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Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe RAID 1 - Windows XP Not Picking up Drives

Posted on 2011-05-02
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello,

I have inherited a custom built PC that I need to repair and I'm unable to do so. The owner bought 2 new 2TB drives for it, which I have put in a RAID1 configuration. However, when I boot Windows XP and press F6 and load the drivers from Asus' website, it does not detect the drives.

Also, in the nVidia utility, the SET BOOT option is greyed out. Not sure if that has anything to do with it.

This PC is extremely important to the environment it is in and I need to get it repaired ASAP. Can anyone help?
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Question by:street9009
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:David
ID: 35510104
Did you build the RAID on the same motherboard with the same controller?  If not, then it won't work.  The metadata layout is vendor/product specific.  Whatever controller you used to build the RAID must be used to run the RAID.
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Author Comment

by:street9009
ID: 35510127
No I'm using nothing but the PC's hardware (i.e.- mobo) to do the RAID. It's all on the motherboard. You can enable/disable the nVidia Utility in the BIOS but if you disable it you can't configure RAID (the other utility doesn't work- I forget the error it throws).
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Expert Comment

by:David
ID: 35510163
The error is important. It probably reveals how to resolve the issue.  
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Author Comment

by:street9009
ID: 35512168
The error is "No device detected, Utility disabled!"

Again, I believe this to be the case because of the nVidia utility that prompts directly before this one does. When you boot up you get the standard POST screens. Then a screen displays to press F10 to go into the RAID Utility (nVidia). F10 works, detects the drives, and I have a RAID1 array set up (1.81TB) and it is marked healthy. Then this other screen shows and you press Crtl + S to get into it and that's when the error above shows.
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Expert Comment

by:David
ID: 35512343
So when you do the F6 thing at installation/boot time ... are you 100% sure you have the right drivers for your version of XP?   i.e. 64-bit vs 32-bit and not drivers for Win7 as example?   Did you read release notes?  Maybe something important there about BIOS settings?  
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Expert Comment

by:David
ID: 35512355
and are you using the drivers from the motherboard mfg site, ASUS, not drivers from some other site?  The drivers have to be matched to the motherboard, not drivers from a NVIDIA site, or a Dell site, as example
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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 35516442
>> Then this other screen shows and you press Crtl + S...

That probably because it is for the Second Hard drive Controller, which controls the External Esata port and the Sata port located at the rear of the mobo, next to the PCI slots.
I think it is a Silicon Controller.

I need to look at the manual again, but I think it was on 2-26 in the manual.
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Author Comment

by:street9009
ID: 35529944
Sounds like a good theory, coral.

I never did get Windows XP to recognize it. I finally gave up and tried Windows 7 and it picked it up perfectly, with no driver disk necessary.

I did verify the drivers several times as well dlethe. XP just never picked up the drives.
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Expert Comment

by:David
ID: 35543826
well if Win7 works with the Win7 drivers, and WinXP does not work with the WinXP drivers, then either the drivers are mislabeled, the wrong ones, or broken.  Since Windows XP is a pretty common platform, then I would contact ASUS support to see if the drivers are mislabeled (You can probably visually inspect by looking at the .OEM & .INF files with a text editor).  It wouldn't be the first time a vendor mislabeled drivers..  
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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 35561848
Either that ^, or for some reason XP is insisting on trying to load the Silicon drivers.
 
The Nvidia controller handles the IDE and the 4 SATA ports below those.
The Silicon Image controller does the ESATA and SATA port at the rear of the mobo.

At least you know it's not a hardware problem, now.   : )
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Expert Comment

by:David
ID: 35568350
Well some times certain drivers simply can not coexist with certain operating systems.  It is a pain, but you can try removing BOTH drivers entirely from your machine (booting from a USB-attached disk), and then try installing them in a different order, one at a time to see if they both work individually but not together.  Of course, I don't know how that will help you other than to provide more info for a bug report.
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Author Comment

by:street9009
ID: 35694079
Well, aside from that, I was able to get one of the old drives to boot and now I want to clone (if that's the correct term) it to the two new drives that I could not get XP to load drivers for.

If the one drive that's good was part of a RAID1 array, how can I re-build the array on the two new drives?
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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 35694162
You can try cloning the old drive to a new one and see if it boots.
If yes, then add the second drive and let the controller rebuild it.
You will probably need to clone with the option to use the all of the bigger drive, or expand it before you add the second one.

Another option is to see if it will rebuild to a new drive, then swap the old one with the other new one and rebuild again.
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Author Comment

by:street9009
ID: 35694177
I've been trying some of that and it's not working. I tried cloning with Clonezilla and it failed every time.

Also have the PC hooked up right now with the old drive and the new one, but it doesn't appear to be rebuilding anything (even though it's been told to).
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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 35694212
Which XP disk are you using, SP1, 2 or 3?

You might need to slipstream SP3 and the raid drivers to get it to see the large drives.
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Author Comment

by:street9009
ID: 35694221
When I was trying to install XP, I used SP3. But I'm not trying to do that anymore. I have a disk that boots that I want to clone to the two new drives.
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Author Comment

by:street9009
ID: 35697520
Any suggestions for that?
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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 35700242
hmmm... if it won't clone to a single drive, I doubt it will clone to a raid1

- check what the 2TB drives are formatted as. MBR or GPT. XP needs MBR.
- try partitioning it to 1 TB and see if XP likes that better.
- try a different brand of drive.
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Author Comment

by:street9009
ID: 35700282
I need to clone it. A fresh install won't do me any good because I've discovered there's a ton of software on it that I can't re-install (no media and no knowledge of settings).

I have got to find a way to get the stuff on the original disk to a new RAID1.
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Accepted Solution

by:
_ earned 2000 total points
ID: 35700517
Try cloning it to a smaller partition on a 2TB drive, and make sure it is using MBR.

Instead of Clonezilla try:

EASEUS  (free)
http://www.soft32.com/Download/Free/EASEUS_Disk_Copy/4-125617-1.html

Paragon: (not free, but I have used and like)
http://www.paragon-software.com/home/dc-professional/features.html

Or try the Paragon free backup utility:
http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/download.html

make a full backup, and restore to the 2 TB


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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:David
ID: 35704763
Sector cloning software like EASEUS won't work.  You MUST get some software that lets you create a bootable backup onto a scratch drive (or network if you have that much free space), build/initialize the RAID1, then restore.

The reason is the usable blocks and location of the metadata is controller/firmware unique.  Total capacity will also change. This means redoing partition tables & moving things around.  

Get a decent backup software that WORKS with your RAID controller and restore that way.
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Author Comment

by:street9009
ID: 35705418
Any suggestions for that dlethe?
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:David
ID: 35705900
Norton ghost & Acronics -- but you have to verify for yourself compatibility with the controllers.  
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Author Closing Comment

by:street9009
ID: 35804513
EASEUS worked like a champ. The problem with the other cloning solutions was that they weren't reading through errors. This one found 40 errors but did a successful clone that's in place and working perfectly.

Thanks!
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 35805404
Glad to hear it worked for you.   : )
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