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SSD boot drive & RAID-0 Storage setup

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January 27, 2011 9:09:34 PM

Hello all,
I am a fairly practiced builder who is messing with my first RAID setup, and my first SSD experience simultaniously and may have bitten off more than I could chew.

What I want to do is set up my Crucial C300 SATAIII 64gb drive as a boot drive, and my two Segate Barracuda ST3500418AS 500gb SATAII drives as storage in RAID-0. I am doing this with a new setup on an ASUS Sabertooth x58 board with an Intel ICH10R SATAII controller and a Marvell SATAIII controller. I have properly configured the SATA II RAID setup, and have made the SATAIII C300 drive visible to the Windows 7 start up utility (trying for a fresh install of windows 7, nothing on the drives currently). I have attempted to click the C300 and begin the Windows 7 install, but it hangs anytime I attempt to start. I have attempted to tweak some settings, but now it won't go past the 'loading windows' screen without an error.

I have played with this for hous and don't know what to do. I am about to clear out the CMOS and try it all again. I just want to hear that this is possible, and any suggestions for ASUS BIOS settings for tweaks I should make.

The only part that is really making me wonder if this is possible or not is the MAIN setting in BIOS where you set the SATA configuration. I have to set it to RAID for my raid array to work, but I can't go into my Marvell settings and adjust anything because it thinks my C300 is part of a RAID configuration. If anyone has any tips, feedback would be greatly appreciated!
a c 167 G Storage
January 27, 2011 10:10:57 PM

In theory, Intel drivers will pass on trim to non participants of the raid array. But, My simple suggestion is to abandon raid. and set the sata mode to AHCI(not raid or ide). You will then get the windows-7 drivers which will properly pass on the trim commands. Just use your two sata drives without raid. I doubt that you will see any real difference from raid-0 performance. Better yet, take one of those 500gb storage drives out, and put it in an external enclosure to be used as backup.

I think you want to install windows-7 on the C300 by itself first. Do not attach the other drives, or windows-7 will try to put some recovery data on the other drives. After install, you could add the other drives with or without raid.
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a c 99 G Storage
January 28, 2011 2:37:29 PM

Once you set the SATA to RAID, did you set up the RAID arrays during boot up? <Ctrl>+ <I> during BIOS/RAID post.

SSD - in RAID, but not part of an array. This is ok! ACHI and TRIM will work.

HDD - in RAID 0 array.

Let me know if you need more info about setting up RAID arrays.
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a c 415 G Storage
January 28, 2011 3:41:46 PM

geofelt said:
I doubt that you will see any real difference from raid-0 performance.
In general I agree that RAID-0 is generally not worth the bother - but there are specific applications such as video editing that can benefit from the increased transfer rates that RAID-0 delivers. You have to understand the nature of your workload in order to make the best decision.
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January 28, 2011 5:29:23 PM

Thank you guys for giving a few responses! So I am mainly gaming (and intensive games at that), but do do alot of work with Adobe CS5, VisualStudio.NET, and a few other programs i play with on and off. I do like the small jump in performance, but mainly like the simplicity of the two drives combined to the full capacity of both.

Right now, I have installed Windows 7 on the RAID array of the two hard drives, because my installer couldn't format the SSD for some reason... So the RAID setup is working, but the SSD is not. I wanted to at least get it up and running so I could play around with my new processor a bit (i7 970 hex core from Retail Edge).

Basically, I am left with a SSD now that I can't get to work... I have read on Crucial's forums a bit about people configuring the C300 on the Intel controller and then moving it to the marvell controller after it's set up, but don't have much faith in that approach... Any tips on setup tweaks for it? I have it set to ACHI in the BIOS but it still shows IDE when the Marvell section of the POST shows it.
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January 28, 2011 6:46:49 PM

Correction, the C300 does show that it is in SATA mode when I boot up (shows SATA when displaying Marvell controller's drives in boot). So I will mess around with it and see if i can format it now that windows is installed and do some more testing with it. Any other tips for bios conig or updating the drive would be appreciated. Or anyone who can explain why It wouldn't let me format it when installing windows... it just hung for about 5 minutes then gave me an error code
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a c 99 G Storage
January 31, 2011 6:00:34 PM

I would image the reason that Windows install didn't see the SSD drive is that it needed a "third party" driver for the Marvell SATA 6.0Gb/s controller. It should be on the driver CD from the motherboard. You can also download it from Asus. You should be able to "add" this driver furing the Win 7 install, when it askes you where to install the OS.

This is, of course, if that's is where you had it plugged into. The Intel SATA driver(s) are part of Windows 7 install driver base, as you should know, since you already installed Win7 to the RAID 0 array.

You could give it a try, install Win7 to the SSD via the SATA 3.0Gbps ports, and then move it to the SATA 6.0Gbps port, after you install the drivers for that port.
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January 31, 2011 9:24:53 PM

I have a question that pertains to this. Right now I've got my pc configured pretty much the same as the OP. I have a Boot SSD on the Intel controller, and I have 2 1TB western digitals setup in a RAID 0 configuration on the Marvell controllers. I can't seem to raid the HDDs on the intel controller along with the SSD. I can't put the intel controllers into RAID mode in the BIOS without BSOD when booting from the SSD. Does it just not work that way? Do I have to put the HDDs on the Marvell controller and RAID them there? Or am I doing something wrong? I would like to put the HDDs onto the Intel controller as well along with the SSD and use them in a RAID 0 configuration, but it doesn't seem to work for me that way. The performance from the Marvell configuration is awful.
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February 1, 2011 3:28:21 AM

Thank you all for the input, so glad to see some replies!

Took a few days to play with everything, working retail and being a college student haven't left much free time to play with the hardware lately... But I am on the new build now, Running the C300 as my boot drive off of the Intel controller in RAID mode as a non-raid pair with the two Seagate drives in RAID-0 (which I must say, does give a bit more boost to the speeds than I anticipated).

I haven't tried installing the Marvell controller drivers yet because I didn't want to try anything else until I had some actual time to dedicate to this project, but I think I will soon. Regardless, the load time for Windows on the SATA II controller is amazing, 7.7 on the WEI, but I know SATA III will run up to 7.9.

Anyway, the remaining part of my project is to install the Marvell controller drivers and switch over the SSD to the SATA III port (which according to other users in my research is indeed the only way to use them, thanks foscooter!). When I do this, Should I make sure TRIM and AHCI are set correctly in the command prompt? If so do you know the commands to check/adjust these settings? Lastly, do I do this before or after the switch over to the Marvell ports?

I thank all of you for the input, so very happy to at least be using the setup the way I intended!
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February 1, 2011 3:47:07 AM

bckai2003 said:
I have a question that pertains to this. Right now I've got my pc configured pretty much the same as the OP. I have a Boot SSD on the Intel controller, and I have 2 1TB western digitals setup in a RAID 0 configuration on the Marvell controllers. I can't seem to raid the HDDs on the intel controller along with the SSD. I can't put the intel controllers into RAID mode in the BIOS without BSOD when booting from the SSD. Does it just not work that way? Do I have to put the HDDs on the Marvell controller and RAID them there? Or am I doing something wrong? I would like to put the HDDs onto the Intel controller as well along with the SSD and use them in a RAID 0 configuration, but it doesn't seem to work for me that way. The performance from the Marvell configuration is awful.


You should be in a similar setup as me, and I am doing exactly this right now with my C300 SSD. I had the benefit of running a clean windows install after my setup, but my exact order of operations was to set the 'Storage Configuration' to RAID in the main section of the bios, save and boot into the intel storage manager, configure the raid array between my two HDD's, save and boot back into bios. finally, set the boot order, format the drives and installed windows... but that was a clean install.

before this in my trial and error phase, I had installed windows on the SSD while my 'Storage Configuration' option was set to AHCI. I then tried shutting down, moving the SSD to the Marvell controller and re-setting up my RAID between the drives (switching the bios config from AHCI to RAID), and rebooted. This failed as I still didn't have the marvell drivers and the drive never booted. I then left my storage setting on raid and replaced the SSD in the Intel controller, tried to boot, saw 'starting windows' for about 3 seconds and then BSOD as well... which is a similar change to what you are making.

I think that there is probably a way to reconfigure your SSD to boot without formatting, which would be adjusting settings in it to run in a RAID setting as a non-raid pair, but I don't know the changes you would need to make. My forum searching has lead me to a lot of registry tweaks people make to get windows to run correctly...

This is all I know, and my opinion at least... Can't call myself an expert on drive config, but have been reading alot on it and trying a lot of different stuff with the sabertooth lately!
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February 3, 2011 8:33:43 PM

Best answer selected by JackMomma.
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April 23, 2011 8:59:04 PM

Can you explain how you set up the raid?
I am building a similar setup with my new SSD for Boot and data onto RAID.
i dont know how..... :( 


JackMomma said:
Hello all,
I am a fairly practiced builder who is messing with my first RAID setup, and my first SSD experience simultaniously and may have bitten off more than I could chew.

What I want to do is set up my Crucial C300 SATAIII 64gb drive as a boot drive, and my two Segate Barracuda ST3500418AS 500gb SATAII drives as storage in RAID-0. I am doing this with a new setup on an ASUS Sabertooth x58 board with an Intel ICH10R SATAII controller and a Marvell SATAIII controller. I have properly configured the SATA II RAID setup, and have made the SATAIII C300 drive visible to the Windows 7 start up utility (trying for a fresh install of windows 7, nothing on the drives currently). I have attempted to click the C300 and begin the Windows 7 install, but it hangs anytime I attempt to start. I have attempted to tweak some settings, but now it won't go past the 'loading windows' screen without an error.

I have played with this for hous and don't know what to do. I am about to clear out the CMOS and try it all again. I just want to hear that this is possible, and any suggestions for ASUS BIOS settings for tweaks I should make.

The only part that is really making me wonder if this is possible or not is the MAIN setting in BIOS where you set the SATA configuration. I have to set it to RAID for my raid array to work, but I can't go into my Marvell settings and adjust anything because it thinks my C300 is part of a RAID configuration. If anyone has any tips, feedback would be greatly appreciated!

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a c 99 G Storage
April 26, 2011 4:40:33 PM

Need more info jakeichan1986: What motherboard, which RAID (0,1,5,10)?

But basically, you set the SATA ports to RAID in BIOS, then upon BIOS post, there will be a screen to RAID, and usually it's <Ctrl>+<I> to get into the settings. Then you can choose which drives you want for which RAID setup.

NOTE: not all drives need to be part of a RAID array! You can have 1 drive (the SSD) as a OS/Program drive (boot), and then have 2 (or more) in RAID as storage.

If you have a SSD, and the ports are set to RAID, but the SSD in not part of an array, then TRIM WILL work (with the latest Intel Rapid Storage Tech driver 9.6 or higher).

I can provide links if you like.
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April 28, 2011 12:51:31 PM

Thanks foscooter...

i am still planning one.. will be building my monster in 2 weeks..

the array is something like this.

X-25 Intel SSD 40GB - Windows 7 X64 (Master Boot)
2TB Seagate 6GB/s - Data

500GB Seagate 3GB/s - Infrastructure Set (VM's)
500GB Seagate 3GB/s - Raid 1.

So is my setup..
Still thinking between Maximus Extreme and Sabertooth (P67) for the 2600k Intel.

Do send me the links.. i will definitely go thru' them till i am ready...


foscooter said:
Need more info jakeichan1986: What motherboard, which RAID (0,1,5,10)?

But basically, you set the SATA ports to RAID in BIOS, then upon BIOS post, there will be a screen to RAID, and usually it's <Ctrl>+<I> to get into the settings. Then you can choose which drives you want for which RAID setup.

NOTE: not all drives need to be part of a RAID array! You can have 1 drive (the SSD) as a OS/Program drive (boot), and then have 2 (or more) in RAID as storage.

If you have a SSD, and the ports are set to RAID, but the SSD in not part of an array, then TRIM WILL work (with the latest Intel Rapid Storage Tech driver 9.6 or higher).

I can provide links if you like.

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January 5, 2012 5:03:07 PM

foscooter said:
Need more info jakeichan1986: What motherboard, which RAID (0,1,5,10)?

But basically, you set the SATA ports to RAID in BIOS, then upon BIOS post, there will be a screen to RAID, and usually it's <Ctrl>+<I> to get into the settings. Then you can choose which drives you want for which RAID setup.

NOTE: not all drives need to be part of a RAID array! You can have 1 drive (the SSD) as a OS/Program drive (boot), and then have 2 (or more) in RAID as storage.

If you have a SSD, and the ports are set to RAID, but the SSD in not part of an array, then TRIM WILL work (with the latest Intel Rapid Storage Tech driver 9.6 or higher).

I can provide links if you like.

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January 5, 2012 5:08:18 PM

Hello,

Lucky to find this thread before building my 1st time. I,m going with an ASUS p8z68 V Pro/Gen with Patriot 60 GB SSD and 1 TB Seagate Barracuda both say they are SATA3 (6 gb/s) so my Q is do I put them (1or both) on the Intel controller or can I put them on the marvel? Saw a YouTube review on the mobo (V only vs V Pro /Gen 3) saying this config of ssd/hdd was available on the mobo so does the Gen/3 make it easier?
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a c 99 G Storage
January 12, 2012 8:03:43 PM

Put them on the native (Intel) controller. DON'T MESS WITH MARVELL! It s*k$. Plus, you can't boot to the Marvell, although you may be able to install it, with the thrid party SATA controller.

I just recently thried to use 2 HDD on the Marvell controller, and even tried the JMicron for eSATA. They all bite it! Speed thru the Marvell controller were faster with the Microsoft generic drivers, than with the Manufacter controllers. Although, Device manager was cleaner.

You don't/shouldn't have to install the SATA drive for Intel during Windows install, but you should later "update" the drive to the iRST v10.8.xxxxx for the Z68 chipset.
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a b G Storage
January 12, 2012 8:39:34 PM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr.
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