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RAID0 Install Issue.

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  • Hard Drives
  • Western Digital
  • Storage
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December 25, 2006 5:25:49 PM

Happy Holidays to everyone.

I have an ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe board, with two Western Digital 300GB SATA drives.

This is my first time to set up a RAID0 array, so despite lots of reading maybe I am missing something.

I set up RAID in BIOS, selecting the SATA drives to be in the array, in "IDE Configuration" as I recall on the main menu of BIOS. I also set up the array to be a boot option in that BIOS menu too (It replaces the HDD option that was there before automatically).

I then press F10 and build the array, selecting both HD's (both are exactly the same, WD 300GB). I then enter stripe size for the RAID0 array. However before pressing CTRL-X to exit this screen, I note that under "Boot" I see "N/A", and the option of pressing "B" to make this a bootable array is grayed out.

I then start loading WinXP, and press F6 at the correct time, and later load the drivers from my floppy that I have pre-made before.

WinXP the tells me that it can't see and hard drives, and aborts the OS install.

I went around and around, deleting the array and starting over, but still no joy. Does anyone have an idea of where I am going wrong?

I have since loaded XP onto a 100GB partition (C:)  on one of the drives (non-RAID), just to prove to myself that the drives are working- or at least one of them is, although I got the "Healthy" comment on the array on boot-up.

I would like to get the RAID0 going. If I do manage to do this, given that one 300GB drive is now partitioned with a 100GB NTFS partition, will this cause any issues when I go to create the RAID? Or is all partitioning erased on creation of the array?.

Thanks- Bruce.

More about : raid0 install issue

December 25, 2006 6:19:26 PM

Enable RAID in the BIOS as per the manual(s).

Then install Windows XP using the F6 method.


It may default to IDE / Standard SATA until flagged.

If you already have Windows XP installed this is the step that was messed up. Setup RAID in the BIOS, enable the RAID 'controller' BIOS, and build the array (RAID-0 in this case) all before you even insert a CD or Floppy to boot off. (Then use the F6 method to install Windows XP / 2003).


When the RAID 'controller' BIOS boots you will need to enter it using a key sequence. It might be F1 - F12, it might be Ctrl+R or something else.

You can setup your RAID-1 (mirror) or RAID-0 (stipe) from there.

Just make sure if your mirror, everything you want to keep on the TARGET HDD is backed up (if anything).

If you setup RAID-0 then it will likely blank both HDDs, which permit F6 during Windows XP Setup to see the 'array'.

This may involve backing everything you have up to other media (not to either of the HDDs going into the building of the array), and re-installing using F6 (as per the manuals, once RAID BIOS kicks in and you've created an array).

You might be able to merge from 2 x HDDs into RAID-0 using special NV-RAID software in a non-destructive way once within Windows XP though.

www.nvidia.com

(This is assuming your RAID 'controller' is NVRAID).
December 25, 2006 6:54:27 PM

Thanks for the reply, TabrisDarkPeace.

When I tried this both HD's were blank, not even formatted, in fact the computer had never run before. So, this was a first time XP install.

I entered RAID in BIOS, then once saved and restarted I was prompted to enter F10 to get into the RAID setup. Both HD's were visible, so I entered them into the RAID box, and selected RAID0 and the stripe size. Then I booted to the XP CD, and entered F6 at the correct time.

What interests me in your post is:

"It may default to IDE / Standard SATA until flagged"

Do I need to "flag" the array somehow? I did have the DVD drives connected to IDE1, so changed them to IDE2 in case having anything connected to IDE1 was an issue, bit still no go.

Thanks for any other help, this is much appreciated.

Bruce.
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December 25, 2006 7:03:21 PM

Quote:
WinXP the tells me that it can't see and hard drives, and aborts the OS install.


What exactly does it say ?, Word for word.
December 25, 2006 7:31:31 PM

It sounds like you are not using the correct driver for your raid controller. After hitting F6, make sure you scroll down to the correct driver. I believe that you can only see 4 drivers initially without scrolling down.
December 25, 2006 7:31:50 PM

Thanks again.

I'm sorry, I didn't write this down, but it's a screen that immediately follows the installation to memory of the basic drivers from the XP CD, and after that it says "Press ENTER to install XP, some other key to repair an existing XP install, or exit". I press ENTER, then I get a message that syas something like "Windows XP cannot detect any hard drives (storage), and is exiting. Press F3 to exit".

Bruce.
December 25, 2006 7:37:44 PM

You may need to 'update' (or manually create) the RAID / 3rd Party Disk Controller Driver F6 boot disk.

Does it prompt to select driver(s) to load (after F6, with diskette in drive) and actually load / detect a RAID controller ?

Also, when you setup the array are you saving the settings, or just using Ctrl+X to exit the RAID BIOS ?
December 25, 2006 8:08:12 PM

Quote:
I set up RAID in BIOS, selecting the SATA drives to be in the array, in "IDE Configuration" as I recall on the main menu of BIOS.


Don't set anything up in IDE mode, disable anything there. You want them to run in RAID mode.
December 25, 2006 8:16:13 PM

Thanks again.

I think I've seen my problem- I can't recall "saving" the array (when I pushed F10) , and had assumed that CTRL-X saved it while exiting. This was last night when I was trying so maybe I'm wrong, but certainly worth trying again. Thanks.

Also the floppy was read after I selected the RAID driver but there was never any indication that a RAID driver had been detected.

Bruce.
December 25, 2006 8:25:05 PM

Quote:
I set up RAID in BIOS, selecting the SATA drives to be in the array, in "IDE Configuration" as I recall on the main menu of BIOS.


Don't set anything up in IDE mode, disable anything there. You want them to run in RAID mode.

Thanks. "IDE Configuration" is the place in this BIOS where the RAID is Enabled/Disabled, and drives are selected to participate in the array. The SATA drives appear here as condidates to select.

I agree that the use of the IDE portion of the main menu in BIOS is confusing, since the OS is likely looking for an IDE connected hard drive and can't see one. But this is the only option in the manual for RAID (SATA or IDE).

Thanks- Bruce.
December 25, 2006 8:27:00 PM

"I think I've seen my problem- I can't recall "saving" the array (when I pushed F10) , and had assumed that CTRL-X saved it while exiting. This was last night when I was trying so maybe I'm wrong, but certainly worth trying again. Thanks. "

I just re-read the ASUS manual, and CTRL-X dies save as well as exit, there is no separate "save" function.
Thanks- Bruce.
December 25, 2006 8:29:56 PM

Quote:
It sounds like you are not using the correct driver for your raid controller. After hitting F6, make sure you scroll down to the correct driver. I believe that you can only see 4 drivers initially without scrolling down.


Thanks SysEngineer. I only get 2 options after hitting F5, one is the NV RAID driver, and one the NV mass storage driver, I have tried both.

Thanks, Bruce.
December 25, 2006 10:51:28 PM

1. create array
2. initialize array
3. save settings
4. select boot array

5. windows installation with F6
6. install raid driver
7. install windows
December 25, 2006 11:04:27 PM

Quote:
1. create array
2. initialize array
3. save settings
4. select boot array

5. windows installation with F6
6. install raid driver
7. install windows


Thanks sandmanwn,

1, 2 and 3 all seem to be OK.
By 4. (select boot array), do you mean the boot options (DVD/Floppy/HDD) settings in BIOS, or is this another step in the RAID setup? When I initialize the array (F10 after BIOS screen on bootup), the option to create a boot array ("B" in this case) is grayed out, and pressing "B" does nothing. The array does appear as an option in the boot order in BIOS, and is selected.

5 and 6 appear to go OK, just 7 doesn't work.....

Thanks for your reply. Bruce.
December 25, 2006 11:42:35 PM

I have had problems with setting up RAID on a PC with multiple HDs in it in the past, if you have other HDs in the PC try disconecting them/disabling them, then try again.
December 26, 2006 1:45:33 AM

Ok looking over the manual reveals this...

RAID mode is for the Silicon Image SATA controller which is on the left side of the board about middle of the way up.

IDE mode in bios is for the NVRaid controller which is the four SATA connectors on the bottom right.

Theres the definitive answer to one of your questions.

1. Under the Main Menu under IDE configuration, you want to enable NVRaid and both sata controllers and enable the drives you want to use in the array.
2. It says to reboot after this and re-enter these settings before it will recognize the hard drives on the NVRaid controller.
3. F10 to enter NVRaid setup.
4. Add hard disks to array.
5. Select raid mode
6. TAB to select free disk area.
7. F7 to setup the array(Initialize the array)
8. Ctrl-x to save/exit
9. Go back into bios and go to the boot menu
10. select your hard drive in the boot list.

you can check the NVRaid setup by pressing F10 during boot.

11. start windows installation with F6 option and install NVRaid driver from floppy.
December 26, 2006 2:51:18 AM

Thanks sandmanwn,

I checked the manual, and my understanding of re-entering the BIOS settings in the IDE config menu (BIOS) is only related to after clearing cmos. But I'll try it anyway.

I have my SATAs conencted to the NVRaid controller. Looking at the ASUS forum there are performance issues in using the SIC, so I have that disabled elsewhere in BIOS.

On another form I got this, which I will also try:

"I ran into the same issue also...I resolved it by integrating my Raid drivers into my WindowsXP instillation disk using nlite...
Referance the following link:
http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=51140

It may be a little confusing at first...You may want to read through it a couple of times...Have patience..."

"It's a problem with our particular mb's bios... (note: I have a Rig with a A8N32-SLI Deluxe mb also)...

As Astrodave mentioned..It *Should* be as easy as setting the array to "Bootable" via a check mark in a box...However...As you have noticed the approporiate box is greyed out...I went through this a few months back...

Now...There was another possiable solution that crossed my mind at that time...I never tried it...I opted to follow the nlite procedure as I'm pretty familiar with nlite and have used it for a while prior to this issue....

I'll put it on the table so you can consider it:

I *Think* if you'll flash the bios from the ver 13.03 *back* to the ver 12.05...You'll be able to use the "Set Array to Bootable" option...

For some reason...the Bios rev 13.03 lost that capability...If I remember correctly(98% sure) I was able to use the "Set Bootable Array" checkbox with rev 12.05 bios prior to the release of the rev 13.05 bios..."

Thanks, I will try all of these solutions..
Bruce.
December 26, 2006 3:04:08 AM

i dont think the boot option is available in the newer bios as it wants you to select the boot hard drive in the bios and not in the raid firmware.

i would not flash to the old bios, something just doesnt sit right with me by choosing this option.

perhaps you could try the Silicon Image raid controller instead. perhaps more luck with this setup as it is independent of the NVRaid firmware you are having issues with.
December 26, 2006 2:05:56 PM

Quote:


perhaps you could try the Silicon Image raid controller instead. perhaps more luck with this setup as it is independent of the NVRaid firmware you are having issues with.


Thanks again- yes, I think this is my next step.

Bruce.
a b G Storage
December 26, 2006 2:30:37 PM

In my old NVidia board, I had to select two different drivers for it to work. They were both 'required' drivers. Are you using just one, or both? You can have two at the same time loaded.
December 26, 2006 2:36:35 PM

Quote:
In my old NVidia board, I had to select two different drivers for it to work. They were both 'required' drivers. Are you using just one, or both? You can have two at the same time loaded.


I've only been selecting one of two possible; one is an NV RAID controller, the other an NV RAID mass storage device controller. I've tried both separately but not together. I wish the documentation in the mobo manual indicated stuff like this.....:) .

Thanks- this may be a solution. Appreciate the reply.

Bruce.
a c 160 G Storage
December 26, 2006 3:17:13 PM

Quote:
i would not flash to the old bios, something just doesnt sit right with me by choosing this option.

I do not think any harm would be done....all the new k8v Se bios's make the VIA(i know i know) raid not work right....and caused all kinds of problems with pci cards....so a flash back may not be so out of order.....
!