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Configuring Separate RAID 5 Device - Windws 7 64 bit

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March 24, 2010 2:07:22 PM

I have a fairly new system with a Gigabyte motherboard that supports all RAID levels. I have a single WD 10k rpm drive in it with Windows 7 64 bit installed and running. I went out and bought 3 new Seagate 1TB drive and want to set up a RAID 5 device/volume using only those three physical disks...leaving the original drive and OS in tact. It is truly amazing. There are all sorts of articles on getting RAID set up with a new fresh install of Windows but nothing regarding setting up a RAID device on an existing system where the newly added device/volume is a data volume separate from the drive running the OS.

I actually configured the bios to use RAID and then went in to the RAID configuration utility that appears after the bios is loaded but before Windows loads (pressing ctrl-I when prompted.) I configured a RAID-5 volume with the three disks no problem. However, when I tried to reboot, Windows crashed and told me I needed a repair. Repairing did nothing. I went back in to the bios and disabled RAID (re-enabled AHCI) and rebooted. Windows came up fine and to my surprise, there was the volume I had previously created (about 1.9TB). Some how windows was recognizing the volume even though the bios was not set to use RAID.

How do I correctly set up this separate RAID volume on an existing system? I suspected I may need to install some RAID drivers from Gigabyte which I did download. However, I'm not sure how to go about correctly installing them. Gigabyte hasn't responded to my email so I am at a bit of a loss. Any help that can be provided is greatly appreciated.
a b G Storage
March 26, 2010 3:30:47 PM

Install the drivers for a separate controller on the WD 10k.
Set up the hardware on the separate controller.
Set up the RAID array in the bios and CTRL-I or CTRL-G.
Format and partition.
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March 26, 2010 4:56:32 PM

I contacted Gigabyte and apparently the only way to get RAID working after Windows has been installed without RAID is to re-install Windows. Basically, reboot the system, configure the motherboard to work with RAID, boot on to the Windows Installation DVD, and re-install windows. I think you can basically re-install over the original installation and it will pick up the RAID drivers. However, I chose, to reformat and do a completely fresh install. The re-install worked and all is right in RAID world.
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