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RAID newbie needs help with RAID 1 os install

Posted on 2008-01-31
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Last Modified: 2008-05-28
Later today I will be attempting to install a Windows OS on a machine with a 2 port Adaptec/Supermicro (don't know model yet) raid card. I have 2 80gb sata drives. I'm a little confused on how to go about installing the OS to RAID 1. I used the F6 method and loaded the driver for the card, started through the windows install, reached the disk management section and got lost. I was able to see both drives but had no way of creating the raid 1.

I assume this partition must be created before the windows install? If so how do you go about that.

Or, is it possible to simply install the windows os to 1 drive, then after it is installed enter the Adaptec Storage Manager and create the raid 1?
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Question by:theeter
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cuziyq earned 1000 total points
ID: 20790494
Sounds like the RAID card is a HostRAID.  If it were a true RAID card with its own processor, you wouldn't be able to see either hard drive :-)

You must enter the RAID controller's BIOS and create an array from there.  Once that's done, Windows Setup will only see one logical drive.  You can then partition that drive however you want.  The controller will take care of the mirroring for you.
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by:theeter
ID: 20790526
Should I see an option to enter the raid bios?
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by:cuziyq
ID: 20790556
Yes, when the card boots up.  Since it's an Adaptec controller, the key sequence should be CTRL+A.  If it's integrated onto the motherboard, you may have to enable the controller in the system's BIOS first, and then you'll see the CTRL+A prompt when you reboot.
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by:theeter
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Thanks! I'll check in later and update how it goes.
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by:PUNKY
ID: 20790638
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by:DynamiteMonkey
DynamiteMonkey earned 1000 total points
ID: 20790641
When you power the system on, you see the system BIOS first.  

Normally, without any additional cards, after the system BIOS POST check is complete the OS will begin loading.  

With a RAID card installed, you should see the RAID card BIOS after the system BIOS POST is complete.  Typically there is a prompt telling you to hit Ctrl + <key> to enter the host config.

Adaptec typically uses Ctrl+A
Promise typically uses Ctrl+F
Highpoint typically uses Ctrl+H
I'm not sure about SuperMicro

There are cases where the "Press Ctrl+A" prompt are disabled.  If you believe this to be the case, just hold down the left control key and hammer away at the "A" key toward the end of the system BIOS POST.  

There are also cases, depending on which motherboard you're using, where the motherboard doesn't have enough option ROM to load the RAID card BIOS.  In this case, you need to either disable onboard option ROM devices or move the RAID card to a higher PCI slot.  
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