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Asus p8Z77 SSD boot with HDD raid - possible?

Hi all,

I have an Asus p8Z77 coming in today for my new build and I was hoping to get some suggestions from some of you who may have worked with this board.

What I am wondering is if I will be able to use a SSD as my boot drive and raid together two HDDs for all of my other programs along with a single TB HDD for storage. These drives are being recycled from my current system and in my current setup I wasn't able to raid two and keep two single, it was all raid or all single.

Additionally, the p8Z77 has two different SATA controllers, Intel and ASMedia, so I am thinking this may be possible, but is one better to use for the SSD vs the other? Also, I should note that the SSD is rated for 6Gb/s while the other HDDs are only rated for 3Gb/s. Any help is appreciated. Thanks all.

1xSSD 6Gb/s - boot drive
2xHDD 3Gb/s - raid
1xHDD 3Gb/s - storage
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  1. Yep that can work fine, but set the Intel SATA -> RAID before installing the OS and it's best to only have the SSD connected when installing (assuming) Windows 7.

    I find it's best to use the Intel SATA ports, place the SSD on the Intel SATA3 and the remainder of the drives on the Intel SATA2 ports.

    Typically, I use a Flash Drive install method with the latest extracted 'Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology Driver Software' in a Folder named 'RAID' and if no drive shows-up then I'll load the iaStorA.inf from e.g. 'Flash Drive':\...RST_Vxxxx_XPWin7\RST_Vxxxx_XPWin 7\Driver\Disk\64bit\iaStorA.inf

    Once Windows is installed then I'll connect the HDD(s) and Ctrl + I to setup the RAID 1 (mirror) after the successful OS install.

    There are two methods MBR (<2.2TB) and GPT (>= 2.2TB).
  2. Hi Jaquith, first off, thank you for your response. Though I may not have been clear enough in my original question. It sounds like your suggestion was to set up a raid 1 for backing up my windows install drive. This is not my intent, what I am wanting to do is:

    Install Windows 7 on my 128GB 6Gb/s SSD.
    Set up a raid 0 using two 250GB 3Gb/s HDDs (for other programs/games).
    Use my 750GB 3Gb/s HDD for storage.

    Alternatively, I am considering setting the three HDDs up as a raid 0+1 and then not have the storage drive. Or, if I did it that way, would I be able to use 500GB of my storage drive for the raid 0+1 and partition the remainder to be used for storage or would the raid use up the whole drive?

    So, to set this up should I still do everything on the Intel SATA controller or would it be better to have my SSD on the Intel and my raid on the ASMedia or visa-verse to reduce the traffic going to one controller?
  3. No I was clear and you still need to do it as I posted. Whichever you use RAID 0,1,5 or 10 still do it the same way. RAID 0+1 I don't think is supported but 1+0 (10) is and either requires 4 drives of the same (recommended) capacity.

    I prefer the Intel controller and Intel RAID because of two reasons: Matured and full bandwidth over shared bandwidth and less mature chipsets.
  4. Set up the RAID first, I felt really dumb when I set up the computer only later to realize that I forgot about my RAID and would have to start over from scratch.
    RAID1 is the way to go, RAID0 is just asking for trouble, so do not put anything on it that you do not have backed up or are willing to loose.
  5. Thanks again for the response Jaquith. CaedenV, I appreciate the warning, but I am going with raid 0 for the speed as only programs and games will be installed on the raid. Any data that I can't risk losing will be stored elsewhere.

    So let me make sure I understand the process I need to go through:

    Using the Intel controller, I need to plug my 2x250GB HDDs for the raid 0 into the Sata2 ports.
    Using the flashdrive method I will set up my raid 0.
    I then unplug the raid HDDs and plug my SSD into the Sata3 port.
    I Install windows on the SSD, shutdown, plug my raid HDDs back into the SATA2 ports, boot into windows and ctrl+i to setup my raid.
    Shutdown again, plug my storage drive, and set that up normally.

    Also, before doing any of this I should check in BIOS and make sure the HDD mode is set to AHCI, yes?

    Does that sound about right?

    Thanks again for all of your help.
  6. Best answer
    IF you're booting off the SSD as stated then ONLY have the SSD connected and set the Intel SATA -> RAID; you might need the iaStorA.inf file so I'd use a bootable Windows 7 Flash drive with the un-zipped 'RAID' controller drivers on the Flash Drive.

    After installing the OS install the usual's Chipset (INF), LAN, USB, SATA and Wireless if used. Use the latest Drivers from ASUS and not the OEM (old) drivers.

    Once done, connect the other HDD's and boot into the Intel RST ROM (Crtl + I) and configure your RAID 0 and use 128K stripping. The boot into Windows and in the Manage / Storage / Disk Management -- format the HDD's using the Defaults i.e. NTFS with one twist uncheck Quick Formatting.


    You can go to Intel's site and use their Driver Update Utility -
  7. Best answer selected by Terras.
  8. Ah I see. Sorry for my confusion. I wasn't quite sure what you meant by:

    jaquith said:
    set the Intel SATA -> RAID

    I take it that this is a BIOS setting and setting it to raid will allow me to configure the raid on the controller in addition to having the separate drives on the controller.
  9. Yep it's a BIOS setting, and selecting it upfront (before OS install) insures the proper Intel RST driver is installed. Then you're prepped to add any supported RAID to the Intel SATA ports whenever you want.

    After the OS is installed you still need to install the Intel RST ... essentially the Control Panel to monitor the RAID's health.

    Control Panel in Taskbar:

    Intel RST:
  10. Brilliant! Thank you :D
  11. This topic has been closed by Nikorr
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