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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, hoping someone can give me some advice for what to do with this situation I am having.

First of all, my components relevant to this issue:

-asus m5a 990fx r2.0 amd motherboard
-2x samsung 840 120gb ssd's

My problem is this: i am doing a fresh installation of windows 8.1 onto my pc, and wanting to install it onto my raid 0 array which is comprised of two samsung 840 120gb ssds. in my motherboard settings i have set the configuration to RAID and not AHCI, made sure the drives are recognized, and using the motherboard's southbridge chipset, successfully created a raid 0 array with those two drives. I have setmy boot order to my optical drive and then the ssd raid 0.

however when i boot and install windows, when it comes to the point to pick what drive to install to it says that there are none found. At first I thought I had found the solution to this problem by pointing to the raid drivers that were on the motherboard disk, but even then the drives are not recognized by the windows install.

upon multiple attempts rebooting, i see a screen flash quickly by that does say the status of the raid 0 array is offline, which to me would explain why i do not see it. however, i do not know how to make it online, nowhere in settings can i find this option. I read online it often means a drive failure, but I have tested both disks individually and they are both perfectly fine.

if anyone can explain to me what is happening here or how to fix it I would GREATLY appreciate it!

thanks in advance
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
...bit of an update:

after some trial and error I decided to check on the status of my raid 0 array again and found that now its status is offline due to 'failure or disconnection of one of the disks'. Well, after individually checking them and discovering they are both functional, i hooked them back up and rebuilt the raid 0 array and it is fully functional, and does not give me a status: offline message but rather a status: functional! great news!

however the array still does not show up when the screen of my windows 8.1 installation prompts me to chose which disk to install to. When I select the load driver option and point to the raid drivers for x64 version of windows 8 on my motherboard disc, it still says that there are no disks found!

I cannot for the life of my figure out what is wrong here. raid 0 array is successfully built and says it is functional, and initialized (which i believe is a process in which the mbr for the drives is erased) and my motherboard is set to RAID mode, and the drives are connected to the amd chipset, not the asmedia third party one (just my optical drive is on that). no other drives than that are connected to my system, and everything seems to be checking out OK.

Doing reading on these and other forums (and on google in general) seem to indicate a lot of people have trouble getting their raid arrays recognized by windows, but the fix always seems to be clicking the load driver option and pointing to the raid controller drivers for the motherboard, and yet this has no effect for me.

Am I doing something wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
... yet another small update. After much frustration I took the drives out of the pc again and individually put them into external enclosures to check them out using my laptop. Turns out the initialization that occurs when i created the raid array that is supposed to erase the MBR only actually removed it from one drive, not both. So I completely formatted both drives and initialized them with GPT rather than MBR (which I understand is necessary for raid), and then installed them back into my desktop. I was very hopeful that this was the issue.

Upon boot the array still shows as functional in the bios, but the logical disk is still not found in windows installation even after pointing to the chipset raid driver using my motherboard's support cd. I have deleted and rebuilt the array thinking that might have been the issue, but it has not changed anything.

As far as settings go, I've got the array built up with the two samsung 840 ssd's (120GB each) which are pre initialized as gpt and formatted with no partitions, with the chipset raid settings showing fast initialization (which as i understand erases the mbr if present), and settings that also are set to read ahead and write back (defaults, as well as default stripe size). The raid is formatted to use maximum capacity of the drives. Also the raid array is my only connected disk, other than my optical drive. In my bios, i have the raid array being set as bootable drive, second in line to my optical drive, which is the primary boot device.

When I boot the pc it recognizes the windows 8.1 install disc in my optical drive, boots from it and i go through the initial steps (click install, enter product key, choose language) and then when it gets to target drive for install nothing shows up, and so I click on Load Driver. I take out the windows install disc and insert the asus amd motherbaord cd that was included with the board when i bought it (a few months ago). I click cd->drivers->raid->amd->driver->disk->raid->win8->x64 and it scans the folder and returns 1 result, and so i click next to install. After installing it refreshes and still says no disks found, and stays that way even if i click refresh again (also have tried reinserting the win8.1 pro install disc here and refreshing after that, but no difference).

If anyone can discern from all this info if there is a setting wrong or if I am doing something wrong please let me know! and if more or certain information is required I will be happy to provide it, I just want my computer to work!
 

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First and foremost, unplug your drives and connect them to another computer, run diskpart > clean on each disk (be very careful running this, open disk management and take note of the drive NUMBERS first, then go into diskpart and select the appropriate drive). You can't boot from a GPT partition. You may be able to do this from the Win 8.1 CD, probably under repair

Check with the manufacturer of the motherboard and look for the latest RAID driver (sometimes called F6 driver) and put it on a USB stick. Plug that in when the machine boots. Swapping the CD during the install can sometimes cause issues as only pieces of the installer are loaded into RAM.

I ran into a similar scenario with a Server 2012 R2 install (basically the same as 8.1), and it was due to the driver. I had to contact technical support and they sent me a link to the driver download.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I have been talking to Asus back and forth with their technical support trying to figure out this issue as well, but in the end the answer I got from them was "we are working on updating the support page, please check back over time for drivers."
-not helpful.

So I am back one step to using windows 8 64 bit for my install, which isn't really a huge deal i guess but certainly irritating, since I also own a copy of 8.1 64bit that I cant use. Anyways, I have experienced the exact same problem with windows 8, but now I have downloaded the latest RAID drivers and have them on USB so i do not have to remove the install disc. So I tried again after that, however still got the exact same result.

**Also, I was under the understanding that a MBR initialized disk is not compatible with RAID configurations, and that the disk needed to be in the GPT format. Is this incorrect? Should all formatting be completely removed and have just completely blank drives (but then won't be be offline)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
quick update: after hooking the drives individually up to a separate computer and using diskpart - clean to reset the disks to uninitialized, and using the latest drivers for windows 8 x64 on usb with my windows 8 64bit install disc inserted for the whole process, the motherboard recognizing the drives and the raid array showing both drives are configured in raid 0 and functional, i still get the same result. get to the point in the windows install where it says to select disk to install windows to, and only my usb shows up. So i choose load driver, navigate to the latest driver file on my usb and select it, and the windows installer still does not see the raid 0 drive. I have no idea what could be going wrong.

One other thing I have discovered that may help someone figure out what is happening here: When I use the windows 8 install disk and choose "repair my computer" rather than install, and go to the command prompt and run diskpart there, when i type in the list disk command, only my external usb shows up, not the hard drives. I am not sure if to show up in this command prompt the raid drivers would need to be installed just like for the windows install, or if not and it helps narrow down the cause of the issue at all, I'm not sure.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nester92 View Post

When I use the windows 8 install disk and choose "repair my computer" rather than install, and go to the command prompt and run diskpart there, when i type in the list disk command, only my external usb shows up, not the hard drives..
That right there is indicative of a driver issue. Windows is not recognizing the raid controller, thus the array is not showing up. Do you have a Windows 7 install disk you could try?

Also, does asus have 32 bit vs 64 bit drivers available? Sometimes that matters, sometimes it doesn't. The installer is a 32bit app whereas the OS, once loaded, is 64 bit. So I'm curious whether or not there are varying versions and you just need the 32 bit?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't know where my product key for windows 7 ultimate went, but I do have the disk (still run 7 ultimate on my laptop). Tried it with windows 7, all the same methods as I have stated so far, and no difference. Even when using diskpart, the raid 0 disk is not recognized. From using it you saying it is a driver issue makes 100% sense to me, since everything I do below the OS (mobo and raid controller stuff) all says perfect and when using command prompt or the installer nothing is detected at all. But at the very least I can now confirm that using the windows 7 ultimate (64bit) install does not make any difference.

I have been using the x64 versions of the windows 7 and 8 raid drivers, i do have the x86 versions (which as I understand are 32bit). I did try them one time with the windows 8.1 install to see if they worked and did not have any success, but I will try now with the windows 7 and 8 install discs to see if the 32bit drivers make a difference, thanks!
 

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You won't need the product key during install. It's worth a shot to try the x86 (32bit) and x64 drivers in Win7 just to rule out the slim possibility of an incompatibility between the RAID controller and Win 8. Win 7, in my experience anyways, will accept just about anything.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So I have tried using the 32bit versions of the drivers with both the windows 7 ultimate 64 and windows pro 64, and when I browse to the respective x86 folder for that operating system's drivers, the installer just says no drivers found (even though I can confirm that the files, just like the 64bit versions which are detected, are there). Maybe this is because the operating system install discs are 64bit so only detect the 64bit drivers? I am not sure, but neither OS seems to be able to find any 32bit drivers.
 

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That is possible. The only other thing I can think of is check their website for the latest BIOS and/or firmware (for RAID controller) and apply those. There should be instructions on how to do this via bootable USB on their website. Other than that, I think you're at the mercy of Asus tech support.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ya I've already updated the BIOS from version 1503 which was stock, to the current v2005, so thats as up to date as anything they have posted on their website. Their support page lets you click on downloads and then asks you to pick an OS, but if you choose windows 8.1 certain drivers are not present (like the RAID drivers). However windows 7 and 8 do both have the RAID drivers there to download, which is where I got them from. I've done the bios flash to update the bios from a usb stick, im not sure how to and/or if i can even flash an updated version of the RAID controller or not.

As far as Asus tech support goes, they have been supremely unhelpful. generally taking about 2 business days to respond to any email i send to them, and then reply with "i will talk to another department" or "please check our website in the future for driver updates that may help your issues". not impressed with them in the least.
 

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I have this same Mobo, and had the same frustrating issues whilst trying to install drives in RAID 0.

When you copy the RAID drivers to the USB drive, if they are in a zip folder, unzip them.

I had the issue where the 64bit drivers would not show, but the 32bit ones would. I had to install the 32bit drivers first, then either reboot, or close down the window and load the 64bit (they showed up once I rebooted). When you get to the installation step where it asks you which drive to install to, select the option towards the bottom to load drivers, I think that is where it is.

There were 2 sets of RAID drivers for this board, i believe, but only one set would properly show up. (I personally just dumped all of them onto my Flash drive) It was a bit of trial and error, as only certain drivers were compatible, and I would get an error when I selected the wrong one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, I made sure I unzipped them before loading them onto my USB. I have put on (what I assume is the latest) revision of the drivers for windows 7 and 8, 32 and 64 bit versions of both. However the windows installer (both 7 and 8) only recognize the 64bit drivers, but clicking the load driver button and loading them has not let my raid0 array be detected, and I'm not sure what is going on.

Are you saying that using an older revision of the raid drivers might be a solution? Or do you mean 2 versions of the raid drivers, because this board also has an Asmedia sata controller as well, so would be drivers for them? I have my drives plugged into the native sata 6g ports, so I have assumed so far that the amd chipset raid driver, not the third party one, would be applicable to me.

Also, what operating system version did you experience these issues with? windows 7 64bit?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nester92 View Post

Yes, I made sure I unzipped them before loading them onto my USB. I have put on (what I assume is the latest) revision of the drivers for windows 7 and 8, 32 and 64 bit versions of both. However the windows installer (both 7 and 8) only recognize the 64bit drivers, but clicking the load driver button and loading them has not let my raid0 array be detected, and I'm not sure what is going on.

Are you saying that using an older revision of the raid drivers might be a solution? Or do you mean 2 versions of the raid drivers, because this board also has an Asmedia sata controller as well, so would be drivers for them? I have my drives plugged into the native sata 6g ports, so I have assumed so far that the amd chipset raid driver, not the third party one, would be applicable to me.

Also, what operating system version did you experience these issues with? windows 7 64bit?
Yes, I had these issues with Windows 7 64bit. Had a heck of a time getting it figured out, too.

You could try older drivers to see if those work. I used the latest for my system from Asus's site at the time. They haven't been updated for Win7 in awhile though.

The Asmedia ports are the 2 differently colored ones on the board. I believe there are 4 white ones and 2 blue. The RAID drives should both be plugged into the white ports. If those are the ones you currently have them plugged into then, yes, you are correct in presuming you have the right drivers.

If the installer only recognizes the 64 bit version, those "should" be the ones you want to use if you plan to install Win8 64bit. However, I understand that these are not working for you currently. I had to try multiple drivers, one at a time, before one finally worked.

What I mean by multiple, is that when I downloaded the RAID driver file, it had numerous driver files located inside. I copied everything into my flash drive.

EDIT: I just thought of this. Download the AMD RAID drivers from AMD's site. See if those work any better for you. Should be 13.9. HERE
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks! downloading as I type and will be trying those out! This is what I have been using, downloaded from the asus support page for my motherboard, and is the latest update (Dec.7, 2012). I have copied all files over, and it looks like this:



and then each x64 and x86 folder has three files in it which resemble this:



so far they have not been working. There is an older version of the same drivers on asus' support page, but I can't imagine they would work better then the new ones (especially since my motherboard is the latest version bios now). If anyone cares, HERE is the link to the asus support page for the mobo.

I assume this is supposed to be how it happens, but it is the .inf file of the three types present for each version that is detected by the windows installer.
 

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Yes, And I took those out of their respective folders and placed them all into one so that I didn't have to go folder traveling. Now that I'm revisiting everything I went through with installing my own RAID 0, I feel as though the AMD drivers were the ones that ended up working properly for my scenario.

These are the files I ended up with for my Win7 install. LINK Minus the PDF file. (Hope this link works)

Make sure your flash drive is plugged into a rear USB port as well. It may seem arbitrary, but I believe I received an error with mine plugged into my front ports, even though the drive was recognized.

I'm still trying to retrace my steps as to what worked for me, I know my responses so far have not been as helpful as I'd like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
update: So i have tried the two older versions of the raid driver available on asus' website (versions 3.3 and 3.4, as opposed to the most recent and available for download 3.8), and got the exact same result- no detection of 32bit versions, and 64bit versions detect and load, but then no drives show up so not helpful. I downloaded the amd raid driver (version 13.9 at the link you provided me), but it is a .exe file, and the load driver option on my motherboard does not see any driver files and says nothing found.. I assume running the .exe is a setup i would perform on a system running an installed OS... do I do that on my laptop and it somehow generates the driver files?

thanks for all your help
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nester92 View Post

update: So i have tried the two older versions of the raid driver available on asus' website (versions 3.3 and 3.4, as opposed to the most recent and available for download 3.8), and got the exact same result- no detection of 32bit versions, and 64bit versions detect and load, but then no drives show up so not helpful. I downloaded the amd raid driver (version 13.9 at the link you provided me), but it is a .exe file, and the load driver option on my motherboard does not see any driver files and says nothing found.. I assume running the .exe is a setup i would perform on a system running an installed OS... do I do that on my laptop and it somehow generates the driver files?

thanks for all your help
I'm currently extracting the driver package from AMD's site to see if I can locate the files. EDIT: yes, download and extract the AMD package. hen it completes, close the install setup page. And go to the extraction folder. I took all of the files located within Packages>Drivers>SBDrv that pertained to RAID drivers for the version of Windows I needed. In your case I would navigate into the hseries, SB7xx, and SB8xx folders, locate the RAID>W8 and W864A folders, copy and paste the contents of each onto your flash drive, and see which ones are recognized when you attempt to load them during installation.

When you load the 64bit drivers, what are you doing afterwards?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I click on load driver and point to the file, then the loading bar shows up for a few seconds and then the load driver popup closes (because its done) and the choose target drive screen refreshes and (unfortunately) reads the same no drives found message. Then I click refresh to build up false hope in myself that it just needs another refresh, and after that I become an increasingly complex mixture of sad and frustrated haha

I am also just trying out those files you linked me to with windows 7, hopefully something in there works.
 
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