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Can I have SSD and HDD while BIOS set to RAID

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August 30, 2012 3:41:20 AM

I recently installed a 128GB SSD into my Dell Vostro 400 w/ 500GB HDD. The BIOS (1.0.15) according to the dell documentation is supposed to have an AHCI setting but I was only presented a choice of IDE and RAID. I selected RAID and proceeded with a Win7 reinstall (all this while the HDD was unplugged). Now that I have the Win7 installation complete, I am trying to bring the HDD back online. However, when I boot up with both SSD and HDD plugged in, I am being forced into Intel Matrix Storage manager 7.5.0.1017 ICH9r where my only options are to "create RAID volume" or "reset disk to non-raid". Both sound distructive to my existing data and I assume I will loose TRIM support if I go to non-RAID.

It seems the lack of a plain AHCI option in the BIOS is coming back to bite me. Should I be able to get both drives working independently? Any ideas? Do I need to somehow fix the BIOS to have the AHCI setting? Do I then need to reinstall Win7 on the SSD after that? Or what exactly happens if I select one of the two options in storage manager?





Thanks!

More about : ssd hdd bios set raid

a c 85 G Storage
August 30, 2012 4:24:16 AM

On Intel chipsets, RAID is done at the firmware level which means that it's nothing more than a software RAID with firmware drivers that allow it to be bootable. Enabling RAID mode on Intel chipsets also enables AHCI. It is possible to have RAID mode enabled but have all disks functioning as non-members
August 30, 2012 4:37:22 AM

Pinhedd said:
On Intel chipsets, RAID is done at the firmware level which means that it's nothing more than a software RAID with firmware drivers that allow it to be bootable. Enabling RAID mode on Intel chipsets also enables AHCI. It is possible to have RAID mode enabled but have all disks functioning as non-members



Your system is overkill lol.. j/k
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August 30, 2012 4:43:01 AM

8 platter drives in one PC. lol what a heavy beast thats why i offloaded all my drives to a file storage server with 16 2tb drives.
August 30, 2012 4:53:19 AM

Pinhedd said:
On Intel chipsets, RAID is done at the firmware level which means that it's nothing more than a software RAID with firmware drivers that allow it to be bootable. Enabling RAID mode on Intel chipsets also enables AHCI. It is possible to have RAID mode enabled but have all disks functioning as non-members



I edited the original post with a bit more information showing my limited choices in the storage manager. I dont see how I can proceed without defining a RAID array. If I do exit without changing any setting it starts loading windows then quickly blue screens and reboots. infinite loop.

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a c 85 G Storage
August 30, 2012 5:00:31 AM
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aaronT said:
I edited the original post with a bit more information showing my limited choices in the storage manager. I dont see how I can proceed without defining a RAID array. If I do exit without changing any setting it starts loading windows then quickly blue screens and reboots. infinite loop.


That's normal. Everything in that screen looks exactly as it should. It appears that Dell may have simply omitted the "AHCI Only" option in favor of "AHCI + RAID OPROM". The only difference between the two is that the RAID OPROM allows for the disks to be put into a software RAID and booted from.

Windows will tend to bluescreen if it is installed in IDE mode and the controller is then switched to AHCI mode. This is because different drivers are used for IDE and AHCI. Reinstalling Windows should do the trick. Also, make sure that your optical disk is connected to the Intel storage controller as well, not to an add-in storage controller from Marvell, Promise, ASMedia, etc... Similarly, you can also have the HDD present during the installation process.
August 30, 2012 5:14:44 AM

Pinhedd said:
That's normal. Everything in that screen looks exactly as it should. It appears that Dell may have simply omitted the "AHCI Only" option in favor of "AHCI + RAID OPROM". The only difference between the two is that the RAID OPROM allows for the disks to be put into a software RAID and booted from.

Windows will tend to bluescreen if it is installed in IDE mode and the controller is then switched to AHCI mode. This is because different drivers are used for IDE and AHCI. Reinstalling Windows should do the trick. Also, make sure that your optical disk is connected to the Intel storage controller as well, not to an add-in storage controller from Marvell, Promise, ASMedia, etc... Similarly, you can also have the HDD present during the installation process.



Was bluescreening as the boot order of the drives was HDD then SSD and the OS on the HDD was installed while in IDE mode. Swapped the boot order to be SSD and then HDD and magic, it worked. Thanks for the help!
August 30, 2012 5:15:36 AM

Best answer selected by aaronT.
a c 85 G Storage
August 30, 2012 5:18:18 AM

aaronT said:
Was bluescreening as the boot order of the drives was HDD then SSD and the OS on the HDD was installed while in IDE mode. Swapped the boot order to be SSD and then HDD and magic, it worked. Thanks for the help!


That's the next thing I was going to have you check. Glad you got it sorted!
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