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Two 3TB drives on Windows 7: Can't do software RAID1?

Last response: in Storage
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February 24, 2012 12:31:18 PM

My PC has the following:

ASRock P67 Extreme 4 Gen 3
Windows 7 Home Preimum 64-bit
Intel 320 120GB SSD (where Windows 7 is installed)
Seagate Barracuda 3TB drive (ST3000DM001)
Seagate Barracuda 3TB drive (ST3000DM001)

I would like to set up the two 3TB Seagate drives for RAID1 either through my motherboard (which has UEFI) or Windows 7, however I've been unable to do either. Windows 7 doesn't give me the option to mirror when I go to format the drives and my motherboard BIOS doesn't seem to offer a way to set up RAID without switching from AHCI which I need for my SSD.

Does anyone have any idea what I'm doing wrong here?

Best solution

a c 209 $ Windows 7
a c 415 G Storage
February 24, 2012 3:18:59 PM

The BIOS normally has three modes: "IDE", "AHCI" and "RAID". You choose the latter for RAID - it's actually the same as AHCI mode but it also activates the BIOS firmware to handle the RAID processing.

So you don't have to worry about not using "AHCI" mode for your SSD if you switch the BIOS mode to "RAID". However make sure you have the latest BIOS and chipset drivers, since with older firmware/drivers the TRIM commands may not be passed to the SSD with the controller set to RAID mode (even if the SSD itself is not in RAID).
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February 24, 2012 3:39:05 PM

That is exactly what I needed to know! When I get home I'll verify what BIOS version I have (I tried checking yesterday but couldn't figure out where to look) and then switch to RAID mode.

This is ASRock's page for downloads for my motherboard:

http://www.asrock.com/MB/download.asp?Model=P67%20Extre...

So I want to make sure that I have 1.10, and if not I'll download and install that and I should be good, right?

Also, should changing the setting to RAID in the BIOS allow me to set up software RAID1 through Windows 7 if I want (currently Windows doesn't give me the option to mirror when I format a drive)?
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
a c 415 G Storage
February 24, 2012 9:40:01 PM

Windows mirroring has nothing to do with the BIOS mode. It's been a long time since I looked at it - the last time I dealt with it you could only use mirroring if you were running a server version of Windows.
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February 25, 2012 2:26:16 AM

Best answer selected by dragon164z.
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February 25, 2012 2:36:20 AM

Since I already had Windows 7 installed on the SSD when I would change the storage mode in the BIOS to RAID from AHCI I'd get a blue screen before Windows failed to load, even after I updated the BIOS to the latest version. However, I downloaded RAIDFix which "automatically installs missing drivers and registry entries". It seems that if Windows 7 is installed as AHCI it can run into problems when you then try to change it to RAID. After running RAIDFix I downloaded the latest Intel Rapid Storage Technology drivers and then changed the BIOS to RAID. After a couple reboots I was able to successfully set up the two 3TB drives with RAID1 in the BIOS and everything seems to be working perfectly.

Thanks for your help! Hopefully I don't have any more problems. I've set up my 1TB external drive with Windows Backup to backup the files on the 3TB so that coupled with RAID1 makes me relatively comfortable.
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