Upgrading to RAID 1 windows load problem

By ghack ยท 12 replies
Apr 26, 2005
  1. Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but I am fairly new to customizing computors in this way...

    I am upgrading by adding a second SATA drive for a RAID 1 setup. I have had no trouble following the available guides to get through the BIOS setup and getting the existing drive copied, etc. My problem is that Windows XP will not load afterwards.

    I am suspecting I need to install a driver or something at this point, but I am at a loss as to how to procede. When rebooted with the RAID turned off, the drive is detected by windows just fine.

    What step am I missing?

  2. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    How about providing us with a bit more information about the setup on which you're trying to install Windows ?
  3. ghack

    ghack TS Rookie Topic Starter

    more Info

    It is a system I built a little over a year ago: MSI motherboard with built in Promise controller, and running Windows XP home. Currently has a single 120 gig SATA HD, which works fine. I am adding a second 120 gig HD, same model/manufacturer as the first for a RAID 1.

    Like I said I have not had a problem with the BIOS setup, and have successfully copied the contents of the original HD with the Promise Fastbuild utility. It is after the process is complete and I attempt to reboot.

    The Windows load screen flashes for a few seconds and then I get and error message that Windows cannot load, would I like to load the last successful settings, etc.
  4. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    The reason I've asked you to give details on the system is to find out which drivers are needed for the Windows XP installation.

    Once you know the exact Promise controller present on your board, it is only a matter of downloading the proper RAID driver either on the MSI site or the Promise site.

    BTW I hope you have a floppy drive on that system as you'll need it to load the drivers in the first part of the Windows XP install process (when it tells you to hit F6 to load 3rd party drivers).
  5. ghack

    ghack TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have the drivers, and a floppy, but this is where I am a bit lost.

    I am not doing a clean install of windows XP, since it is already installed on the first HD, I do not get the F6 option. Or do I need to do a re-install? The information I have did not indicate that I would not, they simple say to reboot after creating the array.

    Is there some way to get windows XP to ask for the drivers?
  6. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Once you boot on the Windows XP CD, before chosing to do a clean instal or a repair, it should ask you to hit F6 to load 3rd party drivers (look at the bottom of the screen, beneath the blue area).
  7. ghack

    ghack TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I will give it another try.

    Thanks for the help.
  8. ghack

    ghack TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I went through the creation of the array, rebooted with the XP installation disc and hit F6. The drivers loaded from the floppy, but windows will not load.

    I reloaded the drivers again, and went into the repair option, reloaded successfully. But windows will still will not boot up. Now there is no "load failed" screen, only a flash of blue screen. It may say something is "corrupted".

    I disabled the RAID, to return to the original HD setup, and the same thing happens - windows will not load, and I can't get into the system at all.

    Any suggestions?
  9. da95649

    da95649 TS Rookie

    Hi Ghack,

    what your experiencing is exactly what happen with me:-

    let me explain:-

    Im using a gigabyte P4G8X motherboard that has 2 SATA connections and support RAID.

    I was already running XP pro from my maxtor 160gb but I added a new second disk, rebooted, when to the BIOS of the raid and created the raid. It asked me for a Mirror 1, then asked which was the source and dest, done this and all of my current data and OS was copied to my new blank disk.

    Rebooted, then XP started looping, and doesnt start successfully.

    I cannot even use my original disk standalone and get XP pro to boot.

    The only thing I did that I havent mentioned was changed my OS disk in Winxp within disk management from Basic To Dynamic. This was before I installed my second disk, could this be the cause?

    Also I was told you goto the main MB bios and check the boot order, however there is no reference to RAID or ARRAY, only "other boot devices" which is set to SCSI, so that should be fine.

    Is this somehting that is similar to you?

  10. ghack

    ghack TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I was able to resort to an "upgrade" type reinstall of XP off the original CD to get operating again in a non-RAID setup. I have not attempted the RAID setup since, but I really need to get back on this. I am considering trying a similar reinstall on the RAID setup, if all else fails.

    I suspect that for some reason the new drvers were not being properly loaded or recognized by XP. The RAID array was being recognized by bios, the boot order was good, etc. I was able to boot from the XP disc, but my drives were SATA not SCSI.

    I don't know if the switch from Basic To Dynamic has anything to do with it, but it might be worth checking into further.
  11. agortman

    agortman TS Rookie


    Hi all, I am new to this forum. I am looking to create a raid 1 (mirror) set on a Dell Precision 290 workstation. The workstation already has a singe 500 Gb single sata disk.

    reading through this post, it looks like I need a floppy to install the drivers, and use the Dell re-install cd
    can someone tell me a) if this is possible (Without overwriting the original drive) and b) if so, how do I do it?

    thanks in advance
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,123   +982

    NO! You want raid-1 and dynamic is a MS variation of raid-0 (stripping).

    My understanding is the order of the setup must be
    1. install the RAID controller software (ie drivers)
    2. create the raid-1 (mirror)
    3. initialize the raid
    4. THEN install the OS and other software
  13. ghack

    ghack TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, thanks for the response. I never did get it to work, but I believe that I ultimately had an issue with the controller on the MB. I have since build a new system and quite easily got a RAID setup running without any load problems.

    As for upgrading a Dell, I would search out for some specific how-to's on Dells. If it is required, you can usually find your and download your SATA controllers from the manufacturer and put them on a floppy.
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