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Array won't initialize past 50%?!?! ICH9R, RAID5, 3 TB, Vista32

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December 9, 2007 3:39:32 PM

I have a new system built around the components below that refuses to fully initialize the raid array. It gets to exactly 50% each time and hangs. I've tried the drivers that came with the motherboard and it hangs at 50%, I did a fresh install of Vista and latest drivers, bios, etc. from manufacturers and it hangs at 50%. Is there a limitation with these components that I'm not aware of? Anything I can try? I've made three attempts, all from clean installs, with the same results each time.

System:
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R - latest bios and drivers
ICH9R chipset with latest driver and manager console from Intel
Vista 32 Home Premium - clean install with only security patches applied
6 - 500gb western digital hard drives

I've left it at the 50% mark for 8 hours and it didn't make any progress.

Thanks!
a b G Storage
December 9, 2007 4:37:15 PM

I've read about issues using the Intel Matrix array and then the array not fully intializing, also I believe the maximum array size foir the ICH9R is 2TB. If so, your 3TB array is too big.

Me personally, I wouldn't run a 6 drive RAID5 array off of a mobo chipset to begin with, but having 6 drives, you can still create 2 - 3 drive RAID5 arrays at 1TB each. Or, get a seperate controller card that allows for larger than 2TB arrays.


December 9, 2007 4:42:50 PM

have you tried building the raid array before installing windows? (the hit f1 to install raid drivers during setup?) I'm not even sure if vista does this but it may be worth trying. From your post, it seems like you are using Vista to build the array???

---^^^never mind, didn't see chuckymonkey's post...
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December 9, 2007 5:27:01 PM

Thanks for the responses. ICH9R supposedly supports > 2TB since release 7.5 per Intel release below. Looks like my next step to try is multiple raid arrays or a dedicated controller. Also, I've tried letting the bios initialize the array rather than Vista with the same result.

New Features in Baseline 7.5

Feature


Description

Greater than 2 TB support


Supports data volumes that are greater than 2 Terabytes in size on platforms with the Intel® 82801IR I/O controller hub (ICH9R) on the following OS: Microsoft Windows XP 64-bit Edition, Microsoft Windows Vista, and Microsoft Windows 2003 Server (no boot support due to an OS & BIOS limitation)
December 9, 2007 7:20:08 PM

atxz06--
What version of the iastor driver are you using? Have you tried using others? (of course 7.5 and greater)
What is your boot drive?
When you created this RAID volume, did you create it in the OROM (CTRL-I utility), or using the Windows app?
If you used the Windows app, did you do a "Create Volume" or a "Create from Existing"?
When you say "it hangs" what exactly happens? Does it BSOD? If so, what's the code?
I assume you're watching the progress of the initialization using the Windows app (Intel Matrix Storage Console)?
After it hangs, and you reboot, what happens? BSOD? Freeze? Other?
January 2, 2008 5:00:32 PM

To add data to the discussion:

I have experienced the following for the last six months trying to get my raid1 to work… all of the following scenarios are using Western Digital hard drives, either with XP or Vista as the OS.

I have the asus p5k-e deluxe P35 and ICHR9 chipsets, loaded with XP SP2, my raid0 is two 74 gb raptors and they work like a champ. Loaded the raid driver via a floppy in both cases of OS install process.

My raid 1 will only work if I use smaller than 300 gb hard drives. A pair of 100 gb will initialize and format, a pair of 200gb will initialize and format, a pair of 250 will initialize and format, all of the before mentioned arrays will support daily use.

Yet when I use a set of 300 gb they will initialize and then during the format process one or both hard drives will fault, the same signature when I use 400 gb (two new sets) and also when I use a new set of 500 gb, the 500gb actually initialized and formatted without error. After the 500 gb array formatted, I felt proud! Started transferring data onto the mirror raid and 35 minutes into the transfer, one of the drives was reported to have failed.

I can use any of these drives as a single sata drive and format and load with them with data till the moon turns blue, I just cannot use my 300 gb or larger hd’s in a mirror raid configuration without the array faulting on this m/b chipset.

My first raid machine was an asus back in ’04, ending up switching to an abit m/b to get my hardware to work…

Having sent the original m/b in due to this signature and when the m/b was replaced the same issue is present.
What I have not done yet, is try another brand of hard drives being loyal to WD, or gone back to Abit.

Any suggestions?

Intel Q6600
P5k-e deluxe wi/fi
WIN XP SP2
4 gb corsair matched DDR2 800
2 74 gb raptors raid0 configuration
Ton of WD Hard drives not in a raid 1 configuration
ESATA 1.25 TB Raid5 Configuration
Audigy SB
750 watt cooler master psu
January 2, 2008 9:30:01 PM

TheZorfo-- Thanks for the new info. Could you also post the system report from the Intel Matrix Storage Console in here? (You can save it to a text file under the File menu)
January 2, 2008 10:36:29 PM

I found this bit of knowledge on the WD web site:

RAID-specific, time-limited error recovery (TLER) - A feature pioneered by WD, significantly reduces drive fallout caused by the extended hard drive error-recovery processes common to desktop drives.

Web page here:

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?DriveID=238

Looks like I get to purchase another set of WD to get the performance I want, @ 160 each.
February 11, 2008 6:10:09 AM

first post (please wait)
February 11, 2008 6:22:51 AM

I have similar problem with my ICH9R. I have 4 x WD-5000AAKS in raid-5.

Setting up the array and installing Windows works fine, but whenever the system restarts the raid-bios hangs after detecting the first 3 drives allthough it reports 4 drives is connected. The cursor blinks and the the system will restart with ctrl-alt-del.

Since the raid-bios hangs I can not enter BIOS or either of the other configs (2 x sata onboard controller (ctrl-i, ctrl-g)or network)

The only way to get the system going again is to disconnect the failed drive. Connecting the drive to any other port on the ICH9R will not help.

To fix the array I need to connect the disk to another controller and format the disk (or erase it completly with Western Digital Dignostics tool). Now connecting the formated drive to the array I can add it back to the raid-5 array. It will rebuild just fine, men restarting will hang the bios and the cycle continues.
February 12, 2008 10:12:40 PM

I have the same MB as atxz06. Updating BIOS to v6.00 solved my problems. My raid-5 array now works perfect.
a b G Storage
February 12, 2008 10:22:55 PM

chunkymonster said:
I've read about issues using the Intel Matrix array and then the array not fully intializing, also I believe the maximum array size foir the ICH9R is 2TB. If so, your 3TB array is too big.

Me personally, I wouldn't run a 6 drive RAID5 array off of a mobo chipset to begin with, but having 6 drives, you can still create 2 - 3 drive RAID5 arrays at 1TB each. Or, get a seperate controller card that allows for larger than 2TB arrays.

Agreed. I highly recommend you get a dedicated RAID PCI/PCIe card for running RAID setups grater than 1.2TB.
!