So I went ahead and bought the Rosewill RSV-S8 case that's sold on Newegg but now I'm having issues getting it installed on my Windows 7 system. Does anyone have any experience with this? My issue seems to be getting the software CD to do anything, no autorun pops up (save for the option to look through the disc contents with Windows Explorer). When I do use Explorer to look through it I eventually found a Windows Installer app, which created a "SATARAID5Manager" shortcut on my desktop - but then I hit a wall when I run that and it says "Silicon Image RAID controllers are not detected in the system. Please make sure that all controllers are installed and configured properly."
I haven't installed the PCIe slot card (Sil3132R5) they included with the case (reviewers say it's bad, my computer has it's own PCIe slots anyway)... could that be my problem, or am I missing something? Windows 7 isn't explicitly supported but I've read about people using this case on Win 7 systems without problem.
Without the PCIe slot card, how would your computer have knowledge of your Rosewill storage case? How did you connect it to your system? Either you didn't connect it at all and it's only logical Windows can't find any Silicon Image in your system because you haven't installed that card yet. Or, you connected the Rosewill to another SATA port.
The RIAD5 done by Silicon Image is FakeRAID; meaning everything gets done by drivers on your system. Generally, this type of system of very unreliable; many people have lost data with Silicon Image even with all disks being perfectly fine.
So i have to say, this ultra low-end RAID5 solution is very risky and generally not a good idea. If you want to continue using it, you need to install the PCI-express card and connect the Rosewill to it. Then all data will be sent through port multiplier, through the PCI-express x1 card, through the Silicon Image RAID5 driver installed on Windows; which actually will do all the work.
Make sure you have a proper backup of all data on the Rosewill; consider its reliability to be less than a single drive. Drive failure will be the least common way to loose data on Silicon Image and other low-quality FakeRAID solutions.
Not that i want to make you feel bad about buying it; but i would feel worse if you lost really important data, thinking it was safe on "RAID5". It might also be possible to use the drives in Rosewill as normal software RAID, without the Silicon Image drivers. But i have no experience with that; i think your controller needs to support Port Multipliers but that's about it.