How to set RAID up ?


J

JM

Hi

I just bought Foxconn P35A-S motherboard. It suppose to have RAID
capabilities but manual is so poorly written that it only mentions it
once briefly and I don't really know how to set it up. I'm planning to
install Windows XP Pro in RAID 0 on two drives (bootable of course).
The drives are empty and they don't have any software installed. The
system if "fresh". Here are problems that I have:

1) The mobo has 6 SATA connctors. I plugged my two drives into #1 and
#2 SATA connector. Is this OK for RAID 0 or should I use some specific
combination ?

2) How do I switch it on in BIOS ? I discovered in BIOS that it only
refers to RAID in one place under IDE configuration where it allows
SATA to be set as: IDE, RAID or AHCI. I can select RAID from the list
but that is pretty much it. It doesn't really tell me what RAID
version is it or what the strip size it is going to be. I don't even
know if it is RAID 0. Is there a "hidden" menu or some secondary BIOS
that can be called up with different key combination during boot ?

3) What drivers do I need on the floppy during installation ? The
manual mentions two RAID drivers: Intel Matrix and JMicron. Do I need
both or should I choose just one of those ? The reason I'm asking is
that if you look to the Foxconn website they offer two RAID drivers
separately and in addition to this Jmicron is 3.7 MB in size and Intel
is about 6.2 MB in size. I did not downloaded them yet, so I don't
exactly know how are they going to fit on the floppy I'm not yet sure.

Any help will be appreciated.

JAM
 
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P

Paul

JM said:
Hi

I just bought Foxconn P35A-S motherboard. It suppose to have RAID
capabilities but manual is so poorly written that it only mentions it
once briefly and I don't really know how to set it up. I'm planning to
install Windows XP Pro in RAID 0 on two drives (bootable of course).
The drives are empty and they don't have any software installed. The
system if "fresh". Here are problems that I have:

1) The mobo has 6 SATA connctors. I plugged my two drives into #1 and
#2 SATA connector. Is this OK for RAID 0 or should I use some specific
combination ?

2) How do I switch it on in BIOS ? I discovered in BIOS that it only
refers to RAID in one place under IDE configuration where it allows
SATA to be set as: IDE, RAID or AHCI. I can select RAID from the list
but that is pretty much it. It doesn't really tell me what RAID
version is it or what the strip size it is going to be. I don't even
know if it is RAID 0. Is there a "hidden" menu or some secondary BIOS
that can be called up with different key combination during boot ?

3) What drivers do I need on the floppy during installation ? The
manual mentions two RAID drivers: Intel Matrix and JMicron. Do I need
both or should I choose just one of those ? The reason I'm asking is
that if you look to the Foxconn website they offer two RAID drivers
separately and in addition to this Jmicron is 3.7 MB in size and Intel
is about 6.2 MB in size. I did not downloaded them yet, so I don't
exactly know how are they going to fit on the floppy I'm not yet sure.

Any help will be appreciated.

JAM

Check for a BIOS update. The RAID ROM was updated for RAID5 support.
http://www.foxconnchannel.com/support/downloads.aspx?ProductModel=P35A-S&TypeID=en-us0000001

You could get a copy of the manual for some other motherboard with ICH9R.

http://dlsvr02.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/socket775/P5K_Premium/e3303_p5k_premium.zip

1) Enable RAID and the RAID BIOS boot rom. Save and Exit.
2) When the computer POSTS, try pressing <ctrl-I>. That might be the
magic key combo to get into the RAID setup screen in the BIOS.
This is the text string inside the Foxconn BIOS - Intel RAID module
I extracted with MMTool.

"Press <CTRL-I> to enter Configuration Utility"

3) When in the RAID BIOS setup screen, you should see your disks, be able
to set RAID type, stripe size etc.

4) When the computer POSTs the next time, boot the Windows Install
CD. Use your driver floppy, press F6 etc, install the RAID driver.

The driver package downloaded, should include a utility to make a
driver floppy. The reason the driver is big, is it will have
the Windows RAID config/monitoring utility. The actual driver
files should be small enough to fit on the floppy. When you eventually
finish the Windows install, you can install the full driver package, which
will also include the utility. What is on the floppy, won't have the
utility, but will have the code necessary to get the computer booted.
The Windows utility will give much of the same info that the RAID
BIOS screen gives. It will also support things like RAID type
migration.

Note that the six SATA ports on the Southbridge are not equal. There
is a group of four and a group of two. The group of four, on other
motherboards, use a different color connector. Their "port" numbers
might be 1,2,5,6. Port 3,4 are a separate group, and you might not be
able to boot from them. So 1,2 connectors might be a good place to
start. Foxconn might have been too lazy to color their connectors.

This is a table in the Asus manual:

"Serial ATA hard disk drive connection

Connector Color Setting Use
SATA1/2/5/6 RED Master Boot Disk
SATA3/4 BLACK Slave Data Disk"

HTH,
Paul
 
P

Pecos

Hi

I just bought Foxconn P35A-S motherboard. It suppose to have RAID
capabilities but manual is so poorly written that it only mentions it
once briefly and I don't really know how to set it up. I'm planning to
install Windows XP Pro in RAID 0 on two drives (bootable of course).
The drives are empty and they don't have any software installed. The
system if "fresh". Here are problems that I have:

1) The mobo has 6 SATA connctors. I plugged my two drives into #1 and
#2 SATA connector. Is this OK for RAID 0 or should I use some specific
combination ?

The info I found shows:

Intel ICH9 4x SATA 3.0 Gb/s
JMicron JMB361 1x SATA 3.0 Gb/s

The JMicron controls the eSATA connector I am guessing since the article
shows 4x onboard SATA connectors and 1x external eSATA connector.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/06/19/eight_p35-ddr2
_motherboards_compared/page6.html

If that is correct, you will be using the Intel Matrix RAID built in to
the ICH9R Southbridge. The picture shows four blue/purple SATA
connectors in the lower right section of the motherboard with room for
two more (missing in picture).

The Foxconn specs say 6 SATA II connectors as you say. Apparently, they
have changed the specs and I can't tell you what chip supports the other
two SATA II connectors.

http://www.foxconnchannel.com/product/Motherboards/detail_spec.aspx?
ID=en-us0000318

Look at the picture at Tom's Hardware to see which four SATA connectors
are likely those controlled by the Intel ICH9 chip.

IIII IIII
JJJJ IIII
JJJJ IIII

Looking at the board with it mounted in the case, the 6 conncetors are
located in the lower right section of the BIOS. I am guessing that the
four SATA ports as show at Tom's Hardware (marked as IIII in the crude
diagram above) are the ones controlled by the Intel ICH9 Southbridge chip
and the other two are controlled by a different JMicron chip. Just plug
the two SATA data cables in to two of the 'IIII' connectors that you find
there.

You can verify during the POST if the drives are recognized on the first
POST screen. Press SHIFT PAUSE to stop the POST screen from scrolling.
The first POST screen shows the SATA drives connected to the ICH9
controller. The JMicron screen, if enabled in the BIOS, appears later in
the POST process.

I recommend using Intel Matrix RAID with *both* RAID 0 and RAID 1.
Having only RAID 0 means that you are essentially doubling your risk of
data loss. If one disk fails in a RAID 0 setup, anything on both drives
is lost. That may be OK for you, but most people have photos, documents
or other information that they don't regularly back up and don't want to
lose that should be placed on a separate hard drive or RAID 1 mirrored
volume but not on a RAID 0 striped volume. RAID 1 is perfect for this as
it duplicates (mirrors) the data.
2) How do I switch it on in BIOS ? I discovered in BIOS that it only
refers to RAID in one place under IDE configuration where it allows
SATA to be set as: IDE, RAID or AHCI. I can select RAID from the list
but that is pretty much it. It doesn't really tell me what RAID
version is it or what the strip size it is going to be. I don't even
know if it is RAID 0. Is there a "hidden" menu or some secondary BIOS
that can be called up with different key combination during boot ?

To set up the RAID in the BIOS (for the Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H
motherboard - your setup may be similar or the same):

Have two identical hard drives installed. They have to be SATA drives if
you are using Intel Matrix RAID. All data should be backed up since data
on both drives will be lost.

Prepare a floppy disk (XP) or Floppy, CD, DVD or other (Vista) with the
RAID drivers for your version of Windows and the correct bit version (32
bit or 64 bit). The Foxconn motherboard CD has a utility that will format
the floppy and copy the files for you.

Press the ESC key during POST to enter the BIOS
Select Integrated Peripherals, press the ENTER key
Select OnChip IDE Device by pressing the ENTER key
Select SATA Mode and PGUP or PGDN key to change to RAID
Press the ESC key twice to get to the main BIOS menu
Arrow to Save and Exit Setup and press the ENTER key

The computer will reboot. The RAID screen option will come up quickly in
the POST screen. Be ready to press CTRL-I to enter the Intel Matrix
Screen (your BIOS may require a different way to get to the RAID setup
screen).

In the Intel Matrix screen, create one mirrored volume OR one striped
volume for a mirrored setup OR a striped setup. You will need to create
TWO volumes for a combination of mirrored and striped, just allocate the
disk drive space accordingly.

Exit the Intel Matrix screen and install Windows.
For XP:

Be sure that the CD/DVD drive is setup to boot before the hard disk in
the BIOS.

Install a floppy drive and be sure that it is configured as enabled in
the BIOS.

Exit the BIOS, insert your Windows CD into your CD/DVD drive and at the
Boot From CD-ROM prompt and press any key on the keyboard.

Windows will almost immediately show a prompt at the bottom of the screen
to press F6 to install an additional driver. Press F6 when prompted.

Don't worry if nothing happens right away, you can load the drivers
later. Install the drivers from the floppy when prompted.
3) What drivers do I need on the floppy during installation ? The
manual mentions two RAID drivers: Intel Matrix and JMicron. Do I need
both or should I choose just one of those ? The reason I'm asking is
that if you look to the Foxconn website they offer two RAID drivers
separately and in addition to this Jmicron is 3.7 MB in size and Intel
is about 6.2 MB in size. I did not downloaded them yet, so I don't
exactly know how are they going to fit on the floppy I'm not yet sure.

See above to create the floppy with the appropriate drivers. You should
choose the Intel Matrix 32 or 64 bit version if you want to use Intel
Maxtrix RAID.
Any help will be appreciated.

JAM

Visit my website for more information:
http://www.pecos-softwareworks.com/foxconn_975x7ab-8ekrs2h.html
 
J

JAM

Paul and Pecos.

Thanks guys for very helpful explanation. CTRL-I was the missing info.
When RAID is enabled in BIOS it does appear on the boot post screen
but for a such a short time, that it is easily lost between other text
and I was missing it. With CTRL-I I got what I needed to.

Surprisingly from the six connectors the two marked #1 and #2 in RAID
BIOS turned out to be port 3 and port 4 !!! But the machine does boot
correclty under Intel Matrix drivers only.

One note. Originally I was trying to install old version of Windowx XP
Pro prior to SP2. Note to other users. This will not install. It ends
with BSOD due to the inability to correctly start PCI Express. Anyone
who is planning to install XP on this mobo needs Windows XP with SP2
or slipstream older version with updated SP2 prior to installation on
this mobo.

Also thanks for the advice on the RAID itself. I'm familiar with risks
and advantages of RAID. I had RAID 0 for years on my NForce based
motherboards and I know how to set them up and how they work. I do
back up my files regularly knowing risks associated with RAID 0. My
only problem was that it wasn't clear how RAID is mimplemented on this
particular motherboard and I didn't want to rediscover the wheel so to
speak if I could get advice from somebody who already went through
this or is more familiar with recent Intel chipsets.

JAM
 
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T

Thomas Wendell

Pecos said:
The info I found shows:

Intel ICH9 4x SATA 3.0 Gb/s
JMicron JMB361 1x SATA 3.0 Gb/s

The JMicron controls the eSATA connector I am guessing since the
article shows 4x onboard SATA connectors and 1x external eSATA
connector.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/06/19/eight_p35-ddr2
_motherboards_compared/page6.html

If that is correct, you will be using the Intel Matrix RAID built in
to the ICH9R Southbridge. The picture shows four blue/purple SATA
connectors in the lower right section of the motherboard with room for
two more (missing in picture).

The Foxconn specs say 6 SATA II connectors as you say. Apparently,
they have changed the specs and I can't tell you what chip supports
the other two SATA II connectors.

http://www.foxconnchannel.com/product/Motherboards/detail_spec.aspx?
ID=en-us0000318

Look at the picture at Tom's Hardware to see which four SATA
connectors are likely those controlled by the Intel ICH9 chip.

IIII IIII
JJJJ IIII
JJJJ IIII

Looking at the board with it mounted in the case, the 6 conncetors are
located in the lower right section of the BIOS. I am guessing that
the four SATA ports as show at Tom's Hardware (marked as IIII in the
crude diagram above) are the ones controlled by the Intel ICH9
Southbridge chip and the other two are controlled by a different
JMicron chip. Just plug the two SATA data cables in to two of the
'IIII' connectors that you find there.

You can verify during the POST if the drives are recognized on the
first POST screen. Press SHIFT PAUSE to stop the POST screen from
scrolling. The first POST screen shows the SATA drives connected to
the ICH9 controller. The JMicron screen, if enabled in the BIOS,
appears later in the POST process.

I recommend using Intel Matrix RAID with *both* RAID 0 and RAID 1.
Having only RAID 0 means that you are essentially doubling your risk
of data loss. If one disk fails in a RAID 0 setup, anything on both
drives is lost. That may be OK for you, but most people have photos,
documents or other information that they don't regularly back up and
don't want to lose that should be placed on a separate hard drive or
RAID 1 mirrored volume but not on a RAID 0 striped volume. RAID 1 is
perfect for this as it duplicates (mirrors) the data.


To set up the RAID in the BIOS (for the Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H
motherboard - your setup may be similar or the same):

Have two identical hard drives installed. They have to be SATA drives
if you are using Intel Matrix RAID. All data should be backed up
since data on both drives will be lost.

Prepare a floppy disk (XP) or Floppy, CD, DVD or other (Vista) with
the RAID drivers for your version of Windows and the correct bit
version (32 bit or 64 bit). The Foxconn motherboard CD has a utility
that will format the floppy and copy the files for you.

Press the ESC key during POST to enter the BIOS
Select Integrated Peripherals, press the ENTER key
Select OnChip IDE Device by pressing the ENTER key
Select SATA Mode and PGUP or PGDN key to change to RAID
Press the ESC key twice to get to the main BIOS menu
Arrow to Save and Exit Setup and press the ENTER key

The computer will reboot. The RAID screen option will come up quickly
in the POST screen. Be ready to press CTRL-I to enter the Intel Matrix
Screen (your BIOS may require a different way to get to the RAID setup
screen).

In the Intel Matrix screen, create one mirrored volume OR one striped
volume for a mirrored setup OR a striped setup. You will need to
create TWO volumes for a combination of mirrored and striped, just
allocate the disk drive space accordingly.

Exit the Intel Matrix screen and install Windows.
For XP:

Be sure that the CD/DVD drive is setup to boot before the hard disk in
the BIOS.

Install a floppy drive and be sure that it is configured as enabled in
the BIOS.

Exit the BIOS, insert your Windows CD into your CD/DVD drive and at
the Boot From CD-ROM prompt and press any key on the keyboard.

Windows will almost immediately show a prompt at the bottom of the
screen to press F6 to install an additional driver. Press F6 when
prompted.

Don't worry if nothing happens right away, you can load the drivers
later. Install the drivers from the floppy when prompted.


See above to create the floppy with the appropriate drivers. You
should choose the Intel Matrix 32 or 64 bit version if you want to
use Intel Maxtrix RAID.


Visit my website for more information:
http://www.pecos-softwareworks.com/foxconn_975x7ab-8ekrs2h.html



Pecos:

The P35A(S) manual states
P35A 4*SATAII + 1 eSATA
P35AS 6*SATAII + 1 eSATA

and (also Paul)
Serial ATA II Connectors: SATA_1,SATA_2,

SATA_3,SATA_4(Optional), SATA_5,

SATA_6(Optional)



--
Tumppi
=================================
A lot learned from these newsgroups
Helsinki, FINLAND
(translations from/to FI not always accurate
=================================
 

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