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Newbie to RAID10. Setting up 4 x Seagate 7200.11 help needed

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi guys

OK so I have bought 4 x Seagate 500GB 7200.11 HDD's and I am going to run them in a RAID10.

I have some questions though.

Am I correct in saying that I need to:

1) Generate a floppy disk containing the RAID controller driver for my HDD's pre-hand (on a separate PC).
2) Do I need to set all 4 drives as MASTER drives using a RAID 10? Or is it different?
3) Once new system is installed, boot into BIOS and set up RAID controller options.
4) Reboot and use Windows XP / Vista CD to setup. Under Windows XP when it says "Press F6 if you need to install a third party SCSI or RAID driver…” I need to press F6.
5) Then I need to run the floppy and use the correct RAID controller driver.
6) Set up using RAID10.
7) Install Windows
8) Install RAID software.

Is that pretty much the procedure?

How does the installation differ under Windows Vista?

Any help would be cool.

PS I know my profile says that this RAID is already set up. The parts for my new system arrived yesterday and I got a little eager !

EDIT: my gigabyte ep45 DQ6 has 2 RAID controllers:

Storage Interface South Bridge:
6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATAII0, SATAII1, SATAII2, SATAII3, SATAII4, SATAII5) supporting up to 6 SATA 3Gb/s devices
Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10

GIGABYTE SATA2 chip:
1 x IDE connector supporting ATA-133/100/66/33 and up to 2 IDE devices
2 x SiI5723 chips (Smard Backup): -4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (GS0-Source, GS1, GS2-Source, GS3) supporting up to 4 SATA 3Gb/s devices, - Support for SATA RAID 0 and RAID 1

I obviously need to set up my RAID10 on the Storage Interface South Bridge Chip, but another question is where do I plug in my SATA optical drive? If I plug it in the Storage Interface South Bridge controller, will it affect the HDD RAID or not???
Edited by jpmad4it - 7/2/08 at 1:07am
    
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post #2 of 12
  1. For XP: yes. For Vista: no. I am not sure about Gigabyte, but with my Asus board I can simply boot of the CD that comes with the board and it'll allow me to make the diskette in a DOS environment.
  2. No need to worry about. Since these are SATA drives, there isn't any master/slave issue anymore. Just connect the drives and that's it
  3. Yes, but you miss a step here: First, go into BIOS, and set the SATA/RAID controller to RAID. Then, reboot. After POST, the RAID utility will show up, and it will display a key combination that you can hit to enter this utility. In the utility, you set up the actual RAID array (select the disks you want in the array, and tell it which type of RAID you want to use. Save, reboot. After reboot, you'll see the utility display the RAID array).
  4. Yes. Hit F6 when prompted. Pay attention here.. it might get by fast (I've had times that I turn around for a moment, and Setup already went past the F6 thing ) In Vista, no need for this. Vista will recognize the RAID right away (in most cases).
  5. Yes. When you hit F6, at first nothing seems to happen. Don't worry about this. XP Setup will start loading a bunch of files, and after a while it will prompt for 'SCSI/RAID' drivers. At that time, put in the floppy, and it'll will display which drivers are on it. Select the RAID drivers for the ICH10R. Again, not applicable for Vista.
  6. You already set up the RAID array. You don't have to do anything to the array at this point. Setup will simply load the drivers, and it'll recognize your previously built array.
  7. Yes
  8. Yes

Final question: no, another single design won't interfere with your RAID array. You can safely hook up the DVD drive to the fifth SATA port. This will allow you to disable the Gigabyte controller in the BIOS (which saves resources).

General point: RAID10 is a very nice setup. However, do note that there is still a flaw: You cannot use this array on another motherboard that has a different southbridge. Thus, if you ever replace the board with, say, a board with an nVidia chipset, you will have to rebuild the array and you will loose all data. For this reason, I always use a single disk for my data.
    
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chozart View Post
  1. For XP: yes. For Vista: no. I am not sure about Gigabyte, but with my Asus board I can simply boot of the CD that comes with the board and it'll allow me to make the diskette in a DOS environment.
  2. No need to worry about. Since these are SATA drives, there isn't any master/slave issue anymore. Just connect the drives and that's it
  3. Yes, but you miss a step here: First, go into BIOS, and set the SATA/RAID controller to RAID. Then, reboot. After POST, the RAID utility will show up, and it will display a key combination that you can hit to enter this utility. In the utility, you set up the actual RAID array (select the disks you want in the array, and tell it which type of RAID you want to use. Save, reboot. After reboot, you'll see the utility display the RAID array).
  4. Yes. Hit F6 when prompted. Pay attention here.. it might get by fast (I've had times that I turn around for a moment, and Setup already went past the F6 thing ) In Vista, no need for this. Vista will recognize the RAID right away (in most cases).
  5. Yes. When you hit F6, at first nothing seems to happen. Don't worry about this. XP Setup will start loading a bunch of files, and after a while it will prompt for 'SCSI/RAID' drivers. At that time, put in the floppy, and it'll will display which drivers are on it. Select the RAID drivers for the ICH10R. Again, not applicable for Vista.
  6. You already set up the RAID array. You don't have to do anything to the array at this point. Setup will simply load the drivers, and it'll recognize your previously built array.
  7. Yes
  8. Yes

Final question: no, another single design won't interfere with your RAID array. You can safely hook up the DVD drive to the fifth SATA port. This will allow you to disable the Gigabyte controller in the BIOS (which saves resources).

General point: RAID10 is a very nice setup. However, do note that there is still a flaw: You cannot use this array on another motherboard that has a different southbridge. Thus, if you ever replace the board with, say, a board with an nVidia chipset, you will have to rebuild the array and you will loose all data. For this reason, I always use a single disk for my data.
Sweeeeet! Thank you very much for that. I would REP+ if I could

I understand your last point. That is quite annoying! Is that the case with any RAID system?? 0, 1, 5 etc?

So you don't use a RAID at all due to this reason?
    
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post #4 of 12
You just gotta look at your individual needs. Do you switch frequently? Most do not, so you will be ok. If you ever want to add another drive or change it around, it's still doable with a program like norton ghost to put everything back on a new array. Of course it is good to start clean every once in a while.
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr4gon View Post
You just gotta look at your individual needs. Do you switch frequently? Most do not, so you will be ok. If you ever want to add another drive or change it around, it's still doable with a program like norton ghost to put everything back on a new array. Of course it is good to start clean every once in a while.
Yeah I tend to build a system and keep it for a few years, until it can no-longer be upgraded to play new games without needing a MB change (due to incompatible slots for a new CPU / HDD / GPU etc). When I do that, I usually just buy a new system in one go.....so i should be OK?
    
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post #6 of 12
I do run RAID for my OS/Applications/temp data. This is a RAID0 array. Then, I have another drive that I use for backup. As a result, I always have two copies of the same data: the 'work' directory, and the backup directory. If the RAID array fails for whatever reason, I will lose whatever data I created that day, but that isn't too big a deal.

And when I upgrade, the single drive is easy to transfer.

But indeed, this depends how often you plan to upgrade. If you don't plan to upgrade for a while, set up your RAID array, and enjoy it. By the time you upgrade, simply buy a 750GB (or maybe a fifth 500GB drive is enough), and copy your data do that drive.
    
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post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chozart View Post
But indeed, this depends how often you plan to upgrade. If you don't plan to upgrade for a while, set up your RAID array, and enjoy it. By the time you upgrade, simply buy a 750GB (or maybe a fifth 500GB drive is enough), and copy your data do that drive.
Exactly!
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr4gon View Post
Exactly!
Agreed!

So say if I have 700GB of data stored on my RAID10, and I want to copy it all to a 1TB drive (just for fun ), all I would have to do is install the 1TB HDD separately and just copy the files over from the RAID? Simple as that?
    
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post #9 of 12
yeap.
    
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post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chozart View Post
yeap.
sweet ;-)

thanks for all the help peeps

REP+ for dr4gon
    
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