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AMD RAID XP x86 install nightmare

  • NAS / RAID
  • Hard Drives
  • Windows XP
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
January 26, 2013 10:04:03 PM

OK, here is the scenario.....

An elderly couple had asked me to build a system for them. They wanted a RAID 1 setup to protect their pictures from HDD crashes. They also want XP installed on the new system because that's what they know...scared of change I guess.

I built them a system based off the ASUS M5A78L-M LX Plus motherboard, which has an AMD RAID chip.

First attempt, no HDD found by XP disc....that was expected.

Of course, the motherboard doesn't have a floppy connector, so I slipstreamed the controller drivers into the XP disc via nlite. XP disc found HDD and the first stage of the install completed. Once the system rebooted for the first time, the XP startup screen came on and then went to a BSOD with a 0x0000007b error (HDD controller). I don't understand why it initially worked but fails on the reboot.

I've tried doing a full install on another non-raid drive and then ghosting the image over to the RAID set. Got another BSOD once I booted to the RAID set.

I'm at a loss right now. I am hoping someone on here can point me in the right direction.

I appreciate your help.


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a c 590 G Storage
January 26, 2013 11:26:45 PM

the_buzz_man said:

An elderly couple had asked me to build a system for them. They wanted a RAID 1 setup to protect their pictures from HDD crashes. They also want XP installed on the new system because that's what they know...scared of change I guess.

RAID-1 is not backup, it is redundancy. If one drive dies then they will be able to continue to use their PC (at reduced performance) until the faulty drive is replaced.

As you know their RAID-1 array will show up in Windows as 1 logical drive (C: for example).

Let's say they keep their pictures in C:\Pictures folder.
If a virus corrupts the files in C:\Pictures, that virus will infect both drives in the array.
If they accidentally delete any files in C:\Pictures then the files will be deleted on both drives.

If they really want to protect their pictures then the drives should not be in RAID-1; just connect them separately as drives C: and D:.

Then just use a backup program that loads at startup so they don't have to do anything.

You should also try to convince the couple to upgrade to Windows 7.
Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014.

I apologize that this post doesn't help you resolve your issue; no disrespect intended.
a b G Storage
January 26, 2013 11:38:49 PM

^Agree 100%. They need a backup. RAID in any shape or form is not a backup. Critical files are seldom, very seldom ever lost because of a hard drive failure. It is almost always something else, virus, having to reinstall your OS, deleted accidentally, user messing around breaks the RAID array.......point is, its not a good idea to use RAID as a backup.
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January 27, 2013 12:39:52 AM

Hi Buzz:

In your situation, I'd try to supply the RAID drivers from a USB stick instead of slipstreaming. BTW, was the image that you ghosted the one you made with Nlite?

EDIT: Sorry, I missed that you're installing XP (!): I guess using a USB stick is out. Anyway, my guess is that the driver slipstreaming process didn't work properly.

Another possible solution: obtain a USB floppy disk drive, but I don't know if it will work with the XP installer.

EDIT2: Yikes, I guess no USB support is available, either! Oh well, double check that you're slipstreaming all of the files that you need for RAID support. I'm running out of ideas. Good Luck.
January 28, 2013 10:20:52 AM

I appreciate the replies, though I must admit that I don't really agree with them. Maybe I can get you to change my mind.

In my experience, I can not recall a time where I have had a client lose any important info (pics, music, docs) because of a virus or software issue. I have always been able to pull the drive and recover the main files, then clean the drive and move the files back.

On the other hand, I have multiple cases where mechanical failures of the HDD have happened and I could not recover any info. To have the drives shipped of to a lab for recovery was way too expensive and they just dealt with the loss.

So, to me, protecting the client from a sudden HDD mechanical failure is the priority here. In the past, you were safe to assume that your HDD was going to last a long time. I have a ton of 80GB hdds lying around. Nowadays, it seems you are lucky to have one last 3 years before bad sectors start showing up.

Anyways, that is my reasoning for setting up the RAID1. If you can convince me otherwise, I am all ears. I guess it is really all eyes on here :) 

Going back to the original topic, I have yet to find a way to get XP to work. I get BSOD after the inital boot of the install process every time.

a c 105 G Storage
January 29, 2013 5:56:09 PM

Here is my suggestion... You need a simplest solution for this couple :-)

- Limitation Since it is a XP maximum volume/size is 2TB
there is a way around to get XP sees over 2TB, but I would not recommend in this case

Built a hardware mirror raid controller . Here is how to set it up.
1_ Installed 1x HDD internal and 1x HDD in mobile rack for hot swap
2_ Create mirror of these 2 HDD.
3_ Install OS - Make sure BIOS'SATA set up as AHCI/Enhance. You should not have ANY problem
4_ Get the 3rd drive - swap with HDD in mobile rack weekly or bi-weekly for back up.

Now you have FULL back up of the system (data+OS)