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ASUS P5W DH Deluxe RAID controller.

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June 7, 2007 6:06:02 PM

Hello, this is my first time posting on the TH forums but I have already gathered some very useful information by reading this forum for the last couple weeks.

Here's my question:
How good is the RAID controller on the ASUS P5W DH Deluxe motherboard? It is listed as "0/1/5/10 Matrix RAID" on newegg.

I will be building a new desktop machine for home use in the next 2 months, and I am planning on running a RAID 1+0 with 4 drives (300-500gb haven't decided how much storage i need yet). So I am wondering if the on-board RAID controller on this motherboard is good (not just good enough) to be running this setup, or if i should consider buying a separate SATA RAID controller card. Also if you would like to suggest another motherboard with a better controller than that of this board, the rough guidelines would be LGA 775 / 1066/800 / DDR2 800.

Thank you in advance.
November 21, 2007 7:16:45 PM

OK, For some reason I can not see the date you posted your question, but I'm gonna respond anyway.
I have 2 of those boards (P5W DH Deluxe). The peripherals are as follows:
System 1 & 2:
2 Gigs RAM
DVDRW
ATI X1950/ATI AIW X1900

System 1:
3 500 GB Western Digital Raid Editions (RAID 5)

System 2:
2 750 GB WD RAID 1

I am running Vista Ultimate on both. One system has a 450W PS the other has a 500W. On both systems I ensured I had the latest drivers from ASUS's site on the build. On both systems I would encounter 1 of the drives out of the three losing synch (causing the raid to fail). When the RAID would fail (the physical drive is fine) all you would have to do within the OS is reinitialize the drive and it would rebuild (this process was taking 24+ hours). System 2 is my wifes machine and she didn't inform me when she had a degrade warning (she would just click through it). THEN the second of the three went out of synch and WE LOST IT ALL. I knew the drives weren't physically bad SMART would always report them as OK. I ended up having to send all 3 drives from System 2 to Ontrack which costed me thousands of dollars to execute the recovery. it's thousands even if it was only 1 drive, but for RAID 5 I hope you have a LOT of money. Losing that much money is really painful. I implemented RAID 5 to avoid needing to backup (we aren't risky on the net, and keep are systems patched and protected). I am blaming the implementation of the RAID 5 on the Intel RAID controller that is in the motherboard.

As you can see my wifes system is now in RAID 1. RAID 1 has never complained about one of the drive members failing.

The reason why I am even here today is because the RAID 5 on System one had a drive fall out of synch (AGAIN) and I was looking for wether or not more people were reporting RAID 5 ISSUES WITH EITHER P5W DH DELUXE or INTEL RAID CONTROLLER on ICH7R.

I'd say if you want the RAID 5 go with a company that has excellent ratings for RAID controllers. That means buy motherboards without that feature (save money on the mobo price) then buy a EXCELLENT RAID controller.

I used to think that maybe it was a power supply issue, but when I bought system 2 and had the same problems, the common denominator is the MOBO.

I have owned more than a dozen ASUS boards over the past 8 years. I still have 5 currently. ASUS gets good ratings here at Toms but I may start to look at the other manufactures with this last run in.

I am also planning on contacting ASUS about this. Doubt they have any info/help/compensation for the time/money lost with the RAID 5 issue.
November 21, 2007 8:05:05 PM

If your looking for real robust raid storage you should go serial attached scsi.
If your looking for good raid storage on sata you need to look at controllers from Areca, Promise, and 3ware.
If you can live with adequate raid, raid 10 on your motherboard will be ok. Never raid 0 your data with out a really good back up plan.
Related resources
November 21, 2007 9:21:50 PM

It is amazing to me that motherboards have so many raid options on them these days. I have the P5W DH Deluxe and have run EZ RAID briefly to create a single drive letter scratch disk on two drives that were about half as large as I wanted the disk to appear. I have not considered using matrix raid primarily because there is no reason a single user workstation should need the level of redundancy that raid implies (but does not always deliver). If you search for discussions of RAID, you will find pros and cons. To sum it up, raid is a method of allowing a critical system to continue to run without an outage while failed drives are replaced and resynced. Doing backups is the preferred method of protecting data. There are many ways to destroy the integrity of a system besides drive failures. No raid level will protect a user from his or her own finger-checks. If the motherboard fails with your disks configured in a high level raid configuration, you will have to replace the motherboard with the same type or one with the same raid controllers. This can be a real hassle in a few years when a particular model of motherboard is harder to find. I know a videographer whose motherboard failed just before his render deadline and he was stuck trying to find a particular type of motherboard because his drives were in raid.
Don't think I am naiive about why one would want raid controllers. I work in a data center where we have thousands of servers that have a minimum of RAID 1 boot disks and SAN systems that have every RAID level of redundancy but the objective is simply to keep the systems on the network while repairs are made. Backups are done at the appropriate timing to preserve data integrity.

I would (and I do) forget the whole idea of raid and just spend the money for the spare disks in USB or eSATA enclosures to back up my data and keep it in a different location.
November 22, 2007 12:34:29 AM

JadCorp,

I appreciate what you are saying. I spoke with ASUS today and the technician belieives the problem is with the bridge, since it isn't the same drive that is always freaking out. The issue I have here is that the same thing is happening on different computers with the same type motherboard.

I would love it to stay on (GOAL) however, when these drives fall out of synch (for lack of a better term) the machine blue screens and needs to be rebooted.

Thanks
December 13, 2007 7:17:44 PM

I'm having the same problem with my RAID5 and a drive falling out of sync. I'm just in testing mode right now so I'm using expendable data but I don't like what I see. I have a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R mobo which has the ICH9R chipset and using the Intel Matrix Storage 7.8.1013 (lastest) software. It's sounding like this might be a systemic problem throughout the ICHxR line.
June 9, 2008 8:37:43 AM

Just wanted to say that I have the same problem with my P5W DH Deluxe and three 750 GB Seagate-disks in RAID 5.
It keeps failing the third drive over and over again dispite the disks working flawlessly, and sometimes even rebuilding doesn't work. Guess the RAID fails even before the rebuild (which takes about 3 days) is finished. So far, the longest that RAID has worked has been about a week, .

When the drive fails, an iaStor-event seems to be logged speaking of a timeout.

I'm going to try to update the BIOS to see if the issue is resolved. Otherwise, I'll just have to buy a separate RAID-controller from someone who actually know what they're doing...
June 9, 2008 11:18:36 PM

I haven't replied in a while. But maybe a couple revisions ago I installed a newer 'Intel Matrix Storage Console' (now i'm on version 7.8.0.1013) and I think I have narrowed it down to the software was the issue.
June 10, 2008 9:50:12 AM

In the beginning I didn't even have Intel Matrix Manager installed, and when I did install it since I needed to rebuild the array, I installed the latest 7.8-version. But that really didn't help at all.
I've also seen hints about Vista SP1 solving the problem, but I've never even booted up with any other operating system than Vista with SP1 pre-installed (did a clean installation once the array was up and running).

I suspect that the bridging of the two RAID-controllers on the motherboard isn't working too well...
November 23, 2008 3:37:31 PM

I don't know how this discussion group works. So if I am out of line, I Apologize. But my problem is similar though not exactly the same as that discussed here. So I thought... I'll ask here in this..

I have an Asus P5W DH Deluxe mother board. My 4ooGB internal drives were originally set up with Raid 1. Running Windows XP Pro

Then recently, I messed up in a BIOS configuration trying...my fault..trying to up the memory voltage. Because the system wouldn't boot anymore, I had to Flash the BIOS to set it up to a default setting. The computer comes up fine now... But now the drives are no longer raided. I get the normal C: drive. But now I also get an E: drive -- The same data as was before mirrorew.(D: is the the DVD Drive)

If I were to go into the BIOS and Configure SATA As [RAID] and the Onboard Serial-ATA BOOTROM[Enabled], the couputer won't boot. It comes up with the message;
NTLDR is missing ...Telling me that there is no boot loader.

When I press <Ctrl+i> on boot to get to the Intel Matrix Storage Manager Option ROM Utility, it tells me that the 2 drives are configured Raid 1. ...But I know they are not...that the mirror has been broken.

Can someone tell me how to re-attach and rebuild the mirror?

December 25, 2008 4:45:56 PM

I need to chime in as well. I have the P5W DH Deluxe with a 4-disk RAID 5 and I consistently have the same drive drop out of the raid again and again. I've replaced the drive twice, upgraded to the latest Intel Matrix software (8.6) but no luck. One thing that's interesting is that the drive that keeps dropping out is on the EzRAID SATA connection, whereas all the others are on the standard SATA connectors. I also upgraded my AMIBios to the latest version.

I've opened tickets with Intel, but they say "call the manufacturer". Well, I built it so there's no one to call.

I really hope someone has a solution for this as at this point I don't know what to do with my now non-redundant computer.
February 15, 2009 10:39:42 PM

budkow said:
I need to chime in as well. I have the P5W DH Deluxe with a 4-disk RAID 5 and I consistently have the same drive drop out of the raid again and again. I've replaced the drive twice, upgraded to the latest Intel Matrix software (8.6) but no luck. One thing that's interesting is that the drive that keeps dropping out is on the EzRAID SATA connection, whereas all the others are on the standard SATA connectors. I also upgraded my AMIBios to the latest version.

I've opened tickets with Intel, but they say "call the manufacturer". Well, I built it so there's no one to call.

I really hope someone has a solution for this as at this point I don't know what to do with my now non-redundant computer.


Thanks for the post, budkow. I was thinking about attempting a RAID 5 on mine w/4 1.5TB drives. Was wondering if it was still an issue and if newer BIOS fixed the issue, looks like a big yes and no. :) 

JadCorp... Actually using something like the Intel allowed me to move mine from Intel ICH7 to ICH8 without an issue. It's all about the hardware you use and whose. My ICH7 or 8 should work fine on ANY board implementing those. I personally have multiple drives laying around and I'm sick of taking care of it myself. Too much effort and a much more chance of loss by not keeping on top of using 3 external USB devices to maintain backups.
August 16, 2009 2:47:49 PM

I am having the same problem ART-T describes and I have a P5B Deluxe motherboard with Intel's Matrix Storage Manager version 8.9.0.1023. I've replaced several drives in the array thinking it was something wrong with one of the WD Raid Edition drives even though I could not find anything wrong with them with various tools and SMART reports them as fine. After a couple of weeks of trying to build a stable system with RAID 5 I'm giving up on RAID with an Intel controller. This controller has something very wrong with it that Intel seems unable to fix. If you are planning a RAID 5, I would suggest getting a real RAID controller card. Its not worth the trouble with the Intel controller.
March 16, 2010 1:03:30 PM

ctrl_alt_id said:
I am having the same problem ART-T describes and I have a P5B Deluxe motherboard with Intel's Matrix Storage Manager version 8.9.0.1023. I've replaced several drives in the array thinking it was something wrong with one of the WD Raid Edition drives even though I could not find anything wrong with them with various tools and SMART reports them as fine. After a couple of weeks of trying to build a stable system with RAID 5 I'm giving up on RAID with an Intel controller. This controller has something very wrong with it that Intel seems unable to fix. If you are planning a RAID 5, I would suggest getting a real RAID controller card. Its not worth the trouble with the Intel controller.



Not sure the cause of so many of the issues. I have been running the p5w dh with Raid 5 (3 X 250GB) since early 2007. Only problem is performance is not as good as with a good RAID card. I have had one drive failure causing the array not to boot up until a replacement disk was used. Put the disk in and it rebuilt and booted as it was supposed to. Just in case I do still keep a backup disk on the second controller....just haven't been able to get the RAID 0 to work on that one while RAID 5 is configured.
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