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GA-965P-DQ6 : RAID and non-RAID disks at same time?

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April 2, 2007 7:26:52 AM

This is my first post here at the Forumz... :D 

I am building a new system with the GA-965P-DQ6 (rev 3.3)
and the following disks:

ICH8R SATA port - Drive
-------------------------------------------
SATAII0 - WD 150 GB Raptor
SATAII1 - <empty>
SATAII2 - WD RE2 500 GB Caviar
SATAII3 - WD RE2 500 GB Caviar
SATAII4 - WD RE2 500 GB Caviar
SATAII5 - WD RE2 500 GB Caviar

My question is this: is it *possible* to build a system like this in which
the 150 GB Raptor is accessed as a standard SATA (non-RAID) disk
while the four 500 GB RE2s are configured as a combination (using
Intel Matrix Raid) of a RAID 0 and a RAID 5?

My idea was to install the OS(es) on the Raptor and use the 500 GB
RE2s as a nice large matrix RAID, part RAID 0 and part RAID 5.

However, when I try to do this, the Windows installation CD says it
cannot find any hard disks in the system.

History: at first I simply installed Windows XP Pro 64 on the Raptor
without turning on the RAID in the BIOS nor loading any "F6 drivers".
That install went very well. Then I decided to try to re-install XP
after going into BIOS Setup and setting:

Integrated Peripherals>SATA/RAID AHCI Mode [RAID]
Advanced BIOS Features>First Boot Device [CDROM]

then booting from the XP installation CD and loading the "F6 driver"
for the ICH8R chipset from a floppy. All of this per instructions in
the Gigabyte manual.

I believe I have made the driver floppy in the correct way. The
only subtlety is that I created it on another Win XP Pro machine,
this one a 32-bit, because trying to do this on my newly-installed
Win XP Pro 64-bit machine results in failure since the "menu"
command in the "bootdrv" directory on the Gigabyte CD cannot
be run (apparently) on a 64-bit XP platform. So I made the driver
floppy on the 32-bit machine by opening a "Command Prompt"
window, going into the "BootDrv" directory on the CD and
issuing the "menu" command, then choosing "8" corresponding to
"Intel Matrix Storage Manager 64-bit". This seemed to work OK.

After pressing F6 at the right moment and selecting "S" to load a driver
from the floppy, the XP installation procedure loads a bunch of files
from its CD and then stops with a message saying it cannot find
any hard disks in the system whatsoever, and the installation cannot
proceed.

When I do a Ctrl-I during boot to enter the

"Intel Matrix Storage Manager option ROM v6.0.0.1022 ICH8R wRAID5"

and look at the panel called "DISK/VOLUME INFORMATION" I see
the 150 GB Raptor listed as a "Non-RAID Disk" while the 4 500GB
RE2 disks are shown as "Member Disk(0,1)". Thus I assumed that
the Windows installation disk would still be able to access the 150GB
Raptor as an ordinary SATA disk while also accessing the two
RAID volumes (RAID0, RAID5) that I created.

Perhaps my idea is flawed, or perhaps just my procedures. I have
built a few systems in my time, but always just for me and my
family. I do not build tens or hundreds of systems like some
of the folks around here. This build is my first experience with
"F6 drivers" for instance, so I need a little help getting up to speed
with this one.

If anyone has experience doing something similar to what I want
to do, or knows that it *cannot* be done, I would appreciate hearing
from you. Many thanks in advance!
April 11, 2007 11:05:14 AM

I don't know if my answer will help but i'm using 4 hard drives on my dq6 v1.0 with 2 in raid 0 configuration. I'm using the two extra sata port (purple) for the raid configuration while using two of the native ports (yellow) for my 2 other hard drives. My raid configuration is 2 74GB raptors.
April 11, 2007 1:54:55 PM

Yes you can, there is 2 sata controllers on the motherboard, and you can customise them in terms of how you want them to treat the hard drives


Cheetsy
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April 23, 2007 4:36:34 PM

Thanks Jamie and Cheetsy I had a very similar question and I think your answers have helped resolve it. My question would have been:-

At the moment I have two 74Gb Raptors (for OS, programs, page file, scratch disk etc) and three 320Gb Seagate Barracudas (for photographic images). All are set up for AHCI mode to take advantage of NCQ. At the moment I am using XP x64 but will shortly be moving to Vista Ultimate x64 and want to set up the two Raptors as a RAID 0 array.

Am I correct in thinking I can have either RAID or AHCI and not both using the standard SATA connectors on this motherboard??

If so, would it be possible to set up the two Raptors as a RAID 0 array by using the Gigabyte connectors on the motherboard and have the three Seagates still set up as AHCI devices on the other SATA connectors which use a different controller??


Thanks in advance for any further advice
April 23, 2007 4:42:37 PM

Quote:

If so, would it be possible to set up the two Raptors as a RAID 0 array by using the Gigabyte connectors on the motherboard and have the three Seagates still set up as AHCI devices on the other SATA connectors which use a different controller??

[/color][/i]

It most certainly would be, I do the same thing myself, except not with raptors.

2x 80gig WD hdd's in Raid 0 for boot and 2 other hdds on the other controller just set up as standard access hdds

Hope that helps :D 

Cheetsy
April 23, 2007 7:23:11 PM

Thanks Cheetsy, so there wouldn't be a problem with the storage devices set to AHCI mode and the Raptors as RAID (which uses straight IDE mode AFAIK).
!