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Windows XP Pro SP2 Fresh Install DOES NOT see my raid array

Last response: in Windows XP
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July 15, 2009 9:37:58 PM

Ok, I’m posting this on the Windows XP forum and the Home built systems forum, cause this problem pertains to both I guess. Btw, every time I say “Done anything wrong yet?” I’m not trying to be rude or pretentious; it just seemed like a good point to check if I’ve made a mistake thus far. Here goes.
MB: ASUS M4N72-E
HDDs: 2x500GB SATA Barracuda set to 3.0 Gb/sec (I took the jumpers off both)
Bootable USB Floppy Drive (made it bootable in the BIOS; and on a side note I can make a flash drive recognizable as a bootable floppy in BIOS, cool huh?)
Copy of Win XP Pro 32bit w/ SP2
Formatted floppy with what ASUS gave me on their Driver DVD as NVIDIA 32bit XP SATA RAID drivers installed on it (I’ve installed it through the DVD’s Make Disk tab and also via Run.. using the “–x” at the end of the cmd line; the creation process looks the same in windows, and I even ran the cmd line process with the “-x” in the cmd prompt)

That’s all you really need when wanting to install Windows XP on a RAID Array, right? If not, stop me here, otherwise I’ll move on.

I also still have my original OS loaded on a EIDE drive (that’s why I’m typing this up to you guys) so I can go back and forth between a fully functioning system, and one I’m trying to create with just a change in boot sequence in BIOS; boy I am glad I didn’t delete my EIDE drive.

THE DEAL:
I have my old EIDE still plugged in, but not in the boot sequence of the BIOS. I have the two SATA HDDs plugged into two SATA ports on my motherboard (btw ports 1-4 are red and work with IDE as well as RAID AND AHCI, 5 and 6 are black and are supposed to ONLY work with RAID and AHCI, I’ve done everything I’m about o tell you with both drives on red, say 1 and 2, as well as both drives just on the black ports). So I go into the BIOS, which is the same in the ASUS manual, but different in the NVIDIA RAID instructions that came with the ASUS DVD), I change the SATA MODE from IDE to RAID (AHCI is the other option, and the book says the default is SATA MODE, but it’s not, its IDE) and I swear to god this is the only thing you change for making a RAID, I’ve looked and looked. There are NO Integrated Peripherals in the BIOS, so there is nothing to change in there. I checked the NB and the SB, and there is nothing to change to RAID.

Save changes and Exit

Next I hit F10 and go into the raid array media shield utility in the BIOS and create the raid array. I make the raid mode stripping (RAID 0, right?) and set the stripping Block to optimal and then pick the two drives from the free disks/left side and move them to the array disks/right side. I hit Y through all the questions and it takes me to the array list and I see a healthy 900 some odd Gb Array (I know 500Gb on a box doesn’t mean 500Gb on a screen). I hit enter and go to array details and it shows the array is made out of two drives close to 500Gb, I hit enter to go back. I hit B to make the array bootable. I hit ctrl-x to exit. Have I done anything wrong yet? Subsequently, I go back into f10 utility just to double check the array; it’s still there, it’s still bootable.

I go back into BIOS and set the boot priority to:
EIDE CD-Rom Drive
SATA RAID DVD (I assume it says raid because all the SATA ports are now “Raided”)
HD RAID ARRAY
USB FLOPPY

Granted this isn’t exactly what it says in BIOS but this is the device order for the boot sequence. Under the Boot device priority option the HDD option became available, where it had my EIDE drive and my SATA RAID ARRAY listed. They list 1st and 2nd, because there are two drives I guess, and initially the IEDE was listed as first and the RAID was second, so I changed this around. I assume you can only boot to one HDD in this BIOS when you power on (there is a FBB option in the POST by hitting F8 to choose specifically which device to boot to, but that’s another story). So anyway, the RAID ARRAY is the HDD the BIOS see to boot from, not the EIDE. Done anything wrong yet?

Save and exit.

I let the windows CD boot and it doesn’t wait for you to hit any key, because it doesn’t see a drive it goes to setup inspection automatically, this is true even when you have a fresh unRAIDed drive that is formatted and has no data, it just does its thing. Goes to blue screen setup, asks me to hit F6 if I have any 3rd party drives so I hit F6. It loads some more of its stuff, then asks me to insert a floppy with the proper drivers into a: (at this point I just want you guys to know I used both a USB floppy drive with the driver diskette and a USB flash drive forced in BIOS to read as a floppy and have gotten the same EXACT results, either device doesn’t matter it seems, so I’m mailing back my USB floppy drive to Newegg, cause I don’t need it). Insert the floppy disk and hit enter, or in the case of the USB Flash drive, I just hit enter, and then I see this:

Windows Setup
Setup could not determine the type of one or more mass storage devices
installed in your system, or you have chosen to manually specify an adapter.
Currently, Setup will load support for the following mass storage device(s):

<none>

* To specify additional SCSI adapters, CD-ROM drives, or special
disk controllers for use with Windows, including those for
which you have a device support disk from a mass storage device
manufacturer, press S.

* If you do not have any device support disks from a mass storage
device manufacturer, or do not want to specify additional
mass storage devices for use with Windows, press ENTER.

S=Specify Additional Devices ENTER=Continue F3=Exit

I hit S and see this



Windows Setup*****************************************

You have chosen to configure a SCSI Adapter for use with Windows,
using a device support disk provided by an adapter manufacturer.

Select the SCSI Adapter you want from the following list, or press ESC
to return to the previous screen.

NVIDIA NForce Storage Controller (required)
NVIDIA RAID CLASS DRIVER (required)

Enter=Select F3=Exit

THIS IS WHERE WHAT IS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN AND WHAT DOES HAPPEN BECOME DIFFERENT.

WHAT’S SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN:
The nvidia media shield instructions say to do the following:

Select “NVIDIA RAID CLASS DRIVER (required)” and then press Enter.
Press S again at the Specify Devices screen, then press Enter.
Select “NVIDIA NForce Storage Controller (required)” and then press Enter.

Then a window is supposed to appear that has this:

Windows Setup

Setup will load support for the following mass storage device:

NVIDIA RAID CLASS DRIVER
NVIDIA NForce Storage Controller

* To specify additional SCSI adapters, CD-ROM drives, or special
disk controllers for use with Windows, including those for
which you have a device support disk from a mass storage device
manufacturer, press S.

* If you do not have any device support disks from a mass storage
device manufacturer, or do not want to specify additional
mass storage devices for use with Windows, press ENTER.

S=Specify Additional Devices ENTER=Continue F3=Exit

Press enter and continue a the clean install





WHAT DOES HAPPEN:

I never see this last set of instructions, because back at where it says to pick

NVIDIA NForce Storage Controller (required) *****************************************
NVIDIA RAID CLASS DRIVER (required)

I pick the first one [NVIDIA NForce Storage Controller (required)] and never get the option to hit S and pick the second one [NVIDIA RAID CLASS DRIVER (required)]

When I do pick NVIDIA NForce Storage Controller (required) it goes on to check my Driver floppy/USB Flash drive (I see the floppy light blinking and the flash drive light blinking) and I only see one file on the blue windows setup screen down at the bottom where all the other things were loading up, and that is NVRD32.SYS then it sounds like the CDROM goes back to work and it loads all sorts of other things. Then finally it takes me back to this screen:

Windows Setup

Setup could not determine the type of one or more mass storage devices
installed in your system, or you have chosen to manually specify an adapter.
Currently, Setup will load support for the following mass storage device(s):

<none>

* To specify additional SCSI adapters, CD-ROM drives, or special
disk controllers for use with Windows, including those for
which you have a device support disk from a mass storage device
manufacturer, press S.

* If you do not have any device support disks from a mass storage
device manufacturer, or do not want to specify additional
mass storage devices for use with Windows, press ENTER.

S=Specify Additional Devices ENTER=Continue F3=Exit

So at this point I know, even though my BIOS sees my Array, Windows install does not.
If I have my EIDE HDD plugged in, which I actually think I said I did, it will go on and find the two drive partitions on that drive and want to install on one of them, but it does not see my array.

Yes, I have tried a different installation disk (Windows XP Pro 32bit, no SP, before you say it, it should still see the devices, just not at their full 500Gb drive space)
Yes, I have done this with my EIED plugged in and unplugged
Yes, I have gone into windows installed on my EIDE and created a raid array using the Nvidia media shield software and formatted a raid array in computer management.
Yes, I have used both the floppy and the flash drive and had similar if not identical results; it makes no difference where you get the drivers if the drivers are jacked up
Yes, I ran both the makedisk.exe through the ASUS DVD and the cmd prompt (only with the floppy) and simply cut and pasted the files onto the floppy and the flash drive, and tried all combinations for windows install to see the drivers properly
Yes, I have DLed drivers directly from NVIDIA and extracted the drivers off the 15.26_nforce_winxp32_international_whql binary file.

What am I missing here? Am I doing this the wrong way? This is how I have been told by numerous people to setup a raid array on a fresh XP install.
Thanks in advance.

More about : windows pro sp2 fresh install raid array

a b \ Driver
July 16, 2009 5:16:20 AM

Here's all you need to do:
1. boot into windows.
2. insert floppy. Right click on floppy and create a bootable disk.
3. Download your RAID drivers from Asus's website
4. put drivers on your boot disk
5. restart
6. create your array in the RAID bios
7. get in the BIOS and make the optical drive the first boot device
8. restart
9. start the windows install
10. choose the option to install RAID drivers right at the beginning
11. select them from your bootable disk
12. continue and install windows on your array
!