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ASUS Z87-PRO, how to properly setup HDD RAID (OS on SSD) without slow performance?

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July 16, 2013 10:04:20 PM

I have been running my Z87-PRO with an SSD and an optical drive on the Intel SATA ports. Recently, I added two identical 1 TB HDDs, and decided I wanted to run them in RAID 1.

My first mistake was enabling RAID on the Intel SATA controller, which Windows 7 Pro did not like. After disabling RAID, I moved the SSD and the optical drive to the ASMedia-controlled SATA ports. I can't say things are as quick as they were before, but let's say for the time being they are (need to do some benchmarks to say for sure, tips on good ones to run are welcome).

I reenabled RAID. Big mistake. Even with just the two drives on the Intel controller, with RAID enabled, my whole system became noticeably slower. A once under one minute boot time that had become closer to 90 seconds on the ASMedia controller suddenly became a 6.5 minute ordeal. Not only that, but even POSTs were slow. And to add injury to insult, I cannot properly setup a RAID array in the ROM utility. There are simply no drives for me to select.

On a few attempts, I was successful in selecting the hard disk drives (this is with the SSD still on the Intel controller with RAID enabled). But the RAID volume would be created and promptly complain about being degraded and needing to rebuild. Keep in mind that I never actually formatted the drives, let alone put any data on them.

So what gives? This should have been a simple process: slip in some drives, enable RAID, create a volume, boot into Windows, let Intel RST do its job, and move on. Instead, it's been a nightmare. I admit making a rookie RAID mistake in keeping my SSD on the RAIDed Intel controller, but I remedied that and the optical drive as well. This should work, and it doesn't. I do not see any help coming from Asus' "technical support" on their website, since they ask for way more information than I need to provide to get a reasonable answer (that just seems like a barrier to entry to avoid having to provide actual tech support).

The Intel ROM version dates back to Feb 1, 2013. 12.0.0.1783 or some such thing. The latest version is 12.7.andchange. I am wondering if this is the issue. Or if the 6/26/2013 BIOS update (v1205) for the Z87-Pro is the issue. Or both. Please help! I do not want to use these drives in AHCI mode since they are meant to be storing media (and a few game program files) in a redundant fashion. Right now it is looking like a central feature of this mobo (at least for me) is very broken and unusable. What can I do to fix this issue?
a c 283 V Motherboard
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b å Intel
July 17, 2013 8:04:18 AM

I would set the Intel SATA Controller to RAID and reinstall Windows 7 on the SSD by adding the Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver V12.0.0.1083 for Windows 7/8 32bit & 64bit (WHQL) at the beginning of the Windows 7 installation.
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July 17, 2013 8:28:05 AM

Calvin7 said:
I would set the Intel SATA Controller to RAID and reinstall Windows 7 on the SSD by adding the Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver V12.0.0.1083 for Windows 7/8 32bit & 64bit (WHQL) at the beginning of the Windows 7 installation.


Having done some digging, it sure seems that your solution is what needs to be done. The problem with that is the sheer number of programs I have installed on Windows makes that very prohibitive. It goes way beyond the typical installation, I have a lot of heavy duty analysis programs, Adobe CS, CAD, TeX, etc. Reinstalling the OS will set me back at least a week in terms of functionality, and might flag my programs since many of them are licensed. Is there any way to salvage this install? I've read that some people have gone about it with registry edits, just not sure how well it works.

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