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Having Problems with New Build and Raid 1 Setup

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August 9, 2013 4:42:14 PM

Just finished building a brand new computer (all new components, all new cables etc) with the following components and cannot get RAID 1 to work:

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core i5-3470 Ivy Bridge 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor
8GB Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Memory
(3) Western Digital WD Blue WD10EZEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s Hard Drives
EVGA GeForce GT 640 2GB DDR3 PCI Express 3.0 x16 Video Card
ASUS DRW-24B1ST SATA 24X DVD Burner
COOLER MASTER i500 500W ATX 12V Power Supply

1) Installed Windows 7 Professional on (1) of the WD 1 TB Hard Drives without the other two drives connected.

2) After installing Windows 7, I connected the additional (2) 1TB Hard Drives and entered the BIOS.

3) Storage Configuration and set Sata Mode Selection to RAID, saved and exited BIOS.

4) During Post, I Hit Ctrl+I to setup the Raid.

5) Create RAID Volume and set the following and then Create Volume
Name: Storage Raid 1
Raid Level: RAID1 (Mirror)
Select Disk: (I selected disk 2 & 3 and verified they were correct via the serial numbers)
Capacity: Left default of 931.5GB
Sync: N/A

6) Summary screen shows the three hard drives. (1) Non-RAID Disk and (2) Member Disk (0)

7) Once I save and exit, it begins to boot windows and I see the "Starting Windows" and swirling logo, then a very quick BSOD, it reboots and comes to the "Windows did not shut down properly".....Repair or Start Normal.

When originally setting up the RAID in BIOS, if I connected the (2) Raid Drives to SATA A0 & A1 (Gray) (see connections below), I did not even get the Cntrl + I option when booting up, then the BSOD and it rebooted.

SATA3 A0 (Gray) - 1TB RAID DRIVE
SATA3 A1 (Gray) - 1TB RAID DRIVE
SATA3 0 - 1TB Primary HD with Windows 7 Installed
SATA3 1 - Empty
SATA2 2 - Empty
SATA2 3 - Empty
SATA2 4 - Empty
SATA2 5 - DVD Burner

If I connect the (2) Raid Drives to SATA2 2 & 3 (see connections below), I was able to get the Cntrl + I option and configure the raid, but then the BSOD.
SATA3 A0 (Gray) - 1TB RAID DRIVE
SATA3 A1 (Gray) - 1TB RAID DRIVE
SATA3 0 - 1TB Primary HD with Windows 7 Installed
SATA3 1 - Empty
SATA2 2 - Empty
SATA2 3 - Empty
SATA2 4 - Empty
SATA2 5 - DVD Burner

There is a sticker on the top of the SATA connectors on the Mobo that recommends using SATA0 through SATA5 for the Operating System (which is why I have the OS Drive on SATA3 0

I'm racking my brain trying to get the RAID 1 setup. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.
August 9, 2013 5:06:03 PM

The Z77 chipset only has two Sata 3 ports, so two of yours are on a third party controller. They will not be available for use with the Intel RAID setup (what you get from hitting ctrl-I). Judging from the layout, I would think that those two ports are A0 and A1. You also don't want to install windows and then change the Sata controller mode, that could be causing your BSODs. What I would do is connect your OS drive to SATA3 0 and your RAID drives to SATA2 2 and 3 with the controller in RAID mode. Then configure your RAID, and reinstall windows on the single drive.
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August 9, 2013 7:01:17 PM

I finally got it to work!

Genrldisaray, you were on the right track. It had to do with the what ports I had the RAID Drives connected to.

The Gray SATA3 ports I believe are the 3rd Party ones which is why they didn't work in the original setup.

Setting the OS Drive on SATA3 0 and the RAID Drives on SATA2 ports did not work (before doing this, I went back into Ctrl + I) and unmounted (not sure if that is the term) the RAID Configuration. I knew if I just switched cables, that would really goof things up since in the BIOS I had told it which ports were RAID.

What worked was moving the OS Drive to the SATA2 4 Port and the (2) RAID Drives to the SATA3 0 & 1 Ports.

The system booted right up and I'm typing this reply from the new build!

My only concern is now my OS is connected to a SATA2 port. It would be great to have all three drives on SATA3 connections but that is not possible since two of the SATA3 ports are 3rd Party (can't use it for RAID) and there is a sticker on top of the SATA Ports that highly recommends connecting the OS Drive to the SATA3 0 or 1 Ports or to the SATA2 3 - 5 Ports. So apparently the ONLY way for my setup to work is to have the RAID drives on the SATA3 Intel Ports and the OS Drive on the SATA2 Intel Port.

My only concern was I noticed when I go to Computer>Properties, I have a 5.9 Windows Experience Index.
Processor: 7.5
RAM: 7.5
Graphics: 7.1
Gaming Graphics: 7.1
Primary Hard Disk (Disk Data Transfer Rate: 5.9

The Data Transfer Rate is much lower than the other scores. I thought it might be due to it's connected to a slower SATA2 vs a SATA3 port but looking online, 5.9 is average for 7200 RPM drives. Only way to get that is by going to a Solid State Drives so I guess all is good.

Do you think I will experience any difference between having my OS Drive on a SATA2 port (3GB/sec transfer) vs having it connected to a SATA3 port (6GB/sec transfer)?
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August 9, 2013 7:06:48 PM

You won't notice any difference with those drives. On that note though, I would highly recommend an SSD for your OS, even if it's a small one. That is a difference you will really notice.
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August 12, 2013 10:24:36 AM

genrldisaray said:
You won't notice any difference with those drives. On that note though, I would highly recommend an SSD for your OS, even if it's a small one. That is a difference you will really notice.

Thanks. I'll likely save the SSD for the next build or an upgrade down the road. I already have invested in (3) 1TB 7200 Hard Drives. It's a HUGE upgrade from what I was previously using.

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