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P4C800-E Delux: Setting up SATA Drives with RAID

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Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
July 11, 2004 1:02:19 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

I've built several computers but never set up dual SATA Drives under
RAID. I'd like to build a RAID 0 system that boots off the SATA
drives. From what I've read in the MB manual, it shouldn't be too
difficult when performing a clean Windows XP Pro installation. I've
read several articles (and every posting I could find), however, and
I'm not entirely sure this is the right way to go. I know RAID 0
offers no data back-up if one of the drives fails, but I can always
back-up data on an external drive, which is what I do now. If I'm
really concerned out the data I further back it up on a CD ROM or DVD.
I'm also aware that at least one writer claims the MTBF of the SATA
drives will be halved by using them in a RAID 0 array. I've worked in
QA (aircraft not computers per se), and I'm not convinced that the
failure rate of two SATA drives operating under RAID 0 would be worse
than the failure rate of the individual drives, or of drives working
under RAID 1. I know as well that the same author claimed the increase
in speed using RAID 0 isn't substantial, but I'd like to see for
myself. Apparently there is a compromise -- a RAID 0 + 1
configuration. The P4C800-E manual mentions it, then offers no
description of how it works or what it actually does. Some questions:
Is setting up a RAID system as easy as it seems? Are there any traps
to avoid? Has anyone tried using a 0+1 set up? Am I foolish to even
think about a RAID 0 set up? Last question (a bit unrelated to the
topic)-- is there a really good alternative to Norton for firewall and
virus protection? Their software seems to be getting progressively
buggy. Thanks for reading this too long posting and for any advice
you can give.

More about : p4c800 delux setting sata drives raid

July 11, 2004 6:31:19 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

In my new computer build using paired Raptors (P4C800-E D mobo), it was EASY
to set up a RAID 0 configuration and I question the validity of the reduced
life of RAID 0 HDDs. Raptors come with a 1.2 MILLION HOUR MTBF rating which
nothing else compares to. The install went without a hitch and I had never
set up RAID before.

BUT, because of Norton (%^$#@!*&) conflicts with a couple of pieces of
software as well as itself on this, my THIRD clean install, I am getting
rid of Norton 2004 (have used Norton since 386's) and going to remove the
RAID partition and start over in a few hours--this time with RAID 1 instead
of RAID 0--a thread in this newsgroup convinced me that for my needs, RAID 0
was an uber geek thing and not really in my best interest. I also have a
200 GB IDE backup HDD too.

To set up RAID 0 or 1--use the Intel South Bridge controller and disable the
Promise controller in BIOS, which is PCI-based and IMHO, not needed for most
people. Have the Intel RAID drivers on a floppy diskette--AND BEFORE
starting the installation, set up the RAID configuation in the BIOS: set
OnBoard IDE Operate Mode to [Enhanced Mode], Enhanced Mode Support On to
[S-ATA], Configure S-ATA as RAID to [Yes], Serial ATA Bootrom to [enabled]
and press 10 ans ave changes and exit the BIOS setup (making sure your boot
drive is CD-ROM).

Create a floppy diskette of the Intel Application Accelerator RAID Editgion
to be used during isntallation of Windows XP--either off of the Asus
installation diskette in a folder labeled "IAA" or a newer version can be
obtained by downloading it from the Asus download/support Site. The file to
download is called "iaa35r.zip" Unzip it and notice that there is a
"MakeDisk.exe" file--place a floppy diskette in the drive and double click
that file to create a driver diskette that contains these four files:
iastor.inf, iastor.sys, iastor.cat, and txtsetup.oem.

Before attempting to load Windows XP, boot computer and while in POST, do a
CTRL-I (eye) to get into the RAID BIOS and make the following changes:
Creat RAID volume (in main menu), Set Stripe Size (probably to 64KB) in
Create Array Menu, Set Raid Level to 0 (striping) or..., highlight "Create
Volume" and press enter and press "y" when a confirmation message apepars
and scroll down to option 4 and press enter.

Place XP install CD in the drive and boot to the CD, having the RAID
diskette handy. At one point, WIndows will briefly ask if there are
additional drivers and if so, hit F6--do so and place the RAID driver
diskette in the drive. Eventually, Windows will then ask for SCSI drivers
and enter "S" for installation and "specifiy additional device" of a SCSI
driver (setup feels that RAID drives are SCSI too??), leave the diskette in
the drive, after pressing enter, a list of available SCSI adaptors will be
presented and it should list the Intel 82801ER Serial RAID controller which
should be selected by you and press enter. The next screen should confirm
that the Intel RAID controller was selected and press enter again to
continue. Finish Windows installation. Upon rebooting, get back into the
BIOS and reset the boot sequence to the RAID volume (making sure that the
RAID drive is shown).

The RAID should be up and running at this point--probably should go ahead
and install theInten Chipset Inf Utility...

Hope there are not too many typos above--was in a hurry since I needed to be
somewhere else. Good luck.

MikeSp
"Will" <wryan@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:e6e41727.0407110802.31efd97f@posting.google.com...
> I've built several computers but never set up dual SATA Drives under
> RAID. I'd like to build a RAID 0 system that boots off the SATA
> drives. From what I've read in the MB manual, it shouldn't be too
> difficult when performing a clean Windows XP Pro installation. I've
> read several articles (and every posting I could find), however, and
> I'm not entirely sure this is the right way to go. I know RAID 0
> offers no data back-up if one of the drives fails, but I can always
> back-up data on an external drive, which is what I do now. If I'm
> really concerned out the data I further back it up on a CD ROM or DVD.
> I'm also aware that at least one writer claims the MTBF of the SATA
> drives will be halved by using them in a RAID 0 array. I've worked in
> QA (aircraft not computers per se), and I'm not convinced that the
> failure rate of two SATA drives operating under RAID 0 would be worse
> than the failure rate of the individual drives, or of drives working
> under RAID 1. I know as well that the same author claimed the increase
> in speed using RAID 0 isn't substantial, but I'd like to see for
> myself. Apparently there is a compromise -- a RAID 0 + 1
> configuration. The P4C800-E manual mentions it, then offers no
> description of how it works or what it actually does. Some questions:
> Is setting up a RAID system as easy as it seems? Are there any traps
> to avoid? Has anyone tried using a 0+1 set up? Am I foolish to even
> think about a RAID 0 set up? Last question (a bit unrelated to the
> topic)-- is there a really good alternative to Norton for firewall and
> virus protection? Their software seems to be getting progressively
> buggy. Thanks for reading this too long posting and for any advice
> you can give.
July 11, 2004 10:59:34 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

On 11 Jul 2004 09:02:19 -0700, wryan@mindspring.com (Will) wrote:

My own take on this is that using the implemetation of RAID on a
motherboard is not the way to go. I have never used a RAID to boot the
OS - always used a separate IDE drive for that job. In the past I used
a RAID 0 array for two data drives via the onboard Promise chip of a
P4B-E, but the controller chip died within 18 months. To recover the
data on those drives I purchased a PCI Promise card (which also
offered the ability to do RAID 0+1 on 4 drives). The stripe format was
the same as the onboard controller so I recovered my data. With the
IDE card I bought an extra 2 drives and installed a 4-drive RAID 0
array, and within another 12 months 2 of the 4 drives had failed.
Lucky I had a backup of the important data. Remember that the drive
does not need to fail to lose data, screwed-up disk writes can do the
same and it's much more difficult to recover data from a screwed RAID
than from a single drive. This happened to me when the power supply to
one of the drives became intermittant due to a faulty connector. Most
disk utilities cannot cope with damaged array data.

Rather pissed off with the unreliability I installed 4 larger drives
(160GB) as a 0+1 array. I see no marked increase in speed (there may
be some) but do have the satisfaction of better data security.
Consider though, this extra security has cost me double the price of
the drives - two drives are the striped array but the other two are
invisible and used only for mirroring.

My advice, for what it's worth, is that if you really want to use RAID
then get a decent controller - forget the MB implementation. However,
much depends on how you propose to use your PC. If it doesn't bother
you to lose all the data on the array (perhaps just using it as
temporary work drives for video encoding) then a RAID 0 is fine. If
you need both RAID and security you will want to go RAID 0+1 and
therefore use at least 4 drives. I wouldn't bother with RAID 0 with
only two drives and the array as the boot device.

RAID 1 is just a lazy way to maintain a continuous backup, using Drive
Image or Ghost onto external media would be an acceptable substitute.

ChrisH
Related resources
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
July 11, 2004 10:59:35 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

chrish@easynet.co.uk (ChrisH) wrote in message news:<tts2f0tfuu8orhcloqu7i6jkisd36ju904@4ax.com>...
> On 11 Jul 2004 09:02:19 -0700, wryan@mindspring.com (Will) wrote:
>
> My own take on this is that using the implemetation of RAID on a
> motherboard is not the way to go. I have never used a RAID to boot the
> OS - always used a separate IDE drive for that job. In the past I used
> a RAID 0 array for two data drives via the onboard Promise chip of a
> P4B-E, but the controller chip died within 18 months. To recover the
> data on those drives I purchased a PCI Promise card (which also
> offered the ability to do RAID 0+1 on 4 drives). The stripe format was
> the same as the onboard controller so I recovered my data. With the
> IDE card I bought an extra 2 drives and installed a 4-drive RAID 0
> array, and within another 12 months 2 of the 4 drives had failed.
> Lucky I had a backup of the important data. Remember that the drive
> does not need to fail to lose data, screwed-up disk writes can do the
> same and it's much more difficult to recover data from a screwed RAID
> than from a single drive. This happened to me when the power supply to
> one of the drives became intermittant due to a faulty connector. Most
> disk utilities cannot cope with damaged array data.
>
> Rather pissed off with the unreliability I installed 4 larger drives
> (160GB) as a 0+1 array. I see no marked increase in speed (there may
> be some) but do have the satisfaction of better data security.
> Consider though, this extra security has cost me double the price of
> the drives - two drives are the striped array but the other two are
> invisible and used only for mirroring.
>
> My advice, for what it's worth, is that if you really want to use RAID
> then get a decent controller - forget the MB implementation. However,
> much depends on how you propose to use your PC. If it doesn't bother
> you to lose all the data on the array (perhaps just using it as
> temporary work drives for video encoding) then a RAID 0 is fine. If
> you need both RAID and security you will want to go RAID 0+1 and
> therefore use at least 4 drives. I wouldn't bother with RAID 0 with
> only two drives and the array as the boot device.
>
> RAID 1 is just a lazy way to maintain a continuous backup, using Drive
> Image or Ghost onto external media would be an acceptable substitute.
>
> ChrisH

Thanks. I may just avoid the on-board RAID alltogether.

Will
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
July 12, 2004 12:06:09 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

"ChrisH" <chrish@easynet.co.uk> wrote in message
news:tts2f0tfuu8orhcloqu7i6jkisd36ju904@4ax.com...
> On 11 Jul 2004 09:02:19 -0700, wryan@mindspring.com (Will) wrote:
>
> My own take on this is that using the implemetation of RAID on a
> motherboard is not the way to go.

Huh, it's often the best way to go and there are two RAID 0 options on the
P4C800-E Dlx: Promise and ICH5R.

> My advice, for what it's worth, is that if you really want to use RAID
> then get a decent controller - forget the MB implementation.

There's no significant HW difference between mobo RAID and addon PCI card
firmware RAID. Both work very well.

>However,
> much depends on how you propose to use your PC. If it doesn't bother
> you to lose all the data on the array (perhaps just using it as
> temporary work drives for video encoding) then a RAID 0 is fine. If
> you need both RAID and security you will want to go RAID 0+1

Usually RAID 5 and a hardware RAID addon PCI card is the better option here.

>and
> therefore use at least 4 drives. I wouldn't bother with RAID 0 with
> only two drives and the array as the boot device.
>
> RAID 1 is just a lazy way to maintain a continuous backup, using Drive
> Image or Ghost onto external media would be an acceptable substitute.

No, RAID 1 does better than that as multitasked reads have near double the
performance of a single drive.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
July 12, 2004 12:33:22 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

"MikeSp" <mspurgeon5@comcast.net> wrote in message news:<49mdnTupjsflCGzd4p2dnA@comcast.com>...
> In my new computer build using paired Raptors (P4C800-E D mobo), it was EASY
> to set up a RAID 0 configuration and I question the validity of the reduced
> life of RAID 0 HDDs. Raptors come with a 1.2 MILLION HOUR MTBF rating which
> nothing else compares to. The install went without a hitch and I had never
> set up RAID before.
>
> BUT, because of Norton (%^$#@!*&) conflicts with a couple of pieces of
> software as well as itself on this, my THIRD clean install, I am getting
> rid of Norton 2004 (have used Norton since 386's) and going to remove the
> RAID partition and start over in a few hours--this time with RAID 1 instead
> of RAID 0--a thread in this newsgroup convinced me that for my needs, RAID 0
> was an uber geek thing and not really in my best interest. I also have a
> 200 GB IDE backup HDD too.
>
> To set up RAID 0 or 1--use the Intel South Bridge controller and disable the
> Promise controller in BIOS, which is PCI-based and IMHO, not needed for most
> people. Have the Intel RAID drivers on a floppy diskette--AND BEFORE
> starting the installation, set up the RAID configuation in the BIOS: set
> OnBoard IDE Operate Mode to [Enhanced Mode], Enhanced Mode Support On to
> [S-ATA], Configure S-ATA as RAID to [Yes], Serial ATA Bootrom to [enabled]
> and press 10 ans ave changes and exit the BIOS setup (making sure your boot
> drive is CD-ROM).
>
> Create a floppy diskette of the Intel Application Accelerator RAID Editgion
> to be used during isntallation of Windows XP--either off of the Asus
> installation diskette in a folder labeled "IAA" or a newer version can be
> obtained by downloading it from the Asus download/support Site. The file to
> download is called "iaa35r.zip" Unzip it and notice that there is a
> "MakeDisk.exe" file--place a floppy diskette in the drive and double click
> that file to create a driver diskette that contains these four files:
> iastor.inf, iastor.sys, iastor.cat, and txtsetup.oem.
>
> Before attempting to load Windows XP, boot computer and while in POST, do a
> CTRL-I (eye) to get into the RAID BIOS and make the following changes:
> Creat RAID volume (in main menu), Set Stripe Size (probably to 64KB) in
> Create Array Menu, Set Raid Level to 0 (striping) or..., highlight "Create
> Volume" and press enter and press "y" when a confirmation message apepars
> and scroll down to option 4 and press enter.
>
> Place XP install CD in the drive and boot to the CD, having the RAID
> diskette handy. At one point, WIndows will briefly ask if there are
> additional drivers and if so, hit F6--do so and place the RAID driver
> diskette in the drive. Eventually, Windows will then ask for SCSI drivers
> and enter "S" for installation and "specifiy additional device" of a SCSI
> driver (setup feels that RAID drives are SCSI too??), leave the diskette in
> the drive, after pressing enter, a list of available SCSI adaptors will be
> presented and it should list the Intel 82801ER Serial RAID controller which
> should be selected by you and press enter. The next screen should confirm
> that the Intel RAID controller was selected and press enter again to
> continue. Finish Windows installation. Upon rebooting, get back into the
> BIOS and reset the boot sequence to the RAID volume (making sure that the
> RAID drive is shown).
>
> The RAID should be up and running at this point--probably should go ahead
> and install theInten Chipset Inf Utility...
>
> Hope there are not too many typos above--was in a hurry since I needed to be
> somewhere else. Good luck.
>
> MikeSp

Thank you for the response. Great advice and directions! I'll give it
a try and let you know how I do. I think I'll cashier Norton, too.

Will
July 12, 2004 1:59:19 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 20:06:09 GMT, "Ron Reaugh"
<ron-reaugh@worldnet.att.net> wrote:

>
>"ChrisH" <chrish@easynet.co.uk> wrote in message
>news:tts2f0tfuu8orhcloqu7i6jkisd36ju904@4ax.com...
>> On 11 Jul 2004 09:02:19 -0700, wryan@mindspring.com (Will) wrote:
>
>Huh, it's often the best way to go and there are two RAID 0 options on the
>P4C800-E Dlx: Promise and ICH5R.
>
Can you use both together? How many drives? Are the drives
interchangeable?

>> My advice, for what it's worth, is that if you really want to use RAID
>> then get a decent controller - forget the MB implementation.
>
>There's no significant HW difference between mobo RAID and addon PCI card
>firmware RAID. Both work very well.
>
If the raid card fails you can just replace it.
Also, the BIOS support on the mobbo version is usually a cut-down
version of the full implementaion on the card. So it is with Promise.
Yes, you can hack the mobbo BIOS but it's not a lot of fun.

>>
>> RAID 1 is just a lazy way to maintain a continuous backup, using Drive
>> Image or Ghost onto external media would be an acceptable substitute.
>
>No, RAID 1 does better than that as multitasked reads have near double the
>performance of a single drive.
>
I think you forgot to add the word 'potentially', in real terms you
get nowhere near double performance.

ChrisH
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
July 12, 2004 1:59:20 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

"ChrisH" <chrish@easynet.co.uk> wrote in message
news:74a3f0d1edk6l76uiqgicn5sdr3fjqj3fk@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 20:06:09 GMT, "Ron Reaugh"
> <ron-reaugh@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>
> >
> >"ChrisH" <chrish@easynet.co.uk> wrote in message
> >news:tts2f0tfuu8orhcloqu7i6jkisd36ju904@4ax.com...
> >> On 11 Jul 2004 09:02:19 -0700, wryan@mindspring.com (Will) wrote:
> >
> >Huh, it's often the best way to go and there are two RAID 0 options on
the
> >P4C800-E Dlx: Promise and ICH5R.
> >
> Can you use both together? How many drives? Are the drives
> interchangeable?

Relevance?

> >> My advice, for what it's worth, is that if you really want to use RAID
> >> then get a decent controller - forget the MB implementation.
> >
> >There's no significant HW difference between mobo RAID and addon PCI card
> >firmware RAID. Both work very well.
> >
> If the raid card fails you can just replace it.

HUH, and a serial port or a parallel port or USB or firewire or sound HUH!

> Also, the BIOS support on the mobbo version is usually a cut-down
> version of the full implementaion on the card.

That's false.

> So it is with Promise.

No, there's no significant cut-down.

> Yes, you can hack the mobbo BIOS but it's not a lot of fun.
>
> >>
> >> RAID 1 is just a lazy way to maintain a continuous backup, using Drive
> >> Image or Ghost onto external media would be an acceptable substitute.
> >
> >No, RAID 1 does better than that as multitasked reads have near double
the
> >performance of a single drive.
> >
> I think you forgot to add the word 'potentially', in real terms you
> get nowhere near double performance.

Wrong, in intense multitasked small record random I/O one gets near exactly
double the throughput.
July 12, 2004 3:36:04 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

ChrisH wrote:

> RAID 1 is just a lazy way to maintain a continuous backup, using Drive
> Image or Ghost onto external media would be an acceptable substitute.
>

Not really. Hot swap with a RAID 1 allows you to have zero down time in
the event of a disk failure. Can't do that with Ghost.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
July 12, 2004 7:32:34 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

"Tim" <Tim@NoSpam.com> wrote in message news:ccsr7q$uog$1@lust.ihug.co.nz...
> "Is setting up a RAID system as easy as it seems? " Yes. Read the manual,
> Connect the drives to the right controller, configure BIOS right, install
> the rights drivers, make sure you don't do a Quick format when installing
XP
> and it is done. Check your BIOS and driver versions first.
>
> "I'm also aware that at least one writer claims the MTBF of the SATA
drives
> will be halved by using them in a RAID 0 array".


That claim is false. The MTBF of an SATA HD remains unchanged whether in a
RAID array or not. The MTBF of a RAID 0 array containing two HDs is half
that of a single HD.

> Not a good way to phrase
> it, and not correct. No doubt not what your meant either...
>
> "the increase in speed using RAID 0 isn't substantial". Its not any
increase
> in speed that is not substantial, its the actual experienced increase that
> is insubstantial.


Well that depends entirely on what you are doing.

> So, in terms of logical drive reliability the probability of loss of a
> windows disc volume is 2 (twice) for RAID 0, 1 for single disc, and 0.5
for
> RAID 1 (figures are demonstrative). IE the reliability of a RAID 0 volume
is
> 1/4 that of a RAID1.


Well no, the probability that one will lose data due to simple HD HW
failure in RAID 1 is vanishingly small IF the mirrored drive is replaced
when one fails. So it's not 1/4 but vastly less.

> Neither config will save you from stupid users, power
> failures, controller failures etc. etc. etc. The costs per megabyte are 1,
> 1, 2 times (obviously) + cost of RAID controller where needed.
>
> Regardless, have good backups. It is surprising how often multi disc
> failures happen. If you buy identical drives from the same batch and use
> them identically in a RAID 1, then gosh, often they die at about the same
> time from the same defect.


No, that's not how it works.

> So when you have a drive failure in a RAID 1,
> decide quickly and replace quickly.


Always a smart move when using RAID 1.

> RAID 0 + 1 is as its name implies: each drive is mirrored then stripped
(or
> is it striped then mirrored). You get performance + reliability at a cost.
I
> have a RAID 10 config with 10 x Ultra 320 SCSI drives on a dual Xeon
server
> :) 
>
> Penultimately, RAID 5 has slow writes.


Well slower than RAID 10 but not slow and RAID 5 is much less expensive.
For most redundant RAID configurations beyoned 2 drives where the percentage
of writes is not large then usually RAID 5 is the best choice.
!