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SSD Boot Drive with a RAID0 games setup

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May 15, 2010 4:40:36 PM

I am having problems setting up my raid system. I am currently running Win7 x64 installed on a intel SSD and am trying to configure my 2 samsung f1 320gb as a raid0 for games etc. I am using a GIGABYTE GA-EP45C-DS3R which has an inbuilt raid controller. In the BIOS I have switched it to RAID and made the raid disk using the intel matrix manager during boot. The problem comes when the windows loading screen stops and i see a brief BSOD (literally half a second max) then it reboots and repeats untill i turn off RAID mode in the bios where the PC boots normally but doesnt recognise the raid array.

I have attempted to install the intel raid drivers downloaded from my mobo's page on the gigabyte website but the install simply says my computer doesn't meet the sys requirements, is this because i try to install them in windows with raid turned off? I would like to avoid reinstalling windows if possible, as it would mean getting hold of a win7 install disk from somewhere as i have lost mine.

Hope you can help,
Cheers
a b G Storage
May 15, 2010 6:03:50 PM

Boot into Windows without 'RAID' mode set in the bios. You need to change a setting in your registry which allows windows 7 to load the correct driver for RAID.

- run regedit
.
- go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/System/CurrentControlSet/Services/Msahci
- right-click Start in the Name column, and then click Modify.
- In the Value data box, type 3, and then click OK.
- exit the registry editor.
- reboot and change the bios setting to raid

Now the computer will boot and install the correct win7 drivers for your RAID setup... I think ;) 
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May 15, 2010 6:20:43 PM

Hi, thanks for your reply. I've looked up what you said however the value is already set to "3" in the registry. I don't know if any of the other fields are relevant but Type is set to 1 and for (Default) the data column is listed as "value not set"
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a b G Storage
May 15, 2010 6:27:03 PM

Hmmm and you are in IDE mode? in bios?
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May 15, 2010 6:33:07 PM

The SATA RAID/AHCI Mode is currently set to "Disabled" with the options being Disabled, RAID or AHCI
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a b G Storage
May 15, 2010 6:36:56 PM

I remember fighting with those intel matrix drivers myself. But I just can not remember what happened in the end. Maybe take a look in the windows 7 forums. If it comes to me I will let you know.

Did you load win7 onto the SSD using a win7 disk or an image from a magnetic HDD?
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a b G Storage
May 15, 2010 6:50:03 PM

It's the long way round but maybe you could change to AHCI mode, reboot, and THEN come back to RAID mode from there? Maybe there's something phoney about the IDE controller.

However, before you change to AHCI mode in bios, you need to do that regedit thing I mentionned before. The correct setting for AHCI is 0 and you will get an ugly BSOD if you try to change the bios without changing the registry setting first.

See if it boots up properly in AHCI mode. This is best for the SSD anyway. Also I would suggest going through the steps to maximize the use of your SSD in win7. Here's a forum link

http://www.sevenforums.com/hardware-devices/80274-ssd-7...

If it boots in AHCI mode then try going through everything again. Maybe change BIOS to RAID and reboot. You will likely get the BSOD 7x000 or something or other. Change bios back to ahci and go into windows and, again, change the msahci setting back to 3. Reboot, bios to raid, etc. Damned if I can remember how I loaded those matrix drivers. Exactly the same, wrong hardware, issue.
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May 15, 2010 6:54:53 PM

It was installed via an image from one of the samsung f1's before i wiped them to use for a raid as I bought my version of win7 as an upgrade from vista so never recieved a physical disk.

I'll give the AHCI thing a go and let you know what happens, thanks.
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May 15, 2010 7:00:15 PM

Just rebooted into AHCI sucessfully for the first time after changing that reg entry. Aload of drivers just installed so i'm going to restart then try it with raid setting enabled.
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a b G Storage
May 15, 2010 7:12:52 PM

Right then, Good news Bad news. Now I recall. I went through a bunch of crap to get AHCI mode working so that my system requirements would update the intel matrix storage manager. Check this guy's tutorial. Just scroll down and you'll start to see the screen shots. Now, he was doing this on his laptop. We may need to find a registry entry that matches your southbridge (that's the bad news).

http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/jw!mZZPvh.FHxgV2AHuEi89Phs-/article?mid=1902&prev=-1&next=1887

Basically, that's what needs to be done. After that you can update intel matrix, change the aforementioned registry setting yet again, change bios settings yet again, and viola. I'll keep searching in an hour or so but I should walk around the shop and see if anybody needs me first. Let me know if you have any success.
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May 15, 2010 7:15:34 PM

Will have a go at this, cheers
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May 15, 2010 8:12:14 PM

Whilst searching for a reg entry for my southbridge i came across a guide which had been updated to include a utility written for this purpose linked here:

http://drnathan.teamhackaday.com/software/raidfix/

The Raidfix software seems to have done it as i have now booted successfully with my bios set to raid and installed the intel matrix storage manager meaning the drivers are now up to date. Cheers for all your help with this problem :) 
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a b G Storage
May 15, 2010 8:19:43 PM

That's awesome! Glad somebody made a fix as it seems ludicrous that everybody has to go through this process. And it's so hard to search. Intel must know about this, and microsoft has known about this for how long? So, on the intel matrix manager page they should direct you to some M$ fix?

I'm jealous of your setup. I recently bought a cheap 30GB SSD for win7 startup but I abandoned the raid 0 and just have a single caviar black for storage. Good enough for now but I miss that raid 0... ;(
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May 15, 2010 8:34:53 PM

Well now that you have this fix get yourself another caviar black and get back on raid0 :D  Honestly this tool took 30secs max. Yeah MS must have known about this for ages, its pretty poor that they havent done anything about it. It scared me away from raid0 when i first made this machine... Ah well its sorted now
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a b G Storage
May 15, 2010 8:58:18 PM

I guess it really is that easy. Funny how we don't see the obvious sometimes. I took the two drives out of raid 0 and put them in my NAS. Then I thought, 'The SSD replaces the raid so I just need a drive for 'working' and games and such'. No reason that drive can't be a raid. Guess I just needed somebody to tell me to do it. ha. Thanks. I'll be watching for it to go on sale again at one of my favourite local suppliers.

The SSD made such a huge difference with startup that I stopped thinking about improvement.

Don't forget to turn on TRIM and disable the following on your SSD. After that there are some things you can do such as using OCZ's wiper.exe but these 4 things (TRIM + the following) will help immensely.

1 Superfetch
2 Windows Defragmenter
3 Drive Indexing

Good Computing! Looking forward to seeing you in the forums again.
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!