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More than 2 hard drives (ssds) on Rampage IV EXTREME?

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September 28, 2012 12:31:41 AM

Greetings all, I've having some issues. I have a computer I put together a few months ago, things are running fine except anything SATA related. I'm using the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme.


My issue is this:
I have 2 HDDs and 1 SSD (one blu-ray burner) yet my computer can only see 2 hard drives at a time. I think it depends on the SATA port I plug them into (4 6gb, 4 3gb) SATA_6G_1 is always my SSD and that's been ok, unless I move it to another port.

My hard drives are INDENTICAL WD Caviar Blacks (1TB) and I actually would like to raid them but since I use my computer for work I was just going to install them separate and wipe them into a raid when I had time.

Now the wierd part. I can get my other drive to show up (as scsi) when I reboot, go into my bios and reset the bios. However, next time I restart my computer -- the drive disappears.

Here's the WD diagnostic tool running both with all of them appearing and with only 2 appearing... http://i.imgur.com/p83Q6.png http://imgur.com/iKkBt

It seems I might have found a working setup by putting of the WD drives in the far SATA_3g_2 port and putting my blu-ray into the SATA_3g_1 port. But I'm not getting the full 6gb from the drive so it's slow (encoding large 1080p videos).
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 180 V Motherboard
September 28, 2012 1:34:05 AM

With the Rampage board the sata ports are a bit of an issue and I have the same board , when I first put it together I just have two SSD's and two dvd dtives. I put the SSD with the os in the sata 3 #3 and #4 by not paying attention to the numbers. Come to find out the sata ports#1 and #2 are the Intel ports off of the x-79 chipset and the sata3 ports # 3 and # 4 are off the Asmedia chip, so I had to switch the ports for it to work.
I'm thinking that you have to have sata3 #1 and #2 ports filled before you can use #3 and #4 , sounds strange but it seems to be that way.
the sata3 ports are the 6gb ports and the sata2 ports are the 3gb ports.
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September 28, 2012 1:36:24 AM

Even when I have 1 and 2 filled the third drive wont show up in slot 3 nor 4.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 168 V Motherboard
September 28, 2012 1:45:06 AM

Streek said:
Greetings all, I've having some issues. I have a computer I put together a few months ago, things are running fine except anything SATA related. I'm using the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme.


My issue is this:
I have 2 HDDs and 1 SSD (one blu-ray burner) yet my computer can only see 2 hard drives at a time. I think it depends on the SATA port I plug them into (4 6gb, 4 3gb) SATA_6G_1 is always my SSD and that's been ok, unless I move it to another port.

My hard drives are INDENTICAL WD Caviar Blacks (1TB) and I actually would like to raid them but since I use my computer for work I was just going to install them separate and wipe them into a raid when I had time.

Now the wierd part. I can get my other drive to show up (as scsi) when I reboot, go into my bios and reset the bios. However, next time I restart my computer -- the drive disappears.

Here's the WD diagnostic tool running both with all of them appearing and with only 2 appearing... http://i.imgur.com/p83Q6.png http://imgur.com/iKkBt

It seems I might have found a working setup by putting of the WD drives in the far SATA_3g_2 port and putting my blu-ray into the SATA_3g_1 port. But I'm not getting the full 6gb from the drive so it's slow (encoding large 1080p videos).


This is a known issue with the RIVE. The ASMedia ports can only be used for hard drives, nothing else. your SSDs and optical drives must be attached to the Intel controller. The issue appears to be that the chip only supports ATA devices, no advanced AHCI devices or ATAPI devices. If you disable the ASMedia OPROM then you can resolve some of the issues with the chip but you will be unable to boot or hotswap drives that are attached to the ASMedia controller and this includes the eSATA ports on the back.
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September 28, 2012 1:49:57 AM

Pinhedd said:
This is a known issue with the RIVE. The ASMedia ports can only be used for hard drives, nothing else. your SSDs and optical drives must be attached to the Intel controller. The issue appears to be that the chip only supports ATA devices, no advanced AHCI devices or ATAPI devices. If you disable the ASMedia OPROM then you can resolve some of the issues with the chip but you will be unable to boot or hotswap drives that are attached to the ASMedia controller and this includes the eSATA ports on the back.


Where in the EFI is the OPROM settings for the ASMEDIA? I can only find a complete disable option in integrated devices.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 168 V Motherboard
September 28, 2012 2:01:03 AM

Streek said:
Where in the EFI is the OPROM settings for the ASMEDIA? I can only find a complete disable option in integrated devices.


As far as I know the ASMedia device doesn't have an EFI compatible OPROM, it's a legacy BIOS ROM and this is what's causing all the issues. The SATA controls are all grouped together so it's on the same page as the Intel controller mode and hot-swap settings.
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September 28, 2012 2:09:17 AM

Pinhedd said:
As far as I know the ASMedia device doesn't have an EFI compatible OPROM, it's a legacy BIOS ROM and this is what's causing all the issues. The SATA controls are all grouped together so it's on the same page as the Intel controller mode and hot-swap settings.

Thanks, you've been amazingly helpful! But if I may ask one more question, lets say I want to create a RAID using the two Caviar Blacks and use my SSD as my boot drive. What ports do you recommend I use for each device?
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 168 V Motherboard
September 28, 2012 12:41:26 PM

Streek said:
Thanks, you've been amazingly helpful! But if I may ask one more question, lets say I want to create a RAID using the two Caviar Blacks and use my SSD as my boot drive. What ports do you recommend I use for each device?


If you want to create a RAID using the Caviars I recommend putting them on Intel's SATA-II ports and using the Intel firmware RAID. Put the SSD on the Intel SATA-III port. You should use all of the Intel ports before you even touch the ASMedia ports
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
September 28, 2012 2:36:07 PM

I would agree with the idea only to use the Intel ports until all are filled, and only Intel RAID (RSTE). However, a couple notes:

1. WD (e.g. non-RE4) 'enterprise' HDD's lack TLER, and if there's a problem quite often the RAID controller will drop-out the affected drive. Therefore, you'll need a HDD with some form of 'error recovery control' to avoid this problem. Most other HDD Mfg's don't play with their ERC, but WD unfortunately does disable it in their consumer lines.

2. Problem - most folks don't have their OS prepped for an after-the-fact change to RAID, meaning they didn't (F6) 'inject' the Intel RAID driver at the OS install. Therefore, the solution is to either start from scratch or use a third-party RAID Chipset. A simple test is to change the Intel SATA -> RAID and the resulting BSOD is a clear telltale you have this problem. The proper 'fix' involves re-installing the OS; see - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/303873-30-wont-resume...
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 168 V Motherboard
September 28, 2012 2:51:43 PM

jaquith said:
I would agree with the idea only to use the Intel ports until all are filled, and only Intel RAID (RSTE). However, a couple notes:

1. WD (e.g. non-RE4) 'enterprise' HDD's lack TLER, and if there's a problem quite often the RAID controller will drop-out the affected drive. Therefore, you'll need a HDD with some form of 'error recovery control' to avoid this problem. Most other HDD Mfg's don't play with their ERC, but WD unfortunately does disable it in their consumer lines.

2. Problem - most folks don't have their OS prepped for an after-the-fact change to RAID, meaning they didn't (F6) 'inject' the Intel RAID driver at the OS install. Therefore, the solution is to either start from scratch or use a third-party RAID Chipset. A simple test is to change the Intel SATA -> RAID and the resulting BSOD is a clear telltale you have this problem. The proper 'fix' involves re-installing the OS; see - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/303873-30-wont-resume...


The more recent firmware revisions for the Asus X79 platforms require the Intel AHCI drivers to be provided at install time for both AHCI and AHCI+RAID. Prior to revision 1305 (I think) it was only required when the controller was in RAID mode but last time I did a fresh install it was required for both.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
September 28, 2012 3:13:23 PM

Pinhedd said:
The more recent firmware revisions for the Asus X79 platforms require the Intel AHCI drivers to be provided at install time for both AHCI and AHCI+RAID. Prior to revision 1305 (I think) it was only required when the controller was in RAID mode but last time I did a fresh install it was required for both.

If you use the 'Defaults' (AHCI) you'll 'see' the drives, but if you set the Intel SATA -> RAID you 'will not see' the drives until the Intel RAID Driver is installed. That's what I recalled with the last R4E (RIVE) I've built -- so either (.ROM) or (.CAP) have the issue.

Again, even on yours simply switch the Intel SATA -> RAID, save and reboot -- are you getting a BSOD? In mine I 'can' boot either way -- I use SSD + RAID on every PC I own. Further, I cannot figure-out an after-the-fact solution if you failed to load the RAID drivers @ Windows 7 install.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
September 28, 2012 3:24:53 PM

If I were the OP - I would have the SSD (OS, Apps, & Working Data) + HDD (DATA) + HDD (Backup). Considering everything it's the 'best' solution.

Also you never want RAID 0 on a HDD (DATA), and if there's a massive corruption then even 'RAID' isn't going to be your 'savior'; once in a while you can have a systemic failure and the drives can become 'unreadable' aka 'unsalvageable' so the only source is a backup...

Example total RAID failure; thankfully the data on one HDD was good so I didn't need to resort to a backup 'image.' Example total pooched RAID 1 (note OS & BIOS) - http://i1013.photobucket.com/albums/af254/Jaquith/Intel...
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 180 V Motherboard
September 28, 2012 4:23:30 PM

Streek said:
Thanks, you've been amazingly helpful! But if I may ask one more question, lets say I want to create a RAID using the two Caviar Blacks and use my SSD as my boot drive. What ports do you recommend I use for each device?



If your using a SSD as your boot drive and you rgular WD hard drives for storage and secondary applications there's really no reason to have a raid setup for those seconday and backup files and data. You can keep them seperate with one drive being used for most used apps and data while designating the second drive as a backup and deep storage.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 168 V Motherboard
September 28, 2012 4:41:55 PM

jaquith said:
If you use the 'Defaults' (AHCI) you'll 'see' the drives, but if you set the Intel SATA -> RAID you 'will not see' the drives until the Intel RAID Driver is installed. That's what I recalled with the last R4E (RIVE) I've built -- so either (.ROM) or (.CAP) have the issue.

Again, even on yours simply switch the Intel SATA -> RAID, save and reboot -- are you getting a BSOD? In mine I 'can' boot either way -- I use SSD + RAID on every PC I own. Further, I cannot figure-out an after-the-fact solution if you failed to load the RAID drivers @ Windows 7 install.


Yeah that's what I recall as well when I first build my machine. However I later rebuilt it after several firmware revisions and had to install the drivers even with only AHCI and no firmware RAID.

I have two SSDs (not in RAID), 4 HDDs in two separate RAIDs, and an external hardware RAID attached via eSATA. Initially I would just install in AHCI mode, then install the RSTe drivers, then enable RAID and everything would fall back into place. Eventually the AHCI mode began to require the drivers at install time so I just installed in RAID mode instead. I may be imagining things though.

Failing to load the RAID drivers upon installation should be fine. The raid drives will show up erronously in disk management but will operate normally once the new RSTe drivers are installed (newer than the ones included with Windows) and RAID mode is reenabled.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
September 28, 2012 5:12:38 PM

Pinhedd said:
Failing to load the RAID drivers upon installation should be fine. The raid drives will show up erronously in disk management but will operate normally once the new RSTe drivers are installed (newer than the ones included with Windows) and RAID mode is reenabled.

Yeah, once I totally forgot to set the Intel SATA -> RAID, and yeah (Ctrl+I) you 'can' setup the RAID -- BUT the result is data corruption when using your array in 'AHCI' mode over RAID not to mention proper RAID communication (driver ; error handling, etc) and Intel RSTE won't work correctly if at all.

I wrote that Guide because 'if I can fruit loop my array' then so can others. The 'problem' is I could find no way of correcting it (the driver and array) after-the-fact. Therefore, only use Intel SATA -> RAID at OS install if you ever plan on using RAID successfully.

You can do all sorts of 'things' it's the consequences that bite you later.
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October 5, 2012 12:04:05 AM

Best answer selected by Streek.
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October 5, 2012 12:06:23 AM

Thanks for all replies I was able to setup all 3 drives and the optical without issues once I understood what was going on. Also have raid running now with no issues. Thanks!!
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 168 V Motherboard
October 5, 2012 12:09:00 AM

Streek said:
Thanks for all replies I was able to setup all 3 drives and the optical without issues once I understood what was going on. Also have raid running now with no issues. Thanks!!


Glad it went off without any further hitches!
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