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[SOLVED] Sata Raid configuration on Asus A8V deluxe

This is a discussion on [SOLVED] Sata Raid configuration on Asus A8V deluxe within the Motherboards, Bios & CPU forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Trying to connect harddrives and configure them for raid 0+1 I would like the performance as well as the mirror,


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Old 11-17-2008, 03:26 PM   #1
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Trying to connect harddrives and configure them for raid 0+1 I would like the performance as well as the mirror, so far I can only get one option or the other, I'm not sure if I'm lacking yet another needed harddrive to accomplish this, or if I just plugged things into wrong slots.

Along with this problem, I also have the issue with my OS reading said drives, as I gave up on having both raid options, and set them up for raid0 (performance) and tried to install OS, I installed drivers as said from floppy, but XP still says cannot install it says it cannot find harddrive.

As title says I have an Asus A8V deluxe motherboard, at the moment I have 2 sata drives connected to sata_raid 1 and sata_raid 2, and one IDE connected to the primary_sata raid controler. I have Onboard Promise Controller Enabled, and the Operating Mode is set to RAID.

I tried connecting an additional sata drive to sata1, but the MBFastBuild utility still only saw the original 3 drives, so that did me no good. Not sure if an OS would have saw that drive or not, as I didn't even try that.

Basically my main questions now are...
Do I need to install another IDE to the Primary IDE connector?
Or do I need to connect my current IDE to the Primary IDE instead of the Primary Raid connector?
And once I have these Harddrives connected right, is there a possibility to get the configuration set to RAID 0+1?

I hope I included enough information to answer my questions, but if not, please let me know of any other info that would be helpful in addressing my current problems. Thank you so much for your time!

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Old 12-08-2008, 02:08 AM   #2
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Hi heartsy,

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...

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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...

BlueDragon

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Old 01-18-2009, 06:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueDragon View Post
Hi heartsy,

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...



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.



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...

BlueDragon
I currently have 2 independent SATA drives – both jumpered down to 1.5gbs – and both plugged into SATA1 and SATA2 on the motherboard. One drive I boot from, the other is just for data.
I had wanted to add a third independent SATA drive – which a jumpered down to 1.5 GBs and plugged into SATA_RAID1.
I then entered the bios and set the Onboard Promise Raid Controller to IDE MODE
When booting up, the BIOS shows the new drive – but Windows XP does not seem to want to.
I downloaded and installed the Promise FastTrak 378 RAID Driver (V1.00.1.37) and using DEVICE MANAGER, uninstalled the current driver, and installed this driver from the path on the hard drive.
Still no-go.
I am three steps away from finding the inspiration in pursuing a fine spiraling career in alcoholism!
It seemed pretty straight forward – God knows I am no rocket scientist… Did I miss a step somewhere? ANY Help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-18-2009, 06:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
When booting up, the BIOS shows the new drive – but Windows XP does not seem to want to.
If the bios sees the drive but windows does not, that normally indicates the drive has not been partitioned and formatted. Format it and normally things should work.
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tumbleweed36 View Post
If the bios sees the drive but windows does not, that normally indicates the drive has not been partitioned and formatted. Format it and normally things should work.
Maybe it's 5 o'clock somewhere.

This morning I got up- and was happy to find your answer- you have no idea how happy! A simple fix! YES!

So I disconnected the drives, plugged into the new one and formatted and installed a fresh copy of XP Pro on it. Then I put the other two drives back on, powered up.. and....

No effect. In the device manager I am getting a code 10 cannot start error next to the WinXP Promise FastTrack 378 Controller. I tried uninstalling and then scanning for new hardware and adding. And then uninstalling and doing it again by directing it to install from a file loc. Still, no Joy.

5'oclock. Somewhere. It's just too bad I don't have any good whiskey in the house.

It was a good try- seemed like it should work. Just the type of thing I would have forgotten (and did). Any other thoughts?
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:17 AM   #6
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Turn off that fasttrack controller by disabling it and see what happens.

Have you tried a new ribbon cable?

Have you unplugged the drive and booted up (in effect removing the drive), then shut down and rebotted the computer to see how the drive behaves?

Could it be this drive is formatted as a dynamic drive and not a basic drive. If so, you have to reformat it to get it to work properly. Here is a free trial program that might assist you:

http://www.paragon-software.com/home/db-professional/
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:59 PM   #7
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Okay - I changed out the SATA cable and still nadda.
I did notice something that now makes me wonder if i have the right driver installed tho.

When powering up, and the bios detects first the boot drive and then the data drive it calls them VIA's.
The next recognition screen where my new drive is being detected, the top of the screen shows:
"SATA378 TX2plus BIOS Version ......"

Should I be trying to manually add a SATA378 TX2plus driver of some sort instead of the Promise FastTrack 378 Controller?
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:49 PM   #8
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Did you disable the Promise controller and try it like I suggested earlier?????
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tang69 View Post
I currently have 2 independent SATA drives – both jumpered down to 1.5gbs – and both plugged into SATA1 and SATA2 on the motherboard. One drive I boot from, the other is just for data.
I had wanted to add a third independent SATA drive – which a jumpered down to 1.5 GBs and plugged into SATA_RAID1.
I then entered the bios and set the Onboard Promise Raid Controller to IDE MODE
When booting up, the BIOS shows the new drive – but Windows XP does not seem to want to.
I downloaded and installed the Promise FastTrak 378 RAID Driver (V1.00.1.37) and using DEVICE MANAGER, uninstalled the current driver, and installed this driver from the path on the hard drive.
Still no-go.
I am three steps away from finding the inspiration in pursuing a fine spiraling career in alcoholism!
It seemed pretty straight forward – God knows I am no rocket scientist… Did I miss a step somewhere? ANY Help would be greatly appreciated.
Tang69 (Tango69 would surely have led you faster to your aim!...)

Forget the whiskey, follow these steps and you may smoke a good joint after them...

First of all forget about all what Tumbleweed36 suggested... (sorry Tumbleweed36, don't take it as personal offence, I am sure you just itended to help but I don't understand how you can advise someone to format the drive to have it recognised by XP!...)

A) Leave the connections and the settings exactly as you did to start with. The 3rd drive connected on the SATA_RAID1 (or 2) connector should be recognised by the BIOS (by the way you may update the ASUS BIOS to the lastes version, get what is needed from the Asus website, latest version Rev 1018 beta or if you prefer 1017 - non beta) and the message SATA378 TX2plus(tm) BIOS Version 1.00.0.33 should appear during the boot up followed by the details of the HDD and IDE BUS Master Enabled. If you get the message BIOS not installed then there is something wrong at this level already, only then would you need to check the connection, cable etc. This should work for you according to what you described above.

B) Next let XP boot, detect the HDD and... install the wrong driver... (Thanks Microsh..., Promise, Asus or all) :evil: After that the HDD will NOT be recognised by XP. You may check by opening control panel --> administrative tools --> computer management --> disk management. Here you will see all the logical as well as the physical drives. If a drive is not formatted it will not appear as logical drive but it should always appear as physical drive. If not then it has not been recognised by windows e.g. the proper driver has not been installed correctly (or of course there may be many other reasons but in our case forget about them to start with)

C) Also you may want to open the device manager (Control panel --> system --> hardware tab) and have a look at the SCSI and RAID controllers. You should find a yellow exclamation mark with an error (if I remember well #10) because it's not the needed driver for a single (non RAID) drive!

D) Now take the ASUS A8V Deluxe CD-ROM and insert it in the CD drive. Click on the WinXP Promise STA378 IDE controller --> driver --> update driver --> install from a list of specific location (advanced) --> don't search. I will choose the driver to install --> have disk... and browse for the Promise SATA378 NON RAID (ATA) drive v.1.00.0.27 (NOT THE RAID DRIVER v.1.00.1.37 !!! ) Reboot and check in the disk management and device manager (B and C above) respectively if the HDD has appeared and the error has disappeared. If yes format your drive as needed, assign a letter and ENJOY! If not, let me know.

NB: No need at all to have the HDD preformatted or windows preinstalled if you do not want to boot from this drive!!!

Hope this will help you, it took me many hours to find the solution...
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:55 AM   #10
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My God! My God! I have seen the light! And it comes from THIS webpage !

I had been using the wrong driver all along and there was no possible way to get it to work!
Many MANY thanks BlueDragon - I owe you that Bottle of Jamesons 18 year old in celebration!

All works well now- and I am stuffing the drive full of odds and ends and such. i am eternally grateful!
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tang69 View Post
My God! My God! I have seen the light! And it comes from THIS webpage !

I had been using the wrong driver all along and there was no possible way to get it to work!
Many MANY thanks BlueDragon - I owe you that Bottle of Jamesons 18 year old in celebration!

All works well now- and I am stuffing the drive full of odds and ends and such. i am eternally grateful!
After the darkness comes the light, how can it be different, it's what they say at least...

I am glad I could help you so my combat was not only for myself!
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:25 AM   #12
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Spooky Man - In the signature line of my e-mail I have "In Absentia Luci, Tenebrae Vincunt"

The funny thing? This whole event has inspired me to start looking at building a new beast from the motherboard up... kinda have to since pretty much all of the forms have changed in CPU, memory, and expansion slots. If I want to get into transcoding video, or doing any editing of HD video- I will really need a newer CPU anyways.
You know- the newer boards have SATA2 sockets to spare.. and you don't even need to jumper down your drives ::

Aside from the need for speed.. I JUST got this thing purring smoothly - with your help :)

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