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Thread: SATA HDD Question

  1. #1
    Damnatory's Avatar OTL BT Rep: +6BT Rep +6
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    I'm building a new system using a Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 as the main system HDD. My question mainly concerns the initial startup as I haven't any previous experience with SATA equipment. I've heard that when installing a new SATA HDD you are suppose to press f6 or something during windows installation to install the SATA/RAID drivers??
    Would the same be true for the very first start up to install windows? Or would the board automatically detect the HDD like it would an IDE drive?

    Does a SATA HDD have to be setup in RAID?

    Also what is the difference between RAID 0,1, dual RAID setups, I've attempted to read about this, but the explaination has eluded me...

    If it helps at all, the board I'm using is an A8V-Deluxe, which has onboard SATA plugs.
    Last edited by Damnatory; 04-22-2005 at 08:03 AM.

  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
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    Firstly, you can't set up a single drive as a raid array. By definition an array means more than one. However, if you enable the raid controller (rather than just the SATA controller) you may have to go into the raid config utility to tell it that the single drive is present but not part of a raid array.

    In general I wouldn't advise home users to even consider a raid setup, for the following reasons:

    Raid 0 supposedly allows all drives to be read at the same time, but the actual performance increase this brings is minimal, and the downside of total data loss in the event of a single drive failure means reliability is halved. You can also only move the drives to an identical setup if the board fails and you want to retain the data. Minimum 2 drives.

    Raid 1 gives the benefit of much higher reliability by having the same data on more than one drive, but at the cost of an extra drive with no performance benefits. Minimum 2 drives, always in pairs.

    Raid 0+1 gives the (small) performance increase with the reliability improvements, but at high cost. Minimum 4 drives, always in pairs.

    If you enable the raid controller, you will HAVE to install the controller driver during windows installation. But if you just enable the SATA controller it may appear to windows as an ordinary IDE drive so you may not need a driver; if installation fails try again with the controller driver disk, it shouldn't take more than an extra couple of minutes.

    Some boards won't install windows if you try to use the raid controller drivers without enabling the raid controller, so the best option is to try the SATA controller on its own first, with no drivers, if that fails try it with the drivers, if it still fails enable the raid controller and use the drivers.
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  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Did your board come with a floppy containing SATA drivers?
    If not, chances are good that you will not need to learn the F6 trick.

    Proceed with your install as normal and if Windows can see your disk to format/install, then you're home free.
    If you get the message that "Windows was unable to detect a HDD" then you'll have to F6 spoonfeed the SATA driver to it.

    Interesting to see if SATA drivers are in the driver.cab of XP 64 bit Edition.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    Damnatory's Avatar OTL BT Rep: +6BT Rep +6
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    Thank you both for the prompt reply. That was the best explaination I have heard yet Lynx, I thank you greatly.

    Nope, the board didn't come with a floppy of drivers, however it does have a CD with the chipset drivers. I doubt that it has the driver that I need.

    So the f6 trick has SATA drivers, as well as RAID drivers than?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx
    But if you just enable the SATA controller it may appear to windows as an ordinary IDE drive so you may not need a driver;
    If it reads as an IDE, would the performance be the same, or slowed down to IDE speeds? And would it interfer with any other IDE device, such as my DVD burner?

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damnatory



    If it reads as an IDE, would the performance be the same, or slowed down to IDE speeds? And would it interfer with any other IDE device, such as my DVD burner?
    It doesn't default to IDE speed, Windows is being deceived.
    If you make it to format screen then you'll only need to load RAID drivers should you desire, but the SATA has already been handled.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    Damnatory's Avatar OTL BT Rep: +6BT Rep +6
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    Quote Originally Posted by clocker
    It doesn't default to IDE speed, Windows is being deceived.
    If you make it to format screen then you'll only need to load RAID drivers should you desire, but the SATA has already been handled.
    Ok, thanks alot!

    BTW Clocker, nice setup you built, very similar to the one I'm building.

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
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    Sprocket is blushing.
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  8. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    Snee's Avatar Error xɐʇuʎs BT Rep: +1
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Firstly, you can't set up a single drive as a raid array. By definition an array means more than one. However, if you enable the raid controller (rather than just the SATA controller) you may have to go into the raid config utility to tell it that the single drive is present but not part of a raid array.
    That's weird 'cos I just had to set up a striped array with only one disc, 'cos that was the only way this one mobo would recognize the disc.

    'twas on a msi kt4 ultra, yesterday. With a seagate 7200.8.

    Checked some msi forums, and that was the way you were supposed to do it.

    I did try to do it without setting up the array, but windows didn't even find it then. Still working on it though*.

    Put another drive just like it on an epox board earlier this week, that one didn't require it to be set up in an array, but the sata controller on that board still required me to install the raid drivers for the controller to work.
    These two identical drives did make for some interesting experiments for me as I had never tried setting up a raid array before. Too bad they had to be put in different machines

    When it comes to raid though, I'm buying a promise controller card if I'm ever setting up something like it again. The via controller on the epox board wasn't half as good, or easy to work with IMO.

    Btw, on the epox board the drive was identified as a scsi drive, and on the msi board all I can see from windows is the (currently one disc) raid array.

    You might, if your chipset isn't recent enough, have to do the f6 thing to install drivers for the controller, for seagate drives discwizard might also come in handy.

    Used the windows version to add the disc on the epox board (take note of the model number before putting the disc in if you are to use that), whereas the msi board had a promise controller and only needed the raid drivers for the drive to work in windows.


    Nforce 4 is definitely supposed to have integrated sata support, so you won't need any drivers there, though.




    *It works just fine now, but I dunno' how easy it'll be to move over to another machine configured as it is if the owner ever wants to
    Last edited by Snee; 04-22-2005 at 09:29 PM.

  9. Software & Hardware   -   #9
    lynx's Avatar .
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnnY
    That's weird 'cos I just had to set up a striped array with only one disc, 'cos that was the only way this one mobo would recognize the disc.
    If you don't want raid, it should be possible to install drives as JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks), but that Promise controller is a weird one so I don't know if it is even an option.

    If you need the Raid drivers on floppy, follow the instructions in section 5.7 of the manual.

    Edit: Just re-read the manual myself. You can either use the Via controller (behind the floppy connector) and set the disk use as JBOD; or use the Promise controller and set operation mode to IDE mode.
    By default, the RAID connector is set as RAID. If you want to use it as an independent drive, set the Operation Mode to IDE Mode under the Advanced menu.
    Maybe that answers SnnY's problem too.
    Last edited by lynx; 04-23-2005 at 09:39 AM.
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  10. Software & Hardware   -   #10
    Snee's Avatar Error xɐʇuʎs BT Rep: +1
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    I don't think I had either of those options, but thanks for trying to help though.

    I had to choose between striped or...striped. Mirrored wouldn't work with only the one drive.



    Can't remember for sure now, but I don't think the controller even showed up in windows without having an array set up, and the only way I could get windows to find the drive at all was through the controller.

    'tis an old board (relatively speaking) and sata wasn't quite what it is today, so I guess some manufacturers would employ unorthodox solutions back then, since they hadn't learned how to do it yet.


    I do like the promise controller better than the via one on the other board though, as the promise controller was a piece of cake to set up (it pretty much configured itself once I let it), less work than the via controller.

    The drive works excellently this way, I'm only worried about potential trouble if the owner (my brother) one day wants to move the drive to another system with the files on it intact.

    Will a regular sata controller be able to read a drive that has previously been running as striped, even though it is only the one disc?



    BTW, sorry for putting this in your thread, damnatory, it was just that that one comment of lynx's caught my attention, and it seemed stupid to start a thread to ask him about a post in this thread.
    Last edited by Snee; 04-23-2005 at 11:14 PM.

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