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Discussion Starter #1
I have 2 x 80 GB Maxtor DM 9 SATA drives.
One is connected to SATA Raid connector 1 and the other on SATA Raid connnector 2
The HDD are set up as RAID 0.

Everything appears okay but there seems to be no improvement against my older Gigabyte Mobo. using ata133 HDD

Looking in device manager under SCSI and Raid controllers I have the following drivers

1. WINXP Promise Fast Trak 378(tm) Controller
2. WINXP Promise Raid Console SCSI Processor device.

Are these correct, or have I installed the wrong drivers.

Looking at the driver install instructions in the iaa35r file I should have the following: 'Intel(R) 82801ER SATA RAID Controller'

I am using Windows XP and the drivers were installed booting from the o/s disk and pressing F6.

Thanks for any help.
 

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Disclaimer: I don't do RAID so I'm a bit out of my element here, but I am learning...

One is connected to SATA Raid connector 1 and the other on SATA Raid connnector 2 The HDD are set up as RAID 0.
Everything appears okay but there seems to be no improvement against my older Gigabyte Mobo. using ata133 HDD
A couple things here.
First, I don't know your old Gigabyte mobo model, but it was probably using a Promise PCI chip, similar to this one. You may be being speed-limited by PCI. Personally I would not put my main O/S on PCI anymore if I had a choice. If you wanted to run RAID 0+1, then there would be no choice and you would indeed need to be on the Promise.
Second, we are still talking first-generation SATA here, what's called SATA-150. Things will get faster (SATA-300, etc.) but then we will all need new mobo's with new chipsets, in order to gain the increased bandwidth. Do we want to wait 2 years until then? Heck, no! Forge on ahead.

From today's SATA-150 you should expect max throughput of just over 50MB/s (52-58). If you are running RAID, then (since I don't know RAID) I don't know if we would almost double this, or if it would stay about the same since the data is striped. Theoretical max PCI throughput is 133MB/s anyway, so even derating that for protocol overhead, if you double it with RAID0 you're starting to push the PCI bus limit.

Might I suggest you move these drives to the Southbridge ports? Your drive speeds won't probably increase, but the pipeline to memory will be twice as fat/fast as PCI: 266MB/s. And your disk traffic won't steal PCI bandwidth from your firewire or other PCI add-on cards. I don't think you would need to rebuild the RAID sets, just enable the Intel RAID and add the volumes. Check the instructions in the mobo manual, also the Manuals folder on the mobo CD, to see if I am right about that or not.

Looking in device manager under SCSI and Raid controllers I have the following drivers...
If you are successfully running RAID, then even though it's slower than you expected, yes I think you have the right drivers. You must have installed the "Promise FastTrak 378 RAID Driver V1.00.1.37 for Windows 98SE/NT4/ME/2000/XP/2003" or else I think the RAID Console device would not be there; it's not there when you install the non-RAID "Promise FastTrak 378 ATA Driver V1.00.1.30" (actually .26) which is what I have.

Looking at the driver install instructions in the iaa35r file I should have the following: 'Intel(R) 82801ER SATA RAID Controller'
If you are talking about the Intel Application Accelerator, you apparently cannot use it with this mobo, and the new chipset(s) are fast enough so that you would not need it anyway. Although you have the correct ICH5R Southbridge chip to use the IAA, you also have an 875P Northbridge, and this will/should prevent successful installation of the package. Please see my reply in this thread for more details.

Hope this helps,

-clintfan
 

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YES YOU CAN USE IAAR WITH THIS MOBO!

IAAR will only install if you've set up RAID on the Intel Southbridge SATA ports. I've talked with Intel and Asus about this extensively to get an answer to the IAAR issue. Since clintfan and I don't have RAID set up on the southbridge, we're unable to install IAAR.

In your case, I highly recommend attaching your drives to the Intel SATA 1 and 2 ports as clintfan suggests. In BIOS, disable the Promise controller if you're not using the SATA or IDE ports on it. In the onboard IDE configuration in BIOS, set it to configure SATA as RAID.

In case you need the RAID drivers on a floppy when you set up your RAID configuration, here it is:
Intel RAID Drivers for Floppy

After your RAID set is installed on your Intel Southbridge, you'll be able to install the IAAR. However, the download on the Asus site is outdated. Grab the IAAR 3.5.2 straight from Intel here:
Intel IAAR 3.5.2

As clintfan mentioned, having your RAID on the Southbridge will give you more bandwidth since the datastream isn't bottlenecked in the PCI bus by the Promise controller. RAID 0 is quite nice since your two drives act as a single drive, using the bandwidth of both in an interleaving configuration with both SATA150 channels. In hindsight, this is how I should've configured my system.
 

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Nice job. Well that just goes to show I can't believe everything I read, not even at Intel! I will be very interested to see how this turns out.

-clintfan
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I connected the SATA drives to the SATA RAID 1 and 2 connections on the MoBo. Working from the IAA Raid edition User manual, I put the four files on to a floppy. I did a second floppy and followed the "Make a disk" option in the IAAr35 file. They were the same files.
I also followed the README file in the iaar35. Can't remember the exact name.

I made an ARRAY RAID0. 156Gb

Booting from WINXP cd-rom I Pressed F6 and when told to, I inserted the floppy and copied the file 'intel 82801er SATA RAID Controller'.
Windows continued to load software etc.
When it came to the choice of loading windows to or repair, I told it to load, then I kept getting the message the hdd were not found, press F3 to exit.
Did it lots of times and ended at the same position. Did not manage to get any further.

I moved the SATA connections to the SATA1 and SATA 2 connections and started to install winxp.
I F6'ed on let windows load the Fasttx2 driver.
Windows recognised the HDD and after formatting, windows loaded successfully.

Once loaded, I applied the chipset driver.
Then I installed SP1. This is where I had further trouble.
Once SP1 was installed, windows would not restart. I would get the windows logo, then a black screen at the welcome screen.

Went through the whole install several times, again, could not get as far as the welcome screen after installing SP1.

This morning I did the same. Still a black screen.
I went into BIOS and disablesd the USB2 options and windows loaded (incl SP1).

I ended up downloading and installing the critical updates. I then enabled the USB2 options and all was well.

I have downloaded the new version of iaar and the iaar2 floppy installer.

I don't want to try to install on the SATA RAID connections until perhaps you can try to fathom out what I have been trying to explain.
Is there another file I have to put on to floppy and F6 so that windows will recognise the HDD at the installation stage.
I think it has something to do with the size of the partition, ie 156GBs

Thanks for the help so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've just taken a look at the iaar2 floppy installer. The files are the same as I have been using. The iaar352_enu installer cannot be used until the "iastor.sys is installed. At this time I have the FASTTX_2K RAID because I am using the normal SATA connections on the MoBo.
 

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I connected the SATA drives to the SATA RAID 1 and 2 connections on the MoBo.... Booting from WINXP cd-rom I Pressed F6 and when told to, I inserted the floppy and copied the file 'intel 82801er SATA RAID Controller'... When it came to the choice of loading windows to or repair, I told it to load, then I kept getting the message the hdd were not found, press F3 to exit.
You got it backwards. The Fasttrak driver powers the SATA_RAID1 & 2 ports, not the Intel driver. You needed to load that Fastrak driver here since these ports hang off PCI, and Setup needs to be told how to find and use them. Read on...

I moved the SATA connections to the SATA1 and SATA 2 connections and started to install winxp. I F6'ed on let windows load the Fasttx2 driver. Windows recognised the HDD and after formatting, windows loaded successfully.
Oops! You got it backwards again. Sorry! This time you loaded the driver for the Promise SATA_RAID1 & 2 ports, which you needed the last time. Since nothing was attached there anymore, this was a NOP; the reason it worked is because attaching to SATA1 & 2 is like attaching to PRI_IDE: you don't have to load any drivers to use those ports because they are part of the main chipset.

Hope this explains the initial install trouble...

After the base O/S installs, you then apply the ICSIU (Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility), and I think you did this. Then apparently you can optionally also install the IAA, but that depends, I just learned this was actually possible yesterday, and I am not sure you really need IAA.

-clintfan
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the reply.

Sorry, I am confused myself.

Can you tell me which connections would be the better for raid0,
The SATA raid connections using the fasttak driver or the SATA connections using the iaa352r driver.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've taken a look at the board layout / manual and can now see that the Promise PDC20378 RAID controller is for the SATA RAID connections and uses the fasttak driver.
The southbridge controller use the SATA connections and the iaar driver.

I'll give it a go tomorrow.

If I understand correctly, the SATA RAID connections will be the better selection for RAID 0.
 

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You got everything right now except the last part. We are seeing the Southbridge ports (SATA1 & 2) as the better choice for RAID0. These ports have up to a 266MB/s pipeline available for memory access. So it will be more efficient. And there is the IAA which might make it even more efficient.

In contrast, the Promise (SATA_RAID1 & 2) hangs on the PIC bus and is thus contrained to te PCI pipeline of less than 133MB/s, which must also be shared with other devices such as Firewire and any add-on cards. Promise, however, offers more flavors of RAID (0, 1, 0+1).

Using the Southbridge ports for your RAID, frees up the PCI bus for other traffic, and thus is the better choice.

I am not saying the Promise is good for nothing, it's just that you asked about RAID, and given a choice, you should put it on the Southbridge SATA1 & 2.

Hope this helps,

-clintfan
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This is what it is all about. I want the better option. I will do a new install using the southbridge SATA 1 and SATA 2 connections and F6 the iaar drivers.

Thanks again.

I'll post again once completed.
 

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Are you sure you need to reinstall? Can't you justmove the drives, enable RAID on the Southbridge (BIOS Main- IDE Configuration screen) then bring up the Intel RAID utility at boot and add the existing volumes? I admit I don't know RAID, but I thought you could do that.

-clintfan
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just completed a new install using the southbridge controller, SATA1 and SATA2 connections and the iaa352r drivers.

Everything loaded okay.

Now running 2 x 80 Gb Maxtor DP 9 SATA drives in RAID0.

No beeps at post no voice warnings at post.

Thanks everybody who have contributed to the thread.

A great board.

I must point out that the problems I experienced were due to my own inexperiences and not the board. Perhaps the readme files can be written so they are "idiot" prove with step by step procedures.
 

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I must point out that the problems I experienced were due to my own inexperiences and not the board. Perhaps the readme files can be written so they are "idiot" prove with step by step procedures.
I suggest you write a "How To" thread of your own, explaining step-by-step what you did, with all the details of the RAID tool prompts, BIOS, IAA, etc. and post it on this Forum. It would be a great help to others. You can even update it over time if you find you made typos or missed some detail.

-clintfan
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The more I think about it, I followed the instructions in the manual and readme files. The problem was not recognising there were 2 different controllers and the driver to apply to the RAID controller to be used.
The ASUS board had a choice of 2 controllers / drivers ie. The Promise chip and the Intel chip. I was F6'ing the wrong drivers. It didn't "click" until you highlighted the case .

Thanks again
 
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