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Disabling RAID and Intel Smart Response on ASUS P8Z68-V Pro

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December 20, 2011 2:32:20 PM

Hello,

My boss had a rig built for him by someone else with a 2600K and an ASUS P8Z68-V Pro mobo. There are two HDD's set up in RAID 0 (I think); along with a 64 GB SSD functioning as extra cache ala the "Intel Smart Response" functionality. After having numerous issues with this setup, he has decided to do away with the RAID and the smart response for now, and start out with a more simple setup - one HDD as the boot volume, the other HDD as a slave (no RAID). My question is - after the drives (all SATA) are unplugged, what needs to be adjusted in the BIOS (either prior to, or after unplugging the SSD and the second HDD)? That is, does the RAID configuration have to be disabled first in the BIOS, before unplugging/swapping any drives from one SATA port to another? Thank you.
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 117 V Motherboard
December 20, 2011 2:49:20 PM

Breaking a (R)aid0 volume will cause all data to be lost.

If you wish to do this, it is recommended that you clone the existing windows install and apps to a spare hard drive. Test to ensure your copy is working.

Then you can break the raid volume(there should be a pint on boot that it says something like ctrl+i to enter Intel's raid manager.) and re image windows to just the one drive.

The SSD can be taken out of cache mode in windows it self with the intel RST software.

Potential problems.....

Sometimes when cloning and changing modes, windows will be unhappy, but i am almost sure radi to AHCI will be fine(If you plan to use RST SSD cache again, leave it as said, just break up the array).
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December 20, 2011 3:02:45 PM

nukemaster said:
Breaking a (R)aid0 volume will cause all data to be lost.

If you wish to do this, it is recommended that you clone the existing windows install and apps to a spare hard drive. Test to ensure your copy is working.

Then you can break the raid volume(there should be a pint on boot that it says something like ctrl+i to enter Intel's raid manager.) and re image windows to just the one drive.

The SSD can be taken out of cache mode in windows it self with the intel RST software.

Potential problems.....

Sometimes when cloning and changing modes, windows will be unhappy, but i am almost sure radi to AHCI will be fine(If you plan to use RST SSD cache again, leave it as said, just break up the array).


So, Windows 7 may get disgruntled.....I realize that breaking RAID format will lose whatever data has been accumulated and distributed across the two HDD's, but will it necessarily screw up the OS itself? There really isn't much installed on this machine except for the operating system.

Edit: This should probably be in "operating system", or "firmware" or whatever. I posted it here in case there were any other users of this mobo that are using a similar setup, and are having issues.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 117 V Motherboard
December 20, 2011 3:15:53 PM

ebalong said:
So, Windows 7 may get disgruntled.....I realize that breaking RAID format will lose whatever data has been accumulated and distributed across the two HDD's, but will it necessarily screw up the OS itself? There really isn't much installed on this machine except for the operating system.

If you just break raid, then all data is gone, this includes Windows. So yes, without a backup image, you will have to reinstall Windows 7.

If you plan to reinstall anyway, you have nothing to loose.

Do you plan to use the SSD cache feature in the future? If you do, you will have to leave the raid mode enable, but the drives can be taken out of raid0. Leaving raid allows you to use RST again in the future.

If you have NO plans to ever use the SSD cache features of RST, you can set the drive mode to AHCI(in the bios). Please note all this looses all data unless you make a backup to another drive(recommended you clone it).

All ways you look at it, All data on the raid volume get lots without a backup(cloning to another drive is recommended).
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December 20, 2011 3:28:59 PM

nukemaster said:
If you just break raid, then all data is gone, this includes Windows. So yes, without a backup image, you will have to reinstall Windows 7.

If you plan to reinstall anyway, you have nothing to loose.

Do you plan to use the SSD cache feature in the future?


Not sure if the SSD will be needed. This computer was built by an online pro-builder (and was supposed to be tested), so the owner basically just said "give me x,y, and z" without researching to see if he really needed all of "x,y, and z". This machine will be used primarily for CAD and internet stuff; I was thinking (in retrospect, unfortunately) that this build was overkill in price and capability for that purpose (also has a 560ti graphics card, an 850watt psu, and a liquid cooling system). Something seems to be amiss with the HDD's, or the SSD. Rather than take it in to a computer repair shop (this owner hasn't had much luck with other builds going that route, repair shops usually take too long, and don't fix all the issues) to see what the matter is, I suggested disabling the RAID and the SSD, starting out anew with one simple boot volume and one slave. As for the SSD cache thing, I am not convinced that the Intel Smart Response cache method is really that necessary, is there any evidence that it is worth it? Wouldn't doing other things, like maxing out the RAM, get rid of any potential bottlenecks? Also, I have read in other places that the Marvell SATA controller causes issues.

Edit: If we decide to use brute force and just cut the RAID, will that allow for a clean reinstall of Windows 7 on one of the HDD's, or will there have to be some repair or reformatting of the HDD first?
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 117 V Motherboard
December 20, 2011 5:09:32 PM

If you just get rid of raid, you will be able to reinstall windows 7 from scratch.

You may want to take a list of all parts of the system to make driver location easier after. It never hurts to have all drivers waiting for you on a flash drive so once windows is installed you can get it all back to normal.

If the SSD is big enough to hold your programs and Windows 7 it self, it will be faster then any hard drive can ever be.

You can try to just disable the smart response cache. Maybe the raid volume is fine.

While the board may have a Marvell Sata controller, i doubt it is being used for the raid volume since Intel's smart response works on with with Intel chipset SATA ports.

The only other way they could have a SSD Cache would be with some thrid party software like OCZ uses on there cache drives.

I will try to get you some images on how to remove the raid volume setup as well as how to remove the RST cache drive. Pictures are generally more easy to understand.
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December 20, 2011 5:30:40 PM

nukemaster said:
If you just get rid of raid, you will be able to reinstall windows 7 from scratch.

You may want to take a list of all parts of the system to make driver location easier after. It never hurts to have all drivers waiting for you on a flash drive so once windows is installed you can get it all back to normal.

If the SSD is big enough to hold your programs and Windows 7 it self, it will be faster then any hard drive can ever be.

You can try to just disable the smart response cache. Maybe the raid volume is fine.

While the board may have a Marvell Sata controller, i doubt it is being used for the raid volume since Intel's smart response works on with with Intel chipset SATA ports.

The only other way they could have a SSD Cache would be with some thrid party software like OCZ uses on there cache drives.

I will try to get you some images on how to remove the raid volume setup as well as how to remove the SRT cache drive. Pictures are generally more easy to understand.


I agree, reverting the SSD to acting as just a normal drive may be the safest thing to do at the moment...thanks for the info, and if you have images on what disabling the smart response cache looks like onscreen, those would be helpful.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
December 20, 2011 6:33:30 PM

IMO it's a really bad idea to use RAID 0 for ANY DATA, it's great for OS + Apps + Working DATA but that's about it.

If it were 'me' SSD OS + Apps and RAID 1 HDD's or 2X64GB SSD in RAID 0 (128GB) and RAID 1 HDD's.

Otherwise you are an accident waiting to happen! Back-up ALL your important DATA to another HDD or DVD(s) and start from scratch. Scratch = reformatting and Bye-Bye to all DATA.

It's easy to know if you have RAID 0 or RAID 1 or non-RAID. Either use Intel® Smart Response Technology:


Otherwise open 'My Computer':


IF you have RAID 1 then e.g. 1TB + 1TB HDD = 1TB
IF you have RAID 0 then e.g. 1TB + 1TB HDD = 2TB
IF you have NO RAID then e.g. 1TB + 1TB HDD = 1TB + 1TB
IF you have RST then e.g. (RAID HDD) + SSD = (RAID HDD)
IF you have NO RST then e.g. (RAID HDD) + SSD = (RAID HDD) + SSD
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Best solution

a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 117 V Motherboard
December 20, 2011 7:55:41 PM

jaquith said:
IMO it's a really bad idea to use RAID 0 for ANY DATA, it's great for OS + Apps + Working DATA but that's about it.

If it were 'me' SSD OS + Apps and RAID 1 HDD's or 2X64GB SSD in RAID 0 (128GB) and RAID 1 HDD's.

Otherwise you are an accident waiting to happen! Back-up ALL your important DATA to another HDD or DVD(s) and start from scratch. Scratch = reformatting and Bye-Bye to all DATA.

It's easy to know if you have RAID 0 or RAID 1 or non-RAID. Either use Intel® Smart Response Technology:
http://techgage.com/reviews/intel/smart_response_technology/intel_srt_04_thumb.jpg

Otherwise open 'My Computer':
http://i1013.photobucket.com/albums/af254/Jaquith/Scan-Drives-Windows-7.jpg

IF you have RAID 1 then e.g. 1TB + 1TB HDD = 1TB
IF you have RAID 0 then e.g. 1TB + 1TB HDD = 2TB
IF you have NO RAID then e.g. 1TB + 1TB HDD = 1TB + 1TB
IF you have RST then e.g. (RAID HDD) + SSD = (RAID HDD)
IF you have NO RST then e.g. (RAID HDD) + SSD = (RAID HDD) + SSD


Yeah, what he said.....

RST is the best way to see it.
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December 20, 2011 8:07:20 PM

Best answer selected by ebalong.
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