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Thread: Need help setting up RAID0 ASRock Extreme4 Gen3




  1. #1
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    Default Need help setting up RAID0 ASRock Extreme4 Gen3 [SOLVED]

    I have Win7 Pro installed on my SSD, but I have 2 SATA II 80 GB drives (same model) I want to RAID0 to get one 160GB drive.

    Mobo is ASRock Extreme4 Gen3

    What are the steps I should take to join these two? I want my SSD separate and not RAIDed. The instructions on the ASRock website call for a floppy, which I have none, and appear to be aimed at RAIDing two or more discs which will contain the OS. I don't want this. I want my SSD to be separate for my OS, and I only want to join my two HDD SATA II drives in RAID0. Any thoughts or directions on how to proceed?
    Last edited by inigmatus; 01-09-2012 at 08:41 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Need help setting up RAID0 ASRock Extreme4 Gen3

    I am guessing that you have an ASRock Z68 Extreme 4 Gen 3 board? -- your OS w/Win7 SSD connected to one of the native Intel SATA 3 or SATA 2 ports thus leaving 1 open native Intel SATA 3 ports and 4 open native Intel SATA 2 ports and 2 open Marvell SATA 3.0 ports...

    As long as you have 2 native Intel SATA 2 ports besides wherever your SSD is you should be able to add the 2 80GB drives to the open native Intel SATA 2 ports and after initializing them in Computer Mgmt -> Disk Management Utility ie: Partition and Format then you should be able to use the Intel Rapid Storage Technology-aka RST (Hopefully you installed that software in Win7)to create your RAID-0 selecting the 2 drives (be careful not to select your SSD if it's on a native Intel SATA 2 ports) and the RST will create your RAID-0 and after rebooting (when prompted) You should be good to go

    Post back if I lost you

    SaphireX

    *MAKE SURE that when you create that RAID-0 that you DO NOT make it bootable so that your boot drive will still be the SSD
    Last edited by SaphireX; 01-08-2012 at 05:05 PM.
    ASRock™ Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 Intel™ Core i7-2600K LGA1155 Corsair™ Hydro Series H100 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler (CWCH100)
    G.SKILL™ Ripjaws X Series 16GB DDR3 2133 Model F3-17000CL11Q-16GBXL (2) ASUS™ ENGTX560 TI DCII TOP/2DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 560 Ti in SLi
    OS Drive: Mushkin™ Chronos Deluxe 120 GB SATA 6.0 Gb/s SSD(MKNSSDCR120GB-DX) Storage: 2-Western Digital™ WD2002FAEX 2TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Hard Drives
    Optical: HP™ Multiformat DVD Writer SATA Model 1260i Plextor™ Blu-ray writer PX-LB950SA Viewsonic™ V3D245 3D LED display @120hz
    PC Power and Cooling™ Silencer Mk II 950W Inwin™ DRAGON RIDER case APC™ BR1500LCD UPS 1500VA w/AVR Win7™ Ultimate 64

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Need help setting up RAID0 ASRock Extreme4 Gen3

    SaphireX, you are correct. I have my two 80 Sata IIs plugged into SATA_2_2 and SATA 2_3, and my SSD in SATA_3_0, and my Pioneer BDR in SATA_3_1. Both SATA 3 M1 and M2 are open.

    With your method, do I need to set the controller in bios away from AHCI to RAID and do the whole Intel RAID setup first?

    I switched my bios to RAID from AHCI and had to do the Intel RAID setup, and then reload Win7 Pro onto my SSD, and then do the Intel RST setup to confirm they were already RAIDed and then Disk Management to format and assign drive letter. The only thing though, is that with the bios set from ACHI to RAID, the mobo does a double POST before loading Windows. When I was only using the AHCI controller my mobo only posted once.

    If I could set it to AHCI in the mobo storage settings, and then in Win7 only use the Intel RST to RAID the two drives, it might make my boot ups faster without that double POST. Would this work? I could test it, but before I formatted and reinstalled Win7 a third time to my SSD, I'll wait for your answer.

    By the way with my second install of Win7 I used your recommended link for the driver updates. They all work perfectly. Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need help setting up RAID0 ASRock Extreme4 Gen3

    You should be able to leave the UEFI set to ACHI and use the Intel RST to separately create your RAID-1 with the 2X80GB SATA 2 drives. The RST takes care of creating the array from square one and has no dependency of what your controller is set to in the UEFI because your OS drive is not RAID-ed. Now in order for you to test this because you switched the mode of the controller from AHCI to RAID I am not sure if you can simply switch that back in the UEFI to AHCI without causing your boot drive SSD problems since the Win7 boot sector was modified...I know that you cannot switch from IDE to AHCI without some serious registry editing. But at this juncture it's worth a try and if the change from RAID to AHCI does not cause you grief in booting into windows, Then once windows is fully loaded then ascertain what the status is of the 2X80 GB drives thru the RST and then break any array and then re-create it using the RST. If after rebooting when prompted it no longer double posts then you solved the problem. If it still double posts then most likely you will have to disconnect those 2 2X80GB SATA 2's and do a fresh install of Win7 on your SSD (beforehand I highly recommend Parted Magic to wipe the SDD drive) then afterward re-install windows then after you have all of the newer derivers installed before going to windows update then on consecutive shut downs re-connect each drive one at a time and if necessary use disk mgmt to partition & format them to NTFS. Then use the RST to create your RAID-1 "storage drive"

    Let us know how you make out

    Here is the link how to use Parted Magic

    Mushkin Enhanced Forums • View topic - Secure Erase with Parted Magic

    Good Luck

    SaphireX
    ASRock™ Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 Intel™ Core i7-2600K LGA1155 Corsair™ Hydro Series H100 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler (CWCH100)
    G.SKILL™ Ripjaws X Series 16GB DDR3 2133 Model F3-17000CL11Q-16GBXL (2) ASUS™ ENGTX560 TI DCII TOP/2DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 560 Ti in SLi
    OS Drive: Mushkin™ Chronos Deluxe 120 GB SATA 6.0 Gb/s SSD(MKNSSDCR120GB-DX) Storage: 2-Western Digital™ WD2002FAEX 2TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Hard Drives
    Optical: HP™ Multiformat DVD Writer SATA Model 1260i Plextor™ Blu-ray writer PX-LB950SA Viewsonic™ V3D245 3D LED display @120hz
    PC Power and Cooling™ Silencer Mk II 950W Inwin™ DRAGON RIDER case APC™ BR1500LCD UPS 1500VA w/AVR Win7™ Ultimate 64

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Need help setting up RAID0 ASRock Extreme4 Gen3

    I have the P67 Extreme4 Gen3 mobo.

    I deleted my RAID array, reset my bios to AHCI, unplugged the HDDs, reformatted the SSD, and installed Win7. Then I go to install the Intel RST drivers and it says

    "This computer does not meet the minimum requirements for installing the software."

    Argh. Ideas? Do I have to use RAID in the bios?
    Last edited by inigmatus; 01-09-2012 at 08:48 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Need help setting up RAID0 ASRock Extreme4 Gen3

    UPDATE: I did NOT have AHCI enabled in BIOS, only IDE (in my reset of BIOS I forgot it defaulted to IDE).

    So I did the ol switch from IDE to AHCI trick for Win7:

    Open regedit and navigate to:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\iaStorV

    and

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\msahci

    and set both Start values from 3 to 0 (to enable them).

    Then rebooted into BIOS and changed from IDE to AHCI.

    I booted into Win7 and Win7 took care of business updating the drivers and recognizing devices. It asked to reboot, so I did. It the loaded again then did the same thing again (perhaps for the other service) and then asked to reboot again. I did and all was well. I installed the Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver without issue.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Need help setting up RAID0 ASRock Extreme4 Gen3

    Oh the fun of it all. I have two questions at the bottom of all of this.

    ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3

    I wiped both 80GB SATA II HDDs. I secure wiped the SSD using Parted Magic, unplugged the HDDs, and confirmed BIOS was set to AHCI.

    I installed Win7, all newest drivers (except Intel RST), downloaded and installed all Windows updates, and installed Microsoft Security Essentials and its updates, tweaked my system using blackviper recommendations (my service changes are attached to this post, the bold enable or disabled are what ive set them to), set iaStorV and msahci in registry to 0 (enabled), deleted temp files, and rebooted and made sure system loaded. I then imaged the drive. Whew. All good so far.

    Then I plugged my first HDD and restarted and initialized and formatted it and assigned it a drive letter.
    Then I did the same for my second HDD. I mapped my drives A:DVD C:SSD D:HDD1 E:HDD2.
    All good again, I have two data drives, just like it was before I started this thread.

    Then I installed Intel Rapid Storage Technology (11.0.0.1032 dated 12/11/2011). It rebooted as normal.

    The Intel RST service wasn't running on reboot (but that's because Services lists it as a delayed start) so I opened it up because I'm impatient.

    Intel RST recognizes all my drives fine. Except: no Create button. I have no button to Create my RAID. Argh.

    Then I read the Help file that comes with Intel RST. It has a page on volume requirements, and mentions that Create is an option that is only available when I meet several conditions, one of which is that the computer be RAID-ready (which I interpret to mean it must be set to RAID in BIOS). Oy. At least I know the answer to the first question: apparently with this mobo, Intel RST requires mobo to be set to RAID in BIOS before allowing the creation of new RAID volumes.

    So to BIOS I go and switch from AHCI to RAID, and I RAID0 the two HDDs using the Intel setup. I boot Windows, and Win 7 Pro recognizes the new "drive" and I reboot again, and I format it and assign it to Drive "D" (I had to reassign my DVD drive to "A" again with the controller change in order to free of letter "D").

    I open Intel RST, and it sees three drives (SSD, 2 HDDs) but 0 bytes for each. Figuring Intel RST was corrupt with the controller change, I tried to uninstall it but to no avail (it just stays there). So I just reinstalled Intel RST over itself, and rebooted as necessary.

    After reboot I opened Intel RST and I had full control over the RAIDed drives. I even deleted the RAID using Intel RST and lo and behold I get a Create button now. So I create a RAID0 from my two HDDs using Intel RST, and initialize, format, and reboot. All is good.

    Except I still get the "double POST" in my BIOS, which really isn't a double POST at all since the first time the ASRock splash screen shows up it is unresponsive to F2 commands, and a second later the splash disappears and shows the Intel RAID utility, and then when it times out I get another ASRock splash screen again (which this time it IS responsive to F2), and then loads Windows fine. I think what is happening with the apparent "double POST" is really just the BIOS partially loading its options up until it reaches the Storage options in Advanced, reads that its RAID and then loads the Intel RAID utility, and when the RAID utility receives no input and times out, the mobo then proceeds on its merry way to load the rest of the BIOS settings (the second appearance of the ASRock splash screen) and then on to Windows.

    I figured for the fun of it, I'd just flip my BIOS from RAID back to AHCI (without breaking my RAIDed drive prior to doing so). Doing so got rid of the Intel RAID utility setup screen, loaded Windows in AHCI, and again mucked up Intel RST (it saw three drives, 0 bytes) which required another Intel RST reinstall. Now here is the interesting thing:

    After reboot, Intel RST saw 3 drives with normal drive sizes, no RAIDed volumes, no Create button. Yet when I look at Disk Management, the RAIDed drive is recognized as one combined drive (149GB), and even did me the favor of mounting it on D! Apparent Success!


    MY QUESTIONS:
    So now I can reboot and I only get one ASRock BIOS splash screen, and go straight into Windows 7 Pro and it recognizes my RAIDed D drive just fine. But is this a safe configuration? Is it ok to use a RAIDed drive when my BIOS is set to AHCI and Intel RST doesn't see the RAID but only 3 drives?

    I can write and read from it fine. Except I'm trying to move my Users folder off my SSD to the RAIDed HDDs D drive, while booting from the Win7 Pro DVD command prompt (instructions here). The Win7 DVD command prompt loads my drives on E:SSD C:RAIDed D as expected. But when I do a dir command on the RAIDed D, it says that the file system is not recognized.

    So again I ask, is it safe to have BIOS set to AHCI and use a RAIDed drive? If so, then why does the Win7 DVD not recognize the filesystem of my RAIDed D drive? When I boot to Win7 PRo from the SSD, I can run the dir command just fine on my RAIDed D drive without issue. Is this the difference between running cmd from Win 7 DVD vs cmd from Win 7 on my SSD? And can I safely use the RAIDed D with Windows in AHCI but Intel RST doesn't see the RAID?
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by inigmatus; 01-13-2012 at 03:26 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Need help setting up RAID0 ASRock Extreme4 Gen3

    Just a word of note too: if you have the system set to AHCI and boot into Win7 and open IntelRST and it sees individual drives and not an array, and then you decide to boot into the Win7 DVD and go to command prompt as a repair tool, it will not recognize the RAIDed drive filesystem (only when you boot to Win7 from your drive does it recognize the array).

    I wanted to move my Users folder off my SSD to my RAIDed HDDs, but to do this I had to boot from the Win7 dvd and use the Win7 DVD repair tool command prompt. With the Win7 DVD command prompt I tried to navigate to my d drive. It said my drive did not have a recognized file system. Loading drivers does not help either. So I got around this by simply changing BIOS from ACHI to RAID and booting into Win7 from my SSD, and opened Intel RST. Sure enough Intel RST recognized my drives and their array as expected (since the mobo was now in RAID mode which is a requirement of Intel Rapid Storage Technology to see RAID arrays). So then I rebooted into the Win7 DVD command prompt, and lo and behold it recognizes my RAID drive just fine, and I was able to robocopy my Users off of the SSD and put it on the RAID drive, finishing with a simple Junction creation (mklink /J E:\Users D:\Users, see this). I also moved the Windows\Installers folder from my SSD to the RAID drive (following these instructions).

    I then rebooted the comp, took out the DVD, went into BIOS before Win7 loaded from my drive, and changed BIOS back to AHCI. I saved the BIOS change from RAID to ACHI and continued to boot normally into Win7 from my SSD drive, and Win7 never knew a difference. All is good. System works beautifully.

    Bear in mind though that the ability to switch from ACHI to RAID in your BIOS on the fly without it killing Windows 7 requires that your

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\iaStorV

    and

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\msahci

    start values are set from 3 (disabled) to 0 (enabled) so that these two drivers are enabled (msahci for AHCI, and iaStorV for RAID)

    I now have my SSD with my OS, Intel RST installed (and recognizing drives when booted in AHCI, and arrays when booted in RAID), and my RAID drive recognzied by Win7 as one single drive in both modes (and containing my Users, Temp and MS Office and HP installer folders, saving my SSD from a ton of writing).

    I'm living the high life. I hope this info helps somebody.
    Last edited by inigmatus; 01-14-2012 at 02:04 AM.

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