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Discussion Starter #1
Hello-
I apologize if this has been covered before.

I have an Asus P4C800 Deluxe board, with a PIV at 3.2 Ghz OC'd to 3.51 with 1.5 GB of PC2700 RAM, and two Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 HDDs (ATA). I'm trying to set up a RAID 1 array with the two drives, using the onboard Promise 376/378 RAID controller, but I'm unable to do so. I just did a fresh install of Windows XP SP2, and installed the drivers when prompted to (F6) during the initial installation. I now see that the drivers are installed for that device in device manager, but I have no idea how I'm supposed to define the array.

My partition looks like this:
HDD 0 (Master)
20 GB - C: (OS, Progs)
100 GB - E: (Data)

HDD 1 (Slave)
unformatted

Any ideas?

Thanks,
JR
 

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Hi godspunk32, and welcome to the forum!

I'm a bit confused. If you weren't installing XP onto drives attached to the Promise, then it was not necessary to F6 any drivers at install time. But if you were installing to a drive on the Promise, you have already done the array creation; otherwise your install would not have worked. So we need to know what you were trying to do: install an O/S on the Promise or use the Promise just as data storage.

If your O/S is not on a Promise port (not on SATA_RAID1, SATA_RAID2, or PRI_RAID) then your BIOS Advanced- Onboard Devices Configuration- Onboard Promise Controller Operating Mode needs to be set to RAID, which is the default. There are 2 Promise drivers; you need to install the one that matches the mode of the chip. For RAID mode you need the Promise FastTrak 378 RAID Driver, not the Promise FastTrak 378 ATA Driver.

With the BIOS set to RAID mode, at boot time there will be a message from the Promise during POST which reads something like,

FastTrak 378 (tm) BIOS Version 1.00.1.37
(c)2002-2005 Promise Technology, Inc. All rights reserved.
Press <Ctrl-F> to enter FastBuild (tm) Utility
Or press <ESC> key to continue booting.


It is here that you press Ctrl+F to bring up the Promise array creation utility, then create your RAID1 array. Refer to sections 5.4.2 & 5.4.4 of your mobo manual for details on that utility's user interface. Note that if no array exists, POST will stall at this point and wait for you to do something. If an array does exist, the Ctrl-F message appears for 5 seconds, but the ESC message doesn't appear.

For more details you can also reference my article, Asus P4P800-P4C800 Series: Promise RAID Mode for help with installation of either a RAID1 O/S or a RAID1 data array.

Hope this helps,

-clintfan
 

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Discussion Starter #3
These are both IDE HDDs, attached to the Primary IDE channel. Does that correspond to the PRI_RAID channel?

JR
 

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No. The Promise controller does not drive the PRI_IDE port. That's your problem... why the FastTrak BIOS isn't doing anything at POST, and why you had a successful install.

To get IDE RAID1 with this mobo you must have 2 drives on the PRI_RAID port-- on your mobo this is the one that hangs precariously off the lower right edge of the board Apparently you don't have drives there, but it might be possible to move your existing drives there, and build a RAID1 array from the single O/S drive you've already got, without reinstalling. All the major RAID vendors allow some sort of conversion process to produce a RAID1 (but not RAID0), though I've never tried it myself. The part you need is in Section 5.4.4 on page 5-30 of your mobo manual, "Creating a Security Array with Existing Data". (Btw I think IDE RAID1 on the Promise should be OK, but don't try that with RAID0, due to need to share the bus cable.)

One thing though... I think Step 11 (Install the driver) should be Step 1, otherwise you'll not be able to boot after you've created your array. I know you said you already F6'ed it, but without a drive attached to your Promise chip, I'm not sure XP really installed the driver. So it'd be best to install it again, just to be sure.

One caution... right now your OS is running from the Southbridge chip, which has a fast pipeline to memory, running at a Hub Interface speed of about 266MB/s. If you move your OS to the Promise, it will now run over PCI, with a bandwidth of only about 110MB/s, tops. Other PCI devices that you have, if any, will have to share that bandwidth with your array. So you might see start to see sluggish system performance. IMO RAID1 on the Promise is great for a place to keep long-term data storage, but not for the O/S.

Good luck, & let us know how it goes, if you choose to do this.

-clintfan
 
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