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Configure RAID prompt (only one drive)?

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March 7, 2009 7:32:56 PM

Hi --

My boss has a new Gateway LX6810 and he depends on me to set it up for him. The unit was an "open box" from Best Buy, so it may have been partially configured.

The part that I am unfamiliar with is the RAID configuration. At each reboot, the PC wants to "configure Media Storage" and a series of RAID prompts appears. I've read the manual but am not understanding what options I should select. The unit has only one 640GB hard drive. As I considered proceeding, I allowed the default striping instead of spanning and the default 64, after which a warning followed indicating that all previous data would be destroyed. At that point, I cancelled.

It seems pointless to reduce the amount of storage available for the sake of increased speed, especially given the extent of boss's knowledge. Does he need a RAID configuration at all? If not, how do I stop the repeated reminders to configure? If RAID is in fact highly desirable, what are the easiest options that I should choose.

Thanks for your assistance.
March 7, 2009 8:31:44 PM

RAID isn't what I'd call "highly desirable". It has it's uses (typically to increase the speed of hard drive reads & writes, or to increase the reliability of data storage) but if you and your boss don't know what it's there for, you can do without it. Besides, RAID requires a minimum of two hard disks. If he has a single drive he doesn't need (and can't use) RAID.

It sounds like the RAID options got enabled by mistake. You should be able to enter setup and disable RAID entirely, which is what I'd suggest. Depending on the device which handles RAID you may have to go into BIOS setup to disable it, or it may have a separate configuration menu of it's own.Look for a prompt at the "configure media options" and see if you can't find one to disable RAID entirely.

Hope this helps. If you have questions about how to disable RAID we may need some more information in order to help you. Please post back with how it goes...
March 7, 2009 8:40:32 PM

Thank you, Rich.

What you said is what I suspected based on continued research.

If I go into setup and disable RAID, is there any possibility that I will then have to reinstall Vista?

Thanks.
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March 8, 2009 12:05:33 AM

Tempgal, I don't see how disabling RAID could possibly cause a problem in this case. If I understand the situation correctly, what you're disabling is the *option* to enable a RAID array, not an existing RAID array itself. If your drives were actually set up for RAID 1 and you disabled/removed it, yes, you'd lose everything.

I would feel better if you could post exactly what that series of RAID prompts says to make sure I'm not misinterpreting anything though.

But unless you've misstated the situation or I've badly misunderstood you, disabling RAID will have no effect at all. If there is no existing RAID array (which requires multiple drives) you won't change a thing on the hard drive when you disable RAID.

If you have a way to backup the drive (or at least any critical data) prior to doing this, it's always a good idea to do so. Anytime you mess with changing drive controller settings there is some degree of risk involved and I can't state 100% nothing will happen.


a b G Storage
March 8, 2009 6:40:39 AM

+1, exactly

If you only have 1 HD, there is no raid array set up. What you are seeing is the bios option to configure the array. You simply need to go into the BIOS and disable the raid array option. You won't lose any data.
March 18, 2009 12:39:02 PM

Hi --

Wanted to get back to those who took the time to answer.

Boss brought his computer into work again yesterday so I went looking for the RAID setup so that I could disable it.

I did not find the option to enable or disable RAID.

After the computer booted, once again I looked at what "wanted" to be configured. The prompt is from Nvidia and it is the option to configure multimedia storage. The only drive present is listed as a RAID drive. I backed out without making changes.

The good news is that upon using msconfig to check the startup entries, I saw that there was an Nvidia reminder to configure RAID. I unchecked that and the problem seems to be solved.

It sure seems like a strange setup to me. As you all know, I don't know much about RAID but even if the PC did have one or two additional ESATA drives, which it can accommodate, I can't imagine why one would want to use RAID across removable drives for multimedia purposes.

Should anyone else encounter what seems to be this unusual setup, the computer is a Gateway LX6810. I'm sure Gateway must have their reasons.

Thanks again.

a b G Storage
March 18, 2009 1:37:44 PM

Were you seeing this prompt inside windows?

That sounds like the NVidia Mediashield. It's a graphics program that has options to configure RAID as well. It's more of an annoyance than anything. I thought you were seeing that upon boot in a DOS like screen.

Thanks for the update though. Glad you got it fixed.
March 20, 2009 10:40:23 AM

Hello everyone and yes i have this exact Gateway model desktop which i received last week with the exact same problem.When first booting up a black screen comes on listing the BIOS driver version number along with the factory installed Hard Drive showing it`s capacity and listing it as a RAID with it`s total capacity,then at the bottom of the screen this appears."PRESS F9 TO ENTER RAID SETUP UTILITY".after a short time this screen disapears and Windows Vista 64 bit loads with no problem.After the welcome screen appears and programs load a popup appears in the bottom right of the taskbar stating the following."BEFORE FORMATTING YOUR NEW DISKS YOUR SYSTEM HAS 1 NEW DISK AVAILABLE.BEFORE FORMATTING NVIDIA MEDIA SHIELD CAN HELP YOU CONFIGURE THEM TO BEST MEET YOUR STORAGE NEEDS.I called Gateway support about this and wasn`t able to come to a satisfactory fix but they did decide to send me the so called Reinstall disks with all the programs and drivers.I am still waiting for them though.I also went into msconfig and turned off the NVIDIA RAID popup in the startup program list and it no longer appears in the taskbar upon botting up but the black screen i mentioned first still appears every time i turn on the desktop.Also,went into the BIOS settings by hitting F2 AT STARTUP and also did not find a way to turn off RAID there either,it appears there is no way to turn it off,the support person i spoke with at Gateway thought this was odd also,so they decided i should reinstall everything when i get the disks their sending me.I do like the new machine though and am for sure keeping it whether this gets fixed or not,i`ll just have to live with the bootup screen i guess.Hope you have better luck then i do,i`d call Gateway support though as them hearing about this same problem from more then just me will probably get it resolved quicker.Good Luck too you!!
March 20, 2009 12:04:01 PM

Labfan --

You did much better with Gateway Tech Support than I did.

In years past, Gateway had a superb reputation which, with good reason, was lost. This particular computer had such excellent specs that it seemed worth taking a chance on. However, I found their response to a tech support inquiry posed within hours of taking delivery to be so poor as to recommend against any additional purchases of their product.

Below is a cut and paste of that response:

Quote:
Thank you for contacting Gateway. I’ll be happy to assist you. Your concern is already out of scope of our technical support, however, we do offer a phone-based support options for it. You may call Answers By Gateway at (800) 229-1103 at a rate of $2.95 per minute (billed to a credit card). However, calling cards are also available in 30 minute, 90 minute, or 1 Year unlimited usage. For questions regarding billing issues with Answers by Gateway, please call (877) 352-2716, if you used the 800 number above. If you used the 900 number to contact Answers by Gateway, please call (701) 355-3910.


Respectfully,
Gateway Online Technical Support
March 20, 2009 12:40:47 PM

No,No, You should have gotten 1 year of free phone tech support with the purchase of your Gateway desktop,at least i did.I purchased my computer from Frys.com and it came with 1 year of phone tech support.Here`s the toll free number i used.1-866-539-3901--whatever you do,try to stay away from chat support especially TIM GWAE162.He wanted me to turn off everything that auto starts at bootup and didn`t have a clue as to the problem.I had much better luck when i called them although they didn`t solve the problem at least i`ll be receiving the re-install disks,at least i hope i will.How old is your computer?is it less then 1 year old?if so, i`d pursue the free phone tech support.Try that number and good luck! :hello: 
March 20, 2009 1:53:59 PM

As I mentioned in my first post, it is actually my boss's computer but he depends on me for everything related to computing.

The unit is now 2 weeks old. I had contacted Gateway before I found this forum.

Certainly there is/should be a year of tech support and I thank you for making the phone number handy. The situation was that Boss brought the unit to the office immediately upon picking it up at Best Buy because he wanted me to check it out. There was a wait for tech support, it was quitting time on Friday, and it was necessary that someone be at the computer when contact was made. Boss wanted to go home with his new machine so I had no choice other than email unless he wanted to bring the computer back to the office again.

He can probably live with the RAID prompt at bootup because he is used to seeing a RAID reference in the boot sequence of his office computer (which really does have a RAID configuration). However, the Nvidia prompt that appears after boot was confusing and I didn't want him to go making any changes that might necessitate reinstallation of everything. Thanks to LogMeIn, I was able to uncheck that prompt from the startup sequence.

I still feel that the Gateway response was shabby.
a b G Storage
March 20, 2009 2:25:02 PM

@Labfan

If you use that restore disc, you will lose all of your data, and it WON'T fix your problem. That restore disc will simply reapply all of the original windows settings (which includes NVidia mediashield).

It will have no effect on the raid bios (black screen) that is showing upon start up. That has to be disabled in the PC's motherboard bios. After the raid bios shows on your screen, you should have another option after that to enter setup. That setup option is the PC's motherboard bios setup. You can disable the raid option there, then the raid bios will no longer show at startup.

The NVidia mediashield inside windows is a software progarm to help users configure raid arrays. It is not a vital program and can be uninstalled in the control panel. Blocking it in msconfig will suppress it from starting, but it's better to uninstall it.

March 20, 2009 6:10:51 PM

aford10 said:
@Labfan

If you use that restore disc, you will lose all of your data, and it WON'T fix your problem. That restore disc will simply reapply all of the original windows settings (which includes NVidia mediashield).

It will have no effect on the raid bios (black screen) that is showing upon start up. That has to be disabled in the PC's motherboard bios. After the raid bios shows on your screen, you should have another option after that to enter setup. That setup option is the PC's motherboard bios setup. You can disable the raid option there, then the raid bios will no longer show at startup.

The NVidia mediashield inside windows is a software progarm to help users configure raid arrays. It is not a vital program and can be uninstalled in the control panel. Blocking it in msconfig will suppress it from starting, but it's better to uninstall it.



Yes,you are correct about this.To enter the setup you have to hit F9 which takes me to the BIOS settings.There are no options though to turn off RAID for the 1 HD that came with the desktop.I have gone into every area on this screen without any luck.Where would it be?,also,you don`t think the disks there sending me will solve the problem?,Thnx
a b G Storage
March 20, 2009 6:41:55 PM

No, the discs will only reapply the same windows settings you currently have. It will have no effect on the bios.

It's hard to tell exactly where the raid option is in your bios because every bios is different. It could be a locked down bios with no option to change it as well. The option should be under something like I/O peripherals.
a b G Storage
March 20, 2009 6:44:10 PM

If your bios is locked down, a bios flash may include additional options.
March 20, 2009 7:03:30 PM

Well after reading your last post i think i found where it should be.After hitting F9 to enter the BIOS settings i found an entry labeled"INTERGRATED PERIPHERALS" I entered this screen and found an entry labeled "Onboard SATA Mode-RAID MODE" Only problem is it`s greyed out with no option to change it.Would this be what you thought that it`s probably locked down?,Thnx.
a b G Storage
March 20, 2009 7:36:16 PM

Yes, that sounds like the setting. You may have to change another option in that window from auto to manual. You should be able to disable that raid mode.
March 20, 2009 8:23:29 PM

The setting for Onboard SATA Controller is factory set for ENABLED which causes the Onboard SATA MODE - RAID MODE to be greyed out.iF I DISABLE the Onboard SATA Controller the Onboard SATA MODE-RAID MODE disappears.It appears that Gateway doesn`t want anyone to turn off RAID at all,or doesn`t give me the option to.Thnx again for the info,would you think this is correct?
a b G Storage
March 20, 2009 8:44:22 PM

If you disable the onboard sata controller, what happens upon boot? Does it boot off your SATA hd?

It could just need flashed. That's the problem with buying retail PC's. They really limit the options.
March 20, 2009 8:58:54 PM

I haven`t disabled it as i`m not familiar enough with this procedure,will it cause any problems like not loading my OS if i disable it?What exactly will happen if i disable the SATA Controller?,Thnx again!!
a b G Storage
March 20, 2009 9:05:06 PM

It won't hurt anything. If it's your mobo's controller, it will stop when trying to load windows. You will just need to restart, get back in the bios, and re-enable it. If it's your raid controller, then it should bypass it and boot straight into windows. Either way, it won't hurt anything. I can't tell you 100% certain which it is without seeing it.
March 20, 2009 11:01:13 PM

I went in and disabled the controller,rebooted and got nothing but a black screen,no OS at all.Went back in and enabled and i`m back to where i was before.I`m guessing that Gateway wants it set up this way for a reason.I appreciate all you help but i think i`ll just leave it the way it is.Thnx again!
a b G Storage
March 21, 2009 1:55:07 AM

Sounds like it's locked down. That's the breaks sometimes when you buy retail. Other than a bios flash, their isn't much else you can do.
March 27, 2009 3:47:49 PM

What are, or where can I find, compatible BIOS to flash onto a Gateway LX6810-01.

I am trying to install a clean OS, minus all their OEM noise, and am getting a prompt saying that I need to install CD/DVD device drivers. Which is silly as it is reading that prompt... from the DVD drive. I found a KB article on it where can be found here. The suggested procedure is to disable AHCI on the SATA controller. The default BIOS does not have that option. Additional research suggested that having raid turned on would enable AHCI by default. As mentioned earlier in this article turning raid off is disabled in the default BIOS.
a b G Storage
March 27, 2009 7:43:25 PM

where are you seeing this prompt?
March 27, 2009 8:23:22 PM

When booting from a vista/2k8 install disk you are greeted with the initial install splash screen. Immediately after clicking the 'Install Now' button I encounter the missing CD/DVD driver prompt. That is as described in the KB card linked.
a b G Storage
March 27, 2009 8:29:02 PM

Are you using a SATA or IDE drive?

March 27, 2009 8:44:33 PM

SATA as per the specifications of the LX6810.
October 26, 2009 8:22:16 PM

I have the same machine that I got as a refurb and I can't get it to boot at all now. Just a black screen with a blinking cursor. Could someone perhaps post all of their BIOS settings or raid settings so I can get this thing to boot. Also. Has anyone had any luck with XP Pro on this machine?
Thanks!
April 19, 2010 1:41:43 AM

wissbaum said:
I have the same machine that I got as a refurb and I can't get it to boot at all now. Just a black screen with a blinking cursor. Could someone perhaps post all of their BIOS settings or raid settings so I can get this thing to boot. Also. Has anyone had any luck with XP Pro on this machine?
Thanks!


Classic problem with some of the refurb computers.

Take out the ATI 4850 video card, put in one of lesser power, bandwidth, but having the PCIe- interface.

I'm using a "NVIDIA GeForce 9400 GT" and the system has been running for the past 60 hours, after the second unit just came back from the refurb ship.

Your actual problem may be a motherboard issue.

With the unit we purchased, it came with a 90-day warranty.

Ordered in mid-March 2010, the first one failed the detailed stability test that I had setup, within the first 12 hours (actually, the video problem was seen within the 2nd hour).

The refurb company wanted the entire unit back, for a RMA swap out. I continued to test the first unit for 1 week and found lots of stuff out. After I shipped it back, the company sent out the replacement. This one failed within the 1st 30 minutes, based upon the test plan that I had already setup. This one fails no matter what, until I yank out the ATI Radeon 4850 card.

The refurb company already said that they would refund the entire price (offered on the first unit).

I'll be taking them up on that return offer.

I have tested all both the canned OEM version right out of the box Gateway image. I have tried Fresh, Whole OS installations of Vista Home Premium, 32 & 64 bit, Business 32 & 64 bit, and Ultimate 64 bit. Next, I tried Win-7 Business 64-bit.

All failed video stability testing. Effect observed was that the display(s) went out. Real effect was that the OS had crashed, and the system didn't reset. I ran with single DVI port operation, multiple DVI port operation, LCD & CRT monitors, ranging in size from 19" to 22". I don't do gaming therefore unable to test on that type of platform; therefore my video usage was limited to graphic intensive applications and streaming video.

Funny thing was that if you run a Citrix server session, remote access into the problem PC, that the PC would stay up, without an issue, until I exited the remote session (then it crashed). I was trying to say within the PC to see if the video image had crashed and the PC went on in operation or not.

I also replaced the cheap weak power supply with a Corsair 750W model. The issue of video failure remains.


I have Win XP Home Edition, Win-XP PRO, and Win-XP 64-bit PRO, but have not had time to do that level of testing yet.

I'm sure it would not solve my video problem, so I have not gone down that path yet.


By the way .. I tried all of the different version of ATI software & Drivers. All have failed thus far. I used Catalyst or whatever it is called, and increased the speed of the GPU fans, and it didn't help out either.

I tried the entire series of version of BIOS going back to the image provided with the initial system shipment. No fix found there, either.

Enough said already! :fou: 

--- Refer to your initial notes ...

Do you get any of the POST or BIOS messages?

Does it display the BIOS banners, but when going to load the OS, it fails with your binking cursor?

Suggestion--

Only plug into the SATA0 or ACHI 1 interface, using the internal drive bay. Start with OS Image which came with the shipment. You can order a replacement Image for $22 from Gateway. Holding down the FN Key and F10 during the boot will allow you to reload the factory image from the 1st logical partition on the disk drive (where the Win-OS is on the 2nd logical partition).

Good luck.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
May 28, 2010 12:13:31 PM

I have two hard drives but the second is just used for data storage. I don't use them as a single drive and I don't use the second one as a backup for the first. The data on each drive is entirely seperate and is accessed by opening My Computer>Drive C or Drive D, individually. My operating system is only installed on Drive C (only on one hard drive).

Anyway, I have a Gigabyte motherboard. I'm wondering if I need Gigabyte RAID configurer installed on my computer. I was under the impression that raid drivers or configurers were only needed for people using more than one hard drive as a single drive path (essentially combining the storage space and speed of two drives to form 1 larger and faster drive). As desribed above, this obviously isn't how my two hard drives are set up. Is my impression of what raid is for inaccurate?

Basically, I'm just wondering if it is safe to uninstall my Gabyte Raid Configurer/Controller/Driver. If it is safe, but not recommended, why isn't it recommended? What are the advantages of having it versus not having it installed?

Thanks for the information!


Anonymous
a b G Storage
June 3, 2010 11:08:01 AM

I have the gateway lx6810 and had it for a year. You have to set the raid array to "striped" by hitting f9 on the keyboard when the computer is in start up. F9 does not take you to the bios as someone previously stated. If you clear the array and start fresh this will also delete everything on your one single drive. You must have the nVidia chipset drivers loaded on a USB drive when reinstalling vista or you will get an error message stating that a required driver file is missing. if you set the raid to striped, load the driver files and then start your installation you will be fine, as long as you have the other drivers once Vista is installed as there are a couple drivers still missing but easily obtainable from gateway.com. I format my hard drive about every other month and keep all personal files like music pics and movies on 2 external 500gb western digital hard drives. Also be sure to clean your fan out about every 60 days or go into the BIOS under pc health and disable the smart fan feature or your computer will shut off on its own when it gets dusty inside. Any Questions email me Im swango2002 at hotmail i have had this for 15 months and love it

Quick note... you cant disable the SATA Controller as the hard drive is SATA. It does not have an IDE in the LX6810, it will let you disable it but then it wont read your hard drive at all. HIt F2 to load all default BIOS settings then disable smart fan if you are having overheating issues and dont mind a loud fan..then set your dvd drive as your first boot device, and hit F10 to save settings. then when computer reboots hit F9 to go to the raid menu. If you do not already have RAID set move your right arrow key to place the drive in the correct column, then hit enter, moved to striped and hit arrow again. Then hit F7 to save, hit B to make the drive bootable then ctrl x to exit... with your vista cd in the dvd drive or on usb. it will say install now you click that and it will say and reqyired driver file is missing. Load the nVidia SATA controller drivers and then it will let you install vista.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
June 4, 2010 8:33:05 PM

Quote:
I have the gateway lx6810 and had it for a year. You have to set the raid array to "striped" by hitting f9 on the keyboard when the computer is in start up. F9 does not take you to the bios as someone previously stated. If you clear the array and start fresh this will also delete everything on your one single drive. You must have the nVidia chipset drivers loaded on a USB drive when reinstalling vista or you will get an error message stating that a required driver file is missing. if you set the raid to striped, load the driver files and then start your installation you will be fine, as long as you have the other drivers once Vista is installed as there are a couple drivers still missing but easily obtainable from gateway.com. I format my hard drive about every other month and keep all personal files like music pics and movies on 2 external 500gb western digital hard drives. Also be sure to clean your fan out about every 60 days or go into the BIOS under pc health and disable the smart fan feature or your computer will shut off on its own when it gets dusty inside. Any Questions email me Im swango2002 at hotmail i have had this for 15 months and love it

Quick note... you cant disable the SATA Controller as the hard drive is SATA. It does not have an IDE in the LX6810, it will let you disable it but then it wont read your hard drive at all. HIt F2 to load all default BIOS settings then disable smart fan if you are having overheating issues and dont mind a loud fan..then set your dvd drive as your first boot device, and hit F10 to save settings. then when computer reboots hit F9 to go to the raid menu. If you do not already have RAID set move your right arrow key to place the drive in the correct column, then hit enter, moved to striped and hit arrow again. Then hit F7 to save, hit B to make the drive bootable then ctrl x to exit... with your vista cd in the dvd drive or on usb. it will say install now you click that and it will say and reqyired driver file is missing. Load the nVidia SATA controller drivers and then it will let you install vista.


Amazing! ive been searching all day for this. works great!
April 18, 2011 5:27:20 PM

Quote:
I have the gateway lx6810 and had it for a year. You have to set the raid array to "striped" by hitting f9 on the keyboard when the computer is in start up. F9 does not take you to the bios as someone previously stated. If you clear the array and start fresh this will also delete everything on your one single drive. You must have the nVidia chipset drivers loaded on a USB drive when reinstalling vista or you will get an error message stating that a required driver file is missing. if you set the raid to striped, load the driver files and then start your installation you will be fine, as long as you have the other drivers once Vista is installed as there are a couple drivers still missing but easily obtainable from gateway.com. I format my hard drive about every other month and keep all personal files like music pics and movies on 2 external 500gb western digital hard drives. Also be sure to clean your fan out about every 60 days or go into the BIOS under pc health and disable the smart fan feature or your computer will shut off on its own when it gets dusty inside. Any Questions email me Im swango2002 at hotmail i have had this for 15 months and love it

Quick note... you cant disable the SATA Controller as the hard drive is SATA. It does not have an IDE in the LX6810, it will let you disable it but then it wont read your hard drive at all. HIt F2 to load all default BIOS settings then disable smart fan if you are having overheating issues and dont mind a loud fan..then set your dvd drive as your first boot device, and hit F10 to save settings. then when computer reboots hit F9 to go to the raid menu. If you do not already have RAID set move your right arrow key to place the drive in the correct column, then hit enter, moved to striped and hit arrow again. Then hit F7 to save, hit B to make the drive bootable then ctrl x to exit... with your vista cd in the dvd drive or on usb. it will say install now you click that and it will say and reqyired driver file is missing. Load the nVidia SATA controller drivers and then it will let you install vista.



Amazing indeed!!! This IS the answer to my problem as well. Thank you so much for making this post! :sol: 
April 21, 2011 11:26:13 PM

I am not sure anyone reads this post anymore.....

I am having a similar problem...but more advanced...

When I boot, it hangs on "Initailizing USB Controllers" for about 2 minutes.
When it finall gets going, it reports as having found 3 keyboards, 1 mouse and 4 storage devices.

I have 1 keyboard.
I have 1 mouse.

(duh)

I have 1 internal HD.

The other three HD's it is reporting are External USB HDs.
They were each, at one time or another, connected to my PC but are no longer connected directly to the PC. They are all on a hub connected to a router that has USB Mass Storage capability.

I went into the Raid setup (F9) and I see TWO of those externals in the setup. Both are my USB 500 gig drives...one is connected to the router, the second is connected directly to my other PC.

I have tried most of the stuff posted here to rectify the problem (all but last big post...can't see the poster's name atm...about setting up things as "striped").

I am not sure if that will help or not..but I am leaning more towards the hanging is that is is looking for those drives that are no longer connected.

I have looked for a way to remove those drives from the raid...but I do not see it.

Is there a way to remove drives from the raid utility and if so...how?

Edit: Quick note...I have disconnected the PC from the network, hoping to relieve the problem......no nelp...still hung...still reported 3 keyboards, 1 mouse and 4 drives and the Raid still reported those two externals.
April 30, 2011 5:09:07 AM

I guess no one reads this board anymore.
May 6, 2011 5:36:36 PM

hunterxdr said:
I guess no one reads this board anymore.


Try creating your own thread instead of hijacking a two-year-old one.
!