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 Post subject: RAID problem, won't boot from CD
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:14 am 
8086
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Bear with me, lots of description to follow. Long story short, I can't boot to a cd with my hard drives set to RAID in the BIOS.

I've recently built a new computer (specs to follow), and I'm having a terrible time trying to get it to run properly. It seems that whenever I enable RAID in the BIOS I can no longer boot from the cd/dvd drive.

In the BIOS, my cd/dvd drive is recognized, as well as my hard drives, and cd is set to first boot. Hard drive is second boot, with floppy and other devices disabled. All drives are SATA.

Problem:

With RAID turned on for the primary channels (I've verified that the two hard drives are primary master and slave channels, and the cd/dvd drive is in the secondary master position), and off for the secondary channels, I can get to the "press F10 to set up RAID" screen. The setup goes fine, with both drives being recognized and a RAID 0 (mirrored) being set up. Array is healthy and set to be bootable. Upon exiting setup, however, I get a screen that says "Boot from CD:". After several seconds, I get "BOOT DISK FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER". Pressing enter gets the same response.

Attempted fixes:

I've tried both a known bootable copy of the Ultimate Boot Disk and a new OEM copy of XP Pro purchased with my system, but still no joy.

I've also tried attaching an IDE CD drive with the same results (changing boot order to reflect the new drive).

When the RAID is turned off from the BIOS, I can boot to either CD fine, from either drive.

My settings are being retained in the BIOS, so no battery problems.

I've changed all the cables and verified proper power and data connections. All drives spin up when the computer is turned on.

I've reset the BIOS and tried making my changes again, but that didn't help any either.

I've verified good power source to the PSU and also that the PSU itself is running well.

Specs:

Case/PSU: iStarUSA S-Storm S-10000BL/TC-400R8 Server Tower Chassis 400W Redundant PSU

RAM: Transcend AxeRAM 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800

MOBO: EVGA 112-CK-NF77-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce e-7150/630i HDMI Micro ATX

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775

DVD: SAMSUNG SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe Model SH-S203N OEM

HDD: 2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA (ordered 3 to have an extra, and 1 was DOA)

OS: WIN XP w/ SP2C OEM

Accessories: 2x Rosewill 120mm case fans, 3x SATA power adapters (the PSU only had IDE power)

I'm using PS/2 keyboard and mouse with a VGA monitor, but no other peripherals attached.

All these parts were from Newegg, and I can list the links if anyone wants them. Please let me know anything I might've left out. Thank you for any help you can give me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:28 pm 
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First off, Raid 0 is not mirrored it is a stripped array. A stripped array is dangerous to use because if you have one drive in the array crash on you, you will loose all data from both drives unless you use an expensive service to try to get your valuable data back and that is not guaranteed.

A mirriored array is called Raid 1 and is not as dangerous as Raid 0 is. If one drive dies you remove it, replace it and go into the raid bios and tell it to rebuild the new drive.

Once you have your array built and you reboot look for a prompt at the bottom of your screen to hit any key to boot to the cd-rom. Many boards have that today, also many boards have a F key to hit to bring up a boot to menu, choose cd-rom and hit enter. Now it should find the cd-rom so you can proceed.

Nasty


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:01 pm 
8086
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You are correct, and I mistyped. I meant RAID 1. It is definitely mirrored. I can never keep 1 and 0 straight.

As for the rest, there is no option to hit a key to boot to the cd. As there is no OS installed, it should boot straight to the cd anyway. Regardless, even if I hit keys when the the "Boot from CD:" is flashing, it still gives me a "DISK BOOT FAILURE" error.

Going to the boot menu and selecting cd has the same thing happen as above.

Thank you for your help.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:25 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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The BIOS doesnt care if there is an OS installed or not. If you tell it to boot to the HDD first, its gonna look to the HDD and skip over the CD/DVD.

Right now my only suggestion is to try disabling the floppy drive in the BIOS.
I'll look through the BIOS on my PC when I get home to see if anything pops out.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:36 pm 
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Can you hook up an IDE cd-rom just to see if your motherboard has a problem booting to a SATA cd-rom while using a SATA raid setup?

One other idea, have you updated the bios to the latest iteration?

Nasty


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:31 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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Nastyman wrote:
Can you hook up an IDE cd-rom just to see if your motherboard has a problem booting to a SATA cd-rom while using a SATA raid setup?


I think he already tried that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:14 pm 
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I have in fact tried an IDE cd drive, both with and without the SATA dvd connected, but I still have the same problem.

Disabling and outright disconnecting the floppy hasn't helped either.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:13 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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I dont understand why you are saying the HDDs are on master and slave. SATA doesnt have that any more.

How are you installing the RAID drivers?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:10 pm 
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You might want to try using nLite to slipstreamyour RAID drivers.
Then press F12 or whatever it is to select a temporary boot device when your PC starts up and select the CD\DVD drive and press any key when its prompts you.

You should hear the CD\DVD drive spin up and see the activity light. If it doesn't you need to go back into the BIOS and make sure its auto-detecting the IDE and SATA channels correctly. One of the controller's settings are incorrect.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 8:44 am 
8086
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SomeGuy: not master/slave like on IDE drives with jumpers and whatnot, but the mobo has four SATA ports, and the manual and BIOS identify them as primary and secondary master and slave. I'm almost positive this is simply because it's easier than labeling it 1.1 and 1.2 (don't remember exact numbers, but in this format) like the RAID setup utility does.

I've not been able to install my drivers yet, as I can't even get a WinXP boot disk to start, but the RAID is built in to the motherboard. I even reset the BIOS and went through the step by step instructions from EVGA for the chance that I missed a step, but still the same.

00john00: the BIOS correctly identifies all my drives, and they all spin up when I turn the power on. Unfortunately, I can't get either cd drive to actually go through with a boot to cd, even when I take the additional step of verifying the cd should boot first. It looks for a second or so like it's going to go, then comes back with a system disk error.

Additionally, I've tried going in the BIOS and switching around the SATA ports the RAID is looking at, but this hasn't helped either.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 8:47 am 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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For the sake of simplifying things...have you tried to install with the RAID disabled so we can take it out of the equation?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:34 am 
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Actually, yeah, it goes just fine when the drives are set up individually. It's definitely a RAID issue. Funny thing is that it won't even boot on an IDE cd drive with the RAID enabled.

BIOS and POST see the drives just fine, I just can't boot to them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:28 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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I would go ahead and try to do a slipstreamed install as mentioned above.

http://www.nliteos.com/

The key thing is to slipstream the SATA and RAID drivers onto the XP disc, this should minimize any problems.

I believe these were the instructions I used when I slipstreamed my XP CD for my 680i and it works fine (I have an SATA RAID 0 setup using an SATA DVD drive).
CLICK FOR INSTRUCTIONS
It is long but it will tell you what you need to know in order to do this properly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:37 pm 
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SomeGuy wrote:
I would go ahead and try to do a slipstreamed install as mentioned above.

http://www.nliteos.com/

The key thing is to slipstream the SATA and RAID drivers onto the XP disc, this should minimize any problems.

I believe these were the instructions I used when I slipstreamed my XP CD for my 680i and it works fine (I have an SATA RAID 0 setup using an SATA DVD drive).
CLICK FOR INSTRUCTIONS
It is long but it will tell you what you need to know in order to do this properly.


Slipstreaming is a good idea if he could boot to the XP cd, but he can't while the raid is setup.

Have you tried to update the bios yet?

Nasty


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:53 pm 
8086
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I've not tried flashing the BIOS; I was a little wary of doing that. Looks like it might have to happen though.

I downloaded the update from evga.com, but I'm not sure how to go about actually using it. The download came with an installer, but that doesn't help much if I can't boot to the machine.

How do I need to proceed?

http://www.evga.com/download/bios/NF77v16.zip

Here's a direct link to the file, if it's any help.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:14 pm 
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I would get a friend to help you do this that has done this successfully and you can use a bootable floppy to do it. FIRST READ THE FLASH YOUR BIOS SECTION in your motherboard manual!...over and over until you get it. If you blow the flash it will render your motherboard unusable until you get the bios flashed by a pro or your board may have a recovery option via the motherboard cd...however you can't boot to it so that option is out the window.

See if you can boot to an old 98 boot disk before you go any farther, if you can't rma the board.

Nasty


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 4:47 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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I would still try the slipstream. I seem to remember having problems installing XP on mine (has to do with XP having problems seeing the SATA drives). Slipstreaming will have the SATA drivers already on it.

Just try it, if it doesnt work, youre only out some time as well as a CD-R...
nothing else has worked so far, its worth a shot.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 4:53 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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A quick guide on flashing the BIOS
http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.asp?m=36748


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:29 pm 
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Someguy,

When he sets up the raid array in the bios, for some reason he cannot boot from the cd-rom so slipstreaming the drivers won't help at all. If he just sets up simple sata the xp cd will boot up. This is why I suggested he try to flash the bios to the latest file.

Nasty


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:03 pm 
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Wow. Some patience here. Good job.

When you RAID, no matter what config...you turn all those disks into one. One disk. From that point on, you treat those disks as one. Don't complicate it any further. There is no master slave, it doesn't hurt another channel's drive. It's one disk plugged into a slot.

Or, it's not set up.


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