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New computer, XP, SATA RAID 1, 2 optical drives

By fodog
Mar 7, 2009
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  1. This is my first computer build, it's never been booted up yet and I have everything plugged in (including all the SATA power cables from the power supply) except my SATA data cables and jumpers to the various drives (two hard drives/two DVD drives). I am going to install Windows XP home edition, have two 500GB drives I need to run RAID 1 (I am positive I want them mirrored), and two SATA DVD/CD drives. Which SATA data plugs on the mobo should I plug in to? I was thinking DVD1 in slot 1 (to boot Windows install from), DVD2 in slot 2, HDD1 in slot 3, HDD2 in slot 4 or does it matter? Do you set RAID 1 in BIOS when you boot up first time or when XP installs or ??? I assume it will ask me which two drives to use RAID1 on? Do I need to set any jumpers on the hard drives or DVD drives to make slaves, etc? Thanks for any advice/suggestions...I can explain more if needed...love this site
     
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,442   +220

    You need to set up RAID in the BIOS before you try to install XP. I don't know the answer to the data port part of the question but some motherboards have two different makes of SATA/RAID controllers. If yours does, you'll want to set up your RAID array within the same manufacturer's SATA ports.

    Jumper settings don't apply to SATA drives, either hard drives or optical.

    Have you thought about how you will boot from a SATA optical drive? You might have trouble booting from a SATA optical drive without SATA/RAID drivers installed. But in order to install the SATA/RAID drivers, you need to boot from the Windows CD, But without drivers, the optical drive won't be recognized. A potential conundrum. If you have an external USB CD/DVD drive, you could probably boot from that to get you going or you could temporarily install a borrowed IDE optical drive and use that. I'd be interested to see if you can do it without a USB optical drive or IDE drive. You will still need a floppy drive for the F6 driver installation procedure or you could make a slipstream disk instead. Perhaps you can install a floppy drive temporarily. I notice though that some new mobos don't have floppy controllers anymore.
     
  3. fodog

    fodog TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Thanks for the reply...I did some digging last night and read you are correct-no jumpers as all SATA are considered "master"? Anyway, I plugged all 4 into the mobo putting dvd1 on sata1, dvd2 on sata2, hdd1 on sata3, hdd2 on sata4...

    Glad you replied...never thought about the optical drive/driver problem on startup! But did wonder how you fire up a new computer and have it work without drivers!..I think I will fire it up first time later today and see if I luck out. It is a newer mobo-I used a nvidia nforce 780sli mobo maybe it will work somehow. If not, I am going to have to figure something out. I don't have floppy drives but only have XP on CD anyway. I think I have a dusty external USB Iomega CD drive somewhere (hope it wasn't sold at a garage sale!)...will post later what happens if I can get to it today...

    Thanks!!!
     
  4. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,442   +220

    I'm actually planning a similar Windows XP setup in the near future with all SATA drives (without the RAID array) but I have an external USB DVD drive and a floppy drive. By the way, this is only an issue with XP. Vista should come with basic SATA drivers,
     
  5. fodog

    fodog TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Okay- I am finally getting back to this project. Update: I booted up for the first time and got into BIOS. I appears to recognize both optical drives (a Lightscribe and a Sony for information's sake) and both hard drives no problem. However in BIOS I selected RAID "enabled". It then listed all SATA ports 1 thru 6 and lets you choose enabled or disabled. Since I have my SATA HDDs on ports 3 and 4 I selected enabled for both. Is that correct? I assumed so, saved changes and rebooted. It then asked hit F10 to enter RAID configuration utility so I did. It was already set to mirror and only listed one hard drive. Does this mean it's already set and working? I thought I would have to pick both and tell it to mirror. I played around with the BIOS switches to enable/disable but never got both drives to show up. They both show up on boot up so I know they are both working...Is mirror/RAID 1 now set up-should I proceed with trying to set up Windows now? I don't want to start writing to them if RAID1 isn't already on...

    Then next questions-is partitioning recommended? What sizes to use for OS (I have 500GB mirrored drives)

    Also-do I now have to set up RAID 1 in Windows XP home ed initial install also or did the hardware/BIOS setup already take care of it?

    Thanks for any/all info!!! You guys are great! I have been searching web for two hours and still find most info here!
     
  6. fodog

    fodog TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Still haven't figured this out. Maybe I will just assume RAID 1 is set up now and install XP? Anybody used Nvidia RAID setup utility on a new build? Just trying to make sure I have the HDDs in RAID 1 before installing my OS (Win XP home)...also is partitioning recommended-if so, how big for the OS section/drive? Thanks in advance!
     
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