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Windows won't boot with XHD/RAID Setup

Last response: in Storage
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May 26, 2012 8:03:12 PM

I'm having the most frustrating problem. I'm trying to set up a new computer on a Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3 mini-ITX board.

I want my boot drive to be a 240GB SSD, and then I want to set up two 3TB HDDs in RAID1.

I've followed the manual's instructions to a 'T' to set up the raid using XHD mode, then I go try to install Windows. Windows goes through the initial installation steps then reboots, and upon reboot the installation will not proceed any further, all that happens is there is a blinking white cursor in the top left-hand corner of the screen. I've left this run uninterrupted for 10+ minutes, and nothing else happens. This happens if I load the RAID drivers before installing windows or not (same thing happens either way).

So I tried deleting the RAID, and using AHCI mode. This time I was able to install windows on the SSD just fine. I install all drivers on windows, then reboot, and set the BIOS to XHD/RAID mode again. When I do this, Windows will not boot on the SSD.

What am I missing here? Why won't windows boot when I set the BIOS to XHD/RAID mode?
a b G Storage
May 26, 2012 8:54:34 PM

I would install windows with only the SSD installed... then add the 2 3TB HDD's and set up the RAID.
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a c 353 G Storage
May 26, 2012 9:10:40 PM

Yes, You want to do your windows install with the OTHER two HDDs disconnected.
Instead of the recommended Bios AHCI, you must set it to Raid.

If this is what you orginally did, then you need to get the "F6" driver from Intel.
Select Custom install.
.. First you need to delete all partitions that you have created (Advance tab on page showing your HDD
.. Also on that page check the box (Lower left) to indicate you have a driver to load.
.. Brooze to the Thumb drive that you put the F6 driver on and select the driver.

Intel: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?lang=...

Select the F6 driver (put on Thumb drive that is FORMATED fat32)
also down load the matrix driver for Installation AFTER windows has completed it's install.

Note: Even though you have selected raid, the driver for your SSD should be iaSTor (Intels equivalent of msahci) and it WILL pass trim to the SSD.

Once Your Happy with Win7 on SSD then attach pair of HDDs and create your raid1 array with them.
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a c 523 G Storage
May 26, 2012 9:38:54 PM

XHD is for RAID-0 setups only. Start over from the beginning:

1.) Remove all drives and clear your CMOS.
2.) Connect your SSD to port SATA3_0.
3.) Connect your CD/DVD drive or your USB thumb drive that contains your Windows installation disk.
4.) Boot into BIOS. Set eXtreme Hard Drive (XHD) to "Disabled". Set PCH SATA Control Mode to "RAID (XHD)".
5.) Set your 1st boot device to your CD/DVD drive or USB thumb drive.
6.) Save your BIOS settings and reboot.
7.) Install Windows. Let Windows install its own default RAID drivers.
8.) After Windows installation is complete shut down pc.
9.) Connect your 2 HDDs to ports SATA2_2 and SATA2_3.
10.) Boot into BIOS. Change your 1st boot device to your SSD.
11.) Save your BIOS settings and reboot into RAID BIOS (Ctrl-I).
12.) Create your RAID-1 array with your 2 HDDs.
13.) Save your RAID BIOS settings.
14.) Reboot into Windows. Go into Disk Management, initialize your RAID array and assign it a drive letter (if Windows hasn’t done so automatically).
15.) Download and install Intel’s latest RAID drivers.
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May 27, 2012 3:25:34 AM

Best answer selected by nofun.
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May 27, 2012 3:25:35 AM

Thank you so much. These were all good answers but there can only be one "best" answer. Thank you again!
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