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SSD + 2 x HDD in Raid 0

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October 8, 2011 5:37:01 PM

I want to buy an SSD but i have a question. ATM i have 2 HDDs in Raid 0 and i want to keep them that way, but can i set my SSD to run in AHCI mode then? In the bios once i select the "SATA mode" to Raid i cant change the AHCI setting. Mobo -Asrock Z68 Pro 3. So how can i set the SSD to run in AHCI if i have a RAid 0?

More about : ssd hdd raid

a c 87 G Storage
October 8, 2011 5:52:13 PM

See your motherboard manual.

Most motherboards can configure at least one RAID solution and several AHCI single drives at the same time.

Basically, don't touch the BIOS settings for your RAID solution.

I recommend you do this:

0) prepare to reinstall Windows (save e-mail, settings, files etc)
1) read your motherboard manual (can be confusing)
2) Insert the SSD and UNHOOK your hard drives (pull both cables per drive from the back of each drive)
3) remove any other hard drives (so only your SSD is installed and setup to AHCI in the BIOS)
4) Install Windows (update SSD firmware too), Microsoft updates, drivers etc.
5) shut down, then reattach the cables to your RAID solution
6) if BOOTUP then goes to the wrong setup (RAID instead of SSD), reenter the BIOS and change the Boot Order to your SSD
7) Format your RAID solution when ready (make sure you got all the information)
8) Make a backup IMAGE using Acronis True Image or similar periodically from your SSD to another drive
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a c 87 G Storage
October 9, 2011 7:30:53 AM

Sorry...

I just realized that if there's no need to reinstall Windows I should NOT have recommended that.

You can easily CLONE from your RAID0 Windows setup to the SSD (provided there's enough space).

Western Digital has a nice clone utility as part of their free version of Acronis True Image. However, you must have at least one Western Digital drive installed that is NOT RAID (won't recognize that). Even a USB WD drive will work if plugged in.

You should be able to Google and find a free clone utility.

This may be best:
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

1. Download the UBD image (ISO).
2. Burn to CD.
3. BIOS boot order must have CD first.
4. Boot to the UBC CD.
5. Run one of the Clone programs (maybe EASEUS?)
6. Still make a BACKUP IMAGE of the Windows drive once you format the RAID setup.

FYI, I have an SSD + RAID0 hard drive setup and it's setup like this:

1) SSD (Windows and programs)
2) 2x2TB Western Digital Green (RAID0)

my RAID0 drives are PARTITIONED INTO TWO:

Partition 1:
"Games" folder (to manually install games because the SSD is too small)
"Steam" folder (for all my Steam games. Simply install Steam to this folder instead of the default on the C-drive)

Partition 2:
"Downloads" (point all Internet Browsers to this folder)
"Multimedia" (video, music, pictures, etc)
"Backups" (images and critical documents)

???
How often to create an IMAGE of Windows (C-drive)?
I do it once every two weeks. I keep an ORIGINAL copy forever (after everything was installed and tweaked). I then keep the latest TWO Images. I just use the free version of Acronis TI that Western Digital provides, but I'm debating buying the full version which can AUTOMATE things.

I find an IDEAL way to automate with full Acronis TI.
Acronis TI (full) has an option to DELETE the first backup once it runs out of space. I'm going to create a partition of roughly 100GB (Images are about 32GB for me) set backups to DAILY (differential I think) and that's it. It will run out of room after two or three backups then delete the oldest one. I NEVER have to delete backups for space. I NEVER have to do ANYTHING unless I have a failure. If I DO have a failure I can simply RESTORE the latest backup (if it's a complete drive failure, replace the drive then boot with the Acronis USB or CD and RESTORE the last backup).

Good luck. I hope this helps.
a c 87 G Storage
October 9, 2011 7:32:45 AM

It's good to have a Windows Image on a USB drive not connected to your system in case of a system-wide corruption.
a b G Storage
October 9, 2011 10:03:26 AM

segate has this same achronis tool in there sea tools. most MB's with 2 raid controllers will be able to do this. i have never seen a MB with a single raid controller allow you to have both AHCI and raid on drives in the raid.
a c 353 G Storage
October 9, 2011 12:35:58 PM

Not a Fan of cloning HDD -> SSD.

Quick Comment - You want your SSD on the Intel SATA III Port, hopefully you put the 2 HHDs on Intel's sata II. If Not, I'm not sure if you can switch them to the Sata II ports without breaking your Raid0 setup, if not you can put the SSD on on Intel SATA II ports. You will only sacrifice Sequencial read write performance which is not a biggy for a OS + program SSD.

Concur with most of photonboy method:
.. (1) Disconnect all HDDs and only have the SSD connected
(2) Leave Bios set to Raid
...... Intel's iaStor will pass trim to the SSD with the Bios Set to Raid as long as the SSD is NOT a member drive.

.. (3) Install Windows 7 on SSD when installation is complete installl (A) set boot priority to SSD and (2)download and install the latest Intel RST Driver (ver 10.6).
.. (4) Download, install AS SSD, open program (Do not need to run benchmarks) check that driver is iaSTor and that partition is aligned. (clonning WILL not enable Trim, would have to do manually) nor does it align Partitions normally.
.. (5) Reconnect HDDs.

** If everything went well and you did not break the HHD raid0 array then you should be able to dual boot. Normal boot to SSD and if you bring up the Boot menu (F11 on my Z68Asrock exterme 4 MB) you should be able to boot to the HDD also. Once satisfied with SSD (ie after a month) you can delete Win 7 on the HDD.

** No longer need to insure boot priority is set to CD, as you can ket the key during post to bring up the boot menue and select the CD to boot to. F11 on My Asrock MB and F12 on my Gigabyte.

** For back of the mind, rather than partitioning a Raid0 into to logical drives, when setting up the raid0 array do not select the whole drive, just select the amount You want for "D", create the array. then create a 2nd array using the remainder. Diff. Windows will treat it as two drives. IE Drive0 = SSD "C", Drive 1 = "D", and Drive 2 = "E" instead of Drive 0= "D" and drive1= "C and "E"
October 9, 2011 2:54:57 PM

Thanks for all the reply's :) 
a b G Storage
October 9, 2011 4:33:17 PM

MC covered everything you need... i have cloned many platter drives to SSD with varying degrees of success. I would recommend a clean install.
a c 87 G Storage
October 9, 2011 6:51:54 PM

Cloning.

It's worth trying though if it would take a lot of time to reinstall everything.

Once cloned, simply open and close many programs and try several tools. If an issue pops up related to a cloning issue he can always reinstall Windows then.
!