Problem setting up RAID on Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3 motherboard

Hello! I just finished putting together my new PC and almost immediately ran into a problem while trying to setup RAID on my Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3 motherboard using (2) Seagate Barracuda ST3250410AS SATA drives. The two SATA drives are connected to SATAII0 and SATAII1 on the motherboard and none of the drives have any jumpers set. I read the manual and followed all the outlined steps to setup the RAID - Go to BIOS -> Enable SATA controller -> set SATA type to RAID -> Set SATA Port4/5 type to "As SATA Type" ->Save Changes ->Reboot

According to the manual after I do this I should see the RAID controller initializing and displaying a message "No array is defined.." at which point I should be able to hit CTRL+F3 to configure my array. Well this isn't happening - when I reboot I see the RAID controller initializing and the following:

"Scanning drives........................................................................................................................

Warning - Something wrong with your hardware..! "



To make my problem even more interesting as soon as I enable RAID in the BIOS I can no longer get into the BIOS because of the message above. The only way I can go back in is to clear the CMOS, which resets everything to factory defaults..

My CD/DVD drives are IDE so they shouldn't interfere and they are most likely not causing the problem. Here is what the manual says about the RAID configuration:

"Turn on your computer and press <Delete> to enter BIOS Setup during the POST (Power-On Self-Test).
Ensure OnChip SATA Controller is enabled under Integrated Peripherals. To create RAID, set
OnChip SATA Type to RAID. Then enable the SATA channels with hard disks that you want to use for
RAID (for example, OnChip SATA Port4/5 Type controls the SATAII4/5 connector)(Figure 1).

Step 2:
Save changes and exit BIOS Setup

Step 3: (I never got to this step - it gets stuck at 'scanning drives.... warning! something wrong with your hardware')

After the POST memory test begins and before the operating system boot begins, look for a message
which says "Press <Ctrl-F> to enter FastBuild (tm) Utility" (Figure 2). Hit the <Ctrl>+<F> key to enter the
RAID BIOS setup utility.
Figure 2



Any thoughts? It almost sounds like a bad mobo, however I would like to be sure before I tear my whole computer apart and send it back for a replacement...
CUOL-MISAsked:
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CallandorConnect With a Mentor Commented:
So as soon as you change the SATA mode in the BIOS, it no longer works correctly?  That makes me lean towards the motherboard as being the culprit.
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gilgetCommented:
any possiblity that you get the Firmware update on another computer and run it on your machine?
maybe the FW of your MB needs an update-.

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rindiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Connect the disks to SATA ports 4 and 5. The message you get above "Set SATA Port4/5 type to "As SATA Type" ->Save Changes ->Reboot" only mentions those two ports, and not port 0 and 1.

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CUOL-MISAuthor Commented:
Gilget,

The only way I could do that would be to install Windows without using RAID, flash the BIOS and try to create RAID - not impossible, but time consuming. I will check the BIOS revision when I go home tonight and check on their website to see if there is a newer revision.

Rindi,

I tried all SATA ports  - 0&1, 2&3, 4&5 same problem.
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CUOL-MISAuthor Commented:
Here is the link to the manual if that is of any help:

http://america.giga-byte.com/FileList/Manual/motherboard_manual_ga-ma770-ud3_e.pdf
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gilgetCommented:
hello there

here is a link to the BIOS releases, make sure you take the one for the correct socket.
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherboard/BIOS_List.aspx

and here is the link to the bios live update utility:

http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/FileList/NewTech/old_motherboard_newtech/tech_a_bios.htm
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CallandorCommented:
I would say it's probably a bad motherboard - you should always be able to get into and out of your BIOS.  Check your drives, though, to see if they behave normally when set up as regular drives.  Bad drives can sometimes mess up motherboard setups.
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CUOL-MISAuthor Commented:
I just re-read the manual and I discovered that I can update the BIOS from a Floppy or USB Drive formatted w/ FAT32. I will flash the BIOS and see what happens, but I think the problem is someplace else. I am affraid I might already be running the latest BIOS version......
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CUOL-MISAuthor Commented:
"I would say it's probably a bad motherboard - you should always be able to get into and out of your BIOS.  Check your drives, though, to see if they behave normally when set up as regular drives.  Bad drives can sometimes mess up motherboard setups."

I agree. Well the problem is that once I enable the RAID in the BIOS the system is trying to initialize the RAID controller first prior entering Setup, however I get stuck at "detecting drives............" and that's the reason why I can't get to the BIOS.

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gilgetCommented:
CUOL, i know tyhis has happened on some motherboards with some disks before.
some just wont fit with some motherboards, its pain.
A friend of mine just had a very similar problem and he changed his disks and then he was fine.
the disk were running in another system nicely thought.

im not gona say that someone who says your MB has a problem is not right, but I always think one should check any possibility-
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CUOL-MISAuthor Commented:
"CUOL, i know tyhis has happened on some motherboards with some disks before.
some just wont fit with some motherboards, its pain.
A friend of mine just had a very similar problem and he changed his disks and then he was fine.
the disk were running in another system nicely thought.

im not gona say that someone who says your MB has a problem is not right, but I always think one should check any possibility-"

And this, Sir, is the $1,000,000 question! I know that sometimes the drive firmware isn't compatible with a specific motherboard, but I cannot RMA everything back to the manufacturer without knowing where the problem is. If I had (2) spare SATA drives from a different manufacturer I would try to swap them, but I don't... And this is where I am stuck. Motherboard or drive, that is the question :P  
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CallandorCommented:
That is why I was recommending checking out the drives as normal non-RAID drives, perhaps even in a different controller.  Drives don't need to be tested in RAID in order to know if they work.
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CUOL-MISAuthor Commented:
They seem to work as normal drives. I have not attempted to install an OS yet, but when they are set to SATA [IDE] the BIOS is recognizing them fine and I don't seem to have a problem there. However, I've read about cases where the drives work fine in Non-RAID config, but don't work at all and cause a similar problem to mine in a RAID configuration. There was an interesting thread in one forum about a very similar case to mine with Seagate drives and SB700 controller, which is what I have. I don't think that's the case but I need to prove it. I am digging around to see if I can find another set of SATA drives to test with, but it doesn't look good...
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CUOL-MISAuthor Commented:
Actually I found the thread and I was wrong - it is in regards of the SB600 controller and not the SB700....

http://www.csd.dficlub.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1320
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CUOL-MISAuthor Commented:
"So as soon as you change the SATA mode in the BIOS, it no longer works correctly?  That makes me lean towards the motherboard as being the culprit." - You are correct, sir. As soon as I change it from SATA [IDE] to SATA [RAID] it stops working.
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CUOL-MISAuthor Commented:
I just found 2 SATA 40's at work. I will try 'em tonight to see what happens and I should be able to pinpoint the problem.

I will keep you posted. In the meanwhile if anybody can think of something else I can try please don't hesitate to post it :D
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CUOL-MISAuthor Commented:
I just tried connecting a separate set of disks and I am still getting the same error. I also discovered that I have the latest BIOS revision so flashing it doesn't look like an option. It looks like I will have to take everything apart and RMA the motherboard.  
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gilgetConnect With a Mentor Commented:
yes, too bad.
realy looks like a damaged MB now.
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