No problem, just be sure to post back here when you find a solution to the trouble you are having, and indicate what worked and what was different when it worked and when it didn't. That way, people who are searching for solutions for this sort of problem won't have trouble fixing it themselves as well.
This post is the second result under "windows boot smart response", so it will be vital as a place for folks to find solutions to this problem.
thanks to all for posting the problems you're seeing. and thank especially to sandals for posting a solution that worked for you. it gives me hope.
like josh, i'm on windows reinstall number [lost count]. but i overlooked making sure i had the latest MB bios. I also have the Gigabyte GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3, and it shipped with bios versioin F2. So I upgraded to F3, and then to F4 (somewhere on the giga website, it recommended doing it incrementally)
the bios update seemed to make my raid1 boot drive a little wonky. i probably could have persevered windows trying to fix itself, and then fixing all the bios settings that got changed. but instead, i opted to rebuild the RAID1 array, and do windows reinstallation # [lost count +1]
i'm NOT going to install the IRST version that came with the MB driver disk (10.5.0.1026), but will follow sandal's lead to install version 10.5.0.1027 from the intel website (not the giga website... just in case).
oh. just to rehash the problem I was seeing:
I built a RAID1 with 2 1TB WD drives in the intel bios setting. installed Windows 7 64bit, and it was fine. installed all the drivers that came with the MB disk. and it was fine (and it had the drivers for the ethernet, audio, usb, etc...). it could restart at this point. When I enabled SSD caching, it worked great (and met the claims of the SSD-like read/write speed to the RAID1 drives). BUT, when i rebooted, it couldn't find the RAID1 boot drives.
They showed up in the intel bios settings as functioning normal. But the MB bios couldn't find it to boot to, even when booting from the windows installation disk. Windows couldn't find anything to repair. It was like I didn't have any drives installed. Except when I went to the command prompt in repair mode, I could go to the boot drive! I was even in the folder system and seeing that the Windows installation was there!
I suspect it's a MB bios thing. But I'm going to update the IRST driver too (I'm tired of being in debugging mode)
I'll keep ya'll updated too
ps... when I couldn't boot up after enabling SSD cache, I could have swore I tried the whole process of clearing the SSD from the RAID function, but still couldn't boot to windows. But I don't specifically remember a process of syncing the SSD, AND removing it from RAID, AND THEN trying to reboot. I might have just done one of the steps and attempted to reboot (which didn't work)
so i've restalled windows 7, and installed IRST v1027. and, so far, it's working (i got this far last time, though). I enabled SSD cache, but before i attempt my frist reboot, i disabled the SSD and reset the SSD to "available" (so it's not seen as a potential cache device anymore). Here goes the first reboot attempt...
disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter
i'm attempted the IRST bios stuff..
hmm... since i already disable the SSD as the cache device, it says "there are no accelerated disks/volumes to display"
so in the IRST bios screen, it looks like i should have a functional RAID1 array
very frustrating.. maybe i'll muster more energy to try something again this afternoon.. gotta run
For me at least =). Because I have a S-ata 2 3gb/s SSD, I decided to change the configuration of my drives to use the S-ata 2 ports. So changing my drive configuration to Spindle drive on s-ata2 port 2, SSD on s-ata2 port 3 and dvd burner to s-ata2 port 4, not using the s-ata3 port 0 or 1, I did everything as everyone states and it works. I have rebooted 4-5 times successfully and doing windows updates now. So for you people using s-ata 2 drives this is what you should try.
1.) Check bios to make sure your model of motherboard doesnt have a flash to fix hard drive, iRST (Intel rapid storage technology), or other funky issues.
2.) Set hard drive option to XHD or Raid configuration.
3.) Install windows of your choice on to the spindle drive (NOT SSD)
4.) Install all system drivers and make sure device manager has no yellow markers (!) or (?)
5.) Make sure you are running the iRST version 10.5.0.1027 or later. If your motherboard came with an earlier version you can download it from intel here: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=20023
6.) Setup your accelaration normally
7.) Reboot, and hopefully it works for you as well as it did for me!
Man...I'm happy for you and your SATA 2 success...but I've spent good money on SATA3...this is a little like a company selling a mail-order car to people before developing the engine and casually not mentioning it. It is deceptive carrot-dangling...and as my first intel endeavour it will not be soon forgotten. The marketers/salesmen have clearly had their way with this one. SSD CACHING! The greatest thing ever! Not.
darnit chris... you've given me hope to try again... i've practically got my windows licensing key memorized.
i swapped my RAID1 drives to sata slot 0 & 1 (they're the sata3 speed). and moved my ssd to sata slot 2 (which is sata2 speed). sucks that the ssd isn't on the faster sata, but i didn't buy a sata3 ssd anyways..
i'll keep ya'll updated
I had mine working with SATA 3... I have a 64GB Crucial M4 SSD drive and have it on the first SATA 3 port on the Intel controller (my ASUS P8Z68-V Pro also has a two-port Marvell controller which is also SATA 3 but it is comletely unused in my setup). I have my WD Caviar black 1TB HDDs on two of the Sata 2 ports, and acting in RAID1. As I said, reboot and actual usage worked great. My whole setup went south when I attempted to disable the SSD caching. Have any of you had reason to disable the caching? If so, how did that go for you?
i had no reason to attempt my first reboot after disabling the cache. i just thought i would have a better chance at rebooting that way. on attempt number x+2, i'll attempt the first reboot with ssd cache enabled. probably i about 5-10 minutes (i'm installing mb drivers now)
here it is... the moment of truth...
restart has been initiated....
now was the problem that i disabled the SSD cache when I did the failed reboot? or was the problem that my RAID1 boot drives were not on SATA pots 0 & 1?
i've got to know... so I'm going to disable SSD within IRST (the program within windows... no the intel BIOS setting)... clicking "disable acceleration"...clicking 'restart'..
startup intel bios screen shows the ssd as disabled...
..more drum roll...
WINDOWS IS BOOTING UP!
and just because i like punishment... i'm going to 'disassociate' the ssd from the 'acceleration configuration' to make sure that wasn't the bootup problem
... hmm... it won't let me disassociate because it can't find the SSD. the SSD seems to be in some no man's land between being configured as a cache drive, ut not enabled. i think the only way to free it is to do it in the intel bios setting...
but first, a windows restart to make sure that works...
yep... still works...
now i'm going to fix it in the intel bios
i'm resetting the ssd to non-raid
windows still boots up (whew...)
and now i'm going back to IRST to setup the SSD cache again
i'm done... the takeaway (for me, at least), is that if your boot drive is a RAID array, it's got to be on the first SATA ports. maybe gigabyte will fix that with future BIOS updates.
now here's my study of the robustness if the SSD cache:
in 'enhanced' mode, i starting copying a 5GB file from another computer to it, and did a hard reset right in the middle. during startup, the intel bios screen did some kind of syncing operation before it booted into windows. any everything seemed fine
now i'm going to try that in 'maximized' mode...
hmm.. before i try that, i noticed that when i opened the IRST, my RAID1 is "initializing 1% complete"
What's it doing? recovering from my hard reset? or is it some inital RAID1 thing its got to do?
Mine went through the intialization as well, after the SSD was disabled and I had to reboot/repair via the Windows 7 install disk. When you go back into RST and hit the Acceleration tab, does it show everything working? Or do you see a message stating that the accelerated volume is no longer visable by the SSD cache? This is starting to sound like what I encountered.
in IRST, it all looks normal, with "acceleration mode: enhanced"
I'm guessing it's rebuilding/checking the RAID array from the hard restart I did to it. the CPU and the drives are working pretty hard right now (according to the resource monitor)
I'm going to go ahead and try the hard restart on maximized mode before I get too vested in the setup
it booted up just fine.. it that same resync'ing looking thing on the intel bios screen, but also showed that it was 'initializing' the ssd cache
after windows opens up, i started IRST, at it's still initializing the RAID array, at the same 3% as when I tried the maximized hard restart
looks like my system is up and running. and it only took about 7-8 windows reinstallations
My Z68 Smart Response computer is working now!
My set-up: HD on SATA3_0 SSD on SATA2_4 (Win7 loads in 37sec. was 58sec programs are starting to load faster)
My old set-up HD on SATA3_0 SSD on SATA3_1 (does not work) RAID disabled, No boot up to Win7.
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68 X-UD3-B3
eXtreme Hard Drive (XHD) (Intel Z68 Chipset) Set this to Disable
PCH SATA Control Mode (Intel Z68 Chipset) Set this to RAID(XHD)
Intel download: File Name: STOR_Vista_Win7_10.5.0.1027_PV.exe
I work on this for two days.
Thanks to sandalsOsandals