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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all..

I'm in the process of building a new system and have been reading your forum with great interest. Clintfan and others have offered much in the way of explaining the proper way of installing the ASUS mobo and procedures of installing the driver and Bios upgrades.

My question is: can or should the Bios be upgraded on first start up (boot) on a new system or the FastTrak drivers be installed first.

My Idea of setup!!!
1) Boot
2) Install Bios
3) Boot
4) Install FastTrack
5) Boot and set Bios to enable RAID
6) Boot and Cntl+F > Build RAID SET> Space Bar > select-
Striped/Mirrored
7) Boot
8) Install OS
9) Install Intel Chipset drivers using .EXE on fresh install
10) Install rest of system and drivers

Any corrections or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


Thanks in advance.
 

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can or should the Bios be upgraded on first start up (boot) on a new system
Well I would not do that. I see that as rocking the boat. I've said before that you should assume (usually a safe assumption, unless the mobo is faulty) that the mobo came from the factory in working condition. If the first thing you do is change something so fundamental as the BIOS, you've introduced a new variable. So if you then have problems afterwards, you'll never know if it was something you caused by updating BIOS. So I would leave it alone.

Different people will have different opinions on this philosphy.

There is one notable exception: if a feature you are initially relying on, has a major bug and won't work at all in the BIOS version that came with the mobo, or if a newer BIOS added a new feature you absolutely need right away, for your initial install.

BUT in your case you asked about RAID 0+1, and I had heard that BIOS rev 1011 is needed in order to make that work correctly. But it depends on what you plan to put on your RAID --O/S or data-- so read on...

3) Boot
4) Install FastTrack
No, there is no such step 4. The FastTrak are Windows storage drivers. They must be installed with or on top of windows, either:

(a)installed as part of Windows Setup *IF* you are hanging your O/S off the Promise controller (i.e. step 4 would actually be step 7.5), or

(b)installed AFTER the initial Windows install, and AFTER installation of the "Intel Chipset Drivers" (i.e step 4 would actually be step 9.5).

Since the topic of your thread is "0+1" then I think in your situation you are in the (a) case.

But if you are not installing your O/S to the Promise, say, only your data, then you do not need to load any FastTrak drivers at the F6 prompt. You can install the O/S, then do the (b) case to set up the 0+1 array for your data store. Don't forget with the Promise 20378 you will need 4 HDD's on the Promise to establish RAID 0+1.

Hope this helps,

-clintfan
 

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Discussion Starter #3
clintfan

Thanks for the heads up on the Bios...I didn't think about the consequences of changing the Bios while not already knowing if board would boot up. I was thinking in terms of getting the correct Bios for RAID 0+1 to work.

You are correct:

(a)installed as part of Windows Setup *IF* you are hanging your O/S off the Promise controller (i.e. step 4 would actually be step 7.5), or

4 HD's are being installed: (2) sata's & (2) pata's.

I'm trying to get all of my ducks in a row before starting up the system. Can't afford any mistakes. First {Build my own system} and can use all of the ideas I can get.

Thanks
 

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4 HD's are being installed: (2) sata's & (2) pata's. I'm trying to get all of my ducks in a row before starting up the system. Can't afford any mistakes.
OK then I'll give you a rundown.

First be sure and strap those PATA's properly for Master and Slave... don't use Chip Select mode, I don't trust it.

Next you will need 3 floppy disks. Be sure you have a working floppy drive on your new PC, you will need it.

Since you want 0+1, I guess you are forced into needing to flash the latest 1011 BIOS, so go download it here. Please see Asus P4P800/P4C800 Series: How to Update BIOS for all the details. Don't forget the parts about saving BIOS, unzipping what you download, and especially the part at the end about "Load Setup Defaults".

While you are downloading stuff, also download the FastTrak RAID driver here and unzip the files onto a floppy. You will need that floppy for your "step 7.5".

After that, arrow-left back to the BIOS setup Advanced screen, then arrow-down to Onboard Devices Configuration & hit Enter. On the next screen, use +/- to be sure your Onboard Promise Controller is Enabled, and Operating Mode is RAID. Hit F10 to save & exit.

Now you can boot up from your XP install CD. Because it's in RAID mode, the Promise controller will stop after scanning drives, and ask you to hit Ctrl+F to run the FastTrak utility. Once inside the utility, for 0+1 you should use the Auto mode, and then toggle to the Striped+Mirrored configuration (which should become an available choice since you have 4 drives). After that, I think it does all the necessary setup which might take a good while.

When it finishes, your XP CD should continue booting. XP Setup will immediately tell you to hit F6 to instal thrid party RAID drivers. Do that. Then insert that floppy with your drivers.

Beyond that, I don't know much. Follow the prompts and choose the right driver for the Promise. This way XP Setup will be able to see the 0+1 array you have set up.

After the drivers load, you will soon come to a point where it wants to partition the drives, and format the drives as NTFS. After that it should be just like a normal XP install.

As soon as XP install completes and logs you on, apply the Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility, followed by a reapplication(??I'm not sure about that??) of your Promise driver, and your LAN driver, and Sound driver.

Hope this helps,
good luck and let me know how it goes.

-clintfan
 
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