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I need help setting up my SATA HDs to utilize RAID

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October 20, 2006 8:21:48 PM

First off my motherboard supports RAID 0,1,0+1,5 and I have 2 SATA 250GB HD. The only thing my manual shows is this: http://files.zenixstudios.com/a4fraideconfig.png

That doesn't help me much, can someone give me advice!

PS all my specs are listed here: https://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/Wishlist/PublicWis...
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
October 20, 2006 9:06:01 PM

I have a RAID 0 setup, maybe I can help you. Could you be a little more specific on what part of the setup confuses you? Also, do you plan to do a clean install of Windows, use the RAID as a data drive, or are you going to clone an existing boot drive to it?
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October 20, 2006 9:09:03 PM

Quote:
I have a RAID 0 setup, maybe I can help you. Could you be a little more specific on what part of the setup confuses you? Also, do you plan to do a clean install of Windows, use the RAID as a data drive, or are you going to clone an existing boot drive to it?


I'm going to install windows on these disks. I'm confused on why it says primary and secondary for each. Which do I enable/disable for Raid 0
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
October 20, 2006 9:49:30 PM

Primary and secondary have little meaning for SATA drives. Assuming you have both SATA drives hooked up correctly to the RAID controller, just follow these steps:

1) Download RAID controller drivers and put them on a floppy disk. Some mobo install CD's let you boot to them and from there you can get the RAID drivers. Sometimes it's an executable that writes to the disk for you, sometimes you have to manually copy files to a disk. If you don't have a floppy drive, google "slipstream RAID drivers"

2) When you boot up the computer will POST. Press whatever key gets you into BIOS and look for your SATA settings. You should have the options: IDE, RAID, AHCI or similar. Select RAID. While you're in BIOS, change boot order to go CD/DVD-ROM followed by RAID. You may have to set up the array first (steps #3 & #4) to see RAID as a boot option.

3) Upon reboot and after the initial POST, you'll see the RAID controller do a separate POST. At this time it will display something like "CTRL+I to Enter Setup". Look in your mobo manual for the actual keys to hit to enter RAID setup.

4) After entering RAID setup, choose 'create array', select stripe/RAID 0 and add each SATA drive to the array. For block size, choose 32, 64, or 128... not much difference between them. You may also need to select the RAID as bootable from here.

5) Once you have the RAID setup, reboot with the Windows XP disc in the drive. At the very beginning of the WinXP install, it will say "Press F6 to load additional drivers" or something similar. Press F6 at this time.

6) If you pressed F6, the install will eventually ask you to insert a disk into the floppy drive. Do this and it will look for all drivers on the disk. Select the correct drivers for your controller (keep in mind to not install for example 64-bit drivers for 32-bit windows). Keep the floppy disk in the floppy drive.

7) Once drivers are installed, the installation will ask you where to install and it SHOULD see the RAID as a single large hard drive. Select the RAID to install to. The rest is standard install.
October 21, 2006 1:15:15 AM

After looking at your manual and the ECS site, I couldn't find much explanation. But in my experience, you need to be able to specify which hard-drives are part of the RAID array and which ones are non-RAID. I believe the picture is obliquely referring to the SATA connectors on your motherboard; ie something like:

MOBO p21 = PHYSICAL p37 = POST/BIOS p28
SATA 1 = SATA 1 Primary = IDE Master 2
SATA 2 = SATA 1 Secondary = IDE Master 3
SATA 3 = SATA 2 Primary = IDE Master 4
SATA 4 = SATA 2 Secondary = IDE Master 5

The exact mapping may differ, but the SATA 1/2 refers to the 2 SATA controllers on your mobo; channels so to say. The primary/secondary refer to the 2 hard-drives that each controller manages.

To setup RAID 0, connect the first WD hard-drive in SATA 1 and the second drive in SATA 2, although it probably won't make much difference which ones you use. Note that when you connect them, they will probably show in your POST as IDE Master 2 and 3.

That said, follow the steps that rwpritchett has outlined.

Notes:
- you may need to enable the SATA controllers: p36.
- check your mobo CD for more detailed RAID instructions. Mine came separately from the main mobo manual - should be a PDF.
October 21, 2006 2:51:12 AM

OK! I followed all of rwpritchett's outline and got as far as making a unattended install winxp cd following this guide http://maximumpc.com/2005/01/how_to_slipstre.html minus the SP2 part. I made a total of about 7 CDs before I got it right, and finally when the drivers did load, the Windows installer said it couldn't find any hard disks on my computer to install.

The unattended CD is working because, on my prior attempts the windows installer would say I needed specific drivers (the raid controller driver) to continue the installtion. But now that I fixed the errors in my unattended CD, it says it can't find my HDs! I spent a while on this >_>

I'd like to add also what I did with the menu I posted earlier. I just enabled all of them (primary/econdary SATA 1/2) and after I exited the bios I was directed towards the RAID bios and was able to configure it to RAID 0
October 21, 2006 12:24:55 PM

Just a quick question after the initial post screen do you see a message saying deceting raid array or something of that sort.. if not check you bios settings..

Should see something along the lines of Raid Array healthy or something if not press the key it says there to setup raid controllers.

Also be sure to hit F6 when the Windows install starts and pop those drivers in as well.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
October 21, 2006 2:48:26 PM

My BIOS also has a setting that tells your PC how to use the RAID the array, that says something like "RAID as storage",and "RAID as bootable disk" that must be set to the "bootable" setting. Yeah, it's kind of tricky the first time you do this. There are a half a dozen steps and settings that all must be done in order, but after you get through it once, it's like okay, now I understand how it all works, and it's pretty simple.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
October 21, 2006 2:54:19 PM

Sorry to reply to my own post, but I just wanted to make clear that the setting I mentioned as "RAID as bootable disk" is not the same as the boot order setting (CD/DVD, RAID, FLoppy, IDE0, IDE1, etc.)
October 21, 2006 3:34:36 PM

Lol yea I setup my first raid like 3 days ago.. and I was like omg.. its not working..till I had a tech savey friend walk me through it on the phone.. I have a general idea of the steps needed and I feel comfortable if I have to do it again I could easily. But theres primarily 3 steps you have to do..

Set up the bios properly, than when post screen asks about a raid you hit the corresponding key.. set it up properly there.. than start windows install.. when it asked to install 3rd party raid driver hit F6 do so and pop in the required drivers there... and your done :) 

Just be carefull when you flash your bios with the new bios.. it may go back to default setting and you will have to go back to the bios and reconfigure after that you should be set to go.
!