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Windows 8 Thread, Enable RAID without reinstalling in Technical; Hi all, I've just installed a RAID1 array in my Windows 8 machine. It isn't working. With my BIOS in ...
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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Enable RAID without reinstalling

    Hi all,

    I've just installed a RAID1 array in my Windows 8 machine. It isn't working.

    With my BIOS in AHCI mode, the array appears as one drive in Windows as expected, however if I switch the BIOS to RAID mode, nothing appears apart from the drive Windows is installed on.

    I've tried changing the "start" value in iaStor and isStorV in the registry.
    I've tried the Microsoft recommended route of rebooting in to safe mode with RAID enabled to force loading of the drivers (the drive showed up in safe mode but not normal boot).

    Google doesn't seem to turn up any more ideas so I'm thinking I have no option but to reinstall.

    One thing that is puzzling me though is how the array shows up as a drive when the BIOS is in AHCI mode. I can read and write to it with no problems, but as the Intel Storage Manager won't work unless the drive is in RAID mode, I have no idea whether it really is working in RAID or if I'm just writing to one of the drives in the array...

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    VeryPC_Tom_M's Avatar
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    Uhh..

    RAID 1 is mirror. Only one drive would show up?

    The easiest way, is to check the RAID option ROM, which should list the physical disks for you, and show you which array they're assigned to.

    Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) — Set up a system with Matrix RAID

    The other thing to check, if the RAID drive isn't showing in Windows Explorer, is that it's had a drive letter assigned to it!
    Last edited by VeryPC_Tom_M; 13th March 2013 at 12:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VeryPC_Tom_M View Post
    Uhh..

    RAID 1 is mirror. Only one drive would show up?

    The easiest way, is to check the RAID option ROM, which should list the physical disks for you, and show you which array they're assigned to.

    Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) — Set up a system with Matrix RAID
    Hi Tom,

    I know that, I'm just not explaining myself very well

    When I put my BIOS in to RAID mode, Windows doesn't see the array at all. When I put it in to AHCI mode, Windows shows up a single drive (i.e. the RAID1 array) as I would expect it to. My concern is that I should have the BIOS in RAID, otherwise surely hardware RAID isn't working? Intel RST that you linked above crashes when in AHCI mode (though it does show the array with both drives under it before it crashes, albeit with no information as to drive capacity etc.)

    If it's safe to leave the BIOS as AHCI I'll just do that as it appears to work. I just can't check RAID is actually working (I wouldn't expect it to...) which concerns me. No point having it only to find out when I need it that it never worked!

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    VeryPC_Tom_M's Avatar
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    When you put the drives into RAID mode, what does Windows Device Manager report the Hard Drive as? An array, or still the details of the physical disk(s)?

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VeryPC_Tom_M View Post
    When you put the drives into RAID mode, what does Windows Device Manager report the Hard Drive as? An array, or still the details of the physical disk(s)?
    Nothing - in RAID mode, there is absolutely zero sign of the drives in Windows.

    In AHCI mode, it shows a single device called "DATA" (the name I gave my RAID array), and says it's using a Windows driver (I'd have thought it should be using Intel?)

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    Michael's Avatar
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    This is what should happen -

    Install two physical drives for RAID1, then set them up in the Intel RAID BIOS. This involves completely wiping any existing data on the drives. You'd then install Windows 8 onto the array as if it were a single hard disk. By installing the Intel RST in Windows, it should then display the RAID1 array status.

    It sounds to me you're simply changing the mode from AHCI to RAID. You still need to go into the RAID BIOS to configure the array itself, but as I wrote above, this will delete all existing data.

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    LosOjos (13th March 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    This is what should happen -

    Install two physical drives for RAID1, then set them up in the Intel RAID BIOS. This involves completely wiping any existing data on the drives. You'd then install Windows 8 onto the array as if it were a single hard disk. By installing the Intel RST in Windows, it should then display the RAID1 array status.

    It sounds to me you're simply changing the mode from AHCI to RAID. You still need to go into the RAID BIOS to configure the array itself, but as I wrote above, this will delete all existing data.
    Windows isn't installed on the array, it's on a separate SSD.

    I have configured the RAID array in the BIOS - both drives are set up in a RAID1 mirrored array called "DATA".

    If I boot in to Windows with RAID mode still enabled in the BIOS, the drive(s) are nowhere to be seen.

    If I switch the SATA mode back to AHCI, then a single drive shows up in Windows as expected. In device manager, a single drive is shown called "DATA" (shouldn't both physical drives show up in device manager?).

    If I run Intel RST to check the status of the RAID, it does show the array with two drives in it, but absolutely no other information about the array or those drives shows, with question marks or zeroes where the data should be, and then it crashes (probably because BIOS is in AHCI mode).

    The problem I'm having isn't configuring the RAID, it's getting Windows to see it. I'm not convinced that it is really working with the BIOS in AHCI mode, but in RAID mode the drive doesn't show at all.

    I'm thinking I just need to install Windows 8 fresh with RAID enabled from the start.
    Last edited by LosOjos; 13th March 2013 at 01:22 PM.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    How did you set up the RAID?

    Sounds to me like you set up a software RAID in Windows. As other have said, once RAID'd the two drives would appear as one. The RAID option in the BIOS is for hardware RAID. When you put the BIOS in RAID mode, the reason it sees nothing is because they have not been configured with the hardware controller.

    By the sounds of it this is two drives being used for backup, not the main C: drive for the OS? If so you can switch to Hardware RAID without re-installing Windows.

    You have two options.

    1) use software raid and leave the BIOS set to AHCI.

    2) set the BIOS to RAID and you'll be prompted to press an F-key (usually F6 for some reason, or CTRL-C) just after POST. You can then configure the drives to be mirrored using the hardware RAID controller. They will then appear in Windows again as 1 drive that will need reformatting.

    Hope that helps.

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    LosOjos (13th March 2013)

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    @tmcd35 - thanks, but I think you got the same idea as @Michael - just replied to him Enable RAID without reinstalling

    Hardware RAID is set up, it's Windows that's being odd, there are tons of threads on the net about people having the same problem. Basically, Windows doesn't like you changing the SATA mode once it's been installed. I had the same problem with my old machine changing from IDE to AHCI but managed to fix that with a registry hack. This time however, none of the solutions posted online seem to be helping. What's really irritating is that safe mode works fine with my BIOS in RAID, so why the hell can't a normal boot figure it out?

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    Again, how did you set the RAID up? The motherboard should not let you into the RAID settings to setup a Hardware RAID unless the BIOS is set to RAID first. The fact that it is showing and setup under AHCI suggests that you are using a software RAID.

    EDIT:
    This time however, none of the solutions posted online seem to be helping. What's really irritating is that safe mode works fine with my BIOS in RAID, so why the hell can't a normal boot figure it out?
    Just noticed this and it makes less sense.

    The only other option could be drivers for the RAID controller? Have you tried reinstalling/updating them?

    EDIT2:
    Is your SSD plugged into the same SATA controller as the RAID drives? Most boards that support RAID have SATA sockets for regular drives and separate sockets that can have RAID enabled. - although surely Windows shouldn't boot at all in RAID mode if that where a problem?
    Last edited by tmcd35; 13th March 2013 at 01:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Again, how did you set the RAID up? The motherboard should not let you into the RAID settings to setup a Hardware RAID unless the BIOS is set to RAID first. The fact that it is showing and setup under AHCI suggests that you are using a software RAID.
    It's definitely hardware RAID, I haven't touched these drives in any Windows configuration screen. I put BIOS in to RAID, which in turn enabled me to access the RAID setup. I configured RAID there, all went fine, status shows my RAID configured and working. At this point, with BIOS still in RAID, booting in to Windows shows no drive. If I change the BIOS back to AHCI, the single drive shows up as though it is in RAID - it's backwards! I honestly can't understand how it's working.

    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Just noticed this and it makes less sense.

    The only other option could be drivers for the RAID controller? Have you tried reinstalling/updating them?
    I've tried the only other thing I can think to do is try to force Windows to use the Intel driver when it shows the drives (in AHCI) mode, then reboot and change to RAID mode. Why on Earth that would work I don't know but I'm really clutching at straws now!

    It might be worth mentioning, I was on Windows 7 and had exactly the same issue (in fact, slightly worse - it'd BSOD if I tried to boot in to Windows with RAID enabled, despite trying the various "fixes" posted online). I've since updgraded to Windows 8 and although I don't get a BSOD any more, the drives just will not show in RAID mode.

    The more I think about it, the more I think a clean install is the way forward. But if it still doesn't work, I may have several rather expensive metallic frisbees in my house shortly thereafter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    EDIT2:
    Is your SSD plugged into the same SATA controller as the RAID drives? Most boards that support RAID have SATA sockets for regular drives and separate sockets that can have RAID enabled. - although surely Windows shouldn't boot at all in RAID mode if that where a problem?
    I made that mistake at first and the BIOS wouldn't show the drives when I entered RAID setup. The drives are now on the RAID enabled controller, the SSD on a separate controller.

    That has sparked an idea though... one of the controllers was Intel, the other AsMedia - what's the betting the AsMedia is RAID and I've been messing with Intel drivers in vain?

    Although Intel RST kind of works in that it shows the array with both drives before it crashes - it shouldn't work if I'm not using the Intel controller, should it?


    EDIT: nope, it's definitely the Intel controller supplying RAID
    Last edited by LosOjos; 13th March 2013 at 02:26 PM.

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    Which motherboard are you using? (out of curiosity)

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    Quote Originally Posted by VeryPC_Tom_M View Post
    Which motherboard are you using? (out of curiosity)
    The ASUS P8Z77-V Pro: ASUS - P8Z77-V PRO

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    Quad SLI?!?!? You having problems running FarCry 3 by any chance?

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