Quantcast

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

HD Controllers/RAID Help

skeaserskeaser Member RarePosts: 4,098

Hey all,

I'm having some trouble and was hoping someone wiser than I could help me out.

I have a Asus Maximus IV Extreme Mobo which has an Intel P67 Express chipset and a Marvell 9182 Controller.

The Intel chipset has 2 6 Gb/s ports and 4 3 Gb/s ports, the Marvell has 2 6 Gb/s ports.

I tried to move my SSD (Windows boot) to the Marvell to set up RAID on the Intel. When I did, the computer refused to boot. I tried IDE mode, ACHI mode, OPROM on and off to no avail. I even tried Windows repair with each of those options and while Windows could read the drive and had it mounted, it didn't recognize it as a Windows install. I moved the SSD back to the Intel controller and Windows came right up.

I now have 2 questions:

1. Why can't I move my boot drive to the other controller?

2. Can I leave the boot drive on the Intel controller with 3 HDD and set the HDDs to RAID 0 while leaving the SSD standalone? 

Sig so that badges don't eat my posts.


Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,682

    Check the BIOS to see if it finds the Marvell SATA controller--and make sure that it's not disabled.  Sometimes chips that are on the motherboard but not in use get disabled to make the system boot faster.

    And why do you want to put hard drives in RAID 0 if you have an SSD?

  • skeaserskeaser Member RarePosts: 4,098
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Check the BIOS to see if it finds the Marvell SATA controller--and make sure that it's not disabled.  Sometimes chips that are on the motherboard but not in use get disabled to make the system boot faster.

    And why do you want to put hard drives in RAID 0 if you have an SSD?

    Yup, Marvell shows up in BIOS and the disk is listed.

    The SSD is only 256GB and I figured if I put my 3x1TB drives into RAID I could get decent load times from games without having to constantly copy to/from the SSD.

    Sig so that badges don't eat my posts.


  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,682
    Originally posted by skeaser
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Check the BIOS to see if it finds the Marvell SATA controller--and make sure that it's not disabled.  Sometimes chips that are on the motherboard but not in use get disabled to make the system boot faster.

    And why do you want to put hard drives in RAID 0 if you have an SSD?

    Yup, Marvell shows up in BIOS and the disk is listed.

    The SSD is only 256GB and I figured if I put my 3x1TB drives into RAID I could get decent load times from games without having to constantly copy to/from the SSD.

    That's a bad idea.  Loading times in games are almost entirely limited by random reads/writes because of hard drive seek times.  RAID 0 doesn't help with that at all.  RAID 0 makes sense if you need a lot of sequential performance for something, such as recording a video.  But not for games.

    Check the boot precedence in the BIOS to see if the SSD is there when it's linked to the Marvell controller.  It might be looking at the SATA ports in the chipset and not know to check the Marvell controller at boot, which is how it would fail to find a valid boot device.

  • skeaserskeaser Member RarePosts: 4,098
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by skeaser
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Check the BIOS to see if it finds the Marvell SATA controller--and make sure that it's not disabled.  Sometimes chips that are on the motherboard but not in use get disabled to make the system boot faster.

    And why do you want to put hard drives in RAID 0 if you have an SSD?

    Yup, Marvell shows up in BIOS and the disk is listed.

    The SSD is only 256GB and I figured if I put my 3x1TB drives into RAID I could get decent load times from games without having to constantly copy to/from the SSD.

    That's a bad idea.  Loading times in games are almost entirely limited by random reads/writes because of hard drive seek times.  RAID 0 doesn't help with that at all.  RAID 0 makes sense if you need a lot of sequential performance for something, such as recording a video.  But not for games.

    Check the boot precedence in the BIOS to see if the SSD is there when it's linked to the Marvell controller.  It might be looking at the SATA ports in the chipset and not know to check the Marvell controller at boot, which is how it would fail to find a valid boot device.

    Makes sense in regards to the RAID. 

    For booting, with the SSD connected to the Marvel controller, I tried manual boot override and I would just get the black screen with blinking cursor. 

    Sig so that badges don't eat my posts.


  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,146

    The Marvell controller is essentially an add-in card that is built into the motherboard.

    You ~may~ be able to tell the BIOS to boot from it, but sometimes they get very finicky - often they need a drive on the primary (Intel) controller to house the MBR, and drivers for the RAID controller.

    You may be able to get it to work with a new Windows installation, but just migrating the drive as-is over, unless that BIOS option exists (and it looks like you looked in all the right places) your out of luck.

    As far as Option 2 goes - I don't have a lot of experience with Intel RAID controllers - that may very well be possible. On a typical RAID controller, when you build the RAID Array, you pick which drives to include in the array, and which to leave out - those left out just act as normal drives. So if you leave your SSD out of the array, it should still just appear as a solo drive, while placing the other 2 drives in your array.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,146


    Originally posted by skeaser

    For booting, with the SSD connected to the Marvel controller, I tried manual boot override and I would just get the black screen with blinking cursor. 


    That actually may be progress right there -- run Windows Installer from another boot media (DVD Or Thumb Drive) and select the Repair option - it may be able to fix the MBR (well it isn't a MBR anymore, but I can't recall what it is off the top of my head), and once it's repaired it may well work for you again.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,146

    And in the FWIW department - RAID 0 is ok for speed, but it still won't compete with your SSD. I really don't recommend RAID 0 for much of anything except scratch disks (dedicated virtual memory or cache drive in servers, raw video dump from cameras/dvr's, not anything where the data is actually housed long term).

  • skeaserskeaser Member RarePosts: 4,098
    Originally posted by Ridelynn

     


    Originally posted by skeaser

     

    For booting, with the SSD connected to the Marvel controller, I tried manual boot override and I would just get the black screen with blinking cursor. 


     

    That actually may be progress right there -- run Windows Installer from another boot media (DVD Or Thumb Drive) and select the Repair option - it may be able to fix the MBR (well it isn't a MBR anymore, but I can't recall what it is off the top of my head), and once it's repaired it may well work for you again.

    Tried that, Windows installer didn't find any Windows Installations but it did see and mount the drive. Tried manual bootexec fixes from command prompt, still no luck.

    Sig so that badges don't eat my posts.


  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,146


    Originally posted by skeaser
    Originally posted by Ridelynn   Originally posted by skeaser   For booting, with the SSD connected to the Marvel controller, I tried manual boot override and I would just get the black screen with blinking cursor. 
      That actually may be progress right there -- run Windows Installer from another boot media (DVD Or Thumb Drive) and select the Repair option - it may be able to fix the MBR (well it isn't a MBR anymore, but I can't recall what it is off the top of my head), and once it's repaired it may well work for you again.
    Tried that, Windows installer didn't find any Windows Installations but it did see and mount the drive. Tried manual bootexec fixes from command prompt, still no luck.

    It may need the fresh install to that point with the Controller driver disc then - that's how boot drives on most aftermarket IDE cards go - it's a royal pain.

  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 12,321


    Originally posted by skeaserYup, Marvell shows up in BIOS and the disk is listed.The SSD is only 256GB and I figured if I put my 3x1TB drives into RAID I could get decent load times from games without having to constantly copy to/from the SSD.

    The data sets we talk about here are very small, thus imo you won't see much difference.

    If you still want to go with RAID tho, I would recommend RAID 5 because RAID 0 has no parity and with failure of 1 drive, you lose entire array.

  • RecklooseReckloose Member UncommonPosts: 39
    Originally posted by skeaser
     

    For booting, with the SSD connected to the Marvel controller, I tried manual boot override and I would just get the black screen with blinking cursor. 

    Uh oh...

    It's really one of two possibilities, driver issues, and bootloader issues. Driver issues are fixable, if when you try to boot you get the endless blue-screen reboot cycle, that's the driver issue (there's a reg hack to force windows to reload drivers).

    But, blinking cursor and does nothing, means boot loader issues. Meaning that the windows bootloader is on another drive, not your SSD, hence the SSD cannot boot (when you load windows, it puts the bootloader on interface 1, drive 0. If that particular drive wasn't your actual OS drive, then the bootloader is on the wrong drive). The only way to fix is to wipe and load, and to prevent it from occurring in the future, disconnect all drives except your OS drive when loading windows.

  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 12,321


    Originally posted by Reckloose

    The only way to fix is to wipe and load, and to prevent it from occurring in the future, disconnect all drives except your OS drive when loading windows.

    If you need to move bootloader to other drive use bootsect command that you can find on windows install disc/iso.

    Using bcdedit then you can configure what drive/partition you need to boot from.


    By default, when you install Windows on clean disc, partition with boot files will be created on the disc you install Windows on. The partition is "hidden" but you can see it within drive drive manager.


    No need to wipe or reinstall anything. You can shift the boot drives, bootloader and OS installation as you wish.

  • syntax42syntax42 Member UncommonPosts: 1,378

    I might be missing something here...  Why does the SSD need to be on a different controller?  Controllers I have used have a RAID setup utility (configured before booting) that lets you select the drives you want to include in the array.  

    Can you install games on your SSD?  A 256GB SSD is plenty for installing a few games at a time.  My current system only has a 256GB SSD and I have plenty of space for the games I'm actively playing, and a few I'm not.

    As stated by others, RAID isn't going to solve anything for you.  A RAID1 is good if you need fault tolerance (in case of drive failure) and RAID0 is good for sequential reads/writes, which you aren't likely to be doing.  RAID5 is a mix of the two in terms of performance and fault tolerance,  but functions differently.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,146

    RAID5 is a mixed bag. It can actually significantly hurt write-heavy work loads due to the way the disks are striped (often called "RAID5 write penalty"). There's also the fact that the array is extremely vulnerable during a rebuild, and the rebuilds are extremely time intensive as it has to use parity bits from the remaining disks to mathematically rebuild the missing disk.

    Most people I know have migrated off RAID5 and on to RAID10 - you lose out on some capacity compared to RAID5, and yeah, if you have a fault during the rebuild there is a chance it can still trash the array (although it's not nearly 100% like it is on RAID5). The array rebuilds from failure are also much faster than RAID5 (they are just a data dump of the remaining mirrored good disk, not a parity checksum calculation that has to be recreated for each block). Both of those together add up to a more robust solution that most people consider a fair tradeoff for the cost of some drive capacity. And to top it off, RAID10 doesn't suffer from the same write penalty and carries most of the same read/write benefits of RAID0. So you get the speed of RAID0 and the reliability of RAID1 in one nifty package. It just costs at least 4 disks to get there.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,146


    Originally posted by syntax42
    I might be missing something here...  Why does the SSD need to be on a different controller?  Controllers I have used have a RAID setup utility (configured before booting) that lets you select the drives you want to include in the array.  

    What you are talking about was suggested above - not all RAID controllers support it and work that way, but most do. I don't think the OP has tried it yet, or I missed it or hasn't reported on it if he/she has.

  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 12,321


    Originally posted by Ridelynn
    Most people I know have migrated off RAID5 and on to RAID10

    OP only has 3 disks so you are making a moot point here.


    Whole point of RAID is redundancy - data protection, not performance.


Sign In or Register to comment.