SSD/HDD Combo OS Install Strategies

I’m spent. I’ve trolled the web for five days hoping to find some help for my challenges and I’ve repeatedly run into walls. Thank you all in advance all for helping me.

I’m trying to figure out the best way to install the OS and take advantage of the SSD I just bought. Ideally, I’d like use TRIM and Intel’s Smart Response SSD Caching Technology but I’m open to comments that suggest otherwise. This is essentially a new system build. I’ll be installing Windows 7 Ultimate – 64 bit.

I originally went with the suggestions of this article.

I paired my SSD with the Samsung 1TB drive (used the Intel Sata 6Gb/s ports) and it worked great. Then I attached my other drives (packed with data) and the computer would no longer boot up. From what I can tell, the storage controller was in RAID mode and got confused about the other drives which were not RAID based.

Hoping I could use a separate storage controller on the Intel ports, I’ve tried this method on the Marvell ports but I wasn’t able to install the OS. From my research, OS installs don’t like Marvell ports.

Suggestions for best practices? Thanks.

Parts being used:
Windows 7 Ultimate - 64 Bit

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz

GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 - Motherboard

SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128D/AM 2.5" 128GB

Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS-FR 2TB

Hitachi HDS721050CLA362 (0F10381) 500GB 7200
RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 Hard Drive - 3TB, SATA III (6Gb/s), 3.5", 7200RPM, 64MB

Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"

Relevant things I’ve learned up to this point?
My mobo (see below for parts list) has two Marvell based Sata 3Gb/s ports, two Intel Sata 6Gb/s ports, and three Intel Sata 3Gb/s ports. Between the Marvell and the Intel storage ports, I can run a separate storage controller (AHCI/RAID/IDE). I am not able to run a separate storage controllers between the Intel 6Gb/s and the 3Gb /s ports. Also, I am not able to load OS onto drives supported by the Marvell ports. Please correct me if I’m wrong on any of these matters.
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  1. Best answer
    You should be able to load the OS onto any ports you want, but if you wish to use Intel RST, you need to stick to the Intel ports.

    The controller(Intel only) has to be in raid for RST to work.

    When you went to install the extra drive filled with data, you may have to enter the bios and tell it to boot off the proper drive. This is a common issue on some boards(when they see a new drive, they want to boot from that drive and not the original drive.).

    Your marvel controller should be 1 e-sata and one internal sata port. I do not recommend using those until you need to. that said, setting it to AHCI will let you use the e-sata port with hot swap working.
  2. Best answer selected by la_ricecooker.
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