2 Replies Latest reply on Jan 12, 2013 1:52 AM by agc

    Creating a RAID5 in Intel RST---RST "Create Volume" shows only RAID0 option.


      Hi all,


      My workstation (running Win7 Pro x64) uses an Asus board with the X79 chipset (the Asus P9X79 Pro to be specific), and currently has 2x 120GB Intel SSDs in a RAID-0 array (I need the high I/O for simulation work). I am trying to add a RAID-5 array using 3x 2TB WD Red drives to this system, but I'm having some issues.


      First, I connected the 3 new drives to the motherboard on the Intel-managed ports (i.e. not to the two ports which use the Marvell controller). Then, I booted Windows and ran extended S.M.A.R.T. diagnostics across all the new drives (took ~4-5 hours each), and all three passed. I then restarted, hit CTRL-I while booting to access the Intel Rapid Storage Technology Option ROM, and created the RAID volume across the 3 disks. Everything went as expected. I then exited the RST OROM, booted Windows, and upon booting the IRST software popped up a warning. I opened RST, and it showed my original RAID-0 array as being just fine (as it always was), but my RAID-5 array was listed as being "incompatible," with a yellow exclamation point (the three drives I selected for the volume were grouped under a RAID-5 array, though).


      I opened Disk Management, it popped up a message asking me to initialize a new disk with GPT, so I did that and voila, the 3.6GB RAID-5 drive was listed. I formatted it with NTFS, and it showed up in Windows explorer with the drive letter I chose. However, Intel RST still reported the RAID-5 array as "incompatible," even after a restart. So I rebooted, and it was still listed as incompatible.


      I then deleted the volume using RST in windows, hoping to then recreate the RAID-5 volume with the software, but upon clicking the "Create" tab, the only option under "Select Volume Type" is the RAID-0 option. Everything else (including RAID-1, RAID-5, RAID-10, etc.) is completely absent, despite the fact that the three 2TB hard drives are all listed with green checkmarks in the "Storage System View" column of the Status tab.


      Below are two pictures showing what I mean regarding drives showing up properly in the Status tab, but the RAID-5 option missing on the "create" tab:







      I will now reboot, recreate the RAID-5 array in the RST OROM during POST, and then upload a screenshot showing the "incompatible" message/warning.


      Edit: Okay, I have rebooted, created the "RAID-5 (Parity)" volume using the RST OROM, and then booted to Windows. I am getting the "incompatible" message again, as seen below:



      I have added an image below of what this volume looks like in Disk Management after it has been formatted and partitioned:



      Below are the imgur links to the same images in case you can't view the ones I attached for some reason:




      Anyone know how to make RST see this as a functional array? If I can format the RAID-5 volume with Disk Management, will it still function properly as a RAID-5 array? I'm afraid that if it's listed as "incompatible," if one of the drives fail I won't be able to rebuild/manage the array.


      Thanks very much in advance, any help is greatly, greatly appreciated!

        • 1. Re: Creating a RAID5 in Intel RST---RST "Create Volume" shows only RAID0 option.

          Looks like the GUI is Intel RST, not Intel RSTe; the X79 chipset uses the Intel RSTe OROM.


          My guess is that you added the correct RSTe driver during the Windows installation, and then installed the RST package afterwards.  The RSTe GUI is pictured in this document (starting at page 60):  http://download.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/sb/497872_rste_swug_r1_4.pdf


          Since I'm not 100% certain that the RSTe installer will remove the RST package, I would try uninstalling the RST software and then install the RSTe Package:  http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=22106&keyword=

          • 2. Re: Creating a RAID5 in Intel RST---RST "Create Volume" shows only RAID0 option.

            Thank you very much for your reply! I'm downloading RSTe as we speak, having just uninstalled RST.


            I originally had RSTe installed, but opted to install an RST version with a modified installer that forced "compatibility" with X79 systems, because it was the only version of RST/RSTe that allowed TRIM commands (via the Intel SSD Optimizer tool for me) to be sent to SSDs in a SSD RAID-0 volume.


            Hopefully the new RSTe supports this, but if not, I guess I'll just wait for RSTe to be updated with this functionality. You don't happen to know of a way to make this work, do you?


            Cheers, and thanks again!



            I installed RSTe, recreated the RAID5 volume on the OROM, booted into windows, and RSTe recognizes it perfectly. Thank you so much for pointing this out!


            Unfortunately the Intel SSD Optimizer now gives following message when I attempt TRIM, but this was expected. Also, during the installation of the RSTe package, I had to confirm that I wanted to replace the system's newer driver with the apparently older one RSTe came with. Hopefully Intel updates RSTe with TRIM support for RAIDed SSDs soon! The message follows:


            The Intel SSD Optimizer cannot run on a RAID array using an Intel RST driver version earlier than 11.0. Consider upgrading to Intel RST 11.0 or newer to utilize the SSD Optimizer with a RAID0 array.