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Thread: Z77 Extreme3 SSD + RAID 0 + Ultra Fast Boot




  1. #1
    SLeePYG72786 is offline Junior Member
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    Question Z77 Extreme3 SSD + RAID 0 + Ultra Fast Boot

    I've done some searching, and I'm a bit confused at this point. Here's what I got:

    BIOS: v1.50 (latest as of this post)

    SSD
    * Samsung 850 EVO 120GB

    HDD
    * Seagate Barracuda 500GB
    * Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB

    I'm currently running Windows 8.1 Pro x64 on the SSD with a RAID 0 config with 2x 500GB HDD's. In the BIOS under SATA Mode it is set to RAID. I'm really wanting to use the Ultra Fast Boot mode, but am currently unable to. When I set it to Ultra Fast Boot mode the only boot device I have for HDD are my USB flash drive with UEFI next to it (and it's not configured for that). I'm installing Windows 8.1 from a bootable USB stick. Samsung Magician complains about the SSD not being in AHCI mode, but that's because the SATA ports are set to RAID mode. This prevents me from doing certain things like a firmware update on the SSD, and a few other things. I want to have that option available if I ever need it, and be able to use the Ultra Fast Boot option.

    On the board there are 2x grey SATA 3 and 4x black SATA 2 ports. I'm pretty sure I messed up when I did the installation of the drives - I have the SSD on SATA_3_0, but the Western Digital drive is connected to SATA_3_1 while the Seagate drive is connected to SATA_2_2. I configured the RAID 0 array before installing Windows, and messed up and left them both connected during installation.

    I am willing to go through a fresh Windows installation, and reinstallation of the programs that are currently on my RAID 0 array. From what I'm understanding I need to install Windows 8.1 on the SSD with a GPT partition, setting SATA Mode to AHCI, set Boot to Ultra Fast Boot, and leave only the SSD connected during and after Windows installation. I am also using Secure Boot in the BIOS.

    Is this correct or no? If no then please fill me in as I am kinda lost at this point concerning this.

    ---------

    On and kinda off-topic question. I have my Steam library on the RAID 0 currently. I am fairly certain I will be able to simply delete all directories that contain the installations of my current programs on the RAID 0 array and just reinstall them on the fresh Windows installation, and launch Steam and have it update while maintaining my currently downloaded games. Is this correct?

    ---------

    Thank you in advance for any and all answers.

  2. #2
    CSAsr84 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z77 Extreme3 SSD + RAID 0 + Ultra Fast Boot

    Have in mind from what I have read it reduce only boot time when restarting and not from a cold boot. I haven't use it because i can't cause I have a GTX 650 and for ultra fast boot you need an UEFI Gop compliant VGA card which i don't know for AMD but for NVIDIA it needs a Geforce 7xx, 9xx series card or or some Geforce 6xx cards which support it after BIOS update. My SSD partition was set automatically to GPT when i installed Windows 8.1 from an USB using the UEFI:"usb stick name" option from boot menu. You have rightly connected the SSD at SATA_3_0 port. Secure boot on i don't know if is needed.

  3. #3
    SLeePYG72786 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z77 Extreme3 SSD + RAID 0 + Ultra Fast Boot

    That's strange. My SSD is installed as NTFS. Is there a special way to setup your USB stick? I can't remember how exactly I set mine up, but it did/does work.

  4. #4
    CSAsr84 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z77 Extreme3 SSD + RAID 0 + Ultra Fast Boot

    No, i just copied the DVD files to usb and started installation. Maybe it helps the fact that I use a newer chipset (X99) and it did it on his own. Otherwise you must format the partition to GPT prior installation with some Hard Disk partitioning software and i think you can do it also within Windows Disk management but of course Windows must be running from another HDD.

  5. #5
    CSAsr84 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z77 Extreme3 SSD + RAID 0 + Ultra Fast Boot

    Sorry i said something wrong in previous post. SSD saying NTFS is not a problem as it is the file system and not the partition style. HDD could be MBR or GPT on Windows. To check what you have go to Disk Management, Right-click the DiskX where X is the SSD number in HDD row and choose properties. In volumes tab you will see if your SSD is GPT or MBR way set.

  6. #6
    SLeePYG72786 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z77 Extreme3 SSD + RAID 0 + Ultra Fast Boot

    SSD is currently MBR. :( I'm reading up on how to use GPT. I think I've found it on TechNet: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/.../dn336946.aspx & https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/.../hh825112.aspx

    This is my first SSD, but I'm in no way new to PC's. Just gonna take a bit of reading, reading, and more reading. I'd still like to know the answers to my OP.

  7. #7
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    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Z77 Extreme3 SSD + RAID 0 + Ultra Fast Boot

    Ultra Fast boot can only be used with a true UEFI booting Windows 8 installation.

    CSAsr84 is right about the basic requirements for a UEFI booting Windows installation. Before you bother trying to set up a UEFI booting Windows installation on a USB flash drive, you MUST confirm that your Gigabyte GTX 760 is "GOP compatible". GOP is a graphics protocol used by UEFI firmware that must be supported by a PC's video source. Only Gigabyte can confirm for you if the VBIOS in your video card is GOP compatible. If it isn't, when you try to boot a UEFI booting installation, POST will catch the problem and display an error message.

    Unfortunately, your i5-3350P does not have onboard graphics, since all Intel processors with graphics since Sandy Bridge support GOP. You could at least use the onboard graphics if your video card is not, or cannot be made via a VBIOS update, GOP compatible.

    What I call a "true UEFI booting" Windows installation is one that actually uses the UEFI firmware in our boards, and does not actually run it in legacy BIOS mode using CSM. The default mode of all boards is to run in legacy BIOS mode. The switch to disable CSM operation is the CSM option, which is enabled by default.

    Secure Boot can only work with UEFI booting OS installations, so whenever Secure Boot is enabled, CSM is disabled automatically. But you don't need to enable or use Secure Boot to disable the CSM option, you can use the CSM option directly, if your board's UEFI has that option available.

    I'll add a link to the best UEFI booting tutorial I know of, but it won't matter if your video card is not GOP compatible:

    UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive - Create in Windows

    The reality of Ultra Fast boot is, it only shortens start up time by a few seconds. What really speeds up start up (POST) and booting is a UEFI booting OS installation, and disabling CSM so the UEFI firmware we have is actually used, and not run in emulated legacy BIOS mode.

    Ultra Fast boot really only shortens POST time. I wanted to try it and that got me into UEFI booting. Once I figured out UEFI booting, I discovered that the Ultra Fast Boot option just shortcuts some of POST, but there are side affects when that is done. So I just leave Fast Boot disabled, and simply UEFI boot my Windows installations.

    CSAsr84, some EVGA 600 series video cards can be made GOP compatible with a VBIOS update, I did that to my GTX650 and it works fine. All EVGA 700 and newer video cards are GOP compatible out of the box, but other manufactures may not be, I know many need VBIOS updates to be GOP compatible. If you don't know you must check with the manufacture.

  8. #8
    CSAsr84 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z77 Extreme3 SSD + RAID 0 + Ultra Fast Boot

    Thanks parsec. My card is a Gigabyte GTX 650 1 GB oc edition and there are some BIOS updates on Gigabyte site (here: GIGABYTE - Graphics Card - NVIDIA - PCI Express Solution - GeForce 600 Series - GV-N650OC-1GI (rev. 2.0) ) though it confuse me the way they appear if they are compatible with my card. Gpu-Z says at GPU Version A2 and BIOS Version 80.07.00.35.60 but card was bought October 2012.
    In any case i will avoid to update since i am planning to use it on my old PC to have a Windows XP machine and i have read UEFI BIOS updates can cause compatibility issues with older boards and my previous board is PCI-E rev 1.x . Technically i can have Windows XP on the X99 Chipset as for gaming VGA and Realtek HD audio drivers exist, and with a Wifi dongle i can have internet too but GTX 650 bottlenecks too much the Cpu on new games even on medium and i must change it soon and no XP drivers exist for new cards.

    EDIT: I was glad to see right now on Nvidia forums XP drivers for 9xx series :) (Does anyone know if a 4GB ram VGA will affect Windows XP available memory? On my previous PC I had 3.25GB available with GTX 650. To my surprise X99 chipset leaves only 1.9GB for 32-bit Windows on the same card)
    Last edited by CSAsr84; 02-14-2015 at 03:37 PM.

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