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 Post subject: New build: RAID problems
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:16 am 
8086
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Location: Oakland, California
I've just completed a new rig; it's up and running and I went to add in two new 1.5TB WD Caviar black hard drives, which I want to put in RAID 1.

Problem: I can't get into the RAID controller, or set-up my data disks. I built the system with only the SSD in place, and installed both versions of Windows. Updated BIOS. Installed all latest drivers and Win updates.
When I connected the two WD HDD's, I don't get anything on boot to allow me to enter the RAID controller and set-up a RAID 1 array. The controller is enabled in the BIOS. If I switch the SATA option from AHCI to RAID, a boot error occurs, and I cannot get into either OS. Because the two WD HDDs are connected to the add-on controller, they do not show up in the list of SATA drives in BIOS. However, both OS versions can see the drives--they are listed in the device manager.

I know this is a popular motherboard, and I'm hoping one of you fine people could give me a clue here. All responses are appreciated! :mrgreen:

Asus P8Z77-V motherboard
Intel Core i5-3550 (3.5 GHz)
8 GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600 RAM (2 x 4GB)
EVGA Ge-Force 8600 GTS
System drive = Intel 520 series 120GB SSD
Data drives = 2X WD Caviar Black 1.5TB
ASUS DVD-RW drive, SATA, on one of the chipset-supported SATA 2 ports.
The SSD is partitioned in half and I have both Win 7 Ultimate and Win 8 Pro installed.

The P877-V has only two SATA 3 ports supported by the chipset. It also has four SATA 2 ports supported by the chipset. There are two more SATA 3 ports supported by an on-board ASMEDIA RAID controller. (That's where I have my two WD data drives.)


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 Post subject: Re: New build: RAID problems
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:34 am 
8086
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Location: Oakland, California
I should mention that the mobo manual for the ASUS P8Z77-V has very little info on the ASMEDIA RAID controller. There's nothing there to indicate how to enter the controller's BIOS, etc. Just very basic info on connecting the drives to the ports.


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 Post subject: Re: New build: RAID problems
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:43 am 
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Did you install the drivers for the ASMedia Controller?

::EDIT::

Section 3.5.6 is very vague, but basically, enable the ASMedia controller, and then enable the OptionROM, that should give you the ability to setup the RAID how you want. You could also use the SATA2 ports and just use the IRST software to setup your raid.


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 Post subject: Re: New build: RAID problems
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:08 pm 
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nsvander wrote:
Did you install the drivers for the ASMedia Controller?


Yes.

nsvander wrote:
Section 3.5.6 is very vague, but basically, enable the ASMedia controller, and then enable the OptionROM, that should give you the ability to setup the RAID how you want. You could also use the SATA2 ports and just use the IRST software to setup your raid.


Thanks for your reply. I think you have zeroed in on the problem, but not sure what to do. In my BIOS, the "ASM061 Storage OPROM" option doesn't appear. Manual says it will only appear if the storage controller is enabled. Mine is enabled, but still no OPROM option appearing.

If I can't get this to work, then I will use the SATA2 ports and IRST, but since my drives are SATA 3 capable, I'd love to use it.


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 Post subject: Re: New build: RAID problems
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:04 pm 
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Go into the bios and shut off the splash screen, it is hiding a lot of info. Once you shut it off and saved/exited you can stop the post anywhere by hitting the Pause key so you can read what is on the screen. To continue the boot hit the ESC key, then hit the Pause key when a new page appears. You should find on the second page the keys you must hit in order to get into the Raid Bios. It is usually CTRL and H or C or S or whatever is displayed on the screen you stopped. Once you have the key combo, reboot and go into the Raid Bios and build your array, then use either windows or a utility to format the new array.

Nasty


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 Post subject: Re: New build: RAID problems
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:45 am 
8086
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Location: Oakland, California
Thanks Nastyman. If by "disable the splash screen" you mean to disable Quick Boot, I went ahead and did that. The POST messages "American Megatrends....." are brief, and show only a listing of the connected drives. Am I doing the right thing? Can't seem to get any other information from the post.

I will try those key combinations when I get home tonight.


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 Post subject: Re: New build: RAID problems
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:37 am 
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No, quickboot has nothing to do with the splash screen. You should see nothing but black screens and white lettering from the start of the boot until it boots to windows. The American Megatrends splash screen is what you want to get rid of so you can see the processor speed, ram speed and amount along with a host of other information. You have to go through all the menus to find where to shut down the splash screen.

Nasty


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 Post subject: Re: New build: RAID problems
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:08 pm 
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Location: Oakland, California
Nastyman wrote:
You have to go through all the menus to find where to shut down the splash screen.
Nasty


OK--I think I know the setting you're talking about. Will try again this evening and post back. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: New build: RAID problems
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:26 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 10:20 am
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Location: Oakland, California
Nastyman wrote:
You have to go through all the menus to find where to shut down the splash screen.

Nasty


I located the setting called "full screen logo" and disabled it. So I no longer get a few seconds of the ASUS logo. I also set the "post delay" so that the ESC is required to advance the POST. I can't find any other settings related to the Logo/splash screen. However, the very brief POST screen that I have had is still all there is. i.e., American Megatrends, then showing the info you describe: BIOS version, CPU speed and type, RAM speed and type, and a listing of the SATA devices. That's all that appears, and the message "use ESC key to advance POST" or something.
When I hit ESC, no further info appears, and the Windows boot loader starts.
So, I'm not sure what's up, but I can see no way at all to get into the ASMEDIA storage controller bios.

I switched my two data drives to the SATA 2 ports supported by the chipset. As soon as I did that, I got the familiar "Ctrl - I" message immediately, allowing me to enter the IRST bios and create an array. I booted into Win7 and created a simple volume on the RAID 1 array. The volume is seen by both versions of Windows. So I have what I wanted--it just won't be SATA 3 speeds.

Thanks for your help Nastyman--I'm not sure what else to do; The ASMEDIA controller is seen by both versions of Windows and device managers say it is working properly. I have looked over every setting in the advanced UEFI BIOS, but just can't access the controller.


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 Post subject: Re: New build: RAID problems
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:35 am 
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Why don't you think the Raid isn't running at SATA3 speed in the raid array? It should be. Just add the raid drivers when you setup windows on the array ...if you are just using the array for data be sure to install the latest Raid drivers in windows from your motherboard site.

Nasty


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 Post subject: Re: New build: RAID problems
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:42 am 
Smithfield
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Nastyman wrote:
Why don't you think the Raid isn't running at SATA3 speed in the raid array? It should be. Just add the raid drivers when you setup windows on the array ...if you are just using the array for data be sure to install the latest Raid drivers in windows from your motherboard site.

Nasty

Two SATA 6Gbps ports on my motherboard that are handled by a Marvell controller don't actually run at 6Gbps. If OP didn't plug them into the chipset's SATA 6Gbps port, then I could see this happening.


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 Post subject: Re: New build: RAID problems
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:09 am 
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He didn't say the 6 gig ports, he said the 3gig ports, I am sure the raid ports run at that speed.

Nasty


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 Post subject: Re: New build: RAID problems
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:37 am 
Smithfield
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Nastyman wrote:
He didn't say the 6 gig ports, he said the 3gig ports, I am sure the raid ports run at that speed.

Nasty

You said SATA3, he said SATA2. Anyway. I'm going to be an ignorant person here, but I had a quick look at the opening post and I can make the following statements:

  • The fastest I've seen a hard drive in recent memory run at is 150MB/s (for a 3TB or 4TB drive I believe, last year). Since this is a 1.5TB drive, I'm going to assume that the speed is at best around 100MB/s to 120MB/s. Point is, the write speed on a RAID 1 with two HDDs is going to be the same as one HDD. The read speed is what should theoretically double. Either way, you're probably not going to see anywhere close to 300MB/s that the SATA 3Gpbs can do.
  • If you switch SATA port modes when Windows is installed already, Windows will freak out. I'm not sure if this applies if switching between AHCI and RAID, but I know it'll do this for IDE and AHCI.


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 Post subject: Re: New build: RAID problems
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:13 pm 
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Location: Oakland, California
LatiosXT wrote:
  • The fastest I've seen a hard drive in recent memory run at is 150MB/s (for a 3TB or 4TB drive I believe, last year). Since this is a 1.5TB drive, I'm going to assume that the speed is at best around 100MB/s to 120MB/s. Point is, the write speed on a RAID 1 with two HDDs is going to be the same as one HDD. The read speed is what should theoretically double. Either way, you're probably not going to see anywhere close to 300MB/s that the SATA 3Gpbs can do.
  • If you switch SATA port modes when Windows is installed already, Windows will freak out. I'm not sure if this applies if switching between AHCI and RAID, but I know it'll do this for IDE and AHCI.


Yes, it's that confusing SATA terminology again. As I understand it, SATA 1 = 1.5 MB/sec, SATA 2 = 3.0 MB/sec, SATA 3 = 6.0 MB/sec.
This board has chipset Z77, which supports 2x SATA 3 and 4x SATA 2 ports. The ASMEDIA controller adds 4x SATA 3 ports. All my drives are SATA 3 capable. I'm doing RAID 1 just for the redundancy and don't expect any read/write performance improvement over a single drive. Latios I think you are right---with the actual real life performance of the drives, it probably won't make any noticeable difference that they are now on SATA 2 ports rather than SATA 3. That's how it is now, and all is working fine. I guess I'll just have to live with never knowing if my ASMEDIA SATA controller is not working right, or if I just can't figure out how to get into its BIOS.
Per the last item you note, yes, it seems windows does freak out if I change from AHCI to RAID. It never gets past the boot loader. After a couple attempts it tries a self repair which fails.
Fortunately the on-board Intel RAID support is working as expected, so I can get on with it....
Thanks guys.


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 Post subject: Re: New build: RAID problems
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:55 am 
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Quote:
There are two more SATA 3 ports supported by an on-board ASMEDIA RAID controller. (That's where I have my two WD data drives.)


He did say the raid ports were SATA3.... and the rest were 2

Nasty


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