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I am sorry to hear you are having problems but let me help you.
The Option Rom or CTRL-I is enabled when the chipset mode is set to RAID only. Sometimes, computer manufactures limit the options at the Bios level so I recommend you contacting the computer manufacture to confirm with them if the Chipset is set as RAID or not.
In regards your second question, the Gateway system is a different system therefore it has a different platform and components that are taken in consideration when creating a volume so if you connect the drives that were connected in a different system with a RAID configuration in the new computer it should not be recognized.
Thank you Kevin.
Since the RAID array won't be recognized in the new computer, here is how I think I should do the RAID 1 on the new computer -
1. Remove one of the HDs from the old computer and install in the new one. Check to see if the new computer can see/access the HD.
2. Enable RAID on the new computer using BIOS settings.
3. Install the second HD in the new computer.
4. Use Intel Rapid Storage to set up the new RAID 1.
Please let me know if these steps sound ok to you. Or should I switch steps 2 and 3?
Also, none of the data on either HD would be erased during this operation, right? Will there be any issues with building the array because the new computer would have accessed the first HD at some point and not the 2nd HD right away while I am trying this out? Or do you suggest I install both HDs at the same time, and then turn on RAID afterwards through BIOS and build the array?
I still will have a backup on a third HD but I'd rather not go back to it....
In order to create the RAID 1, both options either creating the RAID from CTRL-I (option ROM) or doing it from the operating system using the IRST will work.
It important for you to know that if install the OS in one HDD you can add later on another HDD but when creating the volume using the IRST al information in the last HDD connected will be lost. So If doing this procedure I recommend you saving all information first and then creating the RAID.
I was able to make this work. The only way that I could make it work was to install another 1TB HD that I had in hand, select RAID in BIOS, do a quick CTRL+I, and create a volume with the two 1TB drives. This wiped out Windows and the data on both drives (contrary to what the Dell tech had said). Had to reinstall Windows on this volume. Once done, IRST saw the volume.
Then I went back into IRST (without needing to reboot or deal with BIOS and CTRL+I) and created another volume w/ the two 2TB drives - this time it actually asked whether I wanted to keep the data on one of the drives. This would have come in handy had I not reformatted both of the 2TB data disks while trying to set up raid previously. I have the backups on the third HD but it would have saved a lot of time had I not gone through the previous steps and did not delete everything on those two drives.
I know it is not logical but the Dell rep was probably right, for some reason, the system does not allow only one Windows System hard drive and a RAID 1 w/ two data disks. What I did above was a workaround but it should work fine. I now have mirrored both the System hard drive and the data hard drive.