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Windows won't boot once SATA is configured as RAID

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July 30, 2009 8:34:12 PM

Question:
Is it possible to boot Windows (XP Pro in this case) while configuring SATA to RAID (as opposed do IDE) through BIOS, without reinstalling a fresh copy of windows.

More detailed version of problem:

Computer:
2.66 GHz dual core
IntelĀ® Desktop Board DQ965GF

Situation: Initially, computer had windows XP pro w/ SP 3 installed. Two new identical hard drives were purchased with intentions of mirroring the new drives (RAID 1).
I placed the two new drives in computer. Through BIOS, I changed "Configure SATA as" from "IDE" to "RAID" in hopes of creating a installing Linux on one driver, and mirroring it with second new drive, while preserving Win XP Pro on original drive.

Problem: Windows does not boot. Windows logo shows up for a brief second, and computer restarts. This continuously happens unless stopped.
Problem is resolved if SATA is changed back to IDE as opposed to RAID. But that way I won't be able to mirror the new drives.

Approaches taken to resolve the problem (did not work):
a) flash bios to latest version
b) Insert Windows Disk to repair windows: Windows configuration does not find any drives installed
c) F6 in windows setup to install RAID drivers. Computer lacks a Floppy drive.

Thanks in advance.
August 3, 2009 6:20:41 PM

From what it sounds like you are doing, you now have a total of 3 drives: the original with Windows on it, and now two new, matched drives that you want to put into RAID 1 under Linux, and still preserve your original XP install.

You should be able to do this, though depending on your motherboard features, you might have a few different ways to go about doing it.

For example, my desktop computer is an ASUS P5 something-or-other that has 2 controllers on it capable of RAID, an Intel and a J-Micron. According to my manual, I can access the controller chips' settings before the BIOS loads by using Ctrl-I or Ctrl-J. From these configuration menus, you should be able to build your RAID arrays and choose the members from the list of available drives. Once the RAID 1 is built and configured, your BIOS should recognize it as 1 logical drive in the boot sequence.

The original XP drive you have should not be a part of the RAID array at all.
Related resources
a c 415 G Storage
August 3, 2009 8:24:21 PM

I think r_manic is right. Windows uses different disk drivers for IDE vs. RAID, so if you have it installed with the IDE drivers and then pull the rug out from under it by reconfiguring the BIOS to access the disk using SATA/RAID protocols then it doesn't know how to talk to the disk drives.

You might be able to avoid the hassles of the article he linked to if you can isolate the drives you want to RAID to a separate controller so that you can leave the drive that XP is installed on set to "IDE". A cheap add-in RAID board could do this.
a b G Storage
August 5, 2009 8:22:35 AM

Switching from AHCI to RAID is easy as the RAID mode is a superset of AHCI and a quick driver swap does the job.
But going from IDE to AHCI under Windows XP requires some real PITA hacking. Just don't go there...

Best solution is to reinstall Windows under 'RAID' mode while providing drivers for the ICH controller when asked. And get rid of Windows XP, it only brings pain on a modern build like yours.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 28, 2010 5:02:06 PM

The best way out of this problem is

1) enable raid in bios, boot windows setup in recovery mode using f6 floppy, and create/format raid-ready partitions on your new data drives (the partitions are raid-ready if they are created while the bios is enabled raid and the raid drivers are loaded at startup). I suggest ntfs partitions since I am not certain that fake raid will support fat.
2) disable raid in bios, boot windows system drive in non-raid mode, and copy your data onto the new raid-ready partition(s) of your data drives. They will function normally in non-raid mode.
3) reboot windows setup in raid mode and delete your non-raid partitions from your system drive, then reinstall windows on its original system drive in new 'raid-ready' partition that may never actually be used in a raid but will boot with raid enabled
4)copy your data back you its original system drive for safekeeping in case the next step fails.
5)create the raid volume from your two new data drives, either using the matrix raid application in windows (if you can figure out how to add a mirror to an existing volume, something it may not support anyway), or using system bios at boot (if you do not mind losing all the data on the raid volume and copying your data back to the data volume later).

Any way you look at it you will have to re-install windows. Sorry, your system is different than mine and I do not need raid-ready partitions to boot in raid mode.
!