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Thread: Z170 Raid Setup Post Win7x64 Install to M.2




  1. #1
    nvislight is offline Junior Member
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    Default Z170 Raid Setup Post Win7x64 Install to M.2

    Greetings,

    I just built new system with Gigabyte Z170x-UD5 TH with SM951 in M.2 Socket. Loaded Win7x64 successfully (in AHCI mode) to M.2 (as main OS boot drive) from internal DVD but now want to add Raid array with addition of 2 OCZ SSD drives (256 Gb each).

    What is the best way to accomplish this without compromising Win7 OS load? I have read some about EZ Raid utility but there was not enough info that I could find that convinced me it would not destroy my Win7 install. If I switch mode to Raid, then I fear that after the array is built, I will not be able to boot OS from my M.2 drive. I was not able to determine if there is a way for the M.2 to operate in AHCI (for Win7 OS boot) and for the other two drives to operate in Raid mode. My IRST drivers appear to have loaded successfully from the Gigabyte utility disk but raid must be initiated in BIOS.

    Any assistance is appreciated!

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    Default Re: Z170 Raid Setup Post Win7x64 Install to M.2

    I recon you should be fine as your M.2 drive will be sitting out of the RAID Array so as such nothing changes ... I've now switched to RAID in bios in and I have an SM951 as a boot drive and 2 X MX100 in RAID 0 ... if you really worried that it will mess things up and you cant make a suitable backup/you don't want to do a reinstall in the small off chance something may go wrong you can create a Windows software RAID array although some people may frown upon that solution.

    Peter

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    nvislight is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z170 Raid Setup Post Win7x64 Install to M.2

    Quote Originally Posted by PRound View Post
    I recon you should be fine as your M.2 drive will be sitting out of the RAID Array so as such nothing changes ... I've now switched to RAID in bios in and I have an SM951 as a boot drive and 2 X MX100 in RAID 0 ... if you really worried that it will mess things up and you cant make a suitable backup/you don't want to do a reinstall in the small off chance something may go wrong you can create a Windows software RAID array although some people may frown upon that solution.

    Peter
    Thanks for the reply! I switched to RAID mode within bios and built the array...no issues. Upon rebooting I went back to bios and reset to AHCI mode, then Win 7 booted nicely from M.2. I guess RAID is actually a subset mode of AHCI allowing this kind of operation to work. Once Win 7 loaded, I used disk mgmt to create MBR and format the array. My next quest is to learn how to speed up Win 7 load during boot...seems to be very slow...thinking bios settings may be the culprit.

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    FatMarty is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z170 Raid Setup Post Win7x64 Install to M.2

    Quote Originally Posted by nvislight View Post
    Thanks for the reply! I switched to RAID mode within bios and built the array...no issues. Upon rebooting I went back to bios and reset to AHCI mode, then Win 7 booted nicely from M.2. I guess RAID is actually a subset mode of AHCI allowing this kind of operation to work. Once Win 7 loaded, I used disk mgmt to create MBR and format the array. My next quest is to learn how to speed up Win 7 load during boot...seems to be very slow...thinking bios settings may be the culprit.
    Did you include the M.2 drive with your OS on it in the array?
    I think that would be why it would be slow; but I'm not sure either.

    I have most of my parts and and got a usb drive all set up to install win 8 in UEFI mode to an M.2 (Samsung xp941 AHCI 256g).
    I came here wondering if I can install my OS while only the M.2 is installed, and then connect the other 2 sata drives I have, if I can make an array of the new drives only, (without the M.2 in the array).
    If anyone knows this answer I would be grateful for your input, and I think it might help the OP here with his own problem if I'm on the right track with my understanding of the process.

    The OP's M.2 is an x4 PCIe, (while mine is the slower x2 PCIe version),; but aren't all M.2 drives much faster than SATA SSDs?
    And wouldn't including one in an array of different type drives mess up the reason to get the M.2 in the first place?
    Thanks for any help you can provide in advance.

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    FatMarty is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z170 Raid Setup Post Win7x64 Install to M.2

    Quote Originally Posted by nvislight View Post
    Thanks for the reply! I switched to RAID mode within bios and built the array...no issues. Upon rebooting I went back to bios and reset to AHCI mode, then Win 7 booted nicely from M.2. I guess RAID is actually a subset mode of AHCI allowing this kind of operation to work. Once Win 7 loaded, I used disk mgmt to create MBR and format the array. My next quest is to learn how to speed up Win 7 load during boot...seems to be very slow...thinking bios settings may be the culprit.
    Okay I got my system built, and learned a bunch along the way.
    Leave the controller in Raid mode - the M.2 will stay in AHCI as it is on the 'offboard' controller section in BIOS.
    Don't build the array using legacy rom (Ctrl+i) screen; just enable raid on sata controller and reboot.
    I'm running Windows 10 Pro; and it booted right up to the M.2 while in raid mode.

    After you get the system up and running you might have to reinstall Intel Rapid Storage Tech if you get an error trying to create array using IRST from control panel.
    Once your array is created you need to close IRST and open Computer Management/Disk Management in "Administrative Tools" module of control panel.
    You will see your array there as a single disc with no partitions: make partition(s), format them as you go, and your array is good to go.
    Upon reboot you will notice that your disks are now listed as "Member Disc" in the rom screen as it flashes by.

    As for faster booting, you can turn off "full screen logo show", and select "Fast Boot" under that in the bios settings area.
    But a word of caution: make sure you have installed the Gigabyte utilities so you can use the switch to turn off fast boot in windows as you don;t get an option to press del key to enter bios while in fast mode.

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