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How to setup RAID, help appreciated.

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August 28, 2007 2:24:57 PM

I just bought Foxconn P35AS motherboard and I would like to fresh install Windows XP on RAID 0 consisting of two drives. The manual that came with this mobo is very poor and does not explain RAID at all. So I have few questions:

1) How do I connect two drives to get RAID 0 on this mortherboard ? The board has 6 SATA connectors. I plugged my drives into #1 and #2 SATA connector. Is this OK or should I do it diefferently ?

2) How do I setup RAID in BIOS ? I discovered only that in BIOS of this MOBO you can set SATA to either IDE or RAID or AH... something. I guess I should set RAID, but I haven't found any switch in BIOS to further define what RAID configuration is it and what the strip size is going to be, etc. Is there some hidden menu or a second BIOS that deals with this or how other way is it done ?

3) When installing Windows XP I need to obviously enter RAID drivers during install with F6 key. But exactly what drivers are needed ? MOBO manual lists two different drivers for it: Intler MATRIX and JMicron drivers. Do I need both ?

Any help will be appreciated.

JAM

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August 28, 2007 2:55:12 PM

RTFM. And by the way, if you have to ask, RAID is probably not for you. This is not intended as an insult. Simply, if you can't figure this out on your own with the help of a manual, then it is likely you don't fully understand what RAID means to you as a user. Not that the two are related, but as far as knowledge goes, the latter is definitely more sophisticated than the former.
August 28, 2007 2:59:57 PM

After you enable the RAID options for the SATA ports used, (you mentioned it in #2 above) you should be able to access the RAID setup screen. It typically comes up after the original POST screen. This screen should allow you setup your RAID.

If this doesn't work, post back.
Best of Luck
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August 28, 2007 3:07:24 PM

If connectors 1 and 2 use the Intel SB controller (ICH9R?), then you'll use the Intel driver during F6. You need to set the BIOS to RAID for the SATA connectors as well. Finally, I believe (haven't done this in a couple years) when you do the F6 driver install during Windows install, you'll get to a screen where you configure the RAID setup (e.g. 0, 1, stripe size, etc.). That isn't part of the basic BIOS, at least not on my MB, and instead pops up as a kind of secondary BIOS before the O/S boots up.
August 28, 2007 4:33:20 PM

Thanks for the advice, but I do know most of it already. Contrary to russki suggestion I do know what the RAID is and how to use it. I used to have it for years in my NForce motherboards. The problem is that the manual (or the Foxconn website for that matter) has exactly ZERO information on this subject. It does not tell which socket is controlled by which controller and how and it does not tell you anything remotely related to RAID technology. The motherboard is advertised on the manufacturesr website as:

"6 x SATAII + 1 x eSATA with RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10 , JBOD and Intel Matrix storage technology"

but the manual has no information whatsoever to explain how to hook it up, switch on or use any of the mentioned technologies in BIOS. With two drives I can have either RAID 0 or RAID 1. Those are completely different setups and are not "interchangeable". How the system suppose to know what I want since I don't see any way of setting this up in BIOS ? I could imagine that certain SATA sockets (numbered from #1 to #6) might have a meaning since I don't see any way of setting this up in BIOS. For example if I hook up #1 and #2 it is RAID 0 and if I hook up #1 and #3 it is RAID 1 etc. It is a possibility albeit remote and I have hard time beliving it. Even if this would be so, how would you set strip size for RAID 0 ? I can't find it in BIOS.

Other option would be to use driver during installation to set it up just before Windows attempts to install itself. But the problem is what drivers I suppose to use ?!?! The manual does lists two drivers for RAID, one belonging to Intel and one to Jmicron, but it does not explain if I need both or just one to set it up or what functionality is provided by any of those drivers. Are there two controllers, one being Intel ICH9R and the other JMicron or what ? And if there are supposedly two controllers, how would I hook up drives to use the one and not the other ?

Certainly I can spend time experimenting with it but I was hoping, that maybe somebody already went through the pain and managed to set it up succesfully so I don't have to rediscover the wheel so to speak.

JAM
August 28, 2007 5:35:34 PM

...well, still your questions are not necessarily reflective of expansive knowledge, sorry.

You're right, the manual is garbage. Here's the deal, and this is general knowledge: usually, SATA1-4 connectors are generally chipset, and 5&6 are generally additional controllers. The manual does mention that you can set SATA1 to RAID. I imagine it's the same for SATA3-4. I would imagine you have to turn on JMicron controller in BIOS, probably some sort of on-board equipment menu option or something. Then you'd probably see a JMicron Bios prompt at boot with what to press to go there and create the array if necessary. I imagine once you set the drives to RAID, you can determine what RAID to run in a separate BIOS option for Intel, and in the JMicron BIOS for SATA5&6. General RAID set up process is ALWAYS the same: 1) add drives to array, 2) determine RAID structure; 3) determine strip size and other things, etc.

You need Intel RAID drivers if you're using chipset SATA ports and JMicron drivers if you're using the JMicron ports.

If any of this is over your head, don't bother with RAID. And again, your questions are not of the "good question" sort to be asking, despite you saying you know what you're talking about.
August 29, 2007 11:35:56 AM

Thanks guys for very helpful explanation. CTRL-I was the missing info. When RAID is enabled in BIOS on this motherboard, user suppose to use CTRL-i to get into RAID setup. The message actually does appear on the boot post screen but for a such a short time, that it is easily lost between other text and I was missing it.

The connectors marked on the mobo as SATA #1 and SATA #2 in RAID BIOS turned out to be port 3 and port 4 !!! But the machine does boot correclty under Intel Matrix drivers only. So JMicron RAID drivers can be skipped in this case.

One note. Originally I was trying to install old version of Windowx XP Pro prior to SP2. Note to other users. This will not install. It ends with BSOD due to the inability to correctly start PCI Express. Anyone who is planning to install XP on this mobo needs Windows XP with SP2 or slipstream older version with SP2 update prior to installation on this mobo.

JAM
October 16, 2007 1:35:54 PM

Wow poor guy asks for procedures for setting up RAID on a specific system and gets someone questioning his expansive knowledge on RAID.

I guess this means we shouldnt buy computer systems with RAID installed from the manufacturer unless we know how to install it?

Dont fly a plane unless you know how to build it?

A lot of us are lacking expansive knowledge ..........sorry.
October 16, 2007 4:03:44 PM

jet757f said:
Wow poor guy asks for procedures for setting up RAID on a specific system and gets someone questioning his expansive knowledge on RAID.

I guess this means we shouldnt buy computer systems with RAID installed from the manufacturer unless we know how to install it?

Dont fly a plane unless you know how to build it?

A lot of us are lacking expansive knowledge ..........sorry.

Wow, this thread is revived after a long time. Since you're addressed my coment, here it is. You really should not be using a technology unless you know what it does (which is entirely different from your fly a plane example. That example should really be rewritten to you shouldn't really fly a plane unless you know how to operate one. Which is most certainly the case). Particularly one such as RAID (0) that has very tangible trade-offs.

Yeah, you shouldn't really buy a system with RAID installed unless you know what it does (not how to install it; but in vast majority of cases it is easy to figure out). 'Cause you are really creating issues for yourself and, frankly, the reseller / manufacturer because you will (and you will, at one point or another) ask rudimentary questions and not get what you expect (such as "system up to twice as fast because of RAID0" that a lot of people think they are getting).
October 16, 2007 5:58:48 PM

Well I have a RAID 1 setup in a Dell Gen 3 that I bought 3 years ago. I knew what I was buying and what it does. Dont know if I really need it but like having it just in case. Now if I had to install one I would need to do research and get some help before I did the installation but I could eventually figure it out.
October 16, 2007 6:49:35 PM

RAID 1 is a different issue. The only debate to be had with RAID 1 is whether or not you are expecting redundancy vs. backup (many typical users expect the latter, which it does not reliably provide). With RAID 0 there are more issues, and definitely different expectations that are proliferated by most everyone.

And there is at least some kind of technical wherewithal that needs to be there before you can understand the issues. And reading the POST screen is a part of that basic wherewithal.
December 24, 2007 12:32:13 AM

I would just look somewhere else for support if you can't get it here. Why try to learn something from someone who will just tell you that if you don't already know it now then don't try to learn it. Why figure it out yourself when someone can actually help you??? I don't understand a lot of what the technologies that i use "does".... but i still use them. he may need to learn about raid but you need to learn social skills.
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