I'll be setting up Raid 0, SATA 3 for the first time and I'm hoping to get some feedback. I am going from one existing drive to two, so I'll be doing a fresh install of Windows. Oddly there are very few guides/information out there and no help at all on Gigabytes website. This is how I *think* it's supposed to work. Please let me know if this isn't correct.
Board: GA-X58A-UD3R rev 1.0
HDD's: 2x WD SATA 3.0 / 1TB each
OS: Windows 7 64bit
1) Ensure Marvell Console Driver (SATA3) is installed
2) Download Marvell RAID Utility (SATA3) and save on external HDD
3) Turn off PC
4) Install 2nd HDD on to the other free SATA 3.0 port. Now will have 2 HDD's each using 1 SATA 3.0 port
3) Restart and boot from Windows install disc
4) When prompted, press F6 to install RAID 0
5) Follow prompts? (not sure what prompts are yet).
6) Leave stripe size at it's default setting
7) Ensure drive size is 2TB to confirm RAID0 setup successful
8) Install windows
Any feedback would be much appreciated, thank you!
You might want to reconsider trying to RAID those WD Blacks. Some people are having issues with their RAIDs being dropped or unstable when using WD hard drives. It's because of a feature called TLER (Time-Limited Error Recovery) which is disabled in non WD RE hdds.
Don't put it on the SATA III ports! They will NOT go any faster than on the Intel SATA II ports. Intel has better support anyway.
No hard drive can saturate the SATA II bandwidth, even though they say "Max Speed 3.0Gbps." Even my RAID 0 array peaked at 150MBps, a far cry from what it "should" have been (at max 600MBps).
But, you have to set up RAID in BIOS first! Set the SATA setting to RAID, then upon post, you'll set up the RAID array you want, by inputting something to go into RAID setup. (Mine is <Ctrl>+<I>, yours may be different, but it'll tell you in post.) The manual should describe this.
Download the Intel RST 9.6 driver. The original drive as part of Windows WILL work just fine with an install, but then run the download to update the chipset driver. Or you can use it as the "third party driver" during install. But its more difficult!
i second that ( that is how I am set up ) I have same board.lol but using 2 sammy 500GB F3's lolmax 250MB/s and avg 191MB/s with 13.5ms access time. ( i was downloading at the time so numbers are normally higher.. windows 7 boots in 46 seconds with 110 processes running
Pair of RE3s (RAIDable version of the Black) in RAID1:
Three SSDs I know of can even touch the 300M limit of SATA2 (and even those are reads, not writes!), and two of those are defunct as of yet due to firmware problems... (Hope yet, for the new 'Sandforce' controller family!) Current ICH h'ware/f'ware/s'ware has been in continuous development for at least five years, if you consider the first 'modern' ICH to have been the seven - even longer if you don't 'draw the line' there - when Marvell's got that much time into their firmware/driver development, might be worth looking at...
I'll give you a procedure - this is assuming your case has a front panel eSATA port/connector, and that your DVD is a SATA-connected model...
First of all, the downloads - the Intel® Rapid Storage Technology driver set is the one you want, and you will need two of the files - "STOR_all64_f6flpy_184.108.40.2064_PV.zip", which is the 'pre-load' driver, used during the OS install; and "STOR_allOS_220.127.116.114_PV.exe", which is the OS' application, that allows you to 'tweak' parameters, and 'watches' the drives to make you aware of any 'issues' that develop, either at start-up, or during operation... The easiest way to do this thing is with a floppy, as the process 'defaults' to floppy, but it should work with a USB stick, as well. For a floppy, it's pretty simple - unzip "STOR_all64_f6flpy_18.104.22.1684_PV.zip" to some easy to keep track of location, and copy the resultant files:
to the floppy's root... For a USB install, format the stick to FAT-32, and copy the same file set to it. Before the actual OS install, you will need enter the BIOS to set:
On the "Integrated Peripherals" page -
"USB 1.0 Controller" to "Enabled" (the default)
"USB 2.0 Controller" to "Enabled" (the default)
"USB Keyboard Function" to "Enabled"
"USB Storage Function" to "Enabled" (the default)
"Onboard USB 3.0 Controller" to "Disabled" (enable later, after OS install, but before driver install - have heard tell that it sometimes, with some boards and BIOS, interferes with USB-based pre-install driver 'read'...)
<F10> to save changes...
You will also need the http://download.gigabyte.cn/FileList/Driver/motherboard..." target="_blank">GIGABYTE SATA2 Preinstall driver (For AHCI / RAID Mode), with which you will do the nearly same thing; this one is an 'autoextractor' - simply put it in an empty directory/folder, and double-click on it - it will self-extract to a bunch of files, either put on a floppy of its own, or add to the USB stick...
Plug your SATA drives (and again, don't try to RAID Caviar Blacks - unless WD has made changes [and why would they, when they can charge a premium for RE3s], won't work - need an RE3 or RE4, Hitachi DeskStars are reputed to work well, too...) into SATA2_0 and SATA2_1; your DVD into GSATA2_8, and your FP eSATA cable into GSATA2_9...
In the BIOS, again on the "Integrated Peripherals" page -
"eXtreme Hard Drive (XHD)" to "Enabled"
"ICH SATA Control Mode" should already be set to "RAID(XHD)" by having enabled XHD...
"SATA Port0-3 Native Mode" to "Enabled"
"eSATA Controller" to "Enabled" if you ever intend to use the rear eSATA ports, "Disabled" otherwise...
"eSATA Ctrl Mode" to "AHCI" if last one enabled, if not using, doesn't matter - AHCI mode will give you 'hot-plug' on the rear ports...
"GSATA 6_7/IDE Controller" to "Disabled"
"GSATA 6_7/IDE Ctrl Mode" - doesn't matter, it's disabled...
"GSATA 8_9/IDE Controller" to "Enabled" - does your DVD and FP eSATA...
"GSATA 8_9/IDE Ctrl Mode" to "AHCI" if you have FP eSATA, this will add 'hot-plug' to it, as well...
Once again, <F10> to save, and exit - this time, when you reboot, after the POST screen, you should be presented with the <CTRL-I> option shown in figure 2 on PP 87 of your manual - do the <CTRL-I> to enter the RAID BIOS, and, more or less, follow the procedure shown, selecting 'Create RAID Volume', RAID level to 'RAID1(Mirror)', select your disks, create the volume, let it check the mirror and finish up, and you're ready for the next step - loading the drivers...
Now, with your pair of floppies (or USB stick) in one hand, and your Win install disk in the other - you're ready to install the OS!
When you get to this screen:
Insert either floppy, or USB (which will require that you 'navigate' to it), click 'Load Driver', and select the item shown in figure 7 on PP 109 of your manual, for the Intel disk/driver; then do the "Load driver again with the other floppy (or the USB still in) and select the item shown in figure 11 on PP 111 - and then, your drives should 'magically appear on the install screen, and you're ready to rip!