Windows XP RAID problem

Hello everyone...

I am attempting a fresh install of Windows XP OEM. I have three disks - two WD Raptors 34gig and one Seagate 1TB SATA drive. I want to install XP onto the RAID array, but have been unable to do so.

Having done EXTENSIVE RESEARCH on this issue, I have discovered that there are many others out there having the same problems. I have performed nearly EVERY possible solution with no results. I have also checked and double checked my hardware. All drives pass every diagnostic I run. My memory passes every test thrown at it. So I feel safe in ruling out hardware issues.

Here are the steps I have been following:

1. I created a slipstream CD of Windows XP Home, using nLite and the RAID drivers from my mobo CD(mobo is an XFX 8200).

2. Before installation, I go into the BIOS and change the onboard controller from SATA to RAID mode. Reboot.

3. The Mediashield RAID BIOS appears after reboot and post. I designate the two Raptors as a RAID 0 array, accepting all default settings except block size, which I change to 32. The RAID setup appears to work properly, as the system now sees the RAID array as healthy.

4. This is where it gets a lil' funky. I use the slipstream disk to begin my XP installation. After all drivers are loaded(including the RAID drivers I added), I get a blue screen of death.

5. I then have to go back into the BIOS and change the HDC back to SATA in order to get rid of the blue screen. However, after doing this, the computer no longer sees the RAID array and I am forced to install onto just one of the disks. In this case, I installed to the 1TB HDD and continued.

The Windows install goes off without a hitch now - but I'm still left with a non-RAID setup and a pounding headache(I have spent upwards of 10 hrs on this today alone).

I have tried to add the disks after the XP install by using the computer management console. Windows recognizes the Raptors, but I cannot convert them into a dynamic volume.

I have read what feels like EVERY post on the internet regarding this. I also feel it prudent to note that I am not a beginner - I have built and serviced computers for 10+ years now but ironically, I have never run across a RAIDed XP install - lucky me. I have RAIDed Vista and 7 many times, and we all know how much easier that is.

What....if anything....can I do to get XP installed in either one of two configs:

1. XP resides on RAID array with 1TB drive as storage

2. XP resides on 1TB drive, using the RAID array for storage

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  1. One more thing - the drives reside on the following ports on the motherboard:

    1TB - SATA 1
    WD Raptors are on SATA 2 and 4
  2. Slipstreaming is just one way to get the drivers installed. You should be able to make a floppy with the necessary raid drivers. Do steps 2 & 3 like you did above. Now install XP from your CD. When you get to the screen that says "F6 to install third-party SCSI or RAID drivers", Press F6 and follow the instructions to load the RAID drivers from floppy, then you can continue the installation normally.
  3. Thank you for the speedy reply - however I do not have a floppy drive on this machine, hence the reason I had to slipstream the drivers in.

    If it is an ABSOLUTE must - let me repeat that - A B S O L U T E must that I use a floppy drive, then I will have to plug one in, and go try to explain to the guy in the Electronics Dept what a "floppy" disk is.

    Otherwise, I would like to troubleshoot this problem from the standpoint of using a slipstream CD.

  4. I'm surprised an up-to-date slipstream is still asking for a floppy - I was sure they dropped that requirement in SP3. However, it's worth pressing F6 as advised above and when the installation stalls to ask you to pop in a driver disk, just hit Enter. That will force it to look within itself for stored drivers and yours just might be in there.

  5. Second thought - are you sure the RAID Controller isn't yellow marked in Device Manager? I'm working on one now which does show up - I'm disabling the beggar because I can never see the point in risking data by splitting it between two wholly inter-dependent disks.
  6. Well, it's been a while since I slipstreamed an XP CD. If the directions were followed correctly, I don't see why it wouldn't work. I've done it successfully with nvidia's nforce raid drivers in the past.

    If you don't have access to a floppy disk drive, you may be able to get away with using a USB floppy drive. Of course, this can have it's own issues if the USB floppy isn't recognized during boot/startup. There are ways around this too. Just google for something like "XP F6 usb floppy".
  7. I had tried the USB floppy first - before I saw that you could slipstream the files. The computer wouldn't even recognize it.

    So what I ended up doing was creating a virtual floppy. I ran the mobo CD on a different machine and it spat out the RAID drivers onto the virtual floppy(the CD would ONLY send them to a floppy drive). I also ripped the entire folder from the CD separately and manually selected the driver to add in nLite. Both of these approaches gave the same end result.

    @saga lout - The XP ISO that I used is from an SP1 disk. I have tried with an SP3 disk, which didn't work either(nor did my product key). Also - while Windows is initializing the setup, I can see the drivers that I added to the disk being loaded, so I assume that they are now present in the driver list.

    I checked out the device manager to see if the controller appeared - it does not. I manually installed the controller via add new hardware - the devices would install, but upon reboot, changing the HDC to RAID, and creating the array - I would get a BSOD.

    I am wondering if this has something to do with the state of the HDC during install. Should I switch to RAID mode and configure the array PRIOR to running the XP install? I have done it this way but I still get a BSOD.

    The hardware is OK - I ran Windows 7 on this machine prior to rolling back to XP, which was two days ago. Windows 7 installed my RAID array VERY easily.
  8. RAID needs to be turned on in the bios and the array needs to be created before you install XP. in order to use a usb floppy...

    There is a way to add more USB floppy drive to this list.

  9. If BIOS doesn't offer USB Legacy Support, the external floppy won't appear in the Boot Sequence but it's unlikely this is the case in a system new enough to have run Windows 7.
  10. Still no luck with this. I have tried floppy disks now too. Looks like I'm going to have two very expensive paper weights if I cant get this sorted...

  11. They are still highly capable of running a system and storing data and if one goes wrong, you don't risk losing everything stored on both of them.
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