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Setting Up New RAID-1 Array

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August 10, 2013 4:01:59 PM

First time setting up a RAID array, and would love some help from the braintrust around here.

This is for a new build using an Asus P9X79 PRO mobo, and I want to set up a RAID-1 array for my *data storage* (not the OS/Programs drive).

For storage, I have:

  • 128GB SSD OS/Programs Drive
  • 256GB Swap/Temp/Cache drive (No need to debate the need for this... long story! LOL!)

  • TWO 4 TB HDD drives that I want to put into the RAID-1 array
  • DVD drive


  • What is the best way to set this up?

    I have read around here to put the OS drive(s) on the Intel SATA 3 port, and then put the 2 data drives on the Intel SATA 2 ports in the RAID-1 array rather than using the Marvel chipset.

    Does this sound right? From what I have read on this site, the Intel SATA 2 ports are the better choice for the data drives rather than the Marvel SATA 3 ports. Is there any use at all for the Marvel ports, or should I just ignore them altogether?

    A couple of other questions:


    1. How do I set this up in the BIOS/OS (Win 7 Pro)? I see from reading the Asus mobo manual that it is pretty easy to set up the BIOS for the RAID-1 array, but do I do this *after* installing Win 7 Pro or before? Will the BIOS see the additional drives without Win 7 installed?

    2. Are there drivers that need to be loaded or installed along with Win 7 in order to recognize the RAID drives, or if the RAID is setup in the BIOS, do I not need any software drivers?

    3. Where should I put DVD drive (which SATA port)? SATA 3 or 2? Intel or Marvel?



  • Sorry if this is all basic stuff, and I thought I had it down, but I figured I would rather look on the dumb side and get it right the first time rather then screw something up and cause myself a bunch more work.

    Feel free to direct me to a link if that is easier.

    Thank you so much in advance for any help.
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    a c 906 G Storage
    August 10, 2013 6:42:02 PM

    I put the ssd(s) on the intel sata3 (6gbs) ports. Hard drives can go oon the intel sata2 ports as can the optical drive.
    Easiest way to set up raid, esp if you have windows installed already, is to go into disk management (run diskmgmt.msc) and select the 4tb drive and convert them to dynamic. Once in dynamic mode you can rt click one of them and setup a mirror to the other.
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    August 11, 2013 9:20:55 AM

    popatim said:
    I put the ssd(s) on the intel sata3 (6gbs) ports. Hard drives can go oon the intel sata2 ports as can the optical drive.
    Easiest way to set up raid, esp if you have windows installed already, is to go into disk management (run diskmgmt.msc) and select the 4tb drive and convert them to dynamic. Once in dynamic mode you can rt click one of them and setup a mirror to the other.


    Thanks for the info. This is a brand new build, so I have not installed windows yet.

    So are these the correct steps?

    1) Install all the drives into their bays, connect to the appropriate SATA controllers, etc.
    2) Boot into BIOS and set the two 4TB drives as RAID-1 (Will they even be recognized by the BIOS at this point?)
    3) Reboot into Widows Setup from the optical drive, and install Win 7 Pro.

    Will the Windows Install prompt me to install any RAID drivers?

    Thanks again.
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    a c 906 G Storage
    August 11, 2013 1:22:59 PM

    Thats not the way way I would do it.

    First decide if you want to use the windows raid1 or the intel sata controller in raid mode

    Install the OS drive and optical drive only.
    - OS drive on the lowest numbered chipset Sata3 controller (not the marvell or asmedia controllers) This should be a grey port. Sata6g_1 I think.
    - Optical drive I mount to the highest numbered chipset sata2 port. blue, sata3g_6.

    Power up to the bios.
    - For windows raid, set the intel ports to ahci mode
    - For intel raid set the sata type to raid

    Install windows, intel chipset drivers then shutdown.
    - For Intel raid you will likely need to have the intel raid driver handy

    Install your 256 ssd to the other grey sata3 port; sata6g_2

    Install the two 4tb drives to the lowest numbered intel sata2 ports and reboot. blue, sata3g_3 & 4

    Create the raid1
    - For windows raid see my previous post
    - For Intel raid, after installing intel RST use the RST software to create the raid1 {create> select, raid1>enter a name for the array, check mark both 4tb, dont check 'save data'>create> ok the warning message} (> is next, ok, or enter)

    Finsih installing windows drivers, updates, etc.
    - You can install anything you want to the raid1 array as you see fit.
    - Follow ssd optimizations guide to move unnecessary things from the ssd to the raid1.
    - You can move the optical drive to one of the other sata controllers if you wish or for when you want to expand your intel storage space.
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    August 16, 2013 7:20:45 AM

    This was a bit of a pain, and I had to go through several different attempts until I finally got it.

    I needed to install the Intel RAID driver during the Windows installation, but FIRST I needed to setup and configure the Intel chipset utility. This means I needed to install the 2 HDD's first. Once these were installed, I could hit CNTRL-I during POST, and then go into the Intel RAID configuration program. Once that was competed, I had to install the Intel RAID driver (on the Asus driver's CD that came with the mobo) during the OS install.

    All is working well now!

    Thanks!
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    a c 906 G Storage
    August 16, 2013 3:38:07 PM

    My bad. I dont know what I was thinking at the time. I install just the single drive and install windows in ahci mode then shutdown install the other drive, change to raid, and boot into windows from which I install the utility and configure the raid.

    Sorry bout that
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