3 Replies Latest reply: May 4, 2012 12:38 PM by FritzCat66 RSS

XP Slipstream Installations on Intel RAID - Any Success?

FritzCat66 Community Member
Currently Being Moderated

I have a DZ68BC mobo, but I presume this applies to all recent Intel Z68 and later boards using similar Intel AHCI/RAID controllers

 

The problem: Once I've setup a RAID array, how can I install XP Pro (32-bit) to it without a floppy drive to do an F6 driver load? Why won't nLite slipstreaming work?

 

I'm trying to build an XP slipstream disc using nLite. I've done it before with excellent results, but am not having any luck with it this time. XP Setup never seems to be able to identify a driver, and the installation cannot proceed.

 

Details:

  • Intel DZ68BC mobo, 028 BIOS
  • RAID5 array across three identical 500G Hitachi 7K1000.D Deskstar drives (using three of the four Intel SATA II ports)
  • Using Intel Rapid Storage utility V11.1.0.1006 under a successful Win7 installation on the same system, I have actually created two arrays across the three drives. Not two partitions, but two whole arrays: one 240G array with a single partition for Win7, the other ~750G array having one 120G primary partition for XP and the rest partitioned as a shared logical drive to be used as data drive D: under either OS. All of these formatted NTFS just fine under Win7.
  • Utilizing the V11.1.0.1006 XP/32-bit Installation Floppy drivers downloaded from the Intel site (yes, I've verified they are indeed the 32-bit drivers - the iaStor.inf file [Manufacturer] section says "INTEL_HDC,ntx86", while the 64-bit floppy's .inf file specifies "INTEL_HDC,ntamd64")
  • Utilizing nLite 1.4.9.1 (the latest version) and my XP Pro w/SP3 OEM setup disc source to create the slipstream ISO, burned to CD and verified.
  • Under nLite, I have of course added the drivers. nLite also allows you to remove the stock XP SCSI/RAID drivers. I have tried it both ways - with and without the stock drivers - no luck either way.
  • BIOS SATA controller mode set to "RAID" (of course)
  • I can verify under Win7's Device Manager that the controller is returning the device ID as "PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2822&CC_0104", which is correct and should match up to the appropriate iaStor.sys driver, also present in the floppy disk folder I'm using as a source for nLite (the long description from the TXTSETUP.OEM file is "Intel(R) Desktop/Workstation/Server Express Chipset SATA RAID Controller")

 

 

Results: Booting the CD made from the nLite ISO, XP setup starts and of course searches through its built-in database of controllers. The two or three times I've done this previously, it would find the new controller, match it up with the slipstreamed driver, and everything would proceed normally. However, this one never ID's, so the driver never loads, so XP Setup cannot continue.

 

I have no USB floppy drive, thus I have no way of testing these drivers "manually" using the F6 method, so I simply must slipstream.

 

Oh, and I tried running XP Setup from Win7 - no dice, even if you run it under XP mode, Win7 simply won't allow it.

 

And again, the array works fine under Win7.

 

So, anyone had luck installing XP onto an Intel RAID array without a floppy on these mobos? How did you do it, and what version of the Intel F6 installation files did you use?

 

  -- Fritz from Florida

 

Message was edited by: FritzCat66 - added more details

  • 1. Re: XP Slipstream Installations on Intel RAID - Any Success?
    Dan_Intel Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hello,

     

    We would like to inform you that the DZ68BC is not designed to work with Windows* XP. The F6 driver must be loaded through a floppy drive in this specific Operating System (OS) since it is a requirement from the OS:

     

    http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/cs-008326.htm

  • 2. Re: XP Slipstream Installations on Intel RAID - Any Success?
    Flying_Kiwi Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    I'm surprised to read that a Slipstreamed installation isn't working as in the end it only does the same sort of thing that providing drivers via a Floppy with F6 offers using a different approach. If you are able to borrow a *compatible* USB Floppy drive to try this as suggested by Dan, make sure it's the sort thats approved for this specific purpose as not just any old USB Floppy is suitable for XP F6 installations - there's a limited list of them and I remember seeing something on Microsofts website about it (I don't recall precisely where though sorry). Perhaps your local computer shop may have a suitable USB Floppy and can help out and do that part of things for you at a small cost?

     

    Perhaps something associated with your multiboot/multi-array setup is responsible and it's time to go back to a basic single array setup (or at least do the XP installation first) and then try adding the newer, fully supported OS later on? Is there more than just the 'Intel(R) Desktop/Workstation/Server Express Chipset SATA RAID Controller' listed in the driver package as I've seen lot's of confusion with choosing the correct option on other posts here in the past (using different motherboards)?

  • 3. Re: XP Slipstream Installations on Intel RAID - Any Success?
    FritzCat66 Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    I did try going back to a simpler setup, first dissolving one of the two arrays so I only had one, then even deleting the array altogether and going to just a collection of single drives, then switching the controller to AHCI mode - all with no luck. If you watch the XP Setup program, along the bottom you can see what drivers it's checking out, and I could see the "Intel(R) Desktop/Workstation/Server Express Chipset" driver flash across the screen, but it never ID's the hardware and loaded the driver.

     

    However, doing all that did give me an idea for a fix - or at least a workaround. Change the controller mode to IDE and vanilla XP Setup will recognize it. Install XP on a single-drive partition that way, then load the Intel drivers via the Rapid Storage EXE file. Now you have a functioning disk image for an XP system that is bootable on an array - and in my case since I had a working Win7 installation, I could boot that and use a utility to transfer the image over to the array from there (I used Norton Ghost, but any image-transfer program should work).

     

    Then it's just a matter of setting up whatever boot manager you want. I happen to like GAG because it's simple and I like the way it hides whatever other OS partitions you have, but anything should work.

     

    I'm still baffled by the F6 slipstream not working, since like I said I have used that technique successfully several times before on other systems, but at least I found a way that works.

     

    P.S. XP on this thing really screams, especially if you use something like Dataram's RAMdisk to take advantage of system memory above 4G that XP cannot normally see or use. I have 16G installed, and with a 4G ramdrive setup for XP, and using the utility to keep the swapfile, temp files, and internet cache etc. on the RAMdrive, XP is surprisingly fast. If you had a full 32G installed and dedicated everything above 4G to the RAMdrive (i.e. 28G), you could theoretically copy the entire XP installation over to the RAMdrive after boot and have XP running entirely in memory - not an SSD, but raw RAM! Downside is you would have to wait longer to boot, since it would have to copy the OS to the RAMdrive every time; also, you would have to make sure you synchronized back to the HD before shutdown every time or risk losing any and all changes from the last sync. But it still might make an interesting experiment...

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