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RAID1 Array process


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#16
drmull

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Thanks - you'll be the first to know.

Edited by drmull, 22 June 2006 - 01:13 PM.

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#17
drmull

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gerryf - While I'm waiting for the SATA drives to arrive, I'm still skeptical about whether or not the SATA drivers are already loaded in my exisiting OS.

To refresh, when I go into Device Manager, under "SCSI & RAID controllers" it already has "NVIDIA Nforce ATA RAID Class Controller" listed. If I look further at the driver details for that item, it shows 2 files:

c:\Windows\System32\DRIVERS\nvraid.sys
c:\Windows\System32\nvraidco.dll

Does those appear to have anything to do with the SATA driver that needs to be installed before I clone the drive?

The Gigabyte support site told me about putting the SATA drivers on a floppy and even gave me a zip file of them. I asked if the drivers might already be on my system. They said, "Need to load Nvidia Raid controller driver before clone to sata drive. If driver not loaded SATA drive may not bootable. After driver loaded device manager should show a SCSI icon. When click on the + sign next to it ( open device ) nvidia Raid driver should show there."

I had already told them about the "NVIDIA Nforce ATA RAID Class Controller" listed. Maybe they didn't read what I posted...or...are a RAID driver and a RAID class controller 2 different things?

I'm most concerned that if I need to install the SATA driver from a floppy onto my existing OS (before cloning), I have NO idea how to do that. Everything I've read only talks about pressing F6 during an XP install to access drivers on a floppy. For me I suppose that would mean ANOTHER repair install which I am loathe to do - I feel like I got lucky the first time!

Whew...hopefully you have all the answers! Thanks
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#18
drmull

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Here's a bit of an update. I unzipped the "nforce3 sata winXP.zip" file that Gigabyte sent and then searched my drive for every single file (19 in all). 12 were already installed - .dll, .exe, & .nvu files. These are the ones I could not locate - not even in hidden files & folders:

txtsetup.oem
RegRaid.bat
nvata.cat
nvatabus.inf
nvraid.inf
nvraid.cat
nvcoi.dll

Do these missing files look important as far as the SATA driver is concerned or are they just needed on a floppy for the installation of the driver? The only one that concerns me is "nvcoi.dll". I Googled the filename and read this on a site discussing the integration of nvRaid drivers into a 64-bit version of XP:

"Open the SATA_IDE subfolder and copy the files NVATA.CAT and NVCOI.DLL into the SATARAID subfolder."

Does that mean nvcoi.dll is connected to IDE raid and I don't need to worry about it? From what I gather "coi" could be short for coinstaller, according to that site. What do you think?

Edited by drmull, 24 June 2006 - 12:41 AM.

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#19
gerryf

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your good to go

I am somewhat surprised nvatabus.inf is not in c:\Windows\inf, but it may only be needed for a setup install

the key here is this -- txtsetup.oem
that file is used by the (for lack of better term) DOS portion of setup...when you press the f6 key during setup...it loads the drivers into memory and into a temp location to later be inserted in your windows\system32\drivers folder

since you installed your drivers in the gui portion of windows, presumably after setup with the system drivers (nvidia chipset and system drivers) they were installed

You should be good to go

Glad that Nvidia confirmed the need for the RAID drivers before clone. There is no mechanism for installing the drivers during a clone, since you have no access to setup

Don't worry about their lack of understanding to your question--90 percent of your tech support help is provided by a guy reading a manual who has no clue what he is talking about, so he is cutting and pasting stuff that he thinks will answer your question.

He did do this right, but his lack of understanding only allowed him to regurgitate something someone else had written
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#20
drmull

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Thanks for the confirmation. Is it silly to take the nvatabus.inf file and manually place it in the Windows\inf folder...or does it have to be "installed" there?
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#21
gerryf

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don't bother
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#22
drmull

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Thanks - now I feel really ready to do this RAID thing. I'll post after completion.
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#23
drmull

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gerryf - I'm half-way through the process and happy about it. I'm currently running off the cloned SATA drive. I'll install the other one and do the array tomorrow.

Do you know if I have to go through the same process as the first new drive as far as installing and formatting it in MaxBlast BEFORE I boot into BIOS to set up the array?

MaxBlast gives 2 choices when installing a new drive - Additional Storage install & Boot Drive install. Since the additional storage install gives it a new drive letter, is that what I want? Will the array setup re-designate as a :C drive (mirror)?

Thanks!
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#24
gerryf

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you don't do anything with the maxblast software....just enter the raid utility and create the mirror...the raid utility will "mirror" the drive bit by bit
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#25
drmull

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So I should do this:

Power down
Physically connect the second SATA drive
Boot straight into BIOS and the RAID setup utility

In other words, don't bother letting it boot into Windows before setting up the array?

Thanks again.
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#26
gerryf

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yes, but if you miss the bios screen, you will not harm anything
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#27
drmull

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Drats! My first hitch in the process. I attached the second drive, connected power and data cables and turned the PC on. It won't power up. It doesn't even attempt to enter POST - just flashes on for a second and shuts right off. I removed the cables to the drive and it boots normally to the first SATA drive.

What gives? It seems the PSU has enough power - it booted the SATA & old IDE drive together - why not the 2 SATA drives? Any ideas??

If SATA is truly hot-swappable, should I try plugging the 2nd one in while running and then see if it will restart?

Edited by drmull, 27 June 2006 - 01:32 PM.

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#28
gerryf

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how big a psu?
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#29
drmull

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It's a 400W Antec (PP-403X). I thought SATA drives use less power than IDE.

Edited by drmull, 27 June 2006 - 02:09 PM.

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#30
drmull

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I tried an experiment and unplugged power to my Zip drive to see if it would turn on with both SATA drives connected.

Interesting result. The first 2 times I hit the power button I had the same result as before. It powers for 1 second and shuts down before the drives even spin. The 3rd time I think I held the button longer - it tried to power up and enter POST but hung early on, even before detecting drives.

I then unplugged the 2nd drive and restored power to the Zip and it boots normally.

Do you think this could be some sort of BIOS setting issue? If it is, I can't even boot to BIOS with both drives connected.

The SATA Primary Master & Secondary Master RAID are both disabled by default in BIOS. The Serial-ATA (onboard nVIDIA chipset) function is enabled by default.

Frustrating!
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