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80 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 93697 27-Nov-2011 13:46
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Hi,
Wondering if this is possible to do without a complete re-install of Windows?

I recently upgraded to an Asus Z68 mobo and Intel core i7. My hard drives (x3) are configured to AHCI. I have a small SSD that I was going to plug in to use Intel's 'Smart Response' feature, but this says it needs a RAID configuration.
It's hard to find specifics on this setup but from what I can tell if I switch to RAID I would need to re-install Windows which is quite a pain. Anyone know if it should be a problem? Cheers!

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  Reply # 550610 27-Nov-2011 16:45
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for raid all hard drives must be formatted. also, it helps to have identical drives :D




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  Reply # 550612 27-Nov-2011 16:46
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also, (sorry double post) dont bother backing up. I backed up windows and went to raid. went to restore backup and it said "sorry your disk configuration has changed" and i lost most my data...




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  Reply # 550640 27-Nov-2011 18:40
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b0untypure1: for raid all hard drives must be formatted. also, it helps to have identical drives :D


Not quite right. You only need to format them if you are making a raid array. In this case I think the OP just wants to switch to the RAID controller but not create a raid array which should be fine. The only issue may be drivers in windows. Load the raid drivers in windows before you set the bios to RAID.
If you do have problems (will be a blue screen booting Windows) booting just switch it back until you can work out what is going wrong.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

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  Reply # 550649 27-Nov-2011 19:10
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b0untypure1: for raid all hard drives must be formatted. also, it helps to have identical drives :D


Not 100% true, you can use imaging technology to take an image of the drive and then restore it back onto the new RAID array and inject the drivers.

Personally i would use my copy of StorageCraft's ShadowProtect, but it isn't free. 



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  Reply # 550658 27-Nov-2011 19:39
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In this case I think the OP just wants to switch to the RAID controller but not create a raid array which should be fine. The only issue may be drivers in windows. Load the raid drivers in windows before you set the bios to RAID.


I should have mentioned at the start that all I know about RAID is what I skimmed through on Wikipedia! The 3 hard drives I've got are all different - one for Windows, a larger one for media, and an extra one which contains an automatic backup of a few folders from the other drives. I'm not looking to use RAID to speed up read/write times, just to allow Intel's Smart Response feature which caches your most frequently used files to a small SSD. If I could afford it I'd just get a bigger SSD and install Windows on it, but they're still too expensive for me.

So you're saying I should be able to switch to a RAID mode in the BIOS once the drivers are installed and still use the three HD's as separate drives?

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  Reply # 550670 27-Nov-2011 20:19
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jaymz:
b0untypure1: for raid all hard drives must be formatted. also, it helps to have identical drives :D


Not 100% true, you can use imaging technology to take an image of the drive and then restore it back onto the new RAID array and inject the drivers.

Personally i would use my copy of StorageCraft's ShadowProtect, but it isn't free. 


damn this would have been helpful a year ago :) 




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  Reply # 550673 27-Nov-2011 20:28
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Oliver:
In this case I think the OP just wants to switch to the RAID controller but not create a raid array which should be fine. The only issue may be drivers in windows. Load the raid drivers in windows before you set the bios to RAID.


I should have mentioned at the start that all I know about RAID is what I skimmed through on Wikipedia! The 3 hard drives I've got are all different - one for Windows, a larger one for media, and an extra one which contains an automatic backup of a few folders from the other drives. I'm not looking to use RAID to speed up read/write times, just to allow Intel's Smart Response feature which caches your most frequently used files to a small SSD. If I could afford it I'd just get a bigger SSD and install Windows on it, but they're still too expensive for me.

So you're saying I should be able to switch to a RAID mode in the BIOS once the drivers are installed and still use the three HD's as separate drives?


I don't understand what you're actually trying to do. I suggest you also don't attempt anything unless you want to risk losing all your data unless you fully understand what you're trying to do either.

RAID and AHCI are not the same thing. If you've installed Windows in IDE emulation mode you'll need to install the correct AHCI drivers before you can change your BIOS to AHCI mode.

RAID sits on top of AHCI. You can't just "switch" to RAID and keep your existing data unless you're just using RAID mirroring.

What RAID configuration are you looking to use?


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  Reply # 550688 27-Nov-2011 21:09
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Oliver:
So you're saying I should be able to switch to a RAID mode in the BIOS once the drivers are installed and still use the three HD's as separate drives?

Correct. Switching on RAID does not do anything to the drives unless you go into the RAID configuration and start setting up arrays. Now it IS still possible that it will all go bad and you will kill your install of windows so firstly take a full image of the system drive using a imaging product like the one already mentioned and also disconnect the other two drives so that you only have the SSD and system HDD attached. Make the switch get windows up and running then reintroduce the other drives. Make usre you note what drive letter they are using before you disconnect them and confirm that stays the same.

@sbiddle he is not trying to actually setup any raid arrays but wants to use Intel's Smart Response which requires RAID to be enabled.








Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 552903 2-Dec-2011 23:14
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EDIT _ DOOH - ok took a closer look at the pdf you listed and i see your using the ssd as a cache drive and not the OS - so i guess thats completely different to what ive just gone on about sorry :)


  i can tell you that unless you are wanting to "use" RAID, you don't need to enable it in the BIOS for your ssd or for Intel's Rapid Storage technology to work.

I too upgraded to a 120GB ssd(imported from Amazon), a z68 mobo and an i5 2600k cpu (and new gpu)
New install of win7x64 for me anyway as it was going on the new ssd. 
BIOS for the hdd's (ssd) is set to AHCI. (the only requirement for the ssd to operate properly according to corsairs manual)
After installation - 
Intel's Rapid Storage Tech says "system is configured to enable advanced SATA features and increased storage performance.

I'm assuming this is what your meaning as opposed to actually setting up a raid array..?!



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 552946 3-Dec-2011 07:05
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Cool, thanks for all the replies. Just waiting until I have a spare day off to set it up, just in case! Will report back on how it goes.



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  Reply # 557731 14-Dec-2011 09:05
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Right, finally got some time to try and set this up and have not had any luck so far. Not helped that our internet has been down since Friday so having to use slow and expensive mobile broadband.

Initially I tried the setup Canterbury has, with the system in AHCI mode, but in the Intel SRT program it can see the drive, but there is no option to accelerate it. I guess I need to switch to RAID mode.

In BIOS I switched to RAID mode (don't worry I'm all backed up just in case) and restarted - BSOD. Got it back to AHCI mode so no worries there. The main problem I have there is I can't find any specific RAID drivers for my Mobo (Asus P8Z68-V LX). The installation CD and website don't seem to have anything.

Unless anyone has any clever ideas I think I will just have to re-install Windows with the system set to RAID from the start. Can't do that though until Telecom gets our broadband back on as there's too many programs I need to DL and install again. 

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 557744 14-Dec-2011 09:27
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I found your RAID driver easy enough...
Select your OS, then choose SATA


Its been a while since i've looked at SATA raid but i think you need to follow steps something like...

* Enable RAID on mobo.
* Go into RAID controller, find your hdd and set it up as a JBOD (just a bunch of disks)
* You will probably need to then run windows OS cd to repair the installation and load the SATA raid drivers..



 

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  Reply # 557746 14-Dec-2011 09:32
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You will need to uninstall the AHCI drivers, install the RAID Drivers, then reboot. Go into BIO's and switch to RAID mode. Double check that the correct disk is set to boot first. No need to go into the config for RAID at all.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64



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Master Geek
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Reply # 557809 14-Dec-2011 11:15
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SOLVED!

Although I'm still confused about the RAID drivers - it seems the RAID/AHCI drivers are the same package with ASUS and they were both already installed. Anyway for anyone else with the same problem, here's what I did (copied a bit from this thread here)


First uninstall the Intel SRT software if you have it installed already.
Then, with the SSD disconnected:
  • Exit all Windows-based programs. 
  • Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER. 
  • If you receive the User Account Control dialog box, click Continue. 
  • Locate and then click one of the following registry subkeys:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesMsahci
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesIastorV 
  • In the right pane, right-click Start in the Name column, and then click Modify. 
  • In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK. 
  • On the File menu, click Exit to close Registry Editor.

I changed both of the registry keys mentioned above, although one was already set to 0 to start with.

Then restart into BIOS, switch into RAID mode, and restart. Although it did give me the option to press Ctrl-I and set up a RAID array, I just left it and the machine started up no problem. Then re-install the Intel SRT software and it was working great.

A good idea I'm sure to have everything well backed up before you start this.
The speed improvement has been great, it used to take 60 seconds to boot to desktop and now takes about 24. After that it was another 120 seconds to load up all of my software (I have a lot set to load on startup), but that only takes 12 seconds now, so it is well worthwhile.

Thanks for all of the help! 

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