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Thread: How to setup raid with an SSD as primary drive




  1. #1
    wizardai is offline Junior Member
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    Question How to setup raid with an SSD as primary drive

    Hello,


    I'm trying to set up raid 1 on four drives and for the following effect:

    Drive 1: SSD (no raid, OS drive)

    Drive 2: 1TB raid 1 (mirror A)
    Drive 3: 1TB raid 1 (mirror A)
    Drive 4: 1TB raid 1 (mirror A)
    Drive 5: 1TB raid 1 (mirror A)

    My issues:

    - When I create a raid volume, it is limited to two drives.
    - When I try to boot, system tries to boot from the raid volumes, not from SSD which has the OS on it.


    My system:
    ASRock Z77 Extreme6

    I have tried many different settings to get the SSD to boot while in raid, but nothing seems to have worked. Any advice on how I can get this going?


    Thanks!

  2. #2
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: How to setup raid with an SSD as primary drive

    As you have seen, Intel's RAID 1 is limited to two disk drives. You may be able to achieve what you want to do with a RAID 5 or RAID 10 volume, which is supported on your board. Using Intel's guide below will help you decide which one to choose:

    http://download.intel.com/support/ch...user_guide.pdf

    When using Windows 8, you must use IRST versions 11.6 or 11.7. IRST 11.6 is available on your boards download page.

    You should be able to boot from your SSD as a single OS drive when in RAID mode, I've done that many times. If you have the boot order set up correctly in the UEFI/BIOS, with the SSD first, then I'm guessing that you installed Windows to the SSD with your RAID 1 volume on the PC. When more disks are connected to the PC than just the OS drive when installing Windows, it will put the MBR on another drive for some reason. That can confuse the boot order. Only have the SSD connected to your PC when you install Windows.

    But, I also think there is also a chance that you did not have the SSD on the Intel SATA ports, but on the ASMedia SATA ports. The two ASMedia ports are at the "top" of the stack of SATA ports, the six Intel ports below them. Check your boards manual if you are not sure. The ASMedia SATA interface will not be active when you install an OS unless you install its driver when that option is available during the installation.

  3. #3
    wizardai is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: How to setup raid with an SSD as primary drive

    ah ok very good.

    I will try these out and report back -most likely over the weekend.

    I downloaded the intel drivers a while back, but never got around to installing them.

    I did install the OS on the ssd drive and no other drives attached.

    The SSD is on # 13 - SATA3 Connectors (SATA3_A1_A2, Gray) Would that be the top of the stack?

    Thanks for the quick reply!

  4. #4
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: How to setup raid with an SSD as primary drive

    There's your SSD problem, it is on the ASMedia SATA chipset ports, SATA3_A1_A2, which is what I mean by the top of the stack. Do NOT use those for an OS drive. It's possible, but they are just not as good as the Intel SATA ports. These ports are completely separate from the Intel ports, and cannot use the Intel RAID driver, or support RAID of any kind. As it states in your board's manual:

    We recommend to use Intel® Z77 SATA ports (SATA3_0,
    SATA3_1, SATA2_2, SATA2_3, SATA2_4 and SATA2_5) for
    your bootable devices. This will minimum your boot time and
    get the best performance. But if you still want to boot from
    ASMedia SATA3 controller, you can still enable this in UEFI.

    You want to use the ones just below it for your SSD, the Intel SATA 6Gb/s ports, (SATA3_0_1, Gray). Don't waste these two on your HDDs, even in RAID, HDD's will not use their speed.

    Note in the Storage Configuration screen in the BIOS that the Intel and SATA mode settings are separate. Was the ASMedia SATA mode set to AHCI when you installed Windows 8?

    Since you want to use RAID, you really must reinstall Windows with the Intel (it's called SATA Mode Selection) SATA controller set to RAID. With Windows 8, you don't need to install the Intel F6 RAID driver during the installation, but afterwards install the full IRST 11.7 driver package.

    I don't know why your first OS installation won't boot from the SSD, unless it is not first in the boot order, which you can check in the Boot menu in the BIOS. But that will only work on the ASMedia ports, if it installed correctly.

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