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Installing XP Using Sata Raid


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--------Installing XP Using Sata Raid--------

-For those with Sata HD's, with motherboards cable of running Raid(0, 1, 0+1, Multiple Raid, JBOD)

--Must have 2 Hd's of equal size/speed(best to be exact same model..especially while running in Raid 0..Read below about Raid settings)

*You can run 2 different sizes, but you will only be able to use the smaller sized drive(ie: the larger drive will basically act as if it is the same size as the smaller)...You many run into problems running like this, so its not recommended, unless you are running JBOD(See Below)


**This guide is assuming you have 2 formatted Sata Hard Drives of equal size, set to Master/Slave**

This can be somewhat tricky, since 32bit XP disks do not come with Sata Raid Drivers, and must be manually installed during initial OS install.

>Before We Start

- Read your motherboard manual, you many have more than 1 raid controller, as I do, and it may need to be configured in bios to operate in Raid.

--For example I have 2 separate Raid controllers, VIA, and Promise.  My promise controller must be configured in Bios to either run in Raid or IDE.  For this you must have it set to Raid.

-Read your motherboard manual to find which Raid controller you have, and then check your bios and set accordingly.

-Hard Drive settings(master/slave/cable select), may differ as per motherboard manufacturer, so please check to be sure.

-If there are other hard drives(ide/usb, etc), I prefer to remove them at this point(If system is functional, uninstall in device manager, then shut down and disconnect power/ribbon cable).  This way you know all info is being written to your Sata Raid Array, and you will know immediately if you've screwed up on install.  This is an optional step, some may say unnecessary, but I don't mind taking a little extra time.

1- Make a Raid Driver Disk.(floppy)

-Once again, check your manual, and the CD that came with your motherboard/system.  If the motherboard is Raid capable, there should be Raid drivers on the disk, along with a utility to make the floppy you need.

-I have a utility that is called makedisk.exe located within my motherboard cd.  This will automatically make a raid driver disk for you.

-If no such utility exists, you must check with your motherboard manufacturer for your drivers, and make a floppy containing those drivers.

-Once you have your Floppy loaded with drivers move to step 2.

2- Enter your Raid Utility...Once again, check your manual as this step may differ in some aspects.

-Ex:  With my VIA raid controller, I must hit <tab> during the power-on self test, which opens up my Raid Utility.  The promise controller has a screen after POST, and you must hit <ctrl> + <f> .  This will be differrent depending on your system.  Read your manual.

Once you have entered the utility you can move on to set 3.

3- Build your Array...

-Each utility will differ, but should all have at a minimum settings for Raid 0, Raid 1, and block size.

Which array do I want?...Well depends what you want..

Raid 0- Data Striping- This basically makes both disks work as one, will improve write/read speeds and overall system performance.

Why not use this?  Well since it alternates where the data is written, the whole of your OS is actually on 2 separate drives in pieces.  So if one HD fails...Bye Bye OS...If you lose one disk in a Raid 0 Set, you lose all data on both.  So if this is a business application or sensitive data, Raid 1 would be better for you..

Raid 1- Data Mirroring-  Copies and maintains identical image of data from one drive to the other.

Therefore this would be good if your pc was for business, or any other application where constant backups are wanted...

If one HD was to fail, you can still operate off the drive that is healthy.  But you do not get performance improvements.

Once your array has been successfully built, insert your XP Disk, reboot, and enter bios.

4- In Bios, find section for Hard Disks, and Boot Disks...(again this is going to differ depending on your Bios)..

In short you want to set you system so it boots in the following order:

1- CD/DVD Rom Drive

2- Raid Array(this will be labeled differently depending on motherboard..Mine is Array 1)

3- Disabled

Once you have this done, save the settings, reboot, and move on to step 5

5- Boot from your XP CD

-While it the cd is loading, you will see on the bottom "Press F6 to install 3rd party SCSI or Raid Driver"...Press F6(make sure F-Lock is on). A dialog box will eventually pop up asking you if you want to install third party drivers.  Insert your Raid Driver Floppy disk, and press 's'. It should ask you to insert floppy(which is already in there), and press enter. It will search the floppy, and should show a window allowing you to choose the drivers..Select the proper raid drivers for your controller and hit enter.  Leave the floppy in for now.  If you did not get the dialog box, you may have not hit F6 in time, or your F-Lock key may have been off...Reboot and try again...

At this point it acts like a normal windows installation...

***If you get an error saying it did not detect any hds on the system or a similar error, you many have installed the wrong drivers, did not install them at all.

***Remember to remove floppy disk just prior to windows rebooting automatically after it loads all the files for install.

I chose to keep it simple and not involve the other Raid Options, but here are some more you may have, and may want to play with once you get comfortable with RAID.

Raid 0+1- combines striping and mirroring

Multiple Raid- allows co-existence of Raid 0 and Raid 1

JBOD (just a bunch of Disks)- Span data across hard drives, and acts as one large drive(ex: 2-100 gig HD's would look like approx. 1-200 gig)

There are more, but there are the most common.

Hopefully I didn't leave anything important out...I tried to be as complete as possible, but due to the difference in motherboards and hardware in general, some info may not hold true for you....But I hope in general this will be of some help.  Any corrections/additions are would be greatly appreciated.

GOOD LUCK!...Practice Makes Perfect!

This article was written by testmy.net member Voltageman

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  • 4 weeks later...

Raid in your LAPTOP

If you have a slick laptop like i do with built in raid on the motherboard you need to activate your raid by flicking a switch in the motherboard.

Also you can find your self with a laptop or desktop with no floppy drive, don't panic, but before you do anything make sure you have a windows xp CD with slipstreemed drivers on it.

you can do slipstreemed CD following this instructions


i have tried to do this steps

1. Copy the entire contents of your Windows XP Recovery CD to a folder on your notebook

2. Download the tool nLite from website http://www.nliteos.com/

3. If not already installed please visit Windows Update to download and install the .net framework from the optional updates section

4. Locate the file txtsetup.sif within the contents of the Recovery CD that you copied to your hard drive. You can either search for this or find it in the folder I386.

5. Edit this file using notepad

6. Find the line saying USBVID_054C&PID_0023 = "usbstor"

7. Beneath this line add a line as follows: USBVID_054C&PID_002C = "usbstor"

8. Follow the prompts in the nLite tool to first show it the location of your Recovery CD folder on your hard drive and then use the option to create a bootable ISO. This tool will also allow advanced users to integrate RAID or ATA driver at this stage but please see the application's own docuementation for this.

9. Once you have created and saved the bootable ISO, double click on it to burn it to a blank CDR using Roxio. DiscMaster users should open discmaster and use the option to import an ISO in order to burn their new disc.

10. Boot from the new disc and press F6 when prompted to install RAID/ATA drivers.

i had an error i nthe program http://www.nliteos.com/

when i was trying to load more drivers it gave me an error but it created an iso

so i dont know if the drivers were intregrated or not

2nd thing was i didnt edit the text file so i think it might be that problem because i forgot to edit the text file and change the USBVID_054C&PID_0023 = "usbstor"

some laptops you can plug a USB floppy drive on a special usb port and ask your bios to boot from usb 1st it also can be a possibility

i got my raid on my laptop working with the CD

best of luck to you

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