New guy, need help setting up XP on blank RAID5 config

By earlskarma ยท 7 replies
Dec 30, 2007
  1. New guy here, first post ever, so be gentle and use lots of lube.

    I just recently purchased a new compie. I've got 4x500gb seagate drives and I have configed as a RAID5. I am trying to install xp from an xp boot disc and am running into all sorts of problems. I don't have a floppy on my laptop, so I can't create a driver fdd for my asus motherboard (the southbridge-ICH9R-supports RAID5). Any ideas as to how I can circumvent this dilemma?

    every time I boot from disc, after windows setup starts running the driver loading ticker across the bottom, I get an error message that says

    "mountmgr.sys is corrupted. press any key to continue"

    and then it tells me to press any key to restart. every time.

    this is my first time ever building a compie from scratch, so I'm quasi-clueless on the process for blank HDD/new install.

    any help would be appreciated.

  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    With fakeraid, RAID5 is not a good idea. It is going to put a huge strain on your CPU and the performance will suck. Also, 4 drives is not optimal for RAID5. Try RAID 0+1 or 1+0 instead if your controller supports it.

    Asfor how to install Windows. Have you read your motherboard manual? Maybe there is a BIOS setting that gives you IDE emulation? Also, you could easily create the floppy on any other computer. Or buy a floppy drive for your desktop if you don't already have one. Maybe install Windows XP on a single hard drive, create the drivers floppy, then do the RAID install?
  3. earlskarma

    earlskarma TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Got windows installed on IDE, good to go. the reason that i was having issues is, ironically enough, there are no floppies anywhere around where i am at, and i'd have a hard time getting ahold of one. but problem bypassed, so great!

    "With fakeraid, RAID5 is not a good idea. It is going to put a huge strain on your CPU and the performance will suck. Also, 4 drives is not optimal for RAID5. Try RAID 0+1 or 1+0 instead if your controller supports it."

    when i get more time, i will read up on RAID 0+1/1+0 and compare to RAID5. as for "fakeraid", i take it you mean the built-in raid controller on the southbridge? ok... well if i need to buy a PCIe raid controller, what do you recommend? i was looking @ 3Ware 9550SX-8LP. a little expensive, but definitely get what you pay for. granted, this is not a server comp or anything, but money is not an issue, and i'd really like to do this RAID project right.
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Yeah.. By fakeraid I mean those "RAID controllers" that rely on software (drivers) to function. This is what all integrated PC RAID controllers are - a piece of BIOS to set up the array and a beast of a driver that lives on your CPU.

    Ohyes, 3ware makes great RAID cards - real hardware RAID.
  5. earlskarma

    earlskarma TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Cookin right along...

    Got XP, Office, all the jazz installed. I'm using intermediary IDE until my controller shows. I ordered today, so-in shah allah- it'll be here in 7-10 days. I ended up buying the 3ware 9650se-8pml. it was on sale, and i just couldn't resist the possibility of endless RAID drives. =:)

    I am great for now, thanks much. Undoubtedly, I will be back on here shortly, when my raid controller arrives, pulling out my hair and begging for help. any chance i could personally contact you nodsu when i do begin RAID setup?
  6. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    My IM contacts are in my profile, but It would be best if you just replied to this thread. The very point of these forums is to provide information for a wider audience.
  7. earlskarma

    earlskarma TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Finally! I got my 3ware RAID controller in and got everything set up. It took a little while...I used my working HDD to set up the drivers and maintain my backup and used the other three HDD to configure my RAID5 array. Once my array was online and the OS installed, I migrated the 4th HDD into the system. It migrated successfully and reinitialized with no problem. It reads my disc 0 as a dynamic 1.4TB disc, which is the sum available volume of all 4 HDD, so that's correct. However, disc C: is the first 3 HDD and the 4th is unallocated. Here is where I am NOW stumped: I can't figure out how to expand my dynamic (3 x HDD) volume to include the 4th volume so that it reads as one large volume. I read the help manual, but it tells me to right-click on the volume to be expanded in disk management and select "extend volume". well, it doesn't make that option available when i right-click. When i select "extend volume", it tells me "the selected volume is a system or boot disk or was created on a basic disk in an earlier version of Windows and cannot be extended."

    !!!! WTF !!!! Isn't that exactly the point of extending the volume, adding additional storage space to your system/boot disk??

    now i'm just really confused! any help circumventing this hang-up would be appreciated. I'm sure it's probably a simple answer to a simple problem, but my little pea-holder is fresh outta batteries!
  8. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    OK. If Windows shows that you only have one hard drive, then you did the array expansion correctly and hardware-wise everythng is set up.

    What you need to do now is to extend the C: partition and filesystem (purely software issue). Using Windows dynamic discs (that volumes stuff) is one way, but I wouldn't recommend that. The prettier way would be to use any partition management software to enlarge your C: partition so that it covers all the hard drives.
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