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Thread: Pro 35 RAID problem

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    Pro 35 RAID problem

    Anybody, I'm going nuts here and wish I'd never started this. The people who write the aBit "manuals" should be taken somewhere quiet and shot like sick dogs.

    Can anyone walk me through the RAID 1 setup procedure, either XP or aBit?

    I have tried and failed to get any mirroring using XP (placed something about this on the o/s board) .

    I finally found CTRL I (the opportunity goes by in about a millisecond) and configured drives as RAID 1. Attempting to install (about the tenth time in two days) XP on this array gives a blue screen and asks me to check my drives.

    Now what is the goddamned driver floppy disc about? Is it possible to create a RAID array AFTER installing XP - damned if I know. There are two options for the driver set, one Intel and one for someJMicron. There is a JMicron utility on the aBit CD. Do I install on a single disc using the JMicron drivers and then set up the RAID afterward. There is not A SINGLE WORD about this in the manuals - absolutely incredible.

    Someone put me out of my misery please. HOW can achieve this simple objective? RAID has been round for more than a decade! I refuse to just give up and install on a single disc after spending a small fortune on this hardware (& how I wish I hadn't - I'm getting far too old for this kind of stress).

    And now I have to spend half the night sitting up hoping I don't get flooded...

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    Re: Pro 35 RAID problem

    Firstly you don’t state what/where you want this RAID array, but it looks like you want to RAID 1 your Windows installation? I also assume you want the two hard drives on SATA 1-6 on the ICH9R controller, not on the JMicron controller?

    If you do want to use the JMicron controller I advise you not to. Use SATA 1-6 and Intel Matrix Storage Manager or Intel Matrix Storage Tech (same thing, different name).

    The ABIT manual is a motherboard manual and tells you how to connect and some set-up parameters – not and a JMicron RAID configuration manual or an Intel Matrix Storage Manager manual. For this information, you need to look elsewhere for the appropriate information.

    However it is easy. You should use the Intel Storage Manager, and XP does not have the SATA RAID drivers for this built-in, so you need to F6 and supply them at XP installation time, then Ctrl I and configure the RAID array and then let the XP installation continue. You can even install XP on a single hard disk and then use Intel Storage Manager to create the RAID Array and convert it from the single disk install to the RAID 1 mirror. Intel Matrix Storage Manager is very easy to use and very flexible.

    You need to decide and plan what you want to do – as you can have two separate RAID 0, RAID 1 ot a RAID 0 and a RAID 1 array on a single pair of disks, as well as simply assigning the entire disk to a single array.

    Firstly I will describe my setup (see My System):

    I have five SATA hard disks (HD) in total plus a SATA DVD writer so all six ports on my Intel ICH8R controller. I am not using the JMicron controller for HDs, but do have IDE DVD Writer so have loaded the drivers.

    Four of the five HDs are identical 500GB HDs, and the fifth is 320GB.

    Two of the 500GB drives are paired in a RAID Array, with the first 256GB volume being RAID 0 and is the C: (System) drive with Windows OS, most applications and general stuff, and the remaining 377GB is a RAID 1 volume and is the E: (Backups) drive. So there are two physical HDs in the array, and it has two volumes, a RAID 0 volume (created first so it takes the outer and faster cylinders) for speed/performance and a RAID 1 volume for resilience. If a drive fails I still have the data on the E: drive accessible, but the system on C: is trashed. I don’t care about this as I have backups and restore a working bootable system from an image in a few minutes.

    The other two 500GB drive are also paired in a second RAID array, again with the first 256GB volume being RAID 0 and is the D: (Sims&Scenery) drive with Flight Sims scenery and some programs, and the remaining 377GB is a RAID 1 volume and is the F: (Data) drive.

    So I run the OS from the C: and use the F: drive for data – as they are on physically separate HDs, performance is excellent. My documents (on the C: drive) is automatically replicated to a Server, but I keep photos, music, backup images, important docs etc on the F: (Data) drive. Most, if not all the F: Drive contend is replicated to the E: (Backups) drive so I effectively have 4 copies of my important data stored on separate HDs.

    The fifth G: (Recovery) drive has another install of Windows, plus a bunch of utilities, benchmarks, evaluation and testing stuff etc. and I can boot to this for recovery or testing purposes so I keep ‘rubbish and ad-hoc’ stuff off my ‘operational’ system on the C: drive.

    So that is the environment and as you can see you can have two separate RAID volumes on one physical pair of HDs as a two disk array – and there are other options with more drives in the array if you want. I believe it is a very safe way to operate. And Intel Matrix Storage Manager seems to work well.

    It is possible to create a RAID array integrating a currently installed HD with Windows on it, and for experimental purposes I tried it to confirm it works and it does. However for me at that time the currently installed OS was my 320GB HD and I wanted to run my RAID off the 4 new 500GB drives, so I build that from scratch, which is possibly a bit easier.

    All you do for that is install the HDs, go into BIOS and set controller from IDE to RAID, boot from Windows Installer CD, Hit F6 and load RAID Drivers, during POST hit Ctrl/I and configure the RAID 0 volume and then proceed to install Windows on that volume. You then install the Intel Matrix Storage Manager (I originally used 7.5.0.1017 but have since upgraded to 7.6.0.1011) and can subsequently configure the rest of the RAID setup with that or via Ctrl/I at startup.

    If you need detailed instructions, I can provide them.

    Matrix RAID (Two Volumes Per Array)
    Matrix RAID combines the benefits of RAID 0 performance and RAID 1 protection on two hard drives. For example, games and video editing can benefit from improved performance by being stored on a RAID 0 volume while valuable personal photos and financial records can be better protected from a drive failure by being stored on the RAID 1 volume.

    Matrix RAID provides better data protection than RAID 0 by providing a volume of RAID 1 storage, where data can be protected from a single hard drive failure. Additionally, Matrix RAID provides a greater total storage capacity and improved performance over what is provided by RAID 1 alone.

    Minimum Disks: 2

    Advantage: Combines benefits of RAID 0 and RAID 1 on two hard drives.

    Data Protection: Data stored on the RAID 1 volume is redundant, and can still be accessed in the event of a hard drive failure.

    Application: Matrix RAID is an option for users who desire increased capacity and performance while still protecting some data from a hard drive failure.

    JMicron covers the EIDE/PATA and the eSata ports (possibly the floppy controller - not sure on that one). It will not figure in your Intel matrix Raid, which is on the 6 ICH8/9R ports. Dont forget to craete you F6 Floppy with drivers before you start.

    Check out this tread, http://forums.hexus.net/hexus-hardwa...ch9-ich9r.html for details on 'converting' using existing HD, and other useful info - post 21 was my experience and has some useful links.

    The link to the downloads may be of use, but the one to the excellent Intel guide is essential - it will tell you everything you need to know.
    Last edited by EtheAv8r; 11-03-2008 at 12:05 AM. Reason: Added my current version 7.6.0.1011
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    Re: Pro 35 RAID problem

    EtheAv8r
    Thank you
    All I want is a mirrored pair of 500 Gb Samsung disks for my os and apps! Why oh why should this be so difficult?
    I am currently pretty exhausted. I'll print your post and the threads and links which you refer to so that I can read through it at leisure. Right now I'm sitting up waiting for high tide and hoping it stays away from my door: not the best state to address these issues!
    Having had a quick look at the thread in question I'm shocked by the almost unbelievable complexity of this stuff - and I've been using computers for a very long time, even if I'm not that good. RAID is such basic functionality I can't believe that it hasn't been made more manageable. I'l have a go at your suggestions. I hope you may have the patience to respond to my inevitable questions, but if you don't, thanks for the heads-up anyway!
    Roy
    NB
    Intel Storage Manager Software (Version 7.0.01020 iata70_cd.exe)
    Support Intel g=eng
    "NOT FOUND...."
    Oh dear.
    Last edited by OldRoy; 11-03-2008 at 01:15 AM.

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    Re: Pro 35 RAID problem

    And having read the initial post right through I can't see any way that I'm going to be able to do this - finding that the links don't work and then seeing reams of registry additions -- jeeze, does something as well established as RAID really have to be so difficult? Incredible, depressing.

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    Re: Pro 35 RAID problem

    OK it is not actually so difficult - sure the links posted are broken (because the versions have been updated to thoses downloads become older versions.... but from the Intel "Download not found' page you are taken, to you simply in the "Download center" on the left, you click on "Chipsets>Chipset Software>Intel Matrix Storage Manager" then select your OS and download the latest version - If XP 32bit then here Download Search Results .

    You want the drivers Intel® Matrix Storage Manager RAID/AHCI Software - Intel® Matrix Storage Manager and also the floppy maker for the F6 on install from here Intel® Matrix Storage Manager 32-bit Floppy Configuration Utility for Intel® Matrix Storage Manager . The documentation is great and it is very easy to do what you want to do. In truth it obly takes a very few minutes to set it all up - takes longer of course due to the formatting, but really it is not dificult. I would split your 2 * 500 into two separate RAID arays and this Intel Matrix is just the job for that.
    Last edited by EtheAv8r; 11-03-2008 at 03:45 PM.
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