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Messed up RST please help

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February 2, 2012 12:58:12 PM

This is going to be a little long. I have a new computer with a SSD and normal HDD. It came with windows 7 installed on the SSD. Motherboard is a gigabyte Z68AP-D3, BIOS version F7b. I decided (and yes, I now regret it) to reinstall windows on the HDD and use the SSD as a cache using Intel's smart response technology. All seemed ok (As part of this I had to change the "PCH SATA Control mode to RAID(XHD)" from its original IDE setting). Windows 7 installed, I installed the motherboard drivers, and then the graphics card drivers. When I tried to restart following the graphics card drivers I got "Disk boot failure Insert system disk and press enter".

I have played a lot and reinstalled windows a number of times. At the moment windows will start if I change the PCH SATA control mode from RAID(XHD) to IDE but I cant install the gigabyte utility to set up acceleration because I've not got a RAID set up and windows doesn't see the SSD although it is present and working in device manager.

If I leave the SATA control mode in RAID (XHD) windows won't start, the standard CMOS BIOS page can't see any discs but the advanced BIOS features page will allow me to set the order of disks to boot from, ie it can see and correctly identify the HDD and SSD.

I think I have totally messed up the Raid settings using the Intel RST utility (Ctrl-I) at post. Both disks are seen as non-RAID and I can't recreate a RAID0(Cache) volume.

Also just to confuse things more there is probably an installation of Windows 7 sitting on the SSD.
If anyone can help I would be very grateful.

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a c 504 G Storage
February 2, 2012 5:09:52 PM

Enabling X.H.D. is when you want to create a RAID-0 array.
This is something you definitely don’t want to do with a HDD and a SSD. :) 

When you are using Intel SRT to cache the SSD to your HDD you are not creating an actual RAID array, but in order for it to work, the ports your HDD & SSD are connected to have to be in RAID mode.

Start over fresh by disconnecting all drives except your HDD and the CD/DVD drive you’re using to install Windows 7.

Make sure all of your ports are in RAID mode and reinstall Windows. Select the partition with the previous Windows installation and Windows will delete and overwrite all data.

Once Windows installation is complete install your motherboard drivers.
Next, install Intel’s latest RST drivers: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&...

Reboot your pc after installing the drivers and then shut down your pc.
Connect your SSD to port SATA3_0 or SATA3_1.
Boot into BIOS and verify that your 1st boot device is your HDD. Your 2nd & 3rd boot device can be set to "Disabled" or "None".

Boot into Windows and "Quick Format" your SSD. This will delete the prior Windows installation on the drive.

Reboot your pc.
You can now run the Intel RST software through the All Programs menu or task bar icon.
Click "Enable acceleration" and select the SSD to be used as cache for your HDD.
February 2, 2012 7:41:11 PM

Dereck47 said:
Enabling X.H.D. is when you want to create a RAID-0 array.
This is something you definitely don’t want to do with a HDD and a SSD. :) 

When you are using Intel SRT to cache the SSD to your HDD you are not creating an actual RAID array, but in order for it to work, the ports your HDD & SSD are connected to have to be in RAID mode.

Start over fresh by disconnecting all drives except your HDD and the CD/DVD drive you’re using to install Windows 7.

Make sure all of your ports are in RAID mode and reinstall Windows. Select the partition with the previous Windows installation and Windows will delete and overwrite all data.

Once Windows installation is complete install your motherboard drivers.
Next, install Intel’s latest RST drivers: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&...

Reboot your pc after installing the drivers and then shut down your pc.
Connect your SSD to port SATA3_0 or SATA3_1.
Boot into BIOS and verify that your 1st boot device is your HDD. Your 2nd & 3rd boot device can be set to "Disabled" or "None".

Boot into Windows and "Quick Format" your SSD. This will delete the prior Windows installation on the drive.

Reboot your pc.
You can now run the Intel RST software through the All Programs menu or task bar icon.
Click "Enable acceleration" and select the SSD to be used as cache for your HDD.


Thanks for your response. How do I set my ports to RAID mode? The only setting in BIOS that refers to RAID seems to be "PCH SATA Control mode" which can be set to RAID(XHD), IDE, or AHCI.

When I set this to IDE the BIOS reports SSD on 0 master, DVD drive on 1 master and HDD on 3 master.
Before I broke it all, the Intel rapid storage utility was reporting the SSD on port 0 and the accelerated HDD on port 5. Should I change the physical leads for the disks. 2 ports on the motherboard are SATA3 ports and 4 are SATA2. I'm not sure how they are designated by number, but physically the white ones are 3 and the blue ones are 2. The HDD is a SATA3 drive.


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a c 504 G Storage
February 2, 2012 8:15:34 PM

On page 48 of your motherboard manual "eXtreme Hard Drive (XHD)" should be set to "Disabled", and "PCH SATA Control Mode" should be set to "RAID(XHD)".

Page 7 of your motherboard manual will show you where ports SATA3_0 & SATA3_1 are located on your motherboard.

It does not matter where you connect your HDD. It is SATA 3 "compatible", not SATA 3 "capable". No single HDD can spin fast enough to saturate a SATA 2 port, so there will be no performance loss connecting it to a SATA 2 port.

If you are not going to purchase another SSD in the near future then you can connect the HDD to SATA3_0 and your SSD to SATA3_1.
February 3, 2012 8:06:20 PM

Dereck47 said:
On page 48 of your motherboard manual "eXtreme Hard Drive (XHD)" should be set to "Disabled", and "PCH SATA Control Mode" should be set to "RAID(XHD)".

Page 7 of your motherboard manual will show you where ports SATA3_0 & SATA3_1 are located on your motherboard.

It does not matter where you connect your HDD. It is SATA 3 "compatible", not SATA 3 "capable". No single HDD can spin fast enough to saturate a SATA 2 port, so there will be no performance loss connecting it to a SATA 2 port.

If you are not going to purchase another SSD in the near future then you can connect the HDD to SATA3_0 and your SSD to SATA3_1.


Thank you for all your help. I now have a working accelerated patched system. It's now (just) a matter of sorting out the network settings and moving files and programs from my old system.
!