6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 8, 2011 7:51 PM by

    RAID Compatibility Question on Intel Motherboards


      Greetings everyone,


      I've looked all over Intel for an answer to my questions, but haven't found any. Any help is appreciated.


      Two years ago, I built the following system for software development:
      OS: Vista Ultimate x64
      Motherboard: D975XBX2 with the 975X chipset
      RAID 1 across two SATA hard drives, using the Intel Matrix Storage Manager on the built-in Intel 82801GH I/O Controller Hub (ICH7DH). The Marvell was never setup or used because of issues with it back then.


      This was the first time doing a RAID and I read a lot before doing it to educate myself, but I'm not an expert and am not sure what to do if something goes wrong. Everything has been running perfectly and I've been keeping up to date on all Vista, BIOS, and Intel Matrix software updates.


      Concern: Since this is my main rig, I've been concerned about what I would do if the motherboard ever failed. From what little info I can find on Intel, I would have to replace the motherboard with a new one that supported the same Controller Hub. In other words, Intel says that whatever controller was used to create the RAID would have to be used again or it won't work and I can't access my RAID 1.


      Question: Is the above true? Would I literally have to replace the motherboard with a twin, in order get access to my RAID 1 and be back in business? Or would a newer board, like the Intel DP45SG, with a newer chipset and controller hub, be backwards compatible and work fine?


      My likely scenario: Motherboard fails or I want to upgrade the motherboard and processor. I know I would have to set the BIOS to a RAID configuration, but that's as far as I know. I would like to have a simple setup, where I can literally replace the motherboard, hook everything back up, make some BIOS configuration settings, and I'm back in business.


      I'd appreciate any info that could be thrown my way and/or links to docs or websites with all the info I need regarding this, so that I could literally have piece of mind knowing what to do in this case.



        • 1. Re: RAID Compatibility Question on Intel Motherboards

          Hi, JamesS. You don't need the same controller hub, just a motherboard with a Intel(R) RAID controller hub that supports that RAID level - which for RAID 1 is essentially all of them.


          This is described in a bit more detail @ http://support.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-022435.htm

          • 2. Re: RAID Compatibility Question on Intel Motherboards

            Hi Elizabeth,


            Thank you for the response. I read this exact document a couple of days ago and it was the basis for my confusion and questions.


            "The Requirements" section makes sense and is clear and simple. But the "How to Access the Volume Data" seems to have conflicting issues and is not clear:


            1) "How to Access Volume Data" - The first paragraph conflicts with "The Requirements" statement. Now it states that if the new system includes a different I/O controller, you should not boot to the RAID volume. But the way I see it, a different I/O controller may support the same RAID type and should be fine. (Conflicting info?)


            2) "How to Access Volume Data" - In the second paragraph, with the example scenario, there also seems to be a conflict. The ICH5R supports only RAID 0, but the ICH7R also supports RAID 0. So why does it say not to boot to the RAID 0 volume on the ICH7R?


            The way I read this document makes it seem that its info is conflicting with itself.


            What you stated in your reply makes sense to me: That tranplanting a RAID 1 to another new system with a controller that supports RAID 1 is fine. But the information in this document seems to contradict that and presents conflicting information.


            Am I missing something and is there further clarification that can be provided?


            Thank You,



            • 3. Re: RAID Compatibility Question on Intel Motherboards

              Ah - thanks for the reply. I can see where the information might be confusing.


              The basis for the recommendation has to do with the fact that, in that scenario, most people are upgrading the hardware (upgrading to new motherboard, not replacing with identical motherboard) and the general recommendation is to reinstall the OS when you make major hardware changes (e.g. chipset). It's just the best way to prevent problems due to the upgrade. In other words, the recommendation doesn't have to do with the fact that the newer chipset still supports the RAID level, it has to do with the fact that you installed the OS on one set of hardware and are now moving it to a system with entirely different and newer hardware.


              That being said, I know that people do upgrade the chipset without reinstalling the OS - if you're going to do that, I'd just recommend you back up your data and install device drivers on your system that support the new hardware while your volume is still attached to the original motherboard.


              Does that help clarify?

              • 4. Re: RAID Compatibility Question on Intel Motherboards

                Hi Elizabeth,


                Some of this makes sense, but I think what I'm describing is getting confusing, which is confusing the answers. So, I'm going to break it into 2 Scenarios, since I would like to learn complete answers to both scenarios to cover my bases and have piece of mind.


                Current system: Intel D975XBX2, 975X chipset, 2 hard drives in a RAID 1, using the ICH7DH controller, on Vista Ultimate x64. My RAID 1 is simply 2 hard drives that I boot from. That's it. No other OS boot drive or anything else. My RAID 1 contains my OS, programs and data. I also have all data backed up online nightly, as a redundancy.


                Scenario 1: Motherboard failure. Intel discontinued the MB, so I would replace the MB with an Intel DX58SO MB and Core i7 CPU. This MB has the X58 chipset that supports RAID 1. What do I do, step by step, to simply reattach my RAID 1 and get rolling with this new hardware?


                Scenario 2: Motherboard failure. I replace the MB with a new D975XBX2 twin MB that I get from Ebay/Amazon, etc. In this case, I simply replace the MB, re-attach my RAID 1, configure the BIOS for RAID 1, and I'm good to go. Is this correct? If not, what do I do, step by step?


                My intent is to create a Step-by-Step action plan to know exactly what to do in case of a MB failure, and print it. That way, if a worst case scenario happens and I have a MB failure, I pull out this document and know what to do. I don't want to scramble around trying to figure things out for days and lose uptime. The worst time to figure things out is when you're having the crisis.


                I wish Intel had a document like this somewhere, but I haven't found one.





                • 5. Re: RAID Compatibility Question on Intel Motherboards

                  Hi, James.


                  Scenario 2 .. yes, you should be good to go.


                  Scenario 1 .. attach a new hard drive to the motherboard, enable RAID, install the OS, install the latest Intel(R) Matrix Storage Manager, then attach the RAID 1 volume and access your data from within that OS

                  • 6. Re: RAID Compatibility Question on Intel Motherboards

                    My motherboard Intel DG965WH has died. I had 2 SATA2 stripped (RAID 0).

                    I've bought a DQ45CB Motherboard to replace the old one.

                    The question is if I've chance to replace the motherboard without loose the data.

                    If yes how to do this.....


                    Thanks in advance for your support.