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Old July 15, 2010, 12:13 AM
Arcnor's Avatar
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Question Non-Boot RAID Question

I took a little time to flip through the manual of the motherboard I'm looking at for my build (Asus P6X58D-E), and I got a little confused when I got to the RAID bit.

What I'm looking at doing with my planned build is having an SSD for the OS and applications, and then an HDD or two for data, pictures and music and whatnot (I figure if I run out of space on a small SSD, I can swap applications around a bit with the HDDs depending on what I'm using at the time, rather than buying a big SSD and eating several hundred dollars on storage costs). I started getting a little curious about the possibility of putting the data HDDs in a RAID array, but most of the documentation seems concerned with an array with the OS installed on it, which isn't what I'm planning. Now, if I understand the setup right, to make an array, one sets storage config in BIOS to RAID, save and reboot, get into the storage manager (the manual says hit CNTR + I) to create the array, then proceed to install the OS, pausing to load RAID drivers from a floppy or USB drive when prompted. Is the process the same for an array that won't hold the OS -- do I need to worry about installing extra drivers to Win 7 if the OS itself isn't on the array in question?

Thanks in advance, all.
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Old July 15, 2010, 03:15 AM
dustin1706's Avatar
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The menus and whatnot depend on your specific mobo and RAID controller. But, basically if you have 3 drives installed 2xHDD 1xSSD, make sure to set the HDD sata channels to RAID in BIOS like you said. This is confusing on some mobos because the drive name doesn't appear beside the sata channel, but you can refer to your manual to see which physical sata port corresponds to which sata port in bios.

Each drive will have a name/description in the bios, so you should easily be able to tell the SSD apart from the HDDs. You can either install your OS first, then setup your RAID storage, or setup the RAID first. Doesn't matter... I don't think....

When you go to install your OS, it should allow you to choose which drive/volume to install to. Just format and install to the SSD. Then, reboot go into the raid menu and it should list your options on the screen. Press the button corresponding with "create new array" and choose your2 HDDs. It may or may not give you the option of assigning a drive letter. Easy as that. When you boot up, you should only see 2 volumes. If you do not like the drive letter assigned to the RAID storage, you can change it in "disk management" under "computer management". IE: if you have optical drives or a usb stick installed your raid array may default to G:/ or something stupid. Best to do this while it's empty, otherwise it will screw up all of your shortcuts and stuff.
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