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setup a RAID 0 array on an ASUS mob with a promise chipset

Posted on 2004-08-30
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I have a new system that I’ve just put together.  I seem to be getting through the post and then boot of the XP cd, but when XP tries to install it can’t write to the hard drives.  The drives are two 74GB Western Digital raptors that I’ve attempted to setup as one Raid 0 array(?).

I’ve got an ASUS P4C800-E DELUXE CANTERWOOD motherboard with onboard Promise PDC20378 controller chipset.

Using the FastBuild Utility 2.01 from Promise I get the following info:

Auto Setup [1] - gives me the error message “No available Disks!”
View Drive Assignments [2] – shows the following table
      Channel ID               Drive Model         Capacity    Assignment    Mode
      1:SATA WDS WD740GD-00FLA0        74355        Array 1           U6
      2:SATA WDS WD740GD-00FLA0        74355        Array 1           U6
Define Array [3] - shows the following table
            Array No    RAID Mode    Total Drv     Capacity(MB)    Status
            Array 1        Strip                2                 148710              Functional
Delete Array [4] – shows the following table
            Array No    RAID Mode    Total Drv     Capacity(MB)    Status
            Array 1        Strip                2                 148710              Functional
Rebuild Array [5] – shows the following table
            Array No    RAID Mode    Total Drv     Capacity(MB)    Status
            Array 1        Strip                2                 148710              Functional

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Question by:AxeTracks
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 11939131
Did you use the F6 option to install the RAID drivers?
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CrazyOne earned 500 total points
ID: 11939140
At the point that XP is intalling it offers the use of F6 at the bottom of the screen to alllow one to install drivers needed to continue, did you do this?
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by:AxeTracks
ID: 11939147
I think you mean when XP starts to boot of the install CD it's suppose to show you a message line at the bottom of the blue install screen that gives that option?  I didin't see the message but I tried hitting F6 anyway... nothing (note I don't even see it the bottom line showing me file loading status)
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Author Comment

by:AxeTracks
ID: 11939176
do you think my raid is setup correctly?  I'm only guessing that the setup cannot write to the hard drives becuase I get no status bar on the Windows setup page - you know like it's not able to load any setup files (I assume it "loads" those files in some type of temp directory on a harddrive)?
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by:AxeTracks
ID: 11939190
hmmm... I new to this site, I hit accept on your anwser - hope that doesn't end the session?
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by:AxeTracks
ID: 11939193
hitting F6 dose not solve my problem, but I think you may be on to something?
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 11939225
So when you hit F6 what happens? Do you have drivers for this controller card?
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by:AxeTracks
ID: 11939227
hello?  No response?  Does this mean you get 500 points and I have to start this thread again?  Com'on give me a break I'm new to this site.  At least resond back and let me know that you are done or still working it?
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Author Comment

by:AxeTracks
ID: 11939234
oh sorry you just responded.

when I hit F6 nothing happens.
I don't have any drivers installed becuase this is an intital installation boot up.
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 11939241
Umm and are you sure the all disks involvled are working properly? I mean why use RAID unless this a Server? Why subject yourself to possible horrrors that can and many times does accompany RAID type setups? Hmmm I mean why use it?
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Author Comment

by:AxeTracks
ID: 11939258
I'm trying to build an ultra fast PC.  It is my understanding that with data coming off both raptors I will see significant improvement for any data being accessed on that array?  I plan to put my OS and most executable on that array and then have a large drive for my data.  It shouldn't be that hard to setup - should it?
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 11939303
Well don't kid yourselve. RIAD has some advantages but it you so and do not have a server what is the point? I have seen people with RAID0 and RAID1 find themselves in a situation that the OS would not boot even thouhgh their main disk went down the system doest not boot. Do not trust RAID. Use one of the following to backups with.


      Drive Imaging
Reviews By PC Magazine June 17, 2003
At some point, you may need to preserve your entire hard drive exactly as it is—byte for byte. Drive-imaging software does exactly that: It saves a snapshot of every bit of information on a drive or partition so you can restore the system to an identical state. But beware: The product you choose may not work well with your CD-RW drive. We ran into some compatibility problems during testing. Fortunately, each of the programs in this roundup has a money-back guarantee. So be sure to give the software a test run as soon as you buy it.

Drive Image
http://www.symantec.com/driveimage/
PowerQuest has clearly put a lot of effort into making Drive Image 2002 easy to use. When you launch the program, a straightforward wizard walks you through the process of either creating a backup of your hard drive or restoring it, detailing each step of the process.

Norton Ghost
http://www.symantec.com/sabu/ghost/ghost_personal/
The most impressive aspects of Norton Ghost 2003 are its advanced features and versatile functions in a business setting, where you might need to set up hundreds of systems using the same hard drive image.

*Acronis TrueImage
http://www.acronis.com/products/trueimage/
Acronis TrueImage 6.0 has an interface that makes it an ideal solution for users with basic drive-imaging needs and a desire for simplicity. The wizard for backing up a hard drive is extremely intuitive; it lets you back up partitions of a hard drive to another partition on the same drive or to optical media. Unlike Drive Image and Ghost, TrueImage does not require exclusive access to the file system to make a copy of all files. And whereas other programs require you to reboot into DOS mode to complete most operations, TrueImage needs to leave Windows only to restore a hard drive.

not reviewed by PC Magazine

Casper XP
is the next generation of Drive2Drive, designed exclusively for Windows XP and Windows 2000 systems.
http://www.fssdev.com/products/casperxp/

Drive2Drive (Win 95, 98, ME)
makes upgrading to a new hard disk faster and easier than ever.
http://www.fssdev.com/products/drive2drive/
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Author Comment

by:AxeTracks
ID: 11939306
ok here is a stupid question.  Usually you have to Fdisk or format a drive before you can install an OS on it.  But I've never built a PC before so what do people do when they have a brand new PC?  Do they take the drives out and format them first and then put them back and install?  That seems rather dumb, seems like the installation program should see the disk and then ask you if want to format them before it installs the OS?  Is that a dumb question?  The disk do need to be formatted, not sure if it's even possible to formatt them in a seperate PC then put them into this one - since it is a RAID array.
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 11939324
No from Win2000 on the Installation CD offers to format the disk. But I think if you are going to use a hardware RAID arrray you need to install the drivers for that array before installing.
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by:AxeTracks
ID: 11939325
yes backup will be a great problem to solve but first I have to get something on the disks so I can back them up.

back to my last question - I don't want to put some type of addtional hard drive into the PC then format it, install on it, then format the Raid array, then uinstall the OS and reinstall on the Raid array????  That just seems to dumb?
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by:AxeTracks
ID: 11939330
how can install the drivers before the OS?
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by:AxeTracks
ID: 11939345
ok how about this...  Is there some program that I can boot from that doesn't write to the hardrive but does allow me to format it?  Maybe something like partion magic?  
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Author Comment

by:AxeTracks
ID: 11939382
ok, maybe I've anwsered my own question - I think you have forced me to go down that path.  I've just put in partion magic and I'm formatting the array.  Should I partion it as adn HPFS or NTFS?  What do you think?
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 11939391
Unless you have the Operating System OS2 then format it at NTFS.
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by:AxeTracks
ID: 11939397
I see, HPFS is for OS2 and Unix.  Ok, let's see what happens -smile

...making progress
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 11939407
:)
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Author Comment

by:AxeTracks
ID: 11939414
wow, all that work...

Partion magic formatted the array (at least it thinks it did)?  but I still have the same problem - sitting at the windows setlup screen and nothing is happening???
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 11939443
Ok pull one of the hard disks off of the ARRAY controller and put it by itself on the IDE. If it does not install then other problems exists. It it does install XP just is not honoring your array or you have not installed the appropriate drivers for the array.
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Author Comment

by:AxeTracks
ID: 11939473
hmmm... won't that screw up my format.  I think I'd have to reformat it?  I'm going to try to boot from a flopy drive and flash the bios first?

It will take me a second to build the boot disk and then install a 3.5 in my box - **** I thought I wouldn't need a 3.5 in this new PC.  But I can't boot from a USB thumb drive or any of the little memory cards...
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 11939528
Don't ever think you don't need a floppy drive, big mistake at this point. A couple of years from now, maybe, but not now, Floppy is still needed.
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