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Thread: GA-EP45-DQ6 RAID and BOOT issues




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    Exclamation GA-EP45-DQ6 RAID and BOOT issues

    I've read random reports (here and elsewhere) that indicate that some hard drive boot sectors are not consistently recognized by the RAID controller during boot. Has anyone seen this issue?

    I seem to have this problem. It's a new build, and am trying to get RAID 1 with two identical SATA Hitachi 1T drives, with XP Pro. (E8400 with 8G matched OCZ).

    I had gotten the RAID configured properly, built the array and all was well, and was able to boot and run the OS from either drive. At that point, I flashed (with Q-Flash) from the original f4 to f7, and then to f12. Per the instructions, the last step called for you to load to Optimized Defaults, which I did.

    Now, my drives will only boot in IDE mode, not being recognized (ntldr missing message). Brief blue screen and re-boot in RAID mode.

    In Device Driver, there is no entry for the AHCI driver, which, of course, I had loaded prior to updating the BIOS. To my knowledge, the only RELIABLE way to load the SATA drivers is through F6 during Windows XP install.

    So, is this problem caused by something I did (like the BIOS flash), or a "touchy" hard drive / Raid controller issue?

    I'm not too interested in re-formatting and re-loading XP Pro, but I want a clean system, that won't have this issue again. Also, I'm not familiar with slipstreaming and/or changing registry entries, but could give it a try if I need to. I just want this thing to work in RAID, and not have future problems with is slipping back to IDE only mode for no apparent reason.

    I'm also really interested in feedback regarding this reported "touchy" problem with certain hard drives. If that's an issue, I want to fix it before moving on -- even if it means RMA-ing the board and/or the drives.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: GA-EP45-DQ6 RAID and BOOT issues

    I've read random reports (here and elsewhere) that indicate that some hard drive boot sectors are not consistently recognized by the RAID controller during boot. Has anyone seen this issue?
    I have never seen nor heard of this issue. I use a similar board and RAID and have no issues

    Sounds like you forgot to read the sticky about Qflash fully. After you load optimized defaults and save/apply/reboot you MUST Reboot BACK to the BIOS and set your SATA/Disk settings and boot Priority over again BEFORE you try to load windows. Sad to say but now you will likely have to delete your array and create it again and do a clean install.

    You can try putting it back to RAID and then reboot back to the BIOS and move the array to the top of the Priority but I have only seen this work once. Normally if you fail to set things back properly after you load optimized and try to enter windows your array will fail

    You should not have loaded a AHCI Driver? You should have loaded the Intel RAID ICH10R driver via F6. And then if you like once in windows you can install the Intel Matrix software which will update the driver

    So, all in all your issue is simple and not bad or touchy BIOS or drives. You just didn't read the guide fully about loading optimized defaults.

    So... You will have to set RAID In the BIOS again, reboot BACK to the BIOS and move the array to the top of Hard Drive Boot Priority and then save/reboot and Enter the Intel RAID ROM (Control + I) and delete the array you have now and create a new one and reinstall windows.

    Good luck, and please do read the sticky again and keep all that in mind for the next time you flash. All VERY Important for RAID Users.

    As a side note, since you use RAID 1 you may be able to set the BIOS back to RAID, move your array to the top of the priority and then go into the Intel RAID ROM and rebuild the array from one of the disks if both are not marked as NON Member. If they are, you will just have to start over.


    Quote from the Guide

    *NOTE*
    Once you have flashed and rebooted back into the BIOS choose Load Optimized defaults and save and apply. This is a required step for the flash process to complete, and for the new BIOS to be properly loaded into the chip.

    Then reboot Back into the BIOS again before you go into windows. You will need to set your hard drive settings again in the Advanced BIOS page. MOST IMPORTANTLY do not try to load Windows if you are using a RAID setup without setting these disk settings again or you will corrupt your RAID Array.

    Please do not skip the above steps and try to load windows, this is for anyone who is reading this who is using RAID, which alot of us do.
    And of course, the guide >>>
    http://forums.tweaktown.com/f69/bios...h-guide-27576/

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    Default Re: GA-EP45-DQ6 RAID and BOOT issues

    Thanks much for the full explanation and the attention you have given to my problems.

    I do believe, after reading your reply, that I most likely did not properly set my hard drive settings after flashing the BIOS. While I did read (and I thought, "followed") the sticky about the Qflash utility, I must have missed something critical about setting the HD array before I went back into Windows.

    In the meantime, I have deleted the array, re-formatted, re-loaded XP, loaded the RAID ICH10R Driver via F6, and now trying to get a RAID 1 going without screwing it up. My next step, I believe will be to load the Intel Matrix software (download from Intel????)

    Since my BIOS is already at f12, I don't need to mess with that any more.

    Thank goodness that I'm building a new build (the first one in over 8 years), so I haven't lost any data -- just a couple of wasted days and late nights. LOL

    Any other advice/input is welcomed, and thanks in advance.

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    Default Re: GA-EP45-DQ6 RAID and BOOT issues

    Sorry you have missed that in the guide! Maybe I should make it a bigger and bold note? What do you think, do I need to do that?

    Matrix software can be downloaded here >>>
    Download Search Results

    Good luck with the rest of your setup, and for sure post back anytime!

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    Default Re: GA-EP45-DQ6 RAID and BOOT issues

    Many, many thanks, Mr LSD Guru!

    Since you asked, let me digress a bit about the clarity of the answers you generally provide here.

    Relative to clarity on your Q-Flash instructions, I really believe your instructions that you generate (not only for the Q-Flash, but for most all posts you assist people with) are really pretty darn clear. In fact, much clearer than many who post here and elsewhere. Personally, not being really very knowledgeable in many of these rather infrequently-used situations, my need (and many others like me) is that the explanation provided be very precise -- especially define when it comes to serious pitfalls that were to occur if a step is not followed exactly.

    So, in this case, I had read and even printed out the Q-Flash instructions you provided, and I do believe I followed them correctly. My knowledge base is limited (and others who visit here looking for answers), however, to such questions as: "After I re-boot and before going to Windows, I need to load the Fail-Safe Defaults. OK, I do that. And then, I can boot to Windows. However my question would then be: "I guess at this point I can then re-boot again and tweak my bios settings to my preferences?" "Can I create a RAID array at any point I choose, or must it be done only when an OS is being loaded?"

    In my particular problematic situation with my board and drives not functioning properly, I believe the issue is not a hardware setting or bios flash issue. Rather, I believe my lack of knowledge about boot sectors and ntldr sectors may well be my problem. My system loads XP fine and both drives boot fine in IDE, but ntldr is missing when I try to access them on the RAID controller. I don't understand why that would be, but maybe it's pretty common knowledge among those of you who deal with these issues daily.

    Although I've done a fair amount of digging around for answers, and never having run raid before, an even a more basic question for me is: Can I be running in non-raid, IDE mode, have a bunch of data on a single drive (with XP) and decide I want to create a RAID 1 array with the addition of another like-hard drive, and not lose anything? Or, if one wants to create a RAID array, must he do it when loading the OS?

    In this, my first build in many years, I wanted to create a clean install, with a redundant RAID array and then load my stuff, and I've been trying to get it going for a week now, learning along the way.

    Sorry for the dragging on about this issue, but I do hope you find that my insite helps you and the many others who help us all here. We all REALLY do appreciate all the effort you, and other members take to enlighten and help us all!!

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    Default Re: GA-EP45-DQ6 RAID and BOOT issues

    Thanks for the kind words and re-assurance that I make things clear. I always try to but often feel I do not as much so as I should/could if I had the time.

    Fail safe? Is that in my guide, or do you mean that from BillParrish's Overclocking Guide? I only wrote the Qflash/Memory Guides. Just got me thinking, if you were thinking out loud or thinking about Qflash/Memory Guides? I say that because I say you should load optimized not fail safe, then set your ram voltages only and save/apply/reboot back to the BIOS and then make all other changes, including SATA and disk settings.

    RAID Array must be created before you install your OS, and that is why you get NTLDR error when you set RAID and reboot and try to load windows. Do keep in mind ALL Data on the drives you create the array on will be gone, so if you need something off them move it to a third drive

    You Must set RAID in the BIOS and then save/apply/reboot. Upon Reboot Hit Control + I to enter the Intel RAID ROM and create your array. Once you are done save and reboot BACK to the BIOS and then go into Advanced BIOS page and then into Hard Disk Boot Priority and move your array to the top of the list (This is not boot device order, keep in mind)

    XP Can ONLY be setup to run RAID via 2 methods. Slipstreaming the drivers, or using F6 to load the RAID Driver at the very start of the install. Hopefully you have a floppy, correct? If so, put your Intel RAID Driver on there, not within a folder. When XP Starts within a few seconds you will see at the bottom of the screen Press F6 to load additional drivers, push it then. After a minute or two it will ask you to load the drive, put the floppy in and it will scan the drive and grab the driver, then be sure you scroll it to the correct one when it asks you to pick one. You want the one Named as follows >>>
    Intel(R) ICH8R/ICH9R/ICH10R/DO SATA RAID Controller
    You can however since you asked about RAID 1 install the matrix storage manager in windows with IDE settings in the BIOS and then it will install the RAID Drivers and AHIC Drivers which will then allow you to go into the BIOS and change the settings to RAID and then in either the RAID ROM or within windows in the Matrix program with 2 or more different NON OS drives you could create that RAID 1 if you wanted.

    Not sure how many drives you have or how many you wanted to make into RAID, so not sure how to best advise you. But if you are not far into your Install you may just want to go ahead and reinstall creating your RAID arrays before the OS install this time around. Did you read your manual (NO Offense meant, just had to ask) as it shows how to create arrays and install systems. I asked because some people do not even know this info is in the manuals

    Thanks again for the kind words! I do appreciate it!

    If you need some more help, please feel free to post and let me know about it. I will help as much as I can

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    Default Re: GA-EP45-DQ6 RAID and BOOT issues

    Thanks again for your help on this. Just to be clear, here's the scoop:

    New build (first build for me in 6 or 8 years, so I get rusty at remembering all the particulars)

    I've never used any RAID configuration before but thought I would with this build.

    Two new Hitachi 1Terabyte drives

    New P & C 750 Watt PSU

    New matched 8Gigs of G Skill PC2-8500 (2 Gigs each stick)

    P45 DQ6 new board (now has bios f12, after updating via Q-Flash last week)

    OS: XP PRO (trying to load over XP Home, as the XP Pro disk that I have is a copy (but the registration code works, as it was copied from an original disk used for multiple installations) Since this XP PRO disk does not self boot, I am having to load it after the XP Home version (original disk that I know is good) is loaded. It is possible that the XPPRO disk is actually an upgrade disk, although upon opening it, that is not referenced anywhere.

    (This XP pro Disk may be my problem, and I have a new, registered copy of XP Pro coming from Newegg this Monday, should I need it. Althogh I am currently running the XP PRO OS from this computer (an older ASUS P5B board) with that very same XP Pro "overlay" OS on top of the very same SP Home, it is running in IDE, not SATA or RAID. (I'm talking about THIS system -- the older ASUS board setup). I would think the same XP PRO disk should load over the same XP Home on the new DQ6. So far, it has worked fine (as long as it's in IDE mode).

    I've got no data other than the OS on any drive, and understand about formatting, adjusting the drive order, and F6 to load the AHCI drivers from my floppy drive at the proper time in the XP CD install process.

    Certainly not trying to overclock or anything at this point. ... thank God....

    I'm just trying to get the darn RAID 1 to work with my two new 1T drives.

    So, I"m currently in the process of following your explicit instructions (and yes, I'm very familiar with the rather comprehensive DQ6 manual (no offense taken!). One reason I bought the DQ6 was for it's documentation. However, yours is better.

    I've re-formatted and re-partitioned my drives and set up the RAID array by setting up RAID in Advanced settings, using Cntl -I and pressing enter. This Ctrl I thing may be what I missed before. Anyway, your instructions say to reboot back into BIOS after setting up the array. Actually, when I press enter at the last screen of the Control-I set-up, it does not re-boot, but it reverts automatically to reading the DMI Pool.

    Since I wrote the above, i have successfully configured the RAID, booted to the RAID disk in XP Home. I have not tried to load the XPPRO yet. On past attempts, I have immediately loaded the Pro and then I can't boot from the RAID array, due to ntldr issues. Does that make any sense???

    So, I'm hanging on with Home for now, until I hear what you think of this.

    Also, in trying to load the Intel Matrix Storage Manager (after I had rebooted a number of times successfully from the RAID array), after installing it, it announced that it could not launch, and it does not appear as a new program. I haven't tried to load from any other source, and I haven't researched that at all yet.

    So, can I load the XP Pro over the working XPHome and not expect to screw up the raid? I'm afraid that is what has not worked and screwed it up in many past attempts. Maybe a faulty XPPro disk? (Although that's the disk I used to load this particular machine, without RAID). I can't think that RAID would have anything to do with the disk not working, however...

    Also, with RAID 1, how do I check to make sure the second drive is really mirrored from the first without the Intel Storage Manager installed? That second drive only shows up in the Cntrl I page, and not in my computer. How do I know it's really being written to?

    Basic questions, I know -- sorry. But, I think I'm getting there.

    Bottom line -- I want XP Pro enough to even have to use the copy that's coming if I must. I don't want to stay with XP Home on this new machine.
    If I can get my current xpPro disk loaded in RAID and function, obviously that's the best course, and I"d return the new one.

    Sorry it's lengthy but I wanted to be thorought with my situation.

    Thanks very much for your continued help, LSD!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: GA-EP45-DQ6 RAID and BOOT issues

    Well for starters please remember to load the RAID Drivers via F6 not the AHCI ones.

    As far as your upgrade install disk, when installing IDE no drivers would be needed so that is why it works so easy there, and easy on IDE mode. It should work the same in SATA mode (PATA/EIDE/NON AHCI/RAID) mode as well.

    Since I wrote the above, i have successfully configured the RAID, booted to the RAID disk in XP Home. I have not tried to load the XPPRO yet. On past attempts, I have immediately loaded the Pro and then I can't boot from the RAID array, due to ntldr issues. Does that make any sense???
    Do you mean you created a RAID array and then installed this System onto it?

    If not, you do need to, you can't just switch from a NON Raid to a RAID with a pre-installed system

    You will need to create your array, then install your system onto it. The Ntldr message you saw in the past simply meant for one that system was not RAID so would never lead, and for two it did not have the RAID Driver installed into it so it would also not boot

    So, can I load the XP Pro over the working XPHome and not expect to screw up the raid?
    Yes, you could. However this XP Home I believe is not in RAID Right now at all, can't be since you did not install it that way.

    That would be likely why the Intel Matrix Program would not run, not sure though as I have never installed it in a NON RAID/AHCI setup. You do have all windows updates and Intel Chipset Drivers installed right? Just checking

    Is your XP pro disk SP1 or greater? If not, you will have to wait for your ordered copy as you MUST use SP1 or greater to install XP to a PCIE Machine

    Also, with RAID 1, how do I check to make sure the second drive is really mirrored from the first without the Intel Storage Manager installed? That second drive only shows up in the Cntrl I page, and not in my computer. How do I know it's really being written to?
    Well a few ways you could do that. Some easier ones would be just by looking in your My Computer, you should now see only one disk not two. Another would be by using the Intel Matrix Software

    But I really think you have something wrong anyway as you cannot just switch to RAID, you MUST install the System clean onto a RAID Array

    Your XP Pro disk is non Bootable eh? Do you know how to Burn ISO files? If you have Magic Iso or Ultra ISO (What I use) I could tell you how to copy that disk as ISO into the program, add the Microsoft Bootable files into the ISO and then reburn the ISO and it would be bootable then.

    But since you have a new disk you paid for on the way, you might as well just wait and do a clean install when you get that.

    I would, when you get your new XP install disk, go into the RAID ROM and delete the old array you have or think you have created now and then just create a new one. Then install XP to it from your new install disk using the F6 load drivers method with a floppy and install your OS from there.

    I see you may return your New disk... Hmm well if you want me to show you how to make a bootable ISO I could if you feel up to it. Although the programs I mentioned and know how to use I am not sure if their trials are fully functional or not

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    Default Re: GA-EP45-DQ6 RAID and BOOT issues

    LSD,

    Thanks much.

    You stated something in your response that may be very important in all of this: "You do have all windows updates and Intel Chipset Drivers installed.."

    NO I DON'T (Apparently very dumb on my part)!!

    I believe the XP Home disk isn't even SP1, and I haven't connected this new build to the internet yet, but I sure will now!

    I did note that in trying to update the Chipset drivers, I got a message saying I needed to update to SP1, which I chose not to do, since I didn't realize that this could be the core of my problems.

    FYI, the XP PRO version that I've been trying to load is SP2 Version.

    Also, I really do believe that I have installed the RAID array correctly, with the proper drivers, prior to loading the XP Home OS, and it's booting with the BIOS set to RAID.

    So, I'm off to connect it, and update via the internet connection, followed by loading of the current chipset drivers, and I'll go from there.

    I'll let you know how it's going... I know you're probably way overloaded with other issues, since you were offline with the SAT thingy.

    Thanks again,
    Fuzzy

  10. #10
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    Default Re: GA-EP45-DQ6 RAID and BOOT issues

    Ya those updates and Chipset drivers may be what is stopping Matrix Software from running. Here is the Intel Chipset Drivers incase you need them >>>

    Version 9.0.0.1008
    Intel┬« Chipset Software Installation Utility┬*INF Update Utility - Primarily for Intel┬« 4, 3, 900 Series Chipsets

    Your XP home would have to be SP1 or greater or it would not work in a PCIE board, So it should be SP1 at least

    Hmm, You got a note to install SP1? Very odd, maybe you just can't INSTALL XP to a PCIE board, but you moved this install from another board right? Maybe that is how it is working

    Hmm, well your last comment about Installing XP Home after you setup a RAID Array has me now confused again. So, you made a array and did a Clean install with XP Home? If so, then that disk would have to be SP1 at least

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