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Do my OCZ SSD's need the same version of firmware for Raid?

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September 17, 2011 1:54:05 AM

Hello Tom's Hardware Smart People,

I've been trying for the past couple weeks to set up my two OCZ Agility 2 60GB SSD's in a Raid0 config. Stand alone, they are working relatively well (Having issues I won't mention for this post). I have Windows 7 installed on one of the drives in my Sata2_0 port, and the other in the Sata2_1 port (though it always shows up as drives 0 and 2). I have a Gigabyte P55A-UD4P mobo.

The last time I tried to set it up, I changed the SATA controller mode to RAID, set up the RAID volume (which went fine), but before I could get Windows to install one drive always came up with an error status on boot up. I guess this raises a couple of questions.

1) I noticed the firmware version to be 1.32 and 1.22 on my drives. The latest is 1.33. Do I update them both? Do they need to be the same anyway?

2) I never did a SecureErase or anything on my drives before I did this, I just let the drives wipe when I created my RAID volume, is that ok?

3) Although I have the ACHI drivers on a flash drive, Windows 7 didn't seem to need them. When I booted from CD to start the OS install, it recognized my raid volume... is that normal?

Thank you in advance for any help ladies and gents, I'm in your debt.
September 17, 2011 2:53:31 AM

You probably will want all your similar drives to be with the same firm ware. I have used several sets of drives together this way across a few raids over the years and have not had any issues.
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a c 544 G Storage
September 17, 2011 3:08:05 AM

Bonedancer said:
1) I noticed the firmware version to be 1.32 and 1.22 on my drives. The latest is 1.33. Do I update them both? Do they need to be the same anyway?


No, the firmware on your drives do not have to be the same version in order to set up a RAID array. But since you mentioned that you’re getting an error message it’s probably best to update the firmware on both drives to version 1.33.

2) I never did a SecureErase or anything on my drives before I did this, I just let the drives wipe when I created my RAID volume, is that ok? . said:
2) I never did a SecureErase or anything on my drives before I did this, I just let the drives wipe when I created my RAID volume, is that ok? .


Yes, that’s ok.

3) Although I have the ACHI drivers on a flash drive, Windows 7 didn't seem to need them. When I booted from CD to start the OS install, it recognized my raid volume... is that normal? said:
3) Although I have the ACHI drivers on a flash drive, Windows 7 didn't seem to need them. When I booted from CD to start the OS install, it recognized my raid volume... is that normal?


Yes, that’s normal. Windows is looking for RAID drivers, not AHCI drivers. It will install its own RAID drivers during install. You can install the latest Intel RST (RAID) drivers after Windows is up and running if you wish.
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September 24, 2011 2:34:08 AM

x Heavy, Dereck47,

Thank you both kindly.

I'll try to update the firmware and try again. The only problem I'm running into right now is that the OCZ toolbox (that has a firmware update tool) requires me to be in AHCI mode (not IDE). However, every time I switch to AHCI, Windows either says it can't boot due to missing bootmgr, or gets other crazy errors.

Maybe I can just install the OCZ toolbox on another machine, connect my drives to it, do a SecureErase, and finally update the drivers, then return them to my machine for a fresh startup...

I guess I'll let ya know how it goes. Thanks again to you both.
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October 2, 2011 12:15:38 AM

Best answer selected by Bonedancer.
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October 3, 2011 4:17:37 AM

Ok, so here's what I did...

1) Disconnected both SSD's, formatted a WD Raptor 74 GB HDD
2) Put a fresh install of Windows 7 on the Raptor
3) Installed the OCZ Toolbox (Firmware updater, etc.)
4) Connected both SSD's one by one, updated firmware, performed SecureErase, formatted.
5) Shut down, disconnected Raptor, connected both SSD's
6) Changed BIOS setting from AHCI to RAID(XHD)
7) Entered raid utility, created RAID0 (identical drives, same firmware version)
8) Booted from Win7 disc...
9) Currently 0 for 4 on installs. The first time it stalled right after the first forced restart. The last three times it's failed when at the "completing setup" section after the first forced restart...

Throughout the nine steps, there have been various crashes, shutdowns, and annoyances. But, unlike last time, both my SSD's show up as healthy during the AHCI boot-up test screen. The only fishy thing I've seen is that during that test, it says "AHCI BIOS not installed" mixed in with a lot of other information... but the boot-ups always happened fine.

I'd call it a bad Win7 disc, but I've successfully installed with it a few times.
I'd call it bad SSD's, but before the RAID setup, they've both worked fine independently.

Any ideas? Do I go back to my Raptor 74 windows install, plug in the SSD's, and convert them to Dynamic volumes? Is it something with that AHCI BIOS?

I'll pay someone big bucks to just come over and figure it out. I'm too busy to keep this up :) 

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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a c 544 G Storage
October 3, 2011 6:08:36 AM

You probably need to install the RAID driver before installing Windows.
See page 85 of your motherboard manual for step-by-step instructions on how to set up X.H.D.
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October 3, 2011 1:35:26 PM

I can try that, but aren't those drivers just to ensure Windows recognizes the hard drives? Which, they already do as I'm getting 95% of the way through the install process...
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