In my case I have been using Raid 1 Mirroring with two disks on an onboard controller of a motherboard that recently dropped dead.
Now I'm looking for a replacement motherboard, but I'm a bit worried about the data on the disks which I really want to recover. Since it was mirroring I half expect any SATA controller to just recognize the partitions and work automatically, but on the other half I guess it might not work that way. I don't have a 2nd system on which I can quickly test this and besides I'm concerned that it could be potentially dangerous to just plug it into any system. Some BIOS might just try to automatically initialize it and destroy some data?
Can I just go ahead and purchase a new board without worries or should I figure out exactly what make / type and version of controller the board was using and try to find a new board with the same make / type / version RAID controller?
For the record, my particular motherboard was a dual Xeon Tyan S2696. It was rendering some footage overnight and in the morning I found it dead. It does not even beep anymore, no fans, no leds, when powered on. The USB ports do get powered with 5V but it looks like there's a swollen capacitor between two PCI-x slots.
EDIT: For example, if I purchase a SuperMicro X7DB8+ as a replacement for the Tyan S2696, would I be able to hook up the old drives and read from them? They both use the Intel ESB2 Chipset, though I don't see and mention of "zero channel RAID" in the Tyan manual.