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Problems mirroring sara hard drives in XP

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September 10, 2009 3:29:22 PM

I have an Asus motherboard M3N78VM and I am trying to have a Raid 1 with two 500 gig drives with the onboard SATA. I get all the way into the Windows install where the system asks for drivers again which had been loaded via F6 earlier. I have tried an adaptec raid card and bot XP and Vista with the same result. Any ideas?
a c 357 G Storage
September 10, 2009 4:29:10 PM

Check these things. Make sure you have (or have downloaded) the mobo manual and some instructions (may be a file on a CD with the mobo) how to use the RAID system.

1. To use two drives in a RAID1 array, first you have to tell the BIOS that is your plan. Go into the BIOS Setup screens (when booting, usually you hold down the "Del" key until they show up).See your manual, p. 2-18, and set the On-Chip S-ATA Controller to Enabled, and the SATA Mode to RAID Mode. This tells the BIOS you plan to create a RAID array of some kind.

2. Reboot, and during the boot process a screen should come up that asks if you want to enter the RAID setup process. Do that, and use the tools there to create your RAID1 array from your two drives. If necessary, allow it to completely wipe out any old data on these disks - you will be starting from empty disks with a fresh install of Windows. From now on most of the system (and Windows) will treat this pair as one drive.

3. Put the Windows Install disk in your optical drive. Reboot, go into BIOS Setup (manual p. 2-37) and set the Boot priority. I suggest you have your optical drive as the first device and the RAID1 array as the second, with none after that (unless you have others).

4. Save this configuration and Exit to complete the boot. It will start the Windows Install and you will get to the driver install place with F6, as you've done before. But this time there already exists a RAID1 array that can be used. Watch and be sure that ALL the necessary RAID drivers are installed - sometimes the RAID instructions say there are two or three rounds of drivers to be installed at this point. When you finish this, Windows should be able to find and use the RAID1 array to install to.
September 10, 2009 5:59:43 PM

I have actually done all that. I get through the intial windows install. When it goes into Windows it asks for the drivers I already loaded and won't let me grab them from the floppy. If I hit skip then Windows blue screens after the next reboot and never runs.
a c 357 G Storage
September 10, 2009 9:00:56 PM

Stretching for ideas, he said: "asks for drivers again which had been loaded via F6 earlier" makes me think the RAID1 array now has a partial load of Win, but not complete and working. Just MAYBE the Win Install process is getting confused by that. Reboot and go into the RAID Setup routines when they are offered. Use the tools in there to completely clean off the drives. If that option is not available for the RAID array you have, you might have to break the array down, then re-create it to find the "clean the disks" option before the array is re-created. Although this takes time, right now you want to start from a blank fresh "Disk" anyway for your install.
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