Intel RST verifies 'blocks with media errors' but does not fix them.
What will 'fix' media errors? If they cannot be fixed, will reformatting the matrix and reinstalling Windows format and install 'around' the media errors? Or will it be necessary to get new SDDs (and if so, how do I found out which one has the media errors?).
RST version: 10.6.0.1002
Raid 0: 2x256GB Corsair SDDs (C300-CTFDDAC256MAG) (system boot array)
The drive has a healthy status and no verification errors, but 2 'media errors' (which persist after repeated verifications and restarts)
The computer is prone to blue screen crashes which minidumps indicate are repeatedly caused by ntoskrnl.exe
I assume the file ntoskrnl.exe is 'a bit' corrupt (perhaps part of it is sitting in the blocks with media errors?)
The term "media error" is too vague. I have to assume this indicates that an LBA could not be read or written to. With SSDs, this indicates an LBA on one of your SSDs which may be failing (e.g. the SSD is going bad; wear levelling cannot fix this issue). Since you have a RAID-0 array, you will lose all of the data on this array if one of your SSDs has to be replaced. I hope you do backups!
"The drive is healthy and no verification errors" means absolutely nothing to me. I don't trust highly-abstracted software under any circumstance.
Since your drives are in a RAID array, this makes getting SMART statistics from them extremely difficult.
I can try to step you through how to use the latest version smartmontools (which has experimental/alpha support for Intel RST/MatrixRAID) to get SMART statistics from your two SSDs. That could help determine which SSD is experiencing problems, but no guarantees. Be aware you will need to become familiar with command-line utilities (Command Prompt / cmd.exe) and follow very specific instructions. If you're using Windows 7, you'll need to make sure you run Command Prompt as Administrator every time.
Please let me know if you want to proceed with this method. If you think I'm talking out my rear, I can give you some real life examples (links) where I've spent weeks working with people on forums to determine if their drives are in fact bad and track down the problems with their MHDDs piece using LBA scanning features of SMART. SSDs are a little different in this regard though, so you'll have to cut me some slack. I'll need to know exactly what OS you're running and if it's 64-bit or not.
Otherwise, you're going to have to hook each SSD up to a separate computer's (non-RAID-mode) SATA port and get SMART data that way (using common tools like smartmontools (recommended), HD Tune Pro, or Speccy. There are a multitude of other SMART utilities out there which do not show full attribute data, and those utilities should be avoided).
Finally, be aware "media errors" can happen on any kind of drive -- mechanical or SSD. Anything can go bad. Using RAID-0 means you're living excessively dangerously, so you may want to consider getting rid of the RAID aspect to minimise future failure impact. But on mechanical HDDs, a lot of the time "bad blocks" aren't really bad -- they've just been marked suspect by the drive firmware due to repetitive re-reads being required and similar. A write to those LBA(s) can get the LBA re-analysed and either marked usable or force a remap. With SSDs, it's totally different.
Yes, I would like to get SMART data about my SDD's 'in situ' (that is while still in RAID matrix).
I backup to a non-raid HDD regularly.
The pc crashes constanty anyway for reasons I cannot identify in the event log so I am ready to simply reinstall fresh. I just want to know whether the reinstall using my existing SDDs or whether I need a new one!
I'm going to assume you're not familiar with Windows Command Prompt, so excuse my simple instructions if you're already familiar with CLIs.
smartctl -a DEVICE
where DEVICE is described in step 3 above.
smartctl -a DEVICE | findstr "Model Device Serial WWN"
(the pipe symbol and the quotes are both needed!) which should get you just certain lines of the output.
smartctl -a DEVICE > C:\ssdX.txt
where DEVICE should be obvious by now, and X is a number to distinguish the SSDs (e.g. first SSD could be ssd0.txt, second SSD could be ssd1.txt). You get the idea. You won't see any output on the screen when you execute this command, but you should find .txt files in C:\ which have the SMART attributes in them.
An example session (for a directly-connected disk (no Intel RAID), which is why the DEVICE string is different):
C:\Documents and Settings\jdc>smartctl -a /dev/sda | findstr "Model Device Serial WWN"
Model Family: Intel 510 Series SSDs
Device Model: INTEL SSDSC2MH120A2
Serial Number: LNEL123100QS120CGN
LU WWN Device Id: 0 1507a5 1e26ba7c7
Device is: In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
Device does not support Selective Self Tests/Logging
C:\Documents and Settings\jdc>smartctl -a /dev/sda > C:\ssd0.txt
C:\Documents and Settings\jdc>exit