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RAID, Asus M4A78-EM and/or Windows 7

Last response: in Windows 7
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October 7, 2009 7:53:58 PM

OK first here is my system spec
Asus M4A78-EM
AMD 920 Processor
4x1 GB’s of memory
Sony DVD DL R/W
Samsung DVD DL R/W
2 250 GB’s Maxtor SATA hard Drives
2 80 GB’s Seagate hard Drives
Hauppauge 2250 HVR card
Apevia X-QPack 2 Case

PLEASE READ THROUGH ALL THE STEPS BEFORE STARTING. Because I had to do this several times on the 64bit installation to get it right. Also please feel free to point out any steps you added or did not do so others may hopefully be able to install Windows 7.

Ok let me start off by saying I was ready to give up on ever buying AMD or ASUS products again. Especially, since ASUS web site saying their boards is Windows 7 ready. The truth may be that they are ready but NOT easily ready to install Windows 7 on them. I spend almost 3 days working on this project and I have finally figure out a way to install both the 32bit and 64bit of Windows 7 Ultimate on a RAID 1. I do not know if these steps will work on any other board or with any other RAID setup.

Now you will notice that I have 4 hard drives listed. The reason for that is I discovered these steps while trying to install Windows 7 32bit. I did not want to destroy what I had done when I attempted these steps on a Windows 7 64bit install.

After many BSOD and thousand of very choice words I used the following steps. Now you may or may not need to do some of them but these work for me. Also if after reading this you have questions please post them here so I can try and answer them for everyone.

On the 32bit installation

I first configured the bios so that sata channels 1-4 were set to RAID and 5and 6 set to IDE.

Then is plugged in the hard drives and using the onboard RAID configuration tool, configured a RAID 1
.
After that was recognized, I then unplugged both drives from channel 1 and 2 and connected only 1 to channel 4. I left the RAID turned on.

I then proceeded to install Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit. I had previously downloaded all the latest drivers and programs from ASUS website. During the installation of the 32bit version, I did NOT install any additional drivers. I did a complete installation of all programs and updated the drivers and Windows update.

Once this was completed, I also install RAIDXpert2.4.1540.4_X2. I used this to view and work with the RAID setup in Windows.
Then I first plugged the one drive that I had installed the O/S to channel 1. Upon booting the built in RAID controller showed the array as critical but continue to post. Once back into the O/S I made sure I could see everything. With that completed, I powered down and plugged the second drive into Channel 2.

Upon rebooting and going into RAIDXpert, the second drive showed up as a JBOD drive. I just deleted that and a rebuild kicked off. Once the rebuild completed everything is running fine.

Now for the 64bit version. Most of the steps are the same expect for what is below.

After creating the RAID, you will have to go back into the bios and set ALL the SATA controller channels to IDE.

I also again only plugged in one drive to channel 5.

During the beginning of the installation I had the following files on my USB key.

Ahcix64s.cat
Ahcix64s.inf
Ahcix64s.sys
Amdsata.cat
Amdsata.inf
Amdsata.sys
Amdxata.sys

I had to uncheck the hide files button, but I choose to install all of the inf files it provided me.

The installation went on without any problems. Again I did a completed installation and update.

Once that was completed, I powered down and went back into the bios and turn on RAID for channels 1-4. I STILL HAD THE DRIVE PLUGGED INTO CHANNEL 5 AT THIS POINT.

I powered on the system and let it completely boot up. Once that was done, I powered down, plugged the one drive into channel 1 and powered on again.

I had to reboot twice in order to see the drive. I receive a no boot device found on the try. But on the second it saw the drive.

Again I let it completely boot up. I powered down one more time, this time I plugged in the second drive. Powered on again. Using RAIDXpert, I saw both drives with the second as a JBOD, again I deleted it and the rebuild started. Once the rebuild was completed everything ran fine.

Files I downloaded and used during the installation

adobe win7 32bit
Aisuite V1.05.32 07202009
AMD Chipset Program Driver WHQL V3.0.732.0 07312009
AMD HDMI Driver V5.10.0.5880 08072009
AMD VGA Driver V8.632.0.0 07222009
ASUS AMD Cool&Quiet utility V 2.18.01 07222009
ASUS EPU-4 Engine V1.00.29 07082009
ASUS Express Gate Installer V1.4.10.4 07222009
ASUS PC Probe II V1.04.75 07272009
ASUS TurboV V1.00.41 07312009
ASUS Update V7.17.02 Install Program 07302009
Hauppauge
RAIDXpert2.4.1540.4_X2
Realtek HD Audio Driver v5.10.0.5859_6.0.1.58 07272009
Realtek RTL8111BC & RTL8112L 10_100_1000M LAN Driver V7.3.522.2009 07302009
9-9_vista64_win7_64_dd_ccc_wdm_enu
November 20, 2009 5:08:51 PM

I thought your fantastic detailed description matched my configuration so much that you had answered all my problems. I had spent many days trying to install windows 7 and thanks to you I was able to install the 7-64 up to a point. Once installation finished it did not boot back on and did not complete the process, I reinstalled it and now I have to windows 7 but no booting. How do you do the "after created the raid, you will have to go back into the bios and set ALL the SATA controller channels to IDE?" Hope you can help me or if you now why the systems hangs????
!