Solved

For actual Multiple HD's used in RAID, is RAID and AHCI the same?

Hello all.

I have an older Asus M4A78T-E motherboard that I am looking to install a set of SSD drives into and run them in RAID1.

I currently have a set of regular Hard drives in RAID0 and that is my OS drive and for that in my BIOS I had to (1) set the on board SATA type to RAID (IDE, RAID & AHCI are single options), then leave the BIOS and boot next into boards onboard raid controller and build a set.

So from what I have read of others putting any kind of SSD drives onto this board, people have reported they have to switch the SATA type to AHCI, but to be honest I have yet to read of one that created any multiple disk RAID setups with it.

To note on this if perhaps some may be wondering that while I won't say I am the authority on this, for the ones who I have read about they can be issues in the OS unless you do a Reg trick to get the OS to use AHCI drivers, but its pretty easy and once done all is fine.

Anyway to move on, so at first I worried about this as what would that change mean to my current RAID0 OS drive, but then I was looking at the Controller config in the RAID builder section and it does list it as something it describes as "AHCI HBA MMIO".

Then in looking around the net I have read some things that seem to lend to that a RAID array is essentially something of a AHCI type?

At any rate, not that I am really sure of all that I am talking about here, but I guess my question is, if I am installing these SSD drives in a RAID, do I still need to switch the controller type to AHCI, or do I just leave it in RAID as that actually already is a form of AHCI?

Thanks for any help.
12 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about actual multiple raid raid ahci
  1. if your using raid it must be set as raid......AHCI wont be an option

    Running raid is kinda a waste....it wont protect you vs virus, and other software that will wipe your drives...there is just no real gain from it unless your running a mission critical system...you would be better just using the drives as normal drives and run a backup to the one ever week and keep it unpluged from the system for the rest of the time.

    raid zero is really meant to keep the computer running non stop in case one drive fails....
  2. maxwellmelon said:


    raid zero is really meant to keep the computer running non stop in case one drive fails....


    Other way around.
    RAID 0 is striped. Either drive fails, all data is lost.
    RAID 1 is the mirror you're thinking of.

    Either are pretty useless in a home environment.
  3. RyanRC said:
    Hello all.

    I have an older Asus M4A78T-E motherboard that I am looking to install a set of SSD drives into and run them in RAID1.


    That's a serious waste of SSD's, and not really protection for your data.
    There are better ways to protect your data if you want to go into details.
  4. Best answer
    Yeah, I'm no fan of RAID0 for anything, and do not think you get any significant benefit from RAID1 on SSD's However, that is not your question. So let's answer that.

    There are basically two types of HDD interface widely used in current computers: IDE and SATA. IDE, of course, is almost finished disappearing, but some are still in use. Most are SATA. But in actual fact, any SATA HDD really is an AHCI type of device. Thus, for "normal" uses, your OS might need either an IDE (aka PATA sometimes) device driver, or an AHCI device driver. IF you happen to have both types of devices in your machine, then the OS will need both. In fact, these days the current versions of Windows already have both of those device drivers "built in".

    Now, RAID is a different type of device again. Moreover, there is NO standard for RAID, so every RAID controller and software set MUST come with its own device driver suited to your OS and RAID hardware. When the RAID software system is included in your mobo, its maker has included that driver on a CD with the mobo. VERY often what they really have done is to put BOTH their RAID and their AHCI device drivers into one package and that is what you already have installed in your system so that you can use the RAID0 array you boot from. Note in your BIOS options there is no "SATA" device listed, because those really are AHCI devices, and the required device driver is either part of Windows or added with the RAID driver for your mobo.

    So, you do NOT need to switch any settings or add any drivers. When you have your two SSD units installed and want to set up your RAID1 array using the mobo's system, just use that same RAID management tool it has that you used before. Only this time you will be creating an additional RAID array of a new type, using the new storage devices.
  5. Paperdoc said:
    Yeah, I'm no fan of RAID0 for anything, and do not think you get any significant benefit from RAID1 on SSD's However, that is not your question. So let's answer that.

    There are basically two types of HDD interface widely used in current computers: IDE and SATA. IDE, of course, is almost finished disappearing, but some are still in use. Most are SATA. But in actual fact, any SATA HDD really is an AHCI type of device. Thus, for "normal" uses, your OS might need either an IDE (aka PATA sometimes) device driver, or an AHCI device driver. IF you happen to have both types of devices in your machine, then the OS will need both. In fact, these days the current versions of Windows already have both of those device drivers "built in".

    Now, RAID is a different type of device again. Moreover, there is NO standard for RAID, so every RAID controller and software set MUST come with its own device driver suited to your OS and RAID hardware. When the RAID software system is included in your mobo, its maker has included that driver on a CD with the mobo. VERY often what they really have done is to put BOTH their RAID and their AHCI device drivers into one package and that is what you already have installed in your system so that you can use the RAID0 array you boot from. Note in your BIOS options there is no "SATA" device listed, because those really are AHCI devices, and the required device driver is either part of Windows or added with the RAID driver for your mobo.

    So, you do NOT need to switch any settings or add any drivers. When you have your two SSD units installed and want to set up your RAID1 array using the mobo's system, just use that same RAID management tool it has that you used before. Only this time you will be creating an additional RAID array of a new type, using the new storage devices.
    Thank you PaperDoc, this sounds like what I was looking for.
  6. USAFRet said:
    RyanRC said:
    Hello all.

    I have an older Asus M4A78T-E motherboard that I am looking to install a set of SSD drives into and run them in RAID1.


    That's a serious waste of SSD's, and not really protection for your data.
    There are better ways to protect your data if you want to go into details.
    Thanks USAFRet, I would be happy to hear any suggestions
  7. AHCI is a subset of raid.
    For the home user, raid-0 is a losing proposition from a performance point of view.
    raid-1 by itself or other variants like raid-5 are not by themselves a good backup solution.
  8. RyanRC said:
    Thanks USAFRet, I would be happy to hear any suggestions



    A RAID 1 only protects in the unlikely even of a physical drive fail.
    It does nothing for the far more common forms of data loss.
    Malware, lightning strike, user commanded Oops, ransomware...

    A business might run a RAID 1 so that if a drive dies, their webserver can continue to run. Downtime = lost sales.
    And they also have a full backup, ready to go.

    A better option would be to obtain a USB HDD. Maybe 2TB (depending on your needs, of course).
    An application like Macrium Reflect can create an image of your drive(s), on whatever schedule you choose.
    And, set up correctly, you can even recover the system from sometime in the past.

    I can recover my entire system from any day in the last two weeks. Full image and then rolling set of Incremental images.
    "Oh...the system was borked 3 days ago and I did not notice? Recover from a day or two before that."

    A RAID 1 simply means the BadStuff happens on two physical drives at the same time. You have a single copy of the data.

    Read in depth here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3383768/backup-situation-home.html
  9. USAFRet said:
    RyanRC said:
    Thanks USAFRet, I would be happy to hear any suggestions



    A RAID 1 only protects in the unlikely even of a physical drive fail.
    It does nothing for the far more common forms of data loss.
    Malware, lightning strike, user commanded Oops, ransomware...

    A business might run a RAID 1 so that if a drive dies, their webserver can continue to run. Downtime = lost sales.
    And they also have a full backup, ready to go.

    A better option would be to obtain a USB HDD. Maybe 2TB (depending on your needs, of course).
    An application like Macrium Reflect can create an image of your drive(s), on whatever schedule you choose.
    And, set up correctly, you can even recover the system from sometime in the past.

    I can recover my entire system from any day in the last two weeks. Full image and then rolling set of Incremental images.
    "Oh...the system was borked 3 days ago and I did not notice? Recover from a day or two before that."

    A RAID 1 simply means the BadStuff happens on two physical drives at the same time. You have a single copy of the data.

    Read in depth here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3383768/backup-situation-home.html
    For sure I will not claim to know as much as you guys so my education on all the bads that could happen and how is not as good.

    But I can tell you from what I do know that I already am doing two forms of back ups...1 is a file syncing program that I use regularly to pretty much back up my entire OS drive of files to a separate drive, then 2 I also run a second Image program and Image the entire OS drive to a separate drive as well.

    Basically you hit it on the head as all I really am looking for with a second SSD drive is the physical redundancy of a single mechanical OS harddrive failure.

    All in all I won't call what I have for a PC deathly important, but I do need to keep it running, but even more so as well while it may not seem the same for others, I really seriously don't have the time for a drive failure and then rebuild from back ups...even an image clone.

    Basically I know the chances of a mechanical failure are slim and even more so with these SSD drives, but it really is the only last thing I don't have any protection against, and for the extra $160.00 it will cost me to have the one extra drive if one of the two fails, its cheap convince for the life I have to live to be sure I still will have a operating PC if it does.

    With that I just want to add a great thanks to all for all the advice, its been very helpful.
  10. If you're already running a comprehensive backup solution, then go for it.

    Personally I still wouldn't (and don't) waste an SSD like that.
    My main system has 5 x SSD, and my HTPC has 2x.
    The only RAID is the RAID 5 in the dedicated NAS box.

    But having your current backup situation is miles ahead of most people that want to crank up a RAID 1.
  11. Glad to hear you are using a backup system regularly. The only thing missing from your description is preservation of older backups. For example, the post from USAF tells us that system allows recovery from a backup up to 2 weeks ago, because several backups are saved for that long. This guards against discovering that you deleted something critical, or changed it, or it got corrupted, etc. many days after the disaster actually happened. OP, your system may have this feature as you are using it; you simply did not tell us that detail.
  12. Do you have EXTERNAL backup?

    What would happen if you got hit with ransomware and all your files were encrypted, including your backups??
    What would be your loss if you had a house fire??
    If you have anything you value that is irreplaceable, like family photos, take care of them with external backup.
Ask a new question

Read More

NAS / RAID SSD