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Running RAID on extreme4-m

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July 10, 2012 7:43:52 PM

Hey,

I just built a computer with an AsRock extreme4-m mobo, 3570k, XFX 6870. 16gb Corsair Vengence LP, etc.

I have three 500gb HDD's that I'm trying to get to run in RAID0 and one OCZ Vertex 4 128gb for my Win7 install.

I had Win7 installed previously, but it wasn't able to initialize my RAID array in disk management. There was an unknown device in device manager, but win7 couldn't locate the driver for it... nor could I.

Also, Intel Rapid Storage said the RAID array failed and would only show one of the drives. As if the other 2 weren't physically connected.

I went to the AsRock website for the SATA RAID driver and it told me I had to reinstall windows and load the driver during my Windows install.

Well, I created a storage cd with the driver files on it, but Win7 says 'No signed device drivers were found. Make sure that the installation media contains the correct drivers, then click OK.' when I inserted the disc during install.

The SATA RAID Drivers are 10th one down on the list here, if anyone wants to look at them. http://www.asrock.com/mb/download.asp?Model=Z77%20Extre...

Any other advice would be much apprectiated

Thanks,
Anthony

More about : running raid extreme4

July 10, 2012 8:21:08 PM

Thanks. I'll try those drivers when I get back to that computer in an hour

I created the RAID volume from BIOS. I tried creating it both before and after installing windows.
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July 10, 2012 10:59:02 PM

That driver does the same thing. Won't let me load it while installing windows. 'No signed device drivers were found. Make sure that the installation media contains the correct drivers, then click OK.'
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a c 233 V Motherboard
July 10, 2012 11:47:24 PM

You need to extract the drivers to be loaded at installation time. Are you installing the OS on the RAID? If not, then you don't need the drivers until you want to use the RAID. However the Intel SATA controller should be configured as AHCI or RAID before installing the OS (or you can fix it switched after).
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a c 716 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 12:19:51 AM

Interestingly enough I'm getting ready to post a RAID recovery and migration guide.

Chances are your RAID and all its data is toast, I assume since you used a RAID 0 array vs a RAID 5 none if it was important and what was is backed-up?! Right?!

Quite often if the drives are 'missing' it's one of three things if the MOBO is good: 1. the drive is bad, 2. the power and or SATA cables are loose (check all connections), 3. the drives are 'Off-Line' which you'll see in the Intel RST/RSTE ROM post screen or in Computer Management / Disk Management.

---

The following is a work in progress (DRAFT):

Guide How To Repair or Migrate RAID on Intel RST/RSTE

This Guide will illustrate how to both Repair and Migrate your data and drives using Intel RST/RSTE RAID in Windows, specifically Windows 7. I recommend both a redundant RAID array and frequent backups of all your important data. Backups are great but that data quite often is not fully up to date so you can easily lose data and or hours of work between backup points.

Further, folks may want to take their data on a single drive and create or 'Migrate' their drive to a redundant array. Supported Intel chipsets offer redundant arrays which includes RAID 1, 5 and 10; RAID 0 is not a redundant RAID array.

Supported Intel Chipsets with RAID Migration:
Older Intel Chipsets - http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/cs-020674...
LGA 2011 X79 and C600 series ** - http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/rste/sb/CS-033345...
LGA 1155 - (all Chipsets are supported except H61)
** the iaStorA.inf driver must be installed at time of OS installation; i.e. (F6) or driver added.

Prerequisites:
* Intel RST/RSTE control panel and drivers must be installed properly per the supported OS (32-bit/64-bit)
* Intel SATA Ports only
* BIOS (UEFI) Intel SATA -> RAID (AHCI or IDE are not supported)
* (2) or more drives HDD, HHD or SSD with preferably same or similarly spec drives ; lowest/slowest sized is maximum per RAID
* RAID drives may span both the Intel SATA2 and SATA3 ports or up to 6 drives in RAID 5 & 10
* Recommended - drives that support error recovery control; TLER is not supported on consumer Western Digital drives
* Recommended - BIOS (UEFI) Enable S.M.A.R.T.

Part 1 - Failure:
After the RAID array is configured in the Intel RST/RSTE ROM I recommend that you do not use (Ctrl + I) to modify the array. Doing so will erase all of the data across all of the drives modified. If the data is fully backed-up you can choose to fully reset the RAID array in the Intel ROM (Ctrl + I) then copy the data to the newly formed array. Alias's may be lost.

A. Degraded or Single drive failure - the simplest fix if possible is to Reset the drive and allow Intel RST/RSTE to Rebuild the array. If a single drive fails and is replaced the Intel RST/RSTE should automatically detect the replaced drive and Rebuild the array, open the Intel RST/RSTE control panel to verify. On average it takes about an hour or so to repair a 1TB array.

Click 'Reset Disk to normal':


B. MOBO Failure and Replacement - if the array was good and Intel RST/RSTE is properly installed including its drivers then by simply changing the MOBO the array will automatically work and in many cases not even require the array to be rebuilt. The Intel RST/RSTE ROM will recognize the array and no user intervention will be required i.e. don't (Ctrl + I).

Important - boot in to the BIOS (UEFI) Intel SATA -> RAID and Enable S.M.A.R.T. before booting into the OS.

C. Unrepairable or Multiple drive failures - this can be a very disturbing form of failure when more than one drive fails the solutions vary with the different forms of RAID arrays. Often if the drives are recoverable it's either a sign of corruption or power including that of the MOBO and or PSU. In RAID 1 often one drive actually fails and can be recovered with some luck and efforts. For this Guide's purpose in RAID 1 if one drive can be salvaged then that data can be Migrated on to a second drive. Typically if a drive shows-up in the Intel RST/RSTE control panel it is recoverable, but if no drives show-up there are third-party recovery tools; Use at your own risk, examples: Runtime Data Recovery Software - http://www.runtime.org/ or R-Tools Hard Drive Recovery- http://www.r-studio.com/

Intel chipsets listed do not offer 'any 2' multiple drive failure protection as in RAID 6 where up to 'any 2' drives can fail. In RAID 10 (RAID 1 of (RAID 0) + (RAID 0)) you can 2 drives if only 1 of each (RAID 0) fails, but if both drives fail of one nested (RAID 0) then you have total loss.

In my instance the RAID became Degraded, Reset failed, and the reset in Intel RSTE caused both drives to fail and go in an 'Offline' state, and one drive has been problematic. However, the drive was seen and recoverable. Luck and RMA in progress through OEM warranty.



Part 2 - Migration:
Non-primary drives only. Migration allows you to take a single drive and transform a single drive into a supported RAID volume. Using the Intel RST/RSTE control panel this process is made easy if a drive and it's data is (recoverable) good. Click on big button 'Create volume...'

Warning - permanent data loss, other drives will be erased and lose all of their data except for the drive selected.



Configure - Name the volume, Select the drives, and most important choose the drive with the data to be migrated across the array.



Optional - Enable Write-back cache, use this option only if the system is stable and your PC in on an UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply ; battery backup). This does increase performance especially with mechanical drives.



Check [x] Proceed with deleting data and click Create Volume.



Migrating will start.



Rebuilding an Migration.



Migration & Rebuilding completion.


If your drives are offline then you'll need to open Computer Management by clicking Start, right-click Computer and select Manage, and click Disk Management. Next right-click on the RAID array listed and select online.



Often if a RAID is recovered or create you may have some unallocated space. Right click on the array or drive and select Extend Volume and move and (add) the lost drive space and Next button.



Recovered space.

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July 11, 2012 12:24:44 AM

This is what I'm doing:

I have my BIOS set like this before installing Win7 Ultimate https://dl.dropbox.com/u/17851743/2012-07-10%2019.51.51...

I have my RAID Volume created already

I put in the Win7 install disc and go to install Win7 on my ssd

After I select my ssd, I click 'load drivers' and insert the cd I made with the RAID drivers on it. Contents of the CD: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/17851743/RAID-CD.PNG

Windows scans the cd and says 'No signed device drivers were found. Make sure that the installation media contains the correct drivers, then click OK.'

Where am I going wrong?

btw, thanks for helping
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July 11, 2012 12:30:44 AM

Thanks Jaquith. I'll read all that in a minute.

Yep, there's no important data on my RAID volume. They're empty drives. I'm doing RAID0 for a few tests, then switching to RAID5.

I am able to create the RAID volume from BIOS, so I don't think there is loose connection in my computer.

I reinstalled win7 and am updating all the drivers now. I'll get a screenshot of Intel RST when everything is done updating
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a c 716 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 1:10:17 AM

You have a catch-22, if the Intel RST cannot see the drive then you're stuck but if you Initialize the RAID 0 you might lose the data.

The drives don't have to be Online to be seen by Intel RST and in my example it was the very last step.

The only safe option at this point is to not Initialize the RAID 0 and reboot and hope Intel RST recognizes the 'missing' drives. If that fails the it's kind of a choice 'A' or 'A' and Initialize the RAID 0 array <OR> use one of the RAID Recovery Applications I linked above.

DO NOT make any changes in the Intel RST ROM (Ctrl + I) -- guaranteed your data is lost.
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July 11, 2012 1:17:49 AM

jaquith said:
You have a catch-22, if the Intel RST cannot see the drive then you're stuck but if you Initialize the RAID 0 you might lose the data.

The drives don't have to be Online to be seen by Intel RST and in my example it was the very last step.

The only safe option at this point is to not Initialize the RAID 0 and reboot and hope Intel RST recognizes the 'missing' drives. If that fails the it's kind of a choice 'A' or 'A' and Initialize the RAID 0 array <OR> use one of the RAID Recovery Applications I linked above.

DO NOT make any changes in the Intel RST ROM (Ctrl + I) -- guaranteed your data is lost.



I'm not worried about losing data. The drives are all empty.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 1:23:39 AM

Okay then 'Initialize the RAID 0' using MBR.
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July 11, 2012 1:24:44 AM

I do that and it says 'The system cannot find the file specified.'
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a c 716 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 1:28:23 AM

I assume you clearly understand the risks of RAID 0, if you lose ANY drive then poof all of that data can be lost for good. So please use frequent backups.
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July 11, 2012 1:32:48 AM

Yes, I understand that I will lose all my data if any one drive fails. You don't have to warn me.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 1:36:21 AM

Anthony1s said:
I do that and it says 'The system cannot find the file specified.'

Q - When you installed Windows was the BIOS Intel SATA -> RAID?
Q - Is this all brand new i.e. never set up?
Q - Is the BIOS Intel SATA -> RAID now?

I see that problem more often with X79's than any LGA 1155 chipset. I have a Guide for that as well; see - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/303873-30-wont-resume...

Hmm...just looked and I noted the following:

"SATA RAID Driver is for users who plan to install Windows OS on SATA / SATAII HDDs with RAID functions. To use RAID functions, you need to make a SATA RAID Driver floppy diskette before you install the operation system, such as Windows XP. If you do not plan to use RAID functions, it is not necessary to make a SATA RAID Driver floppy diskette. Please follow below steps for the usage of SATA RAID Driver:

Copy the SATA RAID Driver from our website to your SATA HDDs. Unzip it, and copy all the files and folders to an empty diskette.
Make sure that the “SATA Operation Mode” option in BIOS setup is set to RAID mode.
Install Windows OS to your system. At the beginning of Windows setup, please press F6 and insert the SATA RAID Driver floppy diskette you just made. Then you are allowed to select the required driver to install after your system reading the SATA RAID Driver floppy diskette.
After Windows OS installation, use the RAID tool in our support CD to configure RAID arrays under BIOS or Windows environment.
For the details of RAID operation procedures, please refer to our user manual in the support CD or quick installation guide for further information."
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July 11, 2012 1:44:02 AM

A: Yes, Intel controller was set to RAID before installing Win7
A: Yes, brand new Win7 install. Only things I did was install the AsRock drivers and did Windows Update
A: Yes, BIOS is still set to RAID.

I noticed that I needed to install the RAID Driver during my Win7 install. As I mentioned above, Windows would not recognize any of the files on the cd as drivers... it would say 'No signed device drivers were found. Make sure that the installation media contains the correct drivers, then click OK.'

Here's a screenshot of the files on the RAID drivers CD: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/17851743/RAID-CD.PNG
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a c 716 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 2:09:46 AM

The iaStorA.inf is the correct driver, but the only successful way I've installed it is via a USB Flash Drive and as the 'guide' outlines. Note the caveats.

Important note: I strongly recommend not loading the drivers from (2) different sources this is a KNOWN issue (e.g. Windows DVD + Flash Drive for drivers only). The problem 'might' be fixed if you reinsert the USB back where it was during the install, but to me this is a very bad way to correct a problem creating a dependency.

As part of the Guide both values must have Start = 0, see:
6. Windows:
A. Registry {note Start values must = 0}:
Either manually verify and change the following registry values or run 'Fix It' - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\IastorV
B. Management, Disk Management -- add drives and format; if data drives
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July 11, 2012 2:14:05 AM

Okay, I think I figured it out... You're NOT suppose to extract the .zip with the RAID drivers during a Windows install.

Thanks for the help Jaquith and GhislainG
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a c 716 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 2:18:34 AM

Yeah it needs to be Extracted first.
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July 11, 2012 2:19:52 AM

No, I created the cd with it zipped and Windows install recognized it.

It wouldn't recognize it when it was unzipped.
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!