a picture of the Boot scene in BIOS Setup.
Ok, very old BIOS (very old board) indeed...
So, as it is now configured, it is going to look for a bootable USB key first. If it doesn't see one, if it going to look for a bootable CD/DVD. If it doesn't find one, it is going to try to boot from RAID volume "Intel Volume0" (which encompasses the entire contents of the RAID1 array). If this volume does not contain a bootable image, it will then invoke PXE.
Back to the beginning...
You said you installed Windows. I presume this to mean you booted to a USB key that contained a Windows installation image, installed Windows onto the RAID1 volume, removed the key and rebooted the PC. If this isn't the case, then please explain what you did differently.
I will wait for your response before I continue -- but I want to provide you with a warning now: Windows 10 is not supported, by Intel or Microsoft, on platforms this old. Specifically, there is no driver-level RST support for Windows 10 to manage the RAID array (Windows will see it as a simple disk drive). Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that you cannot proceed; it just means that you will not be able to monitor the array from Windows 10 nor will you be able to restore the primary drive image from the mirror (which sort of defeats the advantage of using RST in the first place)...
Hope this helps,
My friend brought the PC over just like it is. He had upgraded the PC to Windows 10 in July and it worked up until now.
When the PC started having this error a few days ago, he created a Windows 10 bootable USB drive in the hopes that he could get it running. I was able to boot from the USB drive. I tried using the Windows 10 repair feature by booting from the USB drive, but it could not repair it.
If I can get the PC running that's great. If I can't, I have the option of pulling one of the drives and copying the data off. But I need to know if that will work given the drives were mirrored.
Well, let's talk about your last statement first. It's not as easy as you think. To get anything off of either drive, you would need to move this array to another system that supports Intel RST and has support for RAID enabled. If you took one of the drives and connected it to a (otherwise) system, it will likely appear to be unformatted. I have heard of tools that can extract files from bare drives, but have never used one.
I am wondering if the problem is occurring because the BIOS took a hit. The easiest way to find out is to go into BIOS Setup and reset the configuration to BIOS Defaults. Then, enable RAID support (change the SATA Mode to RAID), save the configuration and reboot. Make sure that there is no bootable USB drives or CDs/DVDs to get in the way. Does it boot from the array?
Regarding pulling the drive, I was hoping that setting it to non-Raid would allow me to pull the data off. Based on your reply, it sounds like that won't work.
I changed the BIOS to default values and set SATA Mode to Raid. I no longer get the "PXI-E61: Media test failure, check cable" message. It now just says Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key. I'm guessing that's not a good sign, but would appreciate your advice for any next steps.
Hhmmm...Ok, I don't see anything in this display that would prevent the system from defaulting to booting from the RAID1 volume. Looking back, I noticed something that I didn't the first time around. The status of the array is marked as being "Verify". Without successfully booting from the array, I do not believe that the necessary verification will take place (it is the drivers that take care of this) and, until it is done, the drive may not support access. At this point, I am thinking that remedial action will be necessary. That is, install another HDD and install Windows onto this HDD. After loading the RST driver package within this Windows image, you should see the array become operational again and be able to pull data off of it.
Hope this helps,
Thank you for the troubleshooting so far. Before proceeding, I do have a few questions:
1. I'm assuming Windows 10 will work, but could you please confirm. (Maybe I should say "hoping", given that's what I have).
2. Assuming question 1 says Windows 10 is good, is this the correct driver package to install? https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/27984/Intel-Rapid-Storage-Technology-Intel-RST-User-Interf... https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/27984/Intel-Rapid-Storage-Technology-Intel-RST-User-Interf...
3. Given the two physical drives (Port 4 - Serial # Z4Y1RX4Z and Port 5 - Serial # S1D0G4TB), is there a preferred drive to pull?
4. This scenario sounds like I will see two separate drives. Do I leave the RAID settings "as is" or do I need to "Reset Disks to Non-Raid" before proceeding?
Just trying to be extra careful.
An alternative way of addressing this issue is to move the two drives to another, (much) newer system. This system can have any version of Windows (properly supported), but it must have had Windows installed with RAID enabled (there are tools that purportedly can change the status from AHCI to RAID, but I have never used one so I cannot comment on their success). You would remove the two drives that make up the array and simply plug them into the new system. No change in status should be necessary. Presuming you already had a good version of RTS installed before you did this, booting up with the drive connected should result in the verification being done and the array being enabled for access. You could then back up what files are needed and even move the drives back to the other machine and (touch wood) boot from the array.
Hope this helps,