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Storage Nut
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How to: Set up RAID

This is a quick guide on setting up RAID with your onboard motherboard RAID controller. I don't know about you guys but when I wanted to set up RAID 0 for the first time I was completely lost and there was no thread like this so I hope this helps you out. I will be slowly improving this thread, feel free to add suggestions.
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There is a very well written RAID info guide that you should read before you continue this guide.

All You Ever Wanted To Know About RAID: (link)

Set up Guide 1: If you have your OS installed on an Intel motherboard already and want to RAID the OS drive then you can simply migrate to a RAID 0 array!
  1. If you are not in RAID mode change your SATA mode to RAID, guide here: (link)
  2. The once changed/set to RAID install the Intel rapid storage technology driver: (link)
  3. When installing click the Install the Control Center as well
  4. Then open the Intel Control center, go to Create > Select RAID level > select the drives drives and choose to keep data from the old drive > continue and create it.
  5. Once made it will build the array without losing any data.
  6. Let it finish building the array before you restart, if you restart before then it will have to rebuild again.
  7. Go to disk management once it is finished and expand the partition if you used a RAID level other than RAID 1.

Set up Guide 2:
  1. In the UEFI/BIOS set the SATA mode to Raid mode
  2. Then when you restart your PC hit Ctrl+I (or Ctrl + G or what it is for your motherboard, check the manual)
  3. After the splash screen appears when it shows a list of your SATA devices, it will take you to RAID setup menu.
  4. Choose create a raid volume
  5. Give your raid volume a name
  6. Choose your raid type (Raid0 or Raid 1, or whatever you wanna do)
  7. Choose the SSDs/HDDs you wanna add to raid
  8. Choose your raid block/strip size
  9. Choose your capacity
  10. Now select confirm creation and choose Yes
  11. Now select Save and Exit and choose Yes
  12. It should reboot and you are done.

Notes:
  • If installing Windows to the RAID array and Windows doesn't pickup the RAID array to install to then you will have to have your RAID drivers ready (motherboard driver disc or the driver on a usb from your mobo or chipset manufacturer) and load the driver here: (link) (links for SATA drivers)

    To select your driver, in bottom left corner of the install Window is the load driver button, click it and select the RAID driver.
  • To format your new RAID array in Windows go to disk management and initialize and format the RAID volume.

    Detailed guide here: (link)

  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

    If using an odd number of drives in an array or an older Windows OS (XP, server 2003, etc) you will probably want to use diskpar, diskpart (or a comparable utility) to manually align any partition you put on the array. You may well need to do this before starting the OS installation setup.

    WIndows Vista/7/Server 2008(R2) will use a 1024KiB offset, which is fine for most uses, but this number is not cleanly divisible by odd numbers, so can result in less than optimal performance when odd numbers of disks are in the same array. In these cases, I recommend using the stripe size * number of disks (or, in the case of small stripe sizes whatever multiple of that it takes to make the offset at least 64k).
    Quote:
    X79 mobos:

    First: Download the F6 drivers here and extract them to the USB you have: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/confirm.aspx?httpDown=http://downloadmirror.intel.com/22502/eng/RSTe_3.6.0.1093_F6-drivers.zip&lang=eng&Dwnldid=22502&ProductID=2101&keyword=%222012+Intel+Rapid+Storage+Technology+%28Intel+RST%29%22

    1. In the UEFI/BIOS set the SATA mode to Raid mode
    2. Then when you restart your PC hit Ctrl+i
    3. After the splash screen appears when it shows a list of your SATA devices, it will take you to RAID setup menu.
    4. Choose create a raid volume
    5. Give your raid volume a name
    6. Choose your raid type (Raid0 or Raid 1, or whatever you wanna do)
    7. Choose the SSDs/HDDs you wanna add to raid
    8. Choose your raid block/strip size
    9. Choose your capacity
    10. Now select confirm creation and choose Yes
    11. Now select Save and Exit and choose Yes
    12. It should reboot and you are done with the RAID array creation.

    Now as for installing windows:
    1. Boot the Windows installer.
    2. Do advanced/custom install.
    3. When you get to this window your RAID array does not show up, you will have to click load driver and browse your flash driver and choose the F6 64bit driver (should be 'Flash Drive':\...RSTe_3.6.0.1093_F6-drivers\RSTe_3.6.0.1093_F6-Drivers\RSTe_f6_iaStorA_64\iaStorA.inf ) and refresh the screen:
    4. If it still doesn't show up after choosing one driver choose another.
 

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Iconoclast
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Looks like a pretty straight forward (if Intel ICH/PCH focused) guide.

Also, if using an odd number of drives in an array or an older Windows OS (XP, server 2003, etc) you will probably want to use diskpar, diskpart (or a comparable utility) to manually align any partition you put on the array. You may well need to do this before starting the OS installation setup.

WIndows Vista/7/Server 2008(R2) will use a 1024KiB offset, which is fine for most uses, but this number is not cleanly divisible by odd numbers, so can result in less than optimal performance when odd numbers of disks are in the same array. In these cases, I recommend using the stripe size * number of disks (or, in the case of small stripe sizes whatever multiple of that it takes to make the offset at least 64k).

I was running a three disk RAID 0 until recently, and on this array, manually specifying a 384k offset provided slightly superior performance to the Windows default.
 

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I can smell sticky all ready
tongue.gif


Sean, im on X58 as in my sig, if i ran my bios in Raid can i still use my SSD on the ICH10 and get trim and same speeds as with bios in AHCI?.

I have 2x Samsung F1' in Raid0 using the IRST software but id preffer to run them in Raid0 by using Bios' Raid setting.
 

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Storage Nut
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinDaDragon View Post

Like this already
Sub'd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

Looks like a pretty straight forward (if Intel ICH/PCH focused) guide.

Also, if using an odd number of drives in an array or an older Windows OS (XP, server 2003, etc) you will probably want to use diskpar, diskpart (or a comparable utility) to manually align any partition you put on the array. You may well need to do this before starting the OS installation setup.

WIndows Vista/7/Server 2008(R2) will use a 1024KiB offset, which is fine for most uses, but this number is not cleanly divisible by odd numbers, so can result in less than optimal performance when odd numbers of disks are in the same array. In these cases, I recommend using the stripe size * number of disks (or, in the case of small stripe sizes whatever multiple of that it takes to make the offset at least 64k).

I was running a three disk RAID 0 until recently, and on this array, manually specifying a 384k offset provided slightly superior performance to the Windows default.
Thansk for the tip, I'll add it on in.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superj1977 View Post

I can smell sticky all ready
tongue.gif


Sean, im on X58 as in my sig, if i ran my bios in Raid can i still use my SSD on the ICH10 and get trim and same speeds as with bios in AHCI?.

I have 2x Samsung F1' in Raid0 using the IRST software but id preffer to run them in Raid0 by using Bios' Raid setting.
Yes you should still have TRIM support and the same speeds for the SSD.
 
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need help, im new to raid setup. currently using seagate 500gb 7200.12rpm 16mb sata 2 "ST500418AS" , do i have to look for the same model of hardisk "ST500418AS" ? and do i need a separate device or like a bridge for a raid setup like video card do? thanks
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcpayo View Post

need help, im new to raid setup. currently using seagate 500gb 7200.12rpm 16mb sata 2 "ST500418AS" , do i have to look for the same model of hardisk "ST500418AS" ? and do i need a separate device or like a bridge for a raid setup like video card do? thanks
Hey mate you don't need to have exactly the same drive however I would buy a drive of the same capacity and same speed (any brand). You can RAID non same size drives but you lose the extra space on the larger drive. You don't need any bridge or anything. The RAID is done via the chip on the motherboard. Install the 2 drives, go into bios and change it from IDE/AHCI to RAID and next time you boot there will be an option to go into your RAID setup (CTRL I - from memory). Choose your RAID type, select your drives that you want to include and the striping (normally 128k) and your done. Make sure that the drives you are setting up in RAID are on the same controller on the board (The 2 controllers are normally Intel and Marvell) Both drives need to be using the same controller.

Note - Its easier to do this if you are doing a fresh install of windows. Windows will install the RAID drivers during setup to allow you to continue.
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thanks sir for that very informative answer, i appreciate it. i just noticed that most of the hard disk that they sell on the store on my end are sata 3 . i believe it wont work right with my sata 2 hdd?
 

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Storage Nut
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcpayo View Post

thanks sir for that very informative answer, i appreciate it. i just noticed that most of the hard disk that they sell on the store on my end are sata 3 . i believe it wont work right with my sata 2 hdd?
Doesn't matter it will work. They just need to be the same RPM and capacity (or larger capacity).
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timid View Post

What is the raid block/stripe size?
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/RAID-SCALING-CHARTS,1735-4.html
Quote:
A stripe is the smallest chunk of data within a RAID array that can be addressed. People often also refer to this as granularity or block size. It can be compared to the blocks (logical block addressing - LBA) on conventional hard drives. Most RAID controllers allow the user to define her or his favorite stripe size, because it alters the performance characteristics of a RAID array. Typical options are 16, 32, 64 and 128 kB, but many professional RAID controllers also offer smaller stripe sizes, and some even support sizes as large as 256 kB.
 

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Do you need to have the exact same drive to set up RAID 0??

Could i use different SSDs with different capacities and RAID 0 them??

Thanks
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinny1 View Post

Do you need to have the exact same drive to set up RAID 0??

Could i use different SSDs with different capacities and RAID 0 them??

Thanks
ya u can use different capacity ssds for raid 0, but final capacity after raid 0 is 2 times of lower sized ssd .
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i've been looking at the RAID setup guide for my mobo and it goes on about a floppy drive do i need this or can i get away without 1 as i don't currently own one?

1.3.2 Installing Windows® 7 / 7 64-bit / VistaTM / VistaTM 64-bit With RAID Functions
If you want to install Windows® 7 / 7 64-bit / VistaTM / VistaTM 64-bit on a RAID disk composed of 2 or more SATA3
HDDs with RAID functions, please follow below steps.
STEP 1: Set up UEFI.
A. Enter UEFI SETUP UTILITY → Advanced screen → Storage Configuration.
5
B. Set the "SATA Mode" option to [RAID].
STEP 2: Use "RAID Installation Guide" to set RAID configuration.
Before you start to configure RAID function, you need to check this RAID installation guide for proper configuration.
Please refer to the BIOS RAID installation guide part in this document for details.
STEP 3: Make a SATA3 Driver Diskette. (Please use USB floppy or floppy disk.)
Make a SATA3 driver diskette by following section 1.3.1 step 2 on page 4.
STEP 4: Install Windows® 7 / 7 64-bit / VistaTM / VistaTM 64-bit OS on your system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by passey View Post

i've been looking at the RAID setup guide for my mobo and it goes on about a floppy drive do i need this or can i get away without 1 as i don't currently own one?

1.3.2 Installing Windows® 7 / 7 64-bit / VistaTM / VistaTM 64-bit With RAID Functions
If you want to install Windows® 7 / 7 64-bit / VistaTM / VistaTM 64-bit on a RAID disk composed of 2 or more SATA3
HDDs with RAID functions, please follow below steps.
STEP 1: Set up UEFI.
A. Enter UEFI SETUP UTILITY → Advanced screen → Storage Configuration.
5
B. Set the "SATA Mode" option to [RAID].
STEP 2: Use "RAID Installation Guide" to set RAID configuration.
Before you start to configure RAID function, you need to check this RAID installation guide for proper configuration.
Please refer to the BIOS RAID installation guide part in this document for details.
STEP 3: Make a SATA3 Driver Diskette. (Please use USB floppy or floppy disk.)
Make a SATA3 driver diskette by following section 1.3.1 step 2 on page 4.
STEP 4: Install Windows® 7 / 7 64-bit / VistaTM / VistaTM 64-bit OS on your system.
All you need to do is put the RAID driver on a USB, no floppy needed.
 

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sooo dumb question, i currently have a 120g ssd and would like to raid 0 it. It is my only drive.

as far as i can tell i have to do a new windows install after correct?
 

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Storage Nut
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by rab1/2 View Post

sooo dumb question, i currently have a 120g ssd and would like to raid 0 it. It is my only drive.

as far as i can tell i have to do a new windows install after correct?
Yea, however you need a second drive as well.

Instead of reinstall you can also change your sata mode to RAID, make a system image and restore it to the RAID 0 array when you make it. No reinstall needed.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rab1/2 View Post

sooo dumb question, i currently have a 120g ssd and would like to raid 0 it. It is my only drive.
as far as i can tell i have to do a new windows install after correct?
you need atleast 2 drives for RAID 0
 
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