G'Day All from DownUnder.
I have assembled a new machine with an i5-2300 CPU on a Asus P8H67-M LE: the two "grey" SATA3 ports are connected to two brand new WD2002FAEX, SATA3 "black" HDD's, jumpers are out, set for full SATA 6Gb/s operation.
On very first power up I upgraded the BIOS to latest available on Asus support pages.
Then setup a RAID 1 Mirror Array in BIOS before doing anything else.
Installed genuine Win7-64 on partition 0 (100GB) whilst the installation routine created the usual 100MB "system reserved" partition ahead of "C:" and left the remainder of the array (ca. 1800GB) "unallocated" for Windows to deal with later.
Windows installation a breeze, no problems whatsoever. Installed Service Pack 1 and all other updates available from Microsoft.
Then installed the missing USB3 and Intel HD graphics drivers from the motherboard's CD. System all good.
After a couple of restarts, one of the last updates offered by Windows Update was the Intel Rapid Storage Technology 10.1.0.1008 which the machine installed uneventfully.
Here is my problem: everytime the machine is shut down and restarted the RAID utility appears during POST reporting the array as "degraded".
Windows then takes a very long time to boot up and once it's up and running the IRST reports "system functioning normally", the data as protected, the drives as "normal" (green tick) but starts a very, very long and drawn out "rebuild" operation, taking around 10 hrs each time.
The machine is finished and ready for delivery to a customer/friend: I cannot afford the data not to be secure and with this behaviour I cannot be assured the mirror is working correctly. Moreover, I cannot deliver a machine that is so slow to start up at every cold boot.
Cannot undertand how the IRST can report all systems normal but launch a full rebuild. Then I wonder if the hardware or H67 controller could be at fault, since the first indication of a degraded array appears during POST through the BIOS RAID Utility. The disks appear to be operating at nominal SATA3 specs but will run a WD diagnostic as soon as this nth rebuild is complete.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
WD DLG diagnostic checked discs (Extended Scan) all ok.
On closer analysis, the Intel Rapid Storage Technology BIOS ROM is indeed quite old, dated December 2010, whilst these Series 6 Intel sandy Bridge chipsets - B3 revision - have been re-released only a few months ago.
I believe Intel is overdue to update the RAID BIOS ROM option; in fact, they have released updated versions for their own motherboards and I have read of modding attempts to port the new IRST ROM option to other BIOSes.
Not to mention that the one and only reason for the recall and release of the B3 revision was - in fact - a problem with SATA ports!!
Intel has a legal and commercial obligation to provide the same updates to other manufactures - such as Asus - so they can too include the updates in their own BIOS revisions. If they already have, then we need to know, so we can put pressure on Asus to release the new BIOS.
The problem could quite possibly exist between the newest SATA3 HDD and the Intel 67 chipsets.
Afterall, these new Western Digital SATA 6Gb/s Caviar Blacks are "tested and recommended for use in consumer-type RAID applications" (quote from WD Caviar Black literature). Hence the buck stops with Intel: chipset and RAID controller must be made fully compatible with these expensive high performance disk drives.
Any one from Intel care to comment?
i'm a bit in late and with a very strong headache (and two nights passed wout to sleep) due to the same problem... but i could find the solution!
My array, any array, results degraded after a cold reboot (hard reset)... and almost always the first drive (not a drive in particular but always the one connected to the first sata port)... but entering IRST config menu the hard drive came back! ****!
The problem is the boot up of the mainboard is too fast and the IRST boot rom is inovoked too early when the disks r not fully spinned up (i'm using 4 big Hitachi 3TB) and so not ready yet to be detected by IRST... Here is the reason that always the disk, connected to the first SATA port, is missed... cause it's the first one (in time) attempting to be detected by IRST... It's also the reason that rebooting the machine wout turning it off it doesn't give any problem (yes, of course, all the drives r already ready!)
Now how to workaround the problem?
Sure it would be better to ask ASUS to increase the delay in the invoking IRST boot rom or at least to put an option in bios to set this delay. Ok, it's already present in bios a delay for post screen (settable in seconds) but it's referred to the second post screen, the one that appears after IRST boot rom (already too late!)
Here how i could workaround the problem:
1) Insert any additional controller raid card (even cheap) in any slot. The rom of this additional controller will be invoked before than IRST boot rom, giving the time to the disks to spin up fully and to be ready when IRST attempts to detect them.
2) In alternative u can set up the USER password in BIOS. Doing so, when u turn on the pc, the password will be prompted u first. So just the time to type the password and all ur disks will be already ready to be detected by IRST.
Try to believe!
Milan - Italy