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Need help w/RAID 5 setup, please

Last response: in Storage
June 27, 2006 10:56:34 PM

I need some help with RAID 5 set up. First, here's my machine (which I built this week):

A8N-SLI Premium mobo, BIOS Revision 1009
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Toledo
Gigabyte nVidia GeForce 7600GT SilentPipe II
Corsair Twinx 2048-3200c2 (2GB, dual channel, 2-3-3-6/1T/2.75v)
1 Seagate Barracuda SATA 3Gbs 160GB Drive on nVidia SATA Controller as boot drive
4 Western Digital Caviar WD4000YR 400GB drives on Sil3114 Controller for storage
1 Digital Audio Labs CardDeluxe for D/A conversion and sound
1 Hauppague WinTV PVR250MCE

As per the description above, I have a 160GB drive on the nVidia SATA controller as the boot drive. I got the system up and running, everything working fine. (This forum and others were helpful on RAM timing settings, etc., thanks to all who post.)

Next step was to create a RAID 5 storage volume, so I added four (4) 400GB drives to the Sil3114 controller. The machine boots fine, the Sil3114 BIOS recognizes the drives, and allows me to create a RAID group.

Here I get a bit lost because the documentation is pretty lousy and contradictory. When I reboot after creating the RAID group with the BIOS utility, the Sil Array Manager utility won't let me use the RAID group I created in the BIOS (sees it as a legacy group, and when I try to convert or delete it, the utility says the volume has a pending operation). So I go back into the BIOS and delete the RAID group, boot WinXP, and then try to create new group in the SAM utility. The utility sees the drives, allows me to open the dialog to create a new group, which I configure for Parity RAID (RAID 5) as per the documentation. When I hit the CREATE button, I get this error message: The Requested Operation Failed: Processing Error.

I went back into the BIOS and created the group again, and Windows sees the dynamic disc, and allows me to create and format a volume, but only a simple volume. So at this point, I'm confused. Is the BIOS ensuring RAID 5? Or do I have a problem? Instincts tell me that I should be able to set up and manage the RAID 5 group via the supplied utility. I've searched a good bit and can't find anyone who's done this.

Any help in solving this problem is much appreciated.

More about : raid setup

June 28, 2006 12:56:37 AM

I run a very similar setup myself.
You don't actually have a problem with the machine. You just have a problem with waiting :) 

The way you first built the system was correct.
RAID 5 takes a while to 'build' itself. Thats why when you tried to convert the legacy volume it claimed that it was busy.

Set up the RAID 5 array in the RAID BIOS. Boot up your machine - let it 'build' overnight - maybe longer.

The SAM utility will let you know when it is finished. If unsure check the SAM logs.

Then you will be able to convert it from a legacy volume.

The 'bars' that show the current status of the array will then go green.

Hope I've helped.

June 28, 2006 1:02:26 AM

You have defininitely helped. As you can tell, it's my first time building a RAID array. :? I figured I was missing something, but the documentation is so poor that I couldn't tell . . . .

Many thanks.