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Win 7 Will Not boot when other controller on Raid Mode

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October 13, 2011 3:35:39 PM

I have recently put together a new high-end gaming / work PC.

The relevant hardware items for this problem are as follows:

Quote:
1 x ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z Intel Motherboard
2 x Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB
1 x Western Digital Caviar Green 750GB
1 x Crucial M4 256GB SSD (Win 7 Here)
1 x Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz

I have the hard drives set up as follows:

Marvel Sata Controller:

Quote:
0->Western Digital Green
1->M4 SSD (Boot Disk With Windows 7)


Intel Sata Controller:

Quote:
0->Black Drive (raid 0 Member)
1->Black Drive (raid 0 Member)


The Problem:

If the Intel Controller is set to Raid, Windows 7 will not boot (Even though Win 7 is on the other controller). I get a "Please insert proper boot item" error.

Before anyone asks, I ensured that the proper boot order was selected. My bios even allows me to select a device and immediately boot from that device - I still got the error when selecting the M4.

As soon as I change the Intel controller to AHCI mode, the system boots normally.

anyone know what's going on? I updated the mobo and sata drivers and still nothing.

I did not want to use the Marvel Controller for RAID as I know the chipset controller would be able to handle it better. Would swapping the M4 and Green Drive work? That's something I haven't tried yet and I can attempt it when I get home from work.

a c 531 G Storage
October 13, 2011 4:13:39 PM

Your M4 should be connected to the Intel 6Gb/s port (SATA6G_1 or SATA6G_2) in AHCI mode for maximum performance.

Connect your 2 Caviar Blacks in RAID-0 to the Intel 3Gb/s ports (SATA3G_3 & SATA3G_4).
Two HDDs in RAID-0 cannot spin fast enough to saturate the SATA 3G/s ports so you will suffer no loss in performance.

Connect your Caviar Green drive to the Intel 3Gb/s port (SATA3G_5). It will automatically default to AHCI mode since it is not a member of the RAID-0 array.

If you have a SATA CD/DVD drive connect it to the Intel 3Gb/s port (SATA3G_6).

This will leave your Marvell SATA controller empty. Disable the controller (page 3-26 of your motherboard manual).
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a c 300 G Storage
October 13, 2011 4:48:22 PM

I have two decent guesses. First guess: Did you originally have an OS installed on one of the black drives, or was the SSD the only initialised drive attached to the system when you did the install?

I've seen quite a few cases where people have the OS installed on drive A, then install a new one on drive B, and not realize that their boot loader is still sitting out on drive A so that they can't boot without it.

Two solutions if this is the case: Repair installation on the SSD or detach all other drives and re-install on the SSD.

The other guess: Once again, a repair installation. If the system is missing drivers needed for startup, a repair installation in the target configuration does wonders for that problem.

In either case, make an image backup of the system disk first, so that if my idea messes things up, you can at least get back to where you were.

Hmm. You wrote "Before anyone asks, I ensured that the proper boot order was selected. My bios even allows me to select a device and immediately boot from that device - I still got the error when selecting the M4. " This makes it seem likely to me that you do indeed have the bootloader on the wrong drive. When you set the controller to ahci mode, is it actually booting from the M4, or starting on one of the blacks?
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Dereck's configuration example is excellent, but you would probably have to re-install the OS to get the correct drivers to boot from Intel-in-RAID when your current installation has drivers to boot from Marvel-in-AHCI.
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October 21, 2011 3:56:48 PM

Thank you all for your responses.

WyomingKnott you were correct, I had Windows installed on the SSD before-hand. I tried a repair install but the OS wasn't recognizing my M4 as having an OS.

Also, my black drives are 6Gb/s so putting them on the 3Gb/s ports would decrease performance.

I eventually solved the problem by formatting and reinstalling windows AFTER setting up my drives in this manner:

SATA6G_1 -> M4
SATA6G_2 -> Green Drive

MARVEL SATA6G_3 -> Black Raid 0
MARVEL SATA6G_4 -> Black Raid 0

And the other devices on the 3G ports.

The 6Gb/s Raid is EXTREMELY fast.

When I first installed my system, I thought I would compartmentalize; install the OS on the M4 then connect the raid. I guess I learned my lesson.

Either way thanks for all your help.

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a c 300 G Storage
October 21, 2011 5:52:51 PM

ame1011 said:

Also, my black drives are 6Gb/s so putting them on the 3Gb/s ports would decrease performance.

The 6Gb/s Raid is EXTREMELY fast.
Either way thanks for all your help.

I am glad that things are working, and fast. One thing that I disagree with and would love to see tested: The Caviar Black drives, as good as they are, cannot saturate an SATA II interface. My guess would be that you would get the same performance from them on SATA II ports.
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