How to: Setup a Raid 1 (680i SLI)?

By giyad
Oct 3, 2008
  1. I am setting up a RAID 1 configuration for the first time and would like some help.

    I purchased 2x 1TB (WD Caviars) and already have Windows Vista Business installed on my 150GB WD Raptor. So, first thing is first, I've installed the two new drives and when I went into Disk Management it requests I initialize the disks. Do I initialize them in MBR or GPT? I don't really understand the difference.

    Next, would it be better to set up the RAID 1 with the OS on the two drives or leave the OS on the 150GB drive?

    Finally, can someone provide a step by step guide on how to setup the RAID 1 mirror with this configuration? Should I install NTune?

    Thanks so much!
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Raid tutorial
    You may need to search Google on Raid setup Step by step (there's just too much to post)
    But I know by setting up Raid your present OS may be removed (ie single drive)
    So you might want backup first
  3. giyad

    giyad TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 59

    Why would my present OS be removed if the 3rd drive isn't being used in the RAID? I just want to mirror the new 1TB Caviars...

    Also, that RAID tutorial only tells you what they are, doesn't tell you how to set one up does it?
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    It is still possible
    If you enable Raid in CMOS, your drive may be wiped (if you then run setup)
    Best to detach any drive that is not in the Raid
  5. giyad

    giyad TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 59

    Thanks, I'll make sure to do that!
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Well no, but I like the pics !
    Also it seems to be the most linked to page on the Net
  7. giyad

    giyad TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 59

    Just posting some findings I've made. It seems that I can format the drive in GPT and it would probably be best since I am not booting from the RAID 1.


    I've found a PDF for MediaShield (the guide from NVIDIA of how to set up a RAID). This should be easy enough to follow so I just thought I'd help anyone else out who was in my position. Heres a link to the PDF.
  8. giyad

    giyad TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 59

    OK, so I just wanted to share my experience in setting up a RAID 1 with the NVIDIA 680i SLI. This is my first time setting up a RAID, and I just thought this might be help someone else. REMEMBER: These are only the steps I went through and won’t be exactly the same unless you have the exact same setup!!!! Read my above posts for the NVIDIA MediaShield guide (its outdated).

    First off, my system is running Windows Vista Business Edition off of a 150GB WD Raptor. I then bought the two 1TB WD Caviars (Eco-Drives) in order to turn my desktop into a media server. So, I installed the SATA drives.

    Once installed, I turned on the computer and booted up into Vista. I then went to check out if the drives were functional by right clicking “My Computer,” selecting “Manage,” and then “Disk Management.” I was prompted to initialize the disk with MBR or GPT, and chose GPT because I will not be booting from these drives. I then formatted them with NTFS, and once all of that was done I began the RAID process.

    After all that preparation, I restarted the computer and went into the BIOS by pressing “DELETE”. Once in the BIOS, I went into “Integrated Peripherals” and then enabled “RAID Config.” You could have enabled all the drives but I went the guess and check route to find out exactly which drives needed to be enabled.

    Once enabled, I saved and restarted. Then, I pressed F10 in order to enter RAID BIOS setup. The next step was to select what kind of RAID Mode to choose (I chose RAID 1 which is MIRROR), select the Stripe Block (which I left at OPTIMAL), and then add the free drives, which are to be used, into the ARRAY section.


    Next thing to do is press F7 in order to wipe the drives and setup the array.

    Once that is done, you can exit the BIOS by pressing (CTRL-X). Now your RAID should be setup. I booted into Windows and went back into “Disk Management” to see the drive. I saw only one drive at 931.39GB as opposed to two of them. I was prompted to initialize again and did the same thing with GPT. After initializing, I changed the disk to “dynamic” by right clicking the Disk (in my case “Disk 1”) and selecting “Convert to dynamic disk. Once I did that, I right clicked the drive and selected “New Simple Volume.” That should format the RAID volume and have you up and running :D.

    Please post any questions or comments!
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