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XP, Raid and Nlite - help.

Last response: in Windows XP
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May 25, 2009 3:46:33 AM

Heaps of people have asked about this topic, but I think I bring a new twist.

I would like to install XP SP3 onto a raid (1) setup. XP installation doesn't support raid and therefore sata drivers have to be installed through floppy disk at the F6 option - this has been discussed frequently on these pages.

A second option is to streamline the drivers into nlite for automatic installation - also widely discussed.

My problems:
1) I have no floppy drive, I haven't needed one for 10 years and I'm sure I won't again for another 10, after buying my new system and getting a engagement ring and buying a new house I cannot afford another $30 for something i'm going to use once. I'm the only person in my friend circle who doesn't by OEM systems so can't borrow one.
2) My new twist - As I don't have a O/S on my new system I am creating the nlite CD on my old system. The driver downloads that come from intel and Gigabyte are .exe self installation programs that won't run on my current system. Therefore I can't access the ich9r/ich10r drivers to place into nlite. I've tried unpacking and I've tried pointing nlite at the .exe's with no luck.

Possible solutions:
1) I could install Vista, I have a copy but I hate Vista, I know my configuration options in XP and which third party software is tried, tested and enjoyed, while I wait for W7 i would rather stick with XP.
2) Install linux, I've done it, I can't play all my games.
3) I could change the bios of the new system back to Raid disabled, install windows, unpack nlite, drivers, service packs, hotfixes etc onto new system, create the nlite CD, reconfigure bios to raid 1 and then run the nlite installation. - lengthy but so far the winning option.
4) Keep looking for unpacked drivers which nlite can streamline. - I'll keep doing that anyway during the installation processes of option 2).
5) Keep checking this thread to see if anyone can tell me where I can download the neccessary drivers in an unpacked or self-extracting file and exactly what they're called. At the moment I'm trying to keep the Sata Raid in my two availiable Sata2 ports, but if advised otherwise I will change back to Sata.

Anyone who wishes to help, Thank you in advance.

PS. Please nobody tell me to buy a floppy drive. Just don't. :-)

If it's of interest to anyone my new system is gigabyte x58-ud3r-sli; i7920; 2x 500gb samsung spinpoint; kingston 3gb 1333mz + other stuff. My old system is some old 2005 Acer laptop.

More about : raid nlite

May 25, 2009 7:50:19 AM

if you can get the ich drivers from the MB manufacturer, open the exe and then cancel, it will ask for the folder to extrct the driver to, then make a installation disk with N-Lite and slipstream the drivers in and you'll be good to go. I had to do a Toshiba and got it done just fine
May 26, 2009 6:24:16 AM

Thanks 13. That sounds like it would do the job. In the end however, it was my own naivety that held me back. Nlite can read the gigabyte .exe drivers but the drivers were embedded in some ? text format that needs sorting through, which I didn't do.

To help other future RAID XP users who are lost - just set the nlite "add driver" page to add a folder of drivers, not a single driver, chose the folder you have put ALL your downloaded drivers from your motherboard company in and add the relevant drivers. I included all drivers for either XP or 32 bit systems. During inclusion Nlite will add a text format driver option, search down and look for the ich8r/ich9r/ich10r for XP driver.

I also downloaded 32bit xp RAID/SATA boot drivers from my motherboard company and pointed nlite at them for good measure.

After 5 coasters and 3 days my system is finally running XP SP3 on RAID 1.

Thanks again for your reply.
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May 27, 2009 4:48:06 AM

Now I have another problem, all my installations are losing their DVD drive, in explorer, mycomputer and hardware profiles. And I can't find an easy way (or any way) to repoint xp to my missing drive. Anyone know what could be causing this?
May 28, 2009 12:40:02 AM

algreary said:
Thanks 13. That sounds like it would do the job. In the end however, it was my own naivety that held me back. Nlite can read the gigabyte .exe drivers but the drivers were embedded in some ? text format that needs sorting through, which I didn't do.

To help other future RAID XP users who are lost - just set the nlite "add driver" page to add a folder of drivers, not a single driver, chose the folder you have put ALL your downloaded drivers from your motherboard company in and add the relevant drivers. I included all drivers for either XP or 32 bit systems. During inclusion Nlite will add a text format driver option, search down and look for the ich8r/ich9r/ich10r for XP driver.

I also downloaded 32bit xp RAID/SATA boot drivers from my motherboard company and pointed nlite at them for good measure.

After 5 coasters and 3 days my system is finally running XP SP3 on RAID 1.

Thanks again for your reply.


I tried the same with some drivers for my Dell Dimension 9100, but when I point to the folder with the exe file in it, nothing comes up on the screen.
May 28, 2009 1:54:58 AM

Hey Asak, I'm still making coasters so have been able to go through my process slowly and can see I need to clarify my above information. Sorry, I should have looked closer the first time.

I can now see that my nlite worked because I did extract some files first. I was pointing it at a folder with 20 or so drivers in it and presuming it was reading the .exe's. But now I can see it wasn't.
It was reading the drivers which I had extracted already and ignored the remaining .exe's that I hadn't been able to extract on my system.

So I have no idea what motherboard is in your Dell but for me I downloaded from Gigabyte the driver called -
motherboard_driver_sata_gb_sata2raid_bootdisk_32

That was a self extracting .exe which doesn't try to install anything so I was able to extract it successfully. It had four files in it including a .inf file and a file called txtsetup.oem.
When it came to the integrate driver page of nlite setup I choose the multiple driver file option, that way I can point it at a folder not at a driver, because I have no idea which files are drivers and which are... something else?

Nlite then comes to a textmode driver page and you have to choose the driver right for your system. For mine from what I have read it is the

Intel(R) ich8r/ich9r/ich10r/do SATA RAID Controller.
Presumably it would be the same for you.
That is the only driver I install from that particular text mode option and i can get the RAID to work and XP to install without problems.

But I do install some other drivers including a gigabyte SCSI 32 bit handler which I am going to leave out of my next install because it may be the culprit for losing my optical drive. If i lose the ability to install on a raid array I'll post it for other people to read about in the future.

Sorry about my too quick presumption and post and hope this has helped clarify.
May 28, 2009 5:11:01 AM

Well I lost my boot raid support so obviously I need all the motherboard RAID / SCSI drivers, not just ich8r etc.

WHAT IS KILLING MY OPTICAL DRIVE!!??
May 28, 2009 1:21:19 PM

can you guys put the drivers onto a usb thumb dribe instead of a floppy?
May 28, 2009 1:24:18 PM

I tried that, but it refused.
!