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Raid 0 and IRST aren't playing nice, any ideas?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
So I had to Format my Pre Built PC (groan) because of some stuff that will only derail the topic, the parts that I think are relevant to my post are are:

Asus P8Z77-V Motherboard
2 TB Seagate HDD
2 TB Seagate HDD
60 GB OCZ Agility 3 SSD

So I told them when I brought the PC 8 months ago that I would like the PC set up with the two 2TB drives in a RAID 0 (they actually suggested it) and then the OCZ boosting the RAID 0 using the Intel Rapid Storage Technology program.

Now when I did the format I asked for instructions to get it back exactly how it was only to be told by them that having a raid 0 boosted by a SSD with IRST is Impossible so naturally I asked why for some reading to do while I was waiting for the installation of windows only to be told in a short sentence "because there isn't any tech for it right now"

So how they had arranged my HDD's up until the format was 2TB drive as OS Drive, 2TB as Storage and 60 GB SSD as a Cache drive using IRST which was running quite nicely

I went and did some reading on the net by myself as they weren't being too helpful and I was brought to this topic http://www.overclock.net/t/1227655/how-to-set-up-intel-smart-response-technology-ssd-caching which says you can!

So I set about firstly going into the bios and changing back to SATA boot mode into RAID (it was on AHCI temp because I was having trouble even getting into windows) pressed CTRL-I while it was booting up and set the two 2TB drives into a raid choosing all the default options as they seemed correct and it said the combined drive would be something like 3.7TB (after partition I assumed?)

Windows 7 then Installed, I started getting all my drivers sorted for USB, Network Card ect and everything seemed less sluggish with the two 2TB in a raid rather than having the OS on one of them, but then a bit of a horror moment, in my computer my RAIDed drive is listed 1.99 TB big. I couldn't understand why so I finished installing most of the drivers for SATA controllers and things, hoping that It would resolve itself which it didn't before I hit my second problem.

I installed the Intel Rapid Storage Technology program which as far as I can remember didn't require a restart, I clicked on the tab to manage boosting, told my SSD to act at the boost drive (got a prompt that all data would be wiped which I OK'd) told it to cache for the RAID drive, and then thought nothing of it, I then did 79 Important flagged windows updates (because like I said I didn't need a reboot after installing IRST) so then I did the reboot that the important updates wanted only to be greeted by..... Please Insert Bootable Media or Restart and Select a different boot device.

What did I do wrong? Did I need to format the SSD even though making it a cache drive in ISRT supposedly wiped all the data?

so TLDR version:
1. Why is a 4TB (2x2TB) RAID 0 listed as 1.9TB drive in My Computer but in Computer Management its like the whole thing is there.
2. Why is it when I boosted my HDD with my SSD I can't boot into windows anymore? even though everything was fine up until I installed IRST!

I'm sitting here after having booted from the Windows 7 CD into Windows Startup Repair feeling pretty miserable because I know it isn't going to work at all. I'm really hoping someone here can tell me where I went wrong
Edited by Terracea - 6/8/13 at 4:50am
post #2 of 26
First - as far as I heard on the grapevine here, you can only have a 2TB partition, unless the drive (or RAID in this case) is formatted in GPT, and don't quote me on this, but you may need a UEFI BIOS too. (I'm not sure on that piece of advice - get someone else with experience of 2+TB partitions to verify) Still, the RAID could work fine with 2 x 2TB partitions on it - just set it up in disk management,

As for not booting - your SSD has probably been set as the first boot device in the BIOS when you installed windows. And even though you installed windows on the RAID, it's put a bootloader on the SSD, which has promptly been cleared when you set the caching setup. tongue.gif

Anyway - if you're lucky, you can set the BIOS to boot from RAID first, and it may work. IF it doesn't, I'm afraid you'll have to reinstall windows in the RAID - and this is best done with the SSD SATA cable disconnected. That way, there is no way windows will put boot files there. once windows is installed, you can shut down, reconnect the SSD, check the BIOS boot order hasent changed, (make sure it's still set to the RAID), then boot windows from the RAID, and set up the caching again.

Good luck! I HOpe you don't need a reinstall! smile.gif
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Awesome, once I can get into windows somehow I'll see if I can get some step by step help with the 2TB drives, Your explaination of what may have happened has really helped me understand. Its interesting that 64bit modern windows cannot understand a single 4TB RAID drive, I'll have to do some extra reading on that for fun

As for the SSD your explanations really help again, once I get out of Startup Repair which will undoubtedly fail in a few hours time i'll try that reinstall with the SSD SATA cable unplugged, what a great idea!

I've got all my coveted files on an external 2TB Book Drive so reinstalling is just a nuisance time sink rather than anything devastating, what I was really worried about was any hardware being faulty, taking me through a lengthy returns process and from what you have said it might not be something I have to go through! biggrin.gif

EDIT: Startup repair finished, result

"Root Cause Found The Partition table does not have a valid System Partition"
Repair Action: Partition table repair
Result: Completed Successfully. Error code = 0x0
Time Take = 6911281ms

I doubt it has fixed it though, it certainly didn't last time. (ran it twice now for 3 hours each)

EDIT2: Manually telling it to boot from the RAID didn't work, I think the startup files are really gone, so I've unhooked the SSD and i'm off on a merry windows install smile.gif
Edited by Terracea - 6/8/13 at 6:41am
post #4 of 26
actually,, you may get away with a startup repair - just do it with the SSD disconnected like I suggested. And when you add it back in, double check the boot order. If your board is anything like mine, it'll be a pain with the boot order - mine can change if i even just leave a USB drive in the machine and reboot. mad.gif ASUS need a slap - but I cant complain I suppose with a budget board. smile.gif

I think all your hardware is fine - its all just software niggles and OS limitations your hitting.
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by latelesley View Post

actually,, you may get away with a startup repair - just do it with the SSD disconnected like I suggested. And when you add it back in, double check the boot order. If your board is anything like mine, it'll be a pain with the boot order - mine can change if i even just leave a USB drive in the machine and reboot. mad.gif ASUS need a slap - but I cant complain I suppose with a budget board. smile.gif

I think all your hardware is fine - its all just software niggles and OS limitations your hitting.

Woops, I had just edited my last post to mention I just started already started formatting and reinstalling windows half a minute before you replied or so tongue.gif
post #6 of 26
LOL! Oh well, bad timing - i'm not called LATE Lesley for no reason! pmsl! I think once you're reinstalled with just the RAID connected, All will be well. Just don't panic if you connect the SSD and the machine doesn't boot, just check the boot order. smile.gif

Hope it all goes well. smile.gif
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Windows install just finished I have to use a mirror to get the Windows Product Key from the back of my heavy PC without moving it (some bum from the PC place thought it would be better to slick it to the PC rather than leave it in the Windows Box) , if all goes well with the SSD problem that just leaves that 2TB of missing space from the RAID, when I look at it in computer management it looks ready to format and label through windows, I sure hope I don't need to re-setup the RAID in BIOS as two 2 TB RAIDs that way (and have to start again!) that would be pretty sad

EDIT: it's a bit sloppy how critical install and startup files can end up on other drives without the user manually doing it because that's how they decide to have it, I feels like a bit of a novice trap how it is now, and I fell right into it.
Edited by Terracea - 6/8/13 at 7:06am
post #8 of 26
Yeah, windows is a bit crappy like that, it tends to put the bootloader on the drive it thinks is first/best rather than have the whole thing on the drive you choose at install. But I'm sure it's because of the default boot drive in the BIOS, So they have to put something on the default drive to redirect to the windows install.

And I hate when the COA stickers are away at the back. - if you have a decent camera phone, you may get away with just taking a snap of the label, if you can get enough distance from it.

As for the RAID - you should be fine adding a second partition - the RAID is set up BEFORE the partition table - that's why the two drives will look like one big one in disk management. the OS treats the RAID as one drive, so it should be easy enough to partition and format the free space. It'll just be like a single HDD with two partitions on it.

*Edited* crap spelling
Edited by latelesley - 6/8/13 at 7:16am
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately its a really long Silverstone Raven 2 case backed right up against the wall, I borrowed a Digi Cam anyway and...the flash came on and ruined the picture tongue.gif Lets just say that also Printed B's and 8's look the same at the best of times but at a distance in the mirror it's terrible and it has both!

I've just installed all the Drivers for all my base components and the IRST program. I guess its time for the moment when I shut it down and plug in the SSD to see what happens
post #10 of 26
hehehe!! Yeah I hate the 8 vs B's Microsoft used the crappiest font possible for the keys.

Keeping my fingers xxxxed that it works. thumb.gif
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