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Problem configuring Raid 1, Win 7, Asus P7P55D-E Pro Mobo

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September 10, 2011 7:49:53 PM

I bought two 3TB Seagate Barracuda drives with the intention of installing them in a Raid 1 configuration in my existing computer in order to replace an existing 500 gig internal hdd and a 1TB external hdd.

I noticed that my P7P55D-E PRO motherboard has two 6Gb/s SATA 3 connectors that I hadn't been using, and these drives claim to support SATA 3, so I started off plugging them in there... leaving my current SSD, 500 gig hdd, and external hdd all attached.

Per the mobo manual, I went into BIOS and set the Storage Configuration to RAID. This re-labeled my ssd and 500g hdd with RAID: prefixes, but the new 3TB hdd's were still labeled as IDE. During the bootup process, I was presented with a new screen showing all my drives on the 3Gb/s connectors and with a prompt to press ctrl+I to access the raid configuration where I can create my raid partitions, but my 3TB hdd's weren't listed here. If I don't hit ctrl+I, I'm shown another screen that lists the 3TB drives, but there's no prompt to access any configuration for them.

I then tried connecting the 3TB drives to a 3Gb/s connection instead. Now they showed up in that ctrl+I screen, but they're listed as being 700 and something gigs when they should be closer to 2700 gigs. Perhaps this is just a display issue where it can't show that front digit? I'm not sure. Every screen that showed them listed them as 700 and some gigs.

More importantly, when trying to boot, I get the Windows screen briefly and then a blue screen and the computer restarts.

I've read something about needing to create a raid driver disk, but I don't understand what it's for or how to use it. Could this be why I'm getting the blue screen? And it says I need a USB floppy disk drive, which I don't have. I have a thumbstick.

I currently have them attached to the 3Gb/s ports with the IDE configuration and they don't even show up as usable drives in Windows.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'd really like to have these two 3TB drives working on the 6Gb/s connectors in RAID 1. I keep reading the manual and looking up information online but there must be something that I'm missing.


Edit:

I'd also like to keep my SSD with the OS installed intact -- otherwise I probably won't bother with doing all this until my next major upgrade.

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a b G Storage
September 10, 2011 8:16:58 PM

I would guess that the reason you're having trouble with the SATA 6gb/s ports is because they use a different controller than the rest. You should use the SATA 3gb/s ports for magnetic drives anyway because there's no HDD that will saturate SATA II much less SATA III so save your SATA 6gb/s ports for something faster.

Does your motherboard have a uefi bios? because if it doesn't then it might have trouble with 3tb drives. They should format for data but you won't be able to boot from them. It could be why the mobo has a hard time seeing the proper size.

If you install windows on a drive that is in IDE mode and then you switch to RAID mode (or AHCI) then you will not be able to boot. If you can afford to reformat your boot drive after switching to RAID mode then you should do that. If you don't want to wipe all your data then Tomshardware has an article on switching from IDE mode to AHCI in their "Useful SSD Articles" forum (under Tweaks / Optimization).
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/270102-32-useful-arti...
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September 10, 2011 8:32:00 PM

The drives say they use the 6 Gb/s interface: http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/internal-stor...
I mean, I thought it was pretty amazing that an hdd could run that fast, but I heard about it from maximumpc.com and I don't think they'd all be lying.

I'm not trying to boot from the 3TB drives, I know that won't work. I should've explained better: My SSD has 64-bit Windows installed on it and I intend to leave it alone. I have all my apps and games installed to the D: drive.. my 500 gig hdd. My plan was to create the RAID 1 array, copy everything from my D: onto it, then remove the 500 gig hdd and label the RAID 1 array as the D: so that all the pathing would still work and so I wouldn't have to reinstall everything... theoretically.

I don't see anything listed on the motherboard's webpage about UEFI, so I'm guessing it doesn't.

I'm checking out the article now, ty.


Update:

So I ran the app to enable the raid disk driver, and I'm now able to set the Storage Configuration in BIOS to RAID and boot from my existing SSD without modification.

I also went into the raid config scree and defined my two 3TB drives as Volume 0 with a RAID 1 configuration, and they show up properly in BIOS, but they still don't show up in Windows. And I tried making the capacity higher than the 700 something number but it wouldn't let me.

So I still need to figure out why when I connect the drives to the 6Gb/s connectors they show up in a screen that doesn't let me configure the raid (and BIOS prefixes them as IDE instead of as RAID)... and why the drives don't show up in Windows... and why their reported capacity is far less than 3 TB.
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a b G Storage
September 10, 2011 9:59:05 PM

I know the drives say they use a sata 6gb/s connection but all that means is that they're approved to work on those ports, however that does not guarantee that they will reach maximum sata 6gb/s speeds. There is no 7200RPM HDD that will even reach SATA 3gb/s speeds much less SATA 6gb/s speeds. You can put them in whatever port you'd like, but the transfer speeds are limited on by the drive and not by the connection so regardless of which SATA ports you use, you'll see the same speeds.

I looked up your motherboard.
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1156/P7P5...
The problem is that the SATA 3.0gb/s ports use an intel controller and the SATA 6.0gb/s ports use a Marvell controller and these ports use different drivers. I've looked through some forums and a lot of people have trouble using the Marvell controllers for RAID (even though they claim that they can do it). I still recommend putting your RAID1 on two of the SATA 3.0gb/s ports.

I do not even have an idea as to why the drives are showing up as 700gb. I would try taking them out of raid so that they act as standard hard drives, boot into windows, format them (hopefully to their full capacity), and go back to the bios and try it again. If that doesn't work, call ASUS and/or Seagate.

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September 10, 2011 10:18:05 PM

danraies said:
I know the drives say they use a sata 6gb/s connection but all that means is that they're approved to work on those ports, however that does not guarantee that they will reach maximum sata 6gb/s speeds. There is no 7200RPM HDD that will even reach SATA 3gb/s speeds much less SATA 6gb/s speeds. You can put them in whatever port you'd like, but the transfer speeds are limited on by the drive and not by the connection so regardless of which SATA ports you use, you'll see the same speeds.


Ah I see what ya mean.

Thanks for all the help and research. I'll take off the raid and see what I can do about reformatting them. I shall return when I have more infos!


Update:

It appears that some intel RST thing reports any drive over 2.2 TB as the remainder.. so a 3TB drive becomes an 800 MB drive. I'm trying to fix proposed here: http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/selfservice/searc...


Update 2:

I installed the Intel Rapid Storage Technology application from: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?lang=...

I also went to this page and ran the java thing and updated anything that was out of date: http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/detect/

Now this Intel RST and Windows both recognize that my drives have 3TB on them; however, Bios still only sees the 746 gigs. I formatted the drives and they got assigned drive letters and show up in Windows now. Still working on figuring out the raid thing. The Intel RST app looks like it can create a RAID 1 but it's not listing my new drives for some reason.

Update 3:

I used the Windows format utility to partition each drive into 2 volumes there were half the size of the drive, thinking that perhaps other things would be able to use them as individual volumes there were under 2 TB. But alas, that didn't lead anywhere.

I went back to BIOS and used the Ctrl+I thing to combine the drives as a RAID 1, even though it reports them at 746GB. When I booted back into Windows, it showed that the drives no longer had an MBR. Kinda weird. Not helpful.

I consulted the help docs for the Intel RST. They say that only drives under 1.3125 TB will show up when configuring a RAID. Completely not helpful.

I'm out of ideas. I actually bought 4 of these drives, and 2 went into my new NAS, and they work fine. They're in a RAID 1 configuration and I have the full amount of space available. I don't understand why this is so difficult and why information is so sparse.
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September 18, 2011 4:14:01 PM

Best answer selected by raevanmorlock.
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