As I have been spending a couple of nights trying to make this bloody A8V Deluxe board to work
with 4 HDD's the way I wanted it and due to the fact that I finally could succeed thanks to a post in this forum http://www.techsupportforum.com/f15/...aid-22179.html
I would like to share a little of my new knowledge before I'll forget everything again...
I'm not sure if I'm lacking yet another needed harddrive to accomplish this, or if I just plugged things into wrong slots.
For a RAID 0+1 you will need at least 4 HDD's. I assume that they should be connected to the same controller otherwise it will not work since the board has 2 different RAID controllers (VIA VT8237/6420 and Promise Fasttrak PDC20378) onboard.
Not sure if an OS would have saw that drive or not, as I didn't even try that.
Simplified you have a lower BIOS level and an upper OS level which is building upon the BIOS level. Practically this means that a HDD which is not recognised on BIOS level will definitely not be recognised by windows whereas the opposite may be true e.g. the HDD can be recognised on BIOS level but not on windows level until the needed driver will be installed. So the first thing is to make sure that all your disks (or any other hardware device) are recognised (seen) by the BIOS'es, may it be the mainboard BIOS or for instance an onboard controller BIOS (here VIA or Promise).
I have been studying a little the (BAD!!) Asus User Guide and I come to the conclusion that some information must be wrong... On page Xi they state in the Storage section:
SouthBridge (aka VIA VT8237) supports:
- 2x UltraDMA 133 connectors
- 2x SATA with RAID 0,1 and JBOD
Promise PDC20378 (aka Fasttrak 378) RAID controller (supports):
- 1x UltraDMA 133 connector
- 2x SATA connectors
- support for RAID 0,1,0+1 and multiple RAID configurations
The Problem being that there is only *one* onboard 133 pin connector (PRI_RAID) for this (RAID) purpose and I don't think it will be linked to *both* RAID controllers but I may be wrong, only way to know would be to try out... if you do it please let the others now.
So if I understood you well you have 3 SATA HDD's (identical in sizes?) and one IDE HDD and you would like to build a RAID 0+1 e.g. a striped array which would be mirrored giving you the performance kick as well as the security redundancy!?
Here is what I assume but it's merely an assumption because I did NOT try it out and thus it's mainly based on theoretical level, knowing that in IT matters there is only one truth: the practical one...
1) I don't think you will be able to spread your RAID across both the controllers (VIA and Promise) so you will need to choose only one and since the VIA does not offer this RAID level it could only be the Promise... So basically the 4 HDD's should be connected to the Fasttrak controller!
2) You will need to connect 2 SATA HDD's to the SATA_RAID1 and SATA_RAID2 connectors e.g. one to each connector. Then there will be only one PRI_RAID connector left so both other (IDE!) HDD should be connected as master and slave to this one by the same flat ribbon cable (40 pins)
3) You may disable the VIA controller (OnChip SATA Boot ROM) under Advanced--> Onbard Devices Configuration, in the mainboard BIOS.
4) While booting you should be able to see that the Promise controller has recognised the connected disks by entering the controller BIOS (FastBuild Utility) with Ctrl+F at the right moment and have a look under 'View Drive Assignments'. If the drives are not there then you should verify the connections. If yes you should use the 'Define Array' Menu to build up your RAID as needed. (Better don't use Auto Setup!)
5) In case of trouble make sure you have the latest BIOS versions (at least 1017 for the mainboard, the Promise controller BIOS being also updated with the Asus BIOS).
If you could successfully build up the Array(s) at that level then the most important has been done, the next step being the installation of windows by using F6 to install the needed Promise controller (v1.00.1.37) if needed. I don't remember if windows (it depends also of the version of course) natively recognises the Promise RAID controller or not. Try out and if not you will need to make a driver disk with the needed *.inf files and drivers. Of course if you do not want to boot from the array then you may install the drivers later if needed. In any case the Asus BIOS settings should be 'OnBoard Promise Controller' Enabled and 'Operating Mode' RAID Mode! Another prerequisite will be identical sizes of HDD's so if the drives are recognised under 'View Drive Assignments' but you cannot build the Array(s) as wished then this will very likely be the reason.
Finally if you want to stay with your 3 SATA and 1 IDE HDD's then you may mirror (RAID 1) the ones with identical sizes with either the Promise or the VIA controller (maybe only the VIA if my assumption is true that the 40 pin connector works only with the Promise controller!) and stripe (RAID 0) the other (unequal?) ones by using the Promise controller. Of course you would need to setup the OS and the data according to the needs e.g. important data on the RAID 1 and fast data on the RAID 0 or simply forget the striping or backup often...
And last but not least one very important "detail" which troubled me quite a lot: the VIA VT8237 cannot handle autonegotiation calls from newer SATA II HDD's!! So even if these disks are basically backward compatible with SATA I they will NOT be recognised by the damn VIA controller as Asus did not even take the time to update the OEM drivers... Whereas the Promise 378 controller will cope with the newer SATA disks but it might (will) be a nighmare to get the ATA (NON RAID) SATA378 driver to work in order to use 2 HDD's without RAID e.g. as single drives, if you have that problem report or read the link above...
Anyway I hope this will help you somewhat.
Please report if possible how it worked for you...