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Windows XP Pro SP2 Fresh Install DOES NOT see my raid array

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  • Homebuilt
  • NAS / RAID
  • Windows XP
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
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July 15, 2009 9:38:29 PM

Ok, I’m posting this on the Windows XP forum and the Home built systems forum, cause this problem pertains to both I guess. Btw, every time I say “Done anything wrong yet?” I’m not trying to be rude or pretentious; it just seemed like a good point to check if I’ve made a mistake thus far. Here goes.
MB: ASUS M4N72-E
HDDs: 2x500GB SATA Barracuda set to 3.0 Gb/sec (I took the jumpers off both)
Bootable USB Floppy Drive (made it bootable in the BIOS; and on a side note I can make a flash drive recognizable as a bootable floppy in BIOS, cool huh?)
Copy of Win XP Pro 32bit w/ SP2
Formatted floppy with what ASUS gave me on their Driver DVD as NVIDIA 32bit XP SATA RAID drivers installed on it (I’ve installed it through the DVD’s Make Disk tab and also via Run.. using the “–x” at the end of the cmd line; the creation process looks the same in windows, and I even ran the cmd line process with the “-x” in the cmd prompt)

That’s all you really need when wanting to install Windows XP on a RAID Array, right? If not, stop me here, otherwise I’ll move on.

I also still have my original OS loaded on a EIDE drive (that’s why I’m typing this up to you guys) so I can go back and forth between a fully functioning system, and one I’m trying to create with just a change in boot sequence in BIOS; boy I am glad I didn’t delete my EIDE drive.

THE DEAL:
I have my old EIDE still plugged in, but not in the boot sequence of the BIOS. I have the two SATA HDDs plugged into two SATA ports on my motherboard (btw ports 1-4 are red and work with IDE as well as RAID AND AHCI, 5 and 6 are black and are supposed to ONLY work with RAID and AHCI, I’ve done everything I’m about o tell you with both drives on red, say 1 and 2, as well as both drives just on the black ports). So I go into the BIOS, which is the same in the ASUS manual, but different in the NVIDIA RAID instructions that came with the ASUS DVD), I change the SATA MODE from IDE to RAID (AHCI is the other option, and the book says the default is SATA MODE, but it’s not, its IDE) and I swear to god this is the only thing you change for making a RAID, I’ve looked and looked. There are NO Integrated Peripherals in the BIOS, so there is nothing to change in there. I checked the NB and the SB, and there is nothing to change to RAID.

Save changes and Exit

Next I hit F10 and go into the raid array media shield utility in the BIOS and create the raid array. I make the raid mode stripping (RAID 0, right?) and set the stripping Block to optimal and then pick the two drives from the free disks/left side and move them to the array disks/right side. I hit Y through all the questions and it takes me to the array list and I see a healthy 900 some odd Gb Array (I know 500Gb on a box doesn’t mean 500Gb on a screen). I hit enter and go to array details and it shows the array is made out of two drives close to 500Gb, I hit enter to go back. I hit B to make the array bootable. I hit ctrl-x to exit. Have I done anything wrong yet? Subsequently, I go back into f10 utility just to double check the array; it’s still there, it’s still bootable.

I go back into BIOS and set the boot priority to:
EIDE CD-Rom Drive
SATA RAID DVD (I assume it says raid because all the SATA ports are now “Raided”)
HD RAID ARRAY
USB FLOPPY

Granted this isn’t exactly what it says in BIOS but this is the device order for the boot sequence. Under the Boot device priority option the HDD option became available, where it had my EIDE drive and my SATA RAID ARRAY listed. They list 1st and 2nd, because there are two drives I guess, and initially the IEDE was listed as first and the RAID was second, so I changed this around. I assume you can only boot to one HDD in this BIOS when you power on (there is a FBB option in the POST by hitting F8 to choose specifically which device to boot to, but that’s another story). So anyway, the RAID ARRAY is the HDD the BIOS see to boot from, not the EIDE. Done anything wrong yet?

Save and exit.

I let the windows CD boot and it doesn’t wait for you to hit any key, because it doesn’t see a drive it goes to setup inspection automatically, this is true even when you have a fresh unRAIDed drive that is formatted and has no data, it just does its thing. Goes to blue screen setup, asks me to hit F6 if I have any 3rd party drives so I hit F6. It loads some more of its stuff, then asks me to insert a floppy with the proper drivers into a: (at this point I just want you guys to know I used both a USB floppy drive with the driver diskette and a USB flash drive forced in BIOS to read as a floppy and have gotten the same EXACT results, either device doesn’t matter it seems, so I’m mailing back my USB floppy drive to Newegg, cause I don’t need it). Insert the floppy disk and hit enter, or in the case of the USB Flash drive, I just hit enter, and then I see this:

Windows Setup
Setup could not determine the type of one or more mass storage devices
installed in your system, or you have chosen to manually specify an adapter.
Currently, Setup will load support for the following mass storage device(s):

<none>

* To specify additional SCSI adapters, CD-ROM drives, or special
disk controllers for use with Windows, including those for
which you have a device support disk from a mass storage device
manufacturer, press S.

* If you do not have any device support disks from a mass storage
device manufacturer, or do not want to specify additional
mass storage devices for use with Windows, press ENTER.

S=Specify Additional Devices ENTER=Continue F3=Exit

I hit S and see this



Windows Setup*****************************************

You have chosen to configure a SCSI Adapter for use with Windows,
using a device support disk provided by an adapter manufacturer.

Select the SCSI Adapter you want from the following list, or press ESC
to return to the previous screen.

NVIDIA NForce Storage Controller (required)
NVIDIA RAID CLASS DRIVER (required)

Enter=Select F3=Exit

THIS IS WHERE WHAT IS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN AND WHAT DOES HAPPEN BECOME DIFFERENT.

WHAT’S SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN:
The nvidia media shield instructions say to do the following:

Select “NVIDIA RAID CLASS DRIVER (required)” and then press Enter.
Press S again at the Specify Devices screen, then press Enter.
Select “NVIDIA NForce Storage Controller (required)” and then press Enter.

Then a window is supposed to appear that has this:

Windows Setup

Setup will load support for the following mass storage device:

NVIDIA RAID CLASS DRIVER
NVIDIA NForce Storage Controller

* To specify additional SCSI adapters, CD-ROM drives, or special
disk controllers for use with Windows, including those for
which you have a device support disk from a mass storage device
manufacturer, press S.

* If you do not have any device support disks from a mass storage
device manufacturer, or do not want to specify additional
mass storage devices for use with Windows, press ENTER.

S=Specify Additional Devices ENTER=Continue F3=Exit

Press enter and continue a the clean install





WHAT DOES HAPPEN:

I never see this last set of instructions, because back at where it says to pick

NVIDIA NForce Storage Controller (required) *****************************************
NVIDIA RAID CLASS DRIVER (required)

I pick the first one [NVIDIA NForce Storage Controller (required)] and never get the option to hit S and pick the second one [NVIDIA RAID CLASS DRIVER (required)]

When I do pick NVIDIA NForce Storage Controller (required) it goes on to check my Driver floppy/USB Flash drive (I see the floppy light blinking and the flash drive light blinking) and I only see one file on the blue windows setup screen down at the bottom where all the other things were loading up, and that is NVRD32.SYS then it sounds like the CDROM goes back to work and it loads all sorts of other things. Then finally it takes me back to this screen:

Windows Setup

Setup could not determine the type of one or more mass storage devices
installed in your system, or you have chosen to manually specify an adapter.
Currently, Setup will load support for the following mass storage device(s):

<none>

* To specify additional SCSI adapters, CD-ROM drives, or special
disk controllers for use with Windows, including those for
which you have a device support disk from a mass storage device
manufacturer, press S.

* If you do not have any device support disks from a mass storage
device manufacturer, or do not want to specify additional
mass storage devices for use with Windows, press ENTER.

S=Specify Additional Devices ENTER=Continue F3=Exit

So at this point I know, even though my BIOS sees my Array, Windows install does not.
If I have my EIDE HDD plugged in, which I actually think I said I did, it will go on and find the two drive partitions on that drive and want to install on one of them, but it does not see my array.

Yes, I have tried a different installation disk (Windows XP Pro 32bit, no SP, before you say it, it should still see the devices, just not at their full 500Gb drive space)
Yes, I have done this with my EIED plugged in and unplugged
Yes, I have gone into windows installed on my EIDE and created a raid array using the Nvidia media shield software and formatted a raid array in computer management.
Yes, I have used both the floppy and the flash drive and had similar if not identical results; it makes no difference where you get the drivers if the drivers are jacked up
Yes, I ran both the makedisk.exe through the ASUS DVD and the cmd prompt (only with the floppy) and simply cut and pasted the files onto the floppy and the flash drive, and tried all combinations for windows install to see the drivers properly
Yes, I have DLed drivers directly from NVIDIA and extracted the drivers off the 15.26_nforce_winxp32_international_whql binary file.

What am I missing here? Am I doing this the wrong way? This is how I have been told by numerous people to setup a raid array on a fresh XP install.
Thanks in advance.

More about : windows pro sp2 fresh install raid array

a b B Homebuilt system
July 15, 2009 9:51:46 PM

The confusion I see is that, when you first are told to install BOTH drivers, one at a time, you expected it to come back RIGHT AFTER installing the first one to ask for the second. Instead, it took its time to install a bunch of stuff after the first driver was installed, THEN it came back to ask you if you want to install driver(s) again. THAT is when you choose "S" again to specify that you want the second driver installed, too. Everything else you did seems right to me.
July 16, 2009 4:46:29 AM

I choose the NVIDIA NForce Storage Controller (required) option, it runs the floppy, i see NVRD32.SYS on the setup screen, then the CD starts and loads other drivers, THEN i do not get an option to go back and choose NVIDIA RAID CLASS DRIVER (required). It goes straight to wanting to install on my EIDE drive, cause it only sees that drive. I can choose enter to continue, r to repair, and i think f3 to quite, but i get no option to choose NVIDIA RAID CLASS DRIVER (required). It never comes up. I just did this again 5 minutes before i posted this to double check what you said. There is no option to load the second driver, I can go back, only forward. I'll try unplugging the EIDE physically, but i don't think it's going to work. If this just can't be done, i'm gonna slip stream it.
Related resources
July 16, 2009 4:58:38 PM

I'm not familiar with NVIDIA chipsets, but
I am somewhat experienced with RAID setups
on ASUS motherboards.

Definitely REMOVE the EIDE drive completely
and re-boot into the BIOS to make sure
that your BIOS no longer sees any EIDE drive
except for your optical drive. You can add it
later, using XP's Plug-and-Play features.

Also, make sure that you are not trying to
configure your RAID array using SATA ports that
are wired to a third-party RAID controller.

At first glance, it appears to me that
all 6 x SATA ports are managed by
a single NVIDIA controller:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(If that motherboard does have a third-party RAID controller,
then DISABLE that controller in the BIOS.)

XP wants RAID drivers to be on a floppy disk:
I'm not at all familiar with the steps you are taking
to make your USB floppy "bootable", so I would
recommend that you go with "vanilla" =
standard floppy disk in a standard floppy drive.

Thus, you should begin with the minimal number
of peripherals: 2 x SATA HDDs + 1 floppy drive + 1 optical drive.

If the F6 sequence fails, you should then try installing
XP on a single NON-RAID HDD.

On Intel chipsets, there is a third SATA mode called "AHCI":
if you can choose that option in your BIOS, then
try installing XP onto a single NON-RAID HDD with AHCI enabled.

If both of these installs work, then I would suggest that
you post a help request at the ASUS "VIP" User Forum
for that motherboard.

There may already be others who have had the same
or similar problems, and those Users have been very
helpful to me, when I encountered similar problems
on ASUS motherboards in the past.


GOOD LUCK!


MRFS
July 16, 2009 5:02:45 PM

http://www.asus.com/Product.aspx?P_ID=5tWNOaMAxGs1FXIQ&...

- 6 x SATA 3Gb/s ports (Legacy IDE operation is only supported on drives 1–4.)


Also, is your optical drive SATA or PATA/IDE?

If optical SATA, you might try a PATA optical drive:

In the past, I've seen ASUS motherboards
have trouble loading a driver for a RAID controller
when a SATA optical drive is also wired to that
same controller and that optical drive is (obviously)
needed to run Windows Setup.


MRFS
July 16, 2009 6:41:33 PM

It's all good guys. I decided to slipstream the drivers onto my install disk and it worked like a charm. USB Floppy just isn't the way to go and i9'm just not gonna jack with any of the other USB floppy modes on the MB to try it. So i guess consider this issue closed. But now that it IS working, my next thought is, should I run the two 500GB HDDS as a SINGLE RAID ARRAY or run them as TWO RAID ARRAYS. I'll do a little research and maybe post again if i can't find a descent answer.
THANKS AGAIN! really appreciate the helpfulness and timeliness of this forum.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 17, 2009 7:28:43 PM

First, hurray for you! You got the original problem solved!

There's no such thing as a single-disk RAID array. If you are considering something like splitting each hard drive into two Partitions, and then using the first Partitions on each to make one RAID array, and a second array from the other Partitions, my thought would be WHY?

On the other hand, maybe your question is whether to RAID or not. That is, the alternative is two separate standard disks, C: and D:. So I'm not sure what the question really is.
July 19, 2009 7:53:50 AM

Ya, it sorta is. As of now, I'm running Both 500 GB sata drives as a 1TG raid 0 Array. I got a little confused about the single HDD as a raid array, or running them as raid or whatever. I assume with a single drive you have to run it as IDE or AHCI. With Two 500 GB drives, what's my best performance option. i wanna make sure I'm getting as much of the 3Gb thru put from these drives as possible, and I assume it's with a Raid 0 setup, although I have heard Raid 1 isn't that bad cause it reads just as fast cause the same info is on two sources instead of one and the bus can read both at the same time, but it just doesn't write as fast cause it has to write twice. Anyway, just curious. The whole HD failing thing on a RAID0 I'm really not worried about. I have had one IDE HDD fail on me in 10 years of building my own systems, and I'll image backup on my extra EIDE drive.
July 24, 2009 7:33:45 PM

MRFS:
Having exactly that problem. ASUS P6T- using 4x 1TB Samsung in Raid 10--Installed OK but lost all optical drives--SATA and USB externals. Device manager sees them but give the yellow Yield sign.. Properties claims corrupted registry.
SATA opticals detect and appear properly in BIOS.

Dumped entire install and now F6 is also giving me grief. When loading drivers from "OEM Make disk" floppy option I'm getting corrupted iaStor message. Remade them repeatedly-no good.

JMB36x seems to be loading, but give BSOD while XP-64 is setting up to install.

Clearly I am missing something in the BIOS becasue I can't get all 6 SATAs to play nice. 4 Hard drives ok and CTRL-I IMSM sets up drives in array OK.

Any thoughts?

Also, I think I get the theory of slipstream but know nothing--any good tutorial for dummies?

THanks
!