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Setting up Raid 0 For Intel Smart Response - Need Help !

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January 23, 2012 2:20:47 AM

Hi guys,

I just built a new system and would like to set up Intel SRT !
The configuration :


Asus P8Z68-V Pro / Gen3


1x Corsair Force 3 60Gb Sata 3 SSD
1x Corsair Force GT 60Gb Sata 3 SSD
1x Hitachi 1To 7200 r/min HDD
1x Caviar Black 1To 7200 r/min HDD

I currently have Windows 7 installed on the Force 3. The 2 HDDs are used only for storage. The Force GT is empty.

I'd like to Transfer Windows 7 on to the Force GT ( Which is supposedly faster than the Force 3 ) and then use the Force 3 as the Cache Disk for Smart Response.

I think i have to setup the Force 3 and the HDD I want boosted, together in Raid 0. But when I go to setup my Raid array, I only see the 2 HDDs, can't seem to find the SSDs.

My questions are:

- Can I transfer my Win 7 install from the Force 3 to the Force GT or is it easier to re-install ?
- Do all drives need to be erased/empty to appear in the RAID setup ?
- Can I boost both HDDs with Intel SRT or do I have to choose one ?

Thanks for your help
January 23, 2012 9:54:06 AM

I am not yet familiar with the Intel Smart Response system but I'm thinking that you may have to initialize all the drives for that to work just as you would have to were you making a RAID array which I suppose, in fact, you may be doing. I know that my Adaptec 2405 erases all data during initialization in order to install RAID array metadata at the beginning of each drive. This is necessary and may also be so in your case. I'll find out soon enough, I have the P8Z68 Deluxe on my workbench.

Was reading. No, don't make a RAID 0 array. You must enable the Intel RAID controller using the BIOS settings, install the SRT driver and use the SRT program to set that up with your (older) SSD and one HDD. Don't create a RAID array like you said or you will erase all your data on those drives.

Best way, I think, to move your OS to your new SSD is to make a drive image of your OS, install your new SSD and then place the OS image on your new SSD. The program you use knows how to do this, I use Ghost but there is another. Ghost uses the Windows pre-installation environment which is a cut down Vista 32 bit, this is important if you have to load up drivers so it can use your storage subsystems. That is, you will need SATA drivers for Vista 32. The other program, Acronis I think, uses a version of Linux I think, don't know which would work better for you. Otherwise, you are going to have to reinstall the OS. Love Ghost, works for me. Use a USB drive to hold the drivers you will need.

BTW, you have probably thought about this but as I understand it if you put your SSD's in RAID 0 and use that for your OS and use your HDD's as storage, that might be a faster system that what you are thinking about building. I seem to recall reading a review on the Smart Response Technology.

Let us know, though, if you get this working because I am interested in how it works. I could use 64GB's of my SSD for that if it would cache my 4 drive RAID 10 array. Ah no, it won't, only works with the Intel SATA ports. Nevermind.

Been reading, there are lots of programs that will make a disk image and then allow you to install the image to another drive. Nero will. I have Nero... :) 

Let us know what's up.
January 23, 2012 3:42:27 PM

Alright, I'll try to move the Win7 Image using Ghost.
From what I read on Intel's website, I do have to create a Raid 0 array between the SSD i want to use for cache and the HDD I want to boost !
Still having issues on doing that.
Will keep u posted
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January 23, 2012 4:04:10 PM

Ok I read your post again. I didn't get it earlier but you're saying that putting the 2 SSDs in Raid 0 and simply installing Win 7 on the Array would work better than one SSD in Smart Response.
I'll probably try that and keep you posted.
Thanks
a c 277 G Storage
January 23, 2012 6:34:37 PM

FesBeng

Please hold on a minute. Putting SSDs into RAID0 should only be done to address specific needs; if you don't have a specific reason to do it, it's not worth the additional risk and the loss of TRIM. There has been a lot of discussion on this, and a majority agreement (with strong disagreement) that RAID for SSDs should only be used if there is a problem that can't be overcome any other way.

Have a look at this thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/278576-32-raid , and some of the many recent ones like it. A 60 GB SSD is somewhere on the boundary of a doable size for installing the OS. If you want to install large games or other space-consuming software, there are threads on how to redirect them to another drive - and you could use the other SSD.

SRT was designed for companies that didn't want to spring for large SSDs, to provide caching for frequently-accessed files. These are most ofter your OS files, so the SSD in SRT would end up caching mostly data from your other SSD, and being useless.

Were I you, I would use one drive as the OS drive and the other for one or more of
1) Installing large programs that would overfill the 60 GB OS drive
2) Data files that have to run very very fast - like video editing projects or a small database.
3) Software-controlled caching of data on the larger HDD.
4) Data that I use most often, like my mail files and My Documents. Not that I need these to be fast, but it lets my HDDs stay spun down most of the time and gives me a nice, quiet machine.

Most posts recommend a re-install to an SSD, not a clone, but since you are moving from an SSD the clone should work nicely for you.

!