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Windows 7 does not start when SSD is attached to a SATA port with RAID

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March 17, 2012 2:02:20 PM

Hi, all. I'm facing a weird issue.

I have installed 6 monts ago my Windows 7 system as follows:
- Kingston V100 SSD for Win 7
- RAID 0 (3x2TB disks) for Program Files and general storage
- MoBo P8Z68 Deluxe
- RAID 0's HDs attached to Intel Z68 Mobo connectors (Sata 3.0)
- SSD attached to Intel Z68 Mobo connector (Sata 6.0)

My system worked fine for 1 year. Two days ago, my windows refused to start. My SSD was no longer recognized on BIOS. To get my SSD recognized, I switch SATA on BIOS from RAID to IDE in order to get my SSD recognized. In addition, I have unlugged my RAID disks from AC to get only SSD running.

After a system restore (windows), my system started up normally. I switched back SATA setting on BIOS from IDE to RAID in order to get my RAID back.

Windows started up sucessfully until next reboot. After that, my SSD was no longer recognized and I did everything again.

After that, I did a fresh Win7 install and my windows only starts up with SATA mode on BIOS set to "IDE". But on this way, I'm unable to get back my RAID.

So, my questions:
- Why my system ran almost a year without any trouble between SSD and a separate disk array (RAID 0)?
- Why today my windows starts only if BIOS SATA mode is set to IDE?
- Considering my mobo (P8Z68 Deluxe), Is my way of attaching devices on such connectors right?

THanks a lot!

a b $ Windows 7
a c 260 G Storage
March 17, 2012 2:18:20 PM

Chances are that your SSD is failing.
a b $ Windows 7
a c 351 G Storage
March 17, 2012 2:50:30 PM

First, to get it working.
1) Delete ALL partitions on the SSD. If properly setup should be two, a small 100 mb system, and one for the OS
2) Run a “secure erase” on the drive. Will need to Google this. Can be down with a Boot CD, normally a Linux CD with the utility on it.
3) Leave HDD disconnected. Not sure on your controller – can you set the two Sata III to ahci and the remaining 4 sata II ports to raid, or is it all or nothing. No sweat as You have Intel controller.
4) If all six ports are set to raid. Then Do a custom install and select “have additional drivers” Will need to download the “F6” driver from Intel (Put on a USB stick formatted to FAT32). This will install the iaSTor driver. When windows is installed, do the windows install and then install the Intel RST driver (also an Intel download (latest driver is 10.8 I think.
5) If you can set the 2 sata III ports to AHCI and the remaining for ports to raid then just skip the F6 driver install during windows install.
6) Once Windows 7 is installed, all drivers installed, and all programs installed, verify system is good.
7) Download AS SSD. Open it up and verify that the driver is iaSTor, alignment is good and that you have the latest firmware version for your SSD.
8) SAVE some grief!!! Run windows 7 backup and create an image of your SSD (This will create an image of the 100mb partition and your “c” drive. You will NOT have to go thru all the Windows install, Driver loads and Program loads Save the image on HDD and ON a External drive (Can also be placed on a set of DVDs normally 3 ->5 disks). Should you need to re-install – A 10 Min process: Insert Windows installation disk, select repair, repaired from image and 10 Minutes later you are back up and running, all drivers and all programs are there, just like the day you made the image!!
9) Now connect your Raid0 HDD.


Did you ever verify which driver was being used, unless it was msahci, or iaSTor trim may have been enabled but WOULD NOT have been applied. Over the space of a year that could cause the drive to start failing.
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March 18, 2012 1:41:31 AM

Hi, RetiredChief. Thanks for your prompt reply. Let'me update everyone about my results on your suggestions:

1) done
2) done
3) done. My MoBo is as you said: RAID for all connectors, unfortunately
4) done
5) n/a, since all connectors were affected by RAID configurated option on BIOS
6) No. Very unresponsible, very slow, even after a fresh install
7) Driver is "iaStor", aligment OK according to AS SSD. Last firmware for my Kingston SSD. Therefore, very poor results on AS SSD over 4K: less than 1MB/s on Write. On "Seq", it reported 228MB/S for Read and 40,79 for Write
8) since system was not ok, I didn't care about this
9) not attempted, since system is not ok

Even for Windows Update, download was very slow due to writing on disk (I suppose). Sometimes system is very fast, sometimes it slow down. Boot time is OK (about 10 seconds), but overall performance with a fresh install of Windows 7 is very poor.

Any other ideas?

Thanks
Alisson
a b $ Windows 7
a c 260 G Storage
March 18, 2012 2:13:08 AM

RMA if still under warranty!
a b $ Windows 7
a c 351 G Storage
March 18, 2012 11:57:50 AM

At this point, concur with rolli59. Contact samsung for guidance/RMA.
March 21, 2012 4:04:18 PM

RetiredChief said:
At this point, concur with rolli59. Contact samsung for guidance/RMA.


Hi, all.

Unfortunatelly, my Kingston SSD was bought ouside Brazil and Kingston only support local RMA (I have already contacted). Since to send my failing unit to US will cost more than a new one, I bought a Corsair GT 90GB to replace.

Win7 installed on SSD, RAID HDD enabled to host Program Files, everything working 100% and 30, 40% faster than Kingston V100 SSD.

Today I have my SSD, 3 HDDs, 1 DVD attached on Sata Ports and RAID mode enabled on BIOS.

I would like to ask 2 more questions:

1) Can RAID mode enabled on BIOS damage my current SSD?
2) I'm thinking about using my old SSD to use as a ReadyBoost for the main SSD. Can I experiment a performance gain with a SSD serving as readyboost for another SSD?

THanks a lot!

Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
a c 351 G Storage
March 21, 2012 4:43:24 PM
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If SSD was set up with Bios set to raid and SSD on an Intel Sata Port (not a member drive) and you have loaded intel driver. You should be OK. Intel driver iaSTor will pass trim when BIOS is set to raid.

Run as ssd and verify driver is iaSTor (msahci is OK but will have reduced performance comparted to iaSTor). Don't need to run the benchmark, just open an look in upper left for driver info.
March 28, 2012 1:12:22 AM

RetiredChief said:
If SSD was set up with Bios set to raid and SSD on an Intel Sata Port (not a member drive) and you have loaded intel driver. You should be OK. Intel driver iaSTor will pass trim when BIOS is set to raid.

Run as ssd and verify driver is iaSTor (msahci is OK but will have reduced performance comparted to iaSTor). Don't need to run the benchmark, just open an look in upper left for driver info.


AS SSD says that my SSD is using iaSTor driver. Everything is ok now! Thank you !!!
March 28, 2012 1:16:33 AM

Best answer selected by mralisson.
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