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Nvidia -vs- Promise [ Raid 0 Setup ]

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February 1, 2007 7:38:16 PM

Okay, sorry guys for I have to bring up this question yet again. For some reason my Promise raid doesn't work or I haven't figure it out yet.

Here's the story:

I have a Gigabyte GA-8N SLi Royal motherboar. It has both Nvidia and Promise SATA raid. I'm currently using Nvidia raid 0 since I haven't got the Promise raid 0 working yet, tech support is not helping much either. I'm just wondering if anyone out there is using the Promise onboard raid, the 20779 in particular as it is the one in my motherboard. Don't know if the onboard Promise raid controller would be better than the current Nvidia raid.

Also does anyone know any reviews and benchmarks on both Nvidia and Promise raid.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanx.
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February 2, 2007 1:48:37 PM

OK, I can't have you posting sad faces anymore.

I have never worked with your motherboard, so my advice is general.

1. Is the Promise RAID enabled in the BIOS?
2. Do you get the Promise RAID POST/initialization screen prior to Windows startup?
3. Have you connected drives to the Promise RAID and are they recognized by the controller (show up on the POST/initialization screen)?
4. Have you created a logical drive on those physical drives hooked to the Promise controller?
5. Is the Promise RAID controller appearing in Device Manager in Windows?
6. Have you installed drivers in Windows for the Promise RAID controller?
7. Once drivers are installed, is the logical disk showing up in Disk Manager?
8. Did you use Disk Manager to create and format an NTFS partition on the logical drive?
9. Does the drive now appear in Windows Explorer on a drive letter?

That's a general procedure for bringing up a RAID array to be used for data. At what point are you getting stuck?
February 2, 2007 4:34:55 PM

Answers:

1. Yes the onboard Promise raid is enabled.
2. No, it doesn't show at the POST. All I see is the "hit F10 for raid setup", but this one only brings me to the Nvidia raid setup, not the Promise. The booklet manual says to "hit Control+F" prior to windows boot to bring out Promise setup and I did and no result. It continues to Windows and load OS.
3. Yes, I have 2x74GB Raptor connected to SATA port 1 and SATA port 2. And currently recognize by POST as Nvidia raid.
4. ?
5. The Promise shows in the Device Manager.
6. I have to go to the Promise raid setup screen to install driver using floppy containing the promise raid driver downloaded from Gigabyte site.
7. Not able to.
8. No
9. No

I'm stuck to where I'm suppose to open the Promise raid setup screen at POST and before Windows load. Manual dictates to press "Control+F" to bring out Promise raid setup and so far no luck on doing that.

Nvidia raid is "F10" and SCSI, I don't care about that one.

Thanks. I'll go bother them tech support again. They can't even answer me if this motherboard is fully Vista capable or not.
February 2, 2007 5:49:18 PM

OK, looked on Gigabyte's site & read a few of the manuals for your motherboard.

First, BOTH the NVidia RAID controller and the Promise RAID controller should display some text-mode initialization during POST. The NVidia RAID controller should tell you to press F10 to enter it's configuration utility. The Promise controller should follow, telling you to press Ctrl-F to enter it's configuration utility.

If you're not seeing both of those displays, something's wrong in the BIOS configuration. Check the following in the BIOS:

1. Advanced BIOS Features -> ROM Boot Priority is set to Promise.
2. Integrated Peripherals -> IDE/SATAII RAID Config -> IDE/SATAII RAID Function -> Enable
3. Integrated Peripherals -> IDE/SATAII RAID Config -> IDE Primary Master RAID -> Disable
4. Integrated Peripherals -> IDE/SATAII RAID Config -> IDE Primary Slave RAID -> Disable
5. Integrated Peripherals -> IDE/SATAII RAID Config -> IDE Secondary Master RAID -> Disable
6. Integrated Peripherals -> IDE/SATAII RAID Config -> IDE Secondary Slave RAID -> Disable
7. Integrated Peripherals -> IDE/SATAII RAID Config -> SATA II 1 Primary RAID -> Enable
8. Integrated Peripherals -> IDE/SATAII RAID Config -> SATA II 1 Secondary RAID -> Enable
9. Integrated Peripherals -> IDE/SATAII RAID Config -> SATA II 2 Primary RAID -> Enable
10. Integrated Peripherals -> IDE/SATAII RAID Config -> SATA II 2 Secondary RAID -> Enable
11. Integrated Peripherals -> Serial-ATAII 1 -> Enable
12. Integrated Peripherals -> Serial-ATAII 2 -> Enable
13. Integrated Peripherals -> Onboard SATAII/IDE3 -> Enable
14. Integrated Peripherals -> Onboard SATAII/IDE3 Mode -> RAID (This one is the key, I think).

Once that is set up, restart, make sure you see both the NVidia RAID and Promise RAID banners.

If that works, then this should enable you to make a RAID array on the Promise controller (once you hook drives to it).

If you want to move your Windows installation to boot off the Promise controller instead of the NVidia controller, you'll have to reinstall Windows on the new array, because the array structures aren't compatible.

You'll need the Promise F6 floppy to install drivers for the Promise RAID controller during Windows installation.
February 2, 2007 8:24:41 PM

Cool. I'll try that.
!