Here are some plans I have formed. Could you please look them over and point out any wrong-headedness on my part? Maybe someone with a lot of experience particularly with RAID setups on Dells will find some problems…
I currently have a Dell Precision 690 with two 72k rpm hard drives configured as RAID 0. I would like to install a 10k HD without using any RAID.
1. On another machine, go to Dell online, enter my service tag, and downloaded all of the drivers available (select windows xp 32 bit for the OS because that is what I will be using even though my 690 supports 64-bit).
2. Connect a USB floppy drive (hopefully it will show up as A) to the machine on which I downloaded those drivers
3. One of those downloads is R165652 – the SAS Raid Controller Driver. Supposedly it is safe to double click this… it should, I think, prompt me for a diskette and write the HD controller drivers to the diskette in the USB diskette drive (rather than extracting or installing anything on the local machine)
4. Follow same procedure for R168483.EXE which is supposed to be the firmware for the SAS raid controller. I am less sure about this one… shouldn't it also create a diskette? Here are some instructions I found for this file… although my downloaded exe does not have a diskette icon but a file-extract icon.
a. Get 1 blank, formatted floppy disk.
b. Double-click the new icon (it looks like a floppy diskette) on the desktop. The Self-Extractor window appears.
Click Setup. A black MS-DOS window appears with a message indicating that you need 1 floppy diskette.
c. Press the [ENTER] key.
d. A message appears prompting you to insert a blank floppy diskette.
Insert a floppy disk into the floppy disk drive.
e. Press the [ENTER] key. A message appears indicating that all data on the disk will be erased.
f. Press the [y] key and then press the [ENTER] key.
g. The files are copied to the floppy diskette. If the procedure requires more than one diskette, repeat steps 5 – 7 until you reach the end of the diskette set.
h. After all the files have been copied to the last floppy disk, press the [ENTER] key and the MS-DOS window closes.
5. Now go to my Dell 690 and press cntrl-C while booting… to access the SAS controller BIOS.
6. Delete the existing Raid that is setup
a. Delete the virtual disk
b. Press Y to delete the RAID volume
c. Configure nothing else in this BIOS
7. Update the main BIOS from the diskette created in step 3
8. Update the SAS controller firmware from the diskette created in step 4
9. Physically remove the two 72k rpm drives currently installed and add my new 10k drive connecting it to HD0 on the mother board
10. Enter the main BIOS
Under the DRIVES section change I currently (while still using the 2 drives in RAID) have
SAS controller = On
Diskette drive = USB
Drive 0: SATA-0 = Off
Drive 1: SATA-1 = Off
Drive 2: SATA-2 = Off
Drive 3: PATA-0 = On
Drive 4: PATA-1= On
SATA Operation = AHCI
I think that here I need to leave the SAS controller on (because I will be still be using that controller even though I am not implementing any raid) but I will need to set Drive 0: SATA-0 to ON. I will also go ahead and set SATA-1 and SATA-2 to ON because later I will add back those two removed hard drives as two additional non-raid drives. I will leave SATA Operation = AHCI.
11. I will probably have to save those changes, reboot and re-enter the BIOS in order to add my new HD to the boot sequence. When I still had the raid, the boot sequence had an entry that read "#0558 ID 01 Lun 0 Dell Virtual". After rebooting with SATA-0 = On and a single drive installed, I hope to see that drive listed in my list of boot-sequence selections.
12. My Main BIOS and HD controller BIOS should now be properly configured. So now I will begin to install windows (I will be installing 32-bit Windows xp pro onto my 64-bit capable Precision 690).
13. I will press F6 to specify additional HD controllers
14. At that point I will put the diskette created in step 3 into my external USB-Floppy drive and hope that setup looks to that drive and also finds the appropriate driver there. If I am given a number of controllers from which to choose I will have to guess but I am thinking that I might see something that says AHCI and I would want to select that one.
15. Now I should be able to finish installing everything as per usual.
16. After Windows is installed I will install the other driver files I downloaded from Dell (even if the OS installed drivers for those items)
a. Chipset - Intel driver - R119727.EXE
b. Chipset - Broadcom driver - R121903.EXE
c. Sata Driver for Matrix storage manager - R158601.EXE
d. Sata application for Matrix storage manager - R165148.EXE
e. TEAC Card Reader Driver- R176587.EXE
f. Video nVidia Driver for Quadro FX550 - R194270.EXE
g. Audio - Sigmatel onboard sound - R127208.EXE
h. Network - Broadcom Driver- R161008.EXE
17. I will add back my two 72k rpm drives and they should appear as new drive letters.