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ASUS M5A88V-EVO and RAID 5

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July 15, 2012 1:11:35 PM

I'm hoping the expertise here can help resolve a problem / question that ASUS tech support is apparently having trouble comprehending.

I'm trying to find out how one can make a RAID of 4 drives without using ports 5-6. I can't see how one can do that.
The esata port being port 4 raises two obvious problems, and I can't believe that a company as well-respected as ASUS would put out a product in this state:
(1) One can't do what I want to do [unless one runs a cable out of the case and back to the esata port to make it part of the RAID]
(2) One can't set up a RAID at all using ports 1-3 without thus preventing independent use of the esata port, because ports 1-4 have to be set TOGETHER as RAID or non-RAID
Am I actually correct in my understanding? I'm hoping not!!

== original query to ASUS -- to which ASUS replied that it looked like Port 4 was the eSATA port
I want to set up a data (non-booted) RAID 5 array using four 2TB HDD and boot from a
separate HDD. I purchased this MB (which I like a lot) because it advertized 6 SATA
ports and ability to support RAID 5. However, after reading the user manual several
times now, and trying Google, I cannot for the life of me figure out how to achieve the
desired configuration. The drive setup clearly allows setting SATA 1-4 as RAID and
SATA 5-6 as IDE or ACHI, but I can't figure our how to put 4 internal HDD as RAID on
ports 1-4. Though not explicitly stated as far as I can tell, the eSATA port appears to be
port 4, and I sure don't want to run a cable all the way across the case to exist the case
and plug it in there! I =sure= would appreciate any help, including a pointer to the
information online that I surely must have missed.

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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 233 V Motherboard
July 15, 2012 6:47:38 PM

I haven't read the manual, but the specs are:

AMD SB850 controller :
5 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), white
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD
AMD SB850 controller :
1 x eSATA 6Gb/s port(s), red

Can't you use one of the white ports for the boot drive and the other four white ports for the RAID 5? The boot drive can be on the RAID controller, but it shouldn't be a member of an array.
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July 22, 2012 10:09:53 AM

GhislainG said:
I haven't read the manual, but the specs are:

AMD SB850 controller :
5 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), white
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD
AMD SB850 controller :
1 x eSATA 6Gb/s port(s), red

Can't you use one of the white ports for the boot drive and the other four white ports for the RAID 5? The boot drive can be on the RAID controller, but it shouldn't be a member of an array.


Thanks for the suggestion! I have to say that I didn't consider that possibility. In order for your approach to work, one would have to believe that (a) there was no significance to the port grouping; (b) an HDD in "single drive" status would behave the same way as a non-RAID drive in all respects. The manual doesn't provide anywhere near that level of information. (The only observation in that direction is their "strong recommendation" that a SATA optical drive be put on port 5 or 6 and run in IDE mode.) Why not just allow RAID/non-RAID status to be specified for ALL SATA drives individually, as is done on some other motherboards?? Hard to believe there wasn't SOME engineering / design rationale for what was done.

I have temporarily addressed the issue by employing the inelegant workaround mentioned earlier -- running a SATA-to-eSATA cable across the inside of the box, out an unused slot for a PCI board, and into the eSATA port. But I'd like to know if there are any better approaches, or why ASUS did what it did.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 233 V Motherboard
July 22, 2012 12:48:44 PM

Asus did what they could with that chipset; the controller either is configured for IDE, AHCI or RAID (unless that one is different). A non-RAID member is like a single drive on all controllers that I worked with and it should be no different when using the SB850; however the drivers are required. I don't understand why you use the eSATA port since the white ports and the eSATA port all are on the same RAID controller.
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August 5, 2012 10:22:23 AM

Best answer selected by CCurtis.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 328 V Motherboard
August 5, 2012 5:12:43 PM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr
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