Setting up RAID on my workstation

Posted on 2005-05-05
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I'm setting up RAID1 on my machine using the following components:

ASUS P4P800 Deluxe, bios flashed to 1014
Promise TX2200 RAID controller
1 80 GB Barracuda drive, 1 Barracuda 120 drive (RAID, boot drive)
1 Maxtor IDE drive (storage for Ghost images, other items if needed)
2 gb DDR ram
WinXP Pro

This machine is currenlty in a temporary setup, and I intend to format the harddrives and start from scratch. My question is - what is the correct method for implementing this setup? Here's the steps I think are correct, but I'm sure I'm wrong:

1) Format all hard drives
2) Using mobo onboard SATA ports, install WinXP on 80 GB Barracuda drive (should I update WinXP now, or wait? Install driver for RAID array w/ F6 during install?)
3) Install RAID card
4) Install RAID software  (set RAID to boot? build boot disk?)
5) Move 80 gb Barracuda drive to RAID controller card
6) Install 120 GB Barracuda drive on RAID controller card
7) Implement RAID software to build array?? - build Ghost image, store on USB external drive
8) Install progs and such on RAID array - build new Ghost image, store on USB external drive
9) Install IDE drive on separate mobo IDE port, move Ghose images to IDE drives
10) Install antivirus, spyware, backup, etc on boot drive

Please let me know where I'm going wrong, if I need to reorder this or whatever. I can build and install a single disk workstation and know the basic steps, but I'm not sure how to include the RAID stuff in the mix. I realize I'm losing 40 gb of harddrive space, but I'm really not concerned with this.
    LVL 69

    Accepted Solution

    Install all your hardware first, including card and drives.
    Boot into the RAID card's BIOS and set up your RAID array.  The drives should be formatted at this point also.
    Configure your motherboard BIOS to boot from the RAID card.
    Install WinXP on the RAID array, and press F6 when prompted and insert the RAID driver floppy.
    Install other software.
    Make Ghost image and store on USB drive.

    Note: for external USB drives to operate at all, you need service pack 1 or higher, and if you want USB drives to operate at their fullest, you must have the USB patch.  Service Pack 2 includes it.
    LVL 84
    Okay, glad I asked this question.

    How do I boot into the RAID card's BIOS? I'm sure they're all different, but is there normally a hotkey combo, or does the RAID card communicate with the motherboard in this regard? I'm assuming the manual will let me know how to do this, but I'd certainly rather hear it from someone who has done it before.

    When you say "the drives should be formatted at this point", do you mean I should have already formatted the drives?

    My copy of WinXP Pro already has SP1, and I've got SP2 on disc, so I'll be implementing those before hooking up to the Internet, and I"ve already got my virus and spyware (AdAware and Lavasoft) on CD ready to go ... everything else is on CD as well ... anything else you can think of in terms of virus/spyware/malware protection that I should do?
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    There's a hotkey which you will be prompted with to get into the RAID BIOS - Adaptec uses ctrl-A, but I don't know what Promise uses.

    The format occurs when you set up the RAID array and it asks you if you want to prepare it as FAT32 or NTFS - at least it does on mine.

    The best thing you can do to avoid spyware is stop using Internet Explorer if you can help it.  Ever since I stopped, my spyware scans have turned up nothing, but before that, it crippled one of my machines to such an extent I had to nuke it.
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    as callandor but you must press while booting ctrl+F to display the build utility menue:
    quick installation guide page 5 ~page 8:
    remember read page 5 very carefully!
    array management guide:
    main page info:

    good luck!

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