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First we need to know which motherboard model you have so that we can know which chipset it has got and thus knowing which RAID level it can support.
RAID 10 and RAID 01 are not the same thing and it does matter. RAID 01 is a mirrored configuration of two striped sets. RAID 10 is a stripe across a number of mirrored sets.
RAID 10 provides better fault resilience and "rebuild" performance than RAID 01. Both array types provide very good to excellent overall performance by combining the speed of RAID 0 with the redundancy of RAID 1 without requiring parity calculations. Minimum of 4 drives required.
Yes, you can set-up raid after os installation but initially you need to set up the 'Configure SATA as' RAID in BIOS then in the RAID BIOS to make the hard drives as raid ready. It's not necessary to set-up all drives as raid ready, one drive is enough. Then proceed with the OS installation.
A proper step by step procedure would be:
Update the BIOS (if necessary)
Boot the system, go to BIOS and configure SATA as 'RAID'
Change the boot priority to make the system to boot from the cd drive initially in order to install the OS from the cd/dvd
Exit and saving the changes in bios
When the system then restarts, when prompted press Control+i to go to the RAID BIOS
If there was a RAID already set on your drives, you may see that the drives are listed as member disk.
Please note, if you have any data on the disks it is recommended to back up those data (if possible) as the following procedures will make the data inaccessible and unusable.
You may need to delete the raid configuration and set up the disks as not raid first, then make one of the disk as RAID ready and the other disks can remain non-raid/non-member.
Then exit and install the OS.
Windows Vista does not require you to install any raid drivers during OS installation, so the OS installation is as usual and make sure you install the OS on the raid ready disk rather than the non-raid disks.
After OS installation, install all the latest drivers.
Then at last when everything is installed and working fine, install the Intel Matrix storage manager software (latest).
From there you will see all the hard drives and you will then be able to set-up you RAID and choose which level you want depending on RAID support on the board.
Please note, depending on the Raid level and size of drives, raid creation and raid migration may take quite some time while done on the OS (hours and days sometimes).
I am not giving any links so far since I dont know the motherboard model. But I 'm assuming that you will be comfortable in finding the correct and latest drivers as well as the bios for your board.
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Intel Matrix RAID Controller:
First thing that i will do before installing the OS is to update the firmware on board BIOS to the latest one.
Read the read me file how to do it. If not sure, dont do it now.
I will connect all my sata dvd to the last sata port on the motherboard.
If i have 4 hard drives and 1 dvd rom, it should as follows:
1st HDD on the SATA Port 0
2nd HDD on the SATA Port 1
3rd HDD on the SATA Port 2
4th HDD on the SATA Port 3
DVD Drive on the last SATA Port
Then i will set these options in the bios:
Configure SATA as RAID
Then i will create my raid using Ctrl + I to enter the Intel Matrix Raid
1. Ctrl + I to enter the RAID Bios
2. All disks need to be NON-RAID.
3. Select Create Raid Volume
4. Enter a name for the Raid Volume
5. Select Raid 0/1/5/10 for the Raid Level
6. Select a Strip Size for RAID 0/5
7. Select the Volume Capacity
8. Select Create Volume
If you are installing Windows XP, then you will need to install the F6 driver for the RAID controller as it is not embedded in the OS.
If you have an internal floppy disk drive on the system, then it will be even easier.
Download the F6 driver for the Intel Matrix Raid on to the a formatted floppy disk
Now if your system does not come with an internal floppy disk drive, use a software to slipstream the driver and thus creating a new OS already integrated with the F6 drivers. Make a new Bootable ISO image and burn it on a CD.
Software like Nlite allows you to do this.
Check this website for Nlite:
For Windows XP:
Insert the OS cd on the system, press F6 to load the Intel Matrix Raid Driver.
Press S to Specify the location of the driver
It should be from the floppy disk.
Then continue to the OS installation.
Install the chipset driver and all other drivers and Intel Storage Matrix Manager.
Note: Windows Vista and Windows Seven should already have the above F6 drivers in the OS.
Once your OS is installed, install all the drivers chipset, graphics, audio, lan etc.
Then install the Intel Matrix Storage Manager Software.
Other than this, i dont have any suggestions. Hope this helps a bit.
Thanks for both of your replies and both answers will probably help me out a lot. The motherboard i am currently using is (3-Way SLI Support) GigaByte GA-EX58-UD4P Intel X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX Ultra Durable(TM)3 Mainboard Triple-Channel DDR3/1600 SATA RAID w/ eSATA,Dual GbLAN,USB2.0,IEEE1394a,&7. Just from your replies I think I might be able to figure it out, I am pretty sure the bios was set to raid before I installed the OS I will definitely check that as soon as I get home from work and find out.
Okay good luck with it, glad to be of some help to you.
You will need to download all the drivers from the Motherboard Manufacturers website which is Gigabyte in your case.
Let us know how it goes. My previous post was just to give you an idea how and where to start. I did all the test on an Intel Motherboard.
All the best, Thanks for help Unplugged24