Last year I bought myself a nice system with the following specs:
- Antec TruePower 750W ATX23
- Gigabyte EX58-UD4P X58
- Intel i7 920
- Ram D3 6GB 1333-777 K3 COR
- Samsung 750 GB SAT2 HD753LJ
- XFX 1GB D5 X HD4890 XXX R
- Sams 22x DL R/W AT SH-S222A BlB
Since I hate lag (and especcially long copy-paste times), I decided to order 2 new hard disks and placing them in a raid 0 config.
(I ordered 2 Samsung 1 TB SAT2 HD103SJ)
Now heres my 'problem' : Its my first time configuring a raid 0 setup so i don't really know all the steps I have to undertake to complete this setup.
How to configure my BIOS and such is not the main problem (can be found in my manual + youtube), it's merely a problem of installing my drivers for the raid 0 config. and such ( can I install them from a mem. stick? Do I have to install them during the installation of my OS or can it be done afterwards? .. )
Installing the drivers is a pretty painless thing to do. Just download the correct drivers for whichever controller you're going to use and put them on a flash drive, CD, floppy, etc. If, when preparing your hard drive(s), Windows 7 doesn't recognize your RAID drives, then it will ask for the drivers.
Should not have to install drivers, windows 7 is very good and will install the correct driver for your Raid 0 configuration. (NOT like Windows XP and using the F6 to install driver)
Recommendation: when you enter the setup for your raid0 drives. Do not select the entire drive for the raid0 strip. Select 100 to 200 gigs and set the strip size. This will be for your operating system and programs. The select the remainder of the HDD(s) for a 2nd array. This will be for your Data/files (Note you can make additional partitions using windows disk management.
Windows will show two HDDs (Drive 0 and Drive 1), Drive 0 being for your Operating system/programs.
HOW you plan to use the RAID0 array is the important first decision.
1. IF you plan to have the array as your boot device (the C: drive), then you will have to re-install your Win 7 AND install the RAID drivers as an early step in the process. No Windows has built-in drivers for RAID already - there is no "standard" for RAID, so the driver(s) need to be the correct one for your hardware and OS. Early in the Install process the system prompts you to push the "F6" key if you need to add in some extra driver(s) before proceeding with the installation. Do this and follow the instructions. Unlike Win XP, Win 7 has several options for which type of external source you can use to supply the driver files - a CD or USB thumb drive might do nicely. BUT you will need to have that medium and the files prepared before hand, so read your mobo manual on how to install Win 7 on a RADI0 array as the boot drive.
To do this I fully expect you will need to do two preparation steps. One is to set the BIOS Setup screens to specify that you will use those drives in a RAID configuration. After you set that, Save and Exit, the BIOS boot sequence will prompt you to hit a particular key to enter the RAID configuration screens where you actually specify which drives are to be in the RAID array, what class of RAID you want, and some other stuff. Then you actually create the RAID0 array. I expect you will need to do this BEFORE installing Win 7 (and driver(s)) to the array, but read up on the full details in your mobo manual.
2. IF instead you intend to have Win 7 installed on your existing 750 GB Samsung HDD and use that as your boot drive, and then use the RAID0 array as a NON-bootable data storage system, you may NOT need to install the RAID driver(s) at the beginning of the Win 7 install. In fact, you would be better to install with those two new HDD's NOT connected up, so only the Samsung HDD is present as Win 7 is installed. After the Win 7 is fully installed and running and updated, THEN is when you shut down, hook up the 2 new HD's, and boot into BIOS Setup to specify that those units will be used in RAID mode. Again, there will be the method of using the RAID configuration screens to actually create the RAID0 array. When Win 7 finishes booting this time it should find this new hardware and go looking for the right RAID driver(s) to install for this new device. I don't know whether it will have its own good driver, or whether you are better to have it install one from a CD that came with your mobo. Best advice here is, again, READ your mobo manual and see exactly how to install a RAID0 array the you do NOT want to boot from.
I did not have to use "f6" for my raid0 array using vista, or windows 7. Windows 7 natively supports raid0 using the Intel ICHxx chipset, It also supports some of the others but have not personally used the jmicron, or other 3rd party controllers. I took a quick google to confirm this and found several replies to this effect. Here is just one: http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=606...
Now, that's an improvement to like in Win 7. Having it find and install from its own resources the driver for common mobo RAID systems is MUCH better than having to install your own! I presume the process involves using the BIOS and RAID configuration systems in the mobo to create the RAID array first, before installing the OS. Whether the OS is installed on the RAID0 array, or on a separate drive, I expect it is better to have the array defined before OS installation. But better than presuming, the mobo manual must set out the details clearly, so that's the best source of instructions.
Thanks for all of the help everybody.
The problem is that my mobo manual only talks about XP and Vista.. But anyway, I'm gonny try and copy the 'correct' drivers to a mem stick to be sure ( I wasn't sure if this was possible, because XP and Vista both require a floppy disk according to my manual). Hopefully Windows 7 wont make a big fuzz about drivers and just accepts the array
Anyway, again, thank you very much for your help and hopefully my days of frustration will be over in a few days !
Paperdoc - I alwaqys setup my array(s) prior to installing operating system.
Go to the MB web site and down load all the Windows 7 drivers. Pick and choose which you want to install. Install only the ones that will improve your performance, ie for you NIC, for onboard audio. Do not install MB chipset for your HDD unless you have a problem - use windows built in AHCI.