Here are answers to your various questions:
- Your board provides six internal SATA ports. Two ports (ports 0 and 1) operate at 6 Gb/s; these are available on the blue dual-port header. Four ports (ports 2, 3, 4 and 5) operate at 3 Gb/s; these are available on the two black dual-port headers. All six of these ports can be used for RAID. Your board also has a separate 3 Gb/s eSATA port on the back panel (red connector). You cannot use RAID with a (external) drive connected to this eSATA port. You also have to install a separate driver for the IC that provides support for this eSATA port.
- Which drives you connect to the two 6 Gb/s SATA ports depends upon which drives you want to have the best performance (best transfer rate). Since you are using RAID0 for your 2-drive array and RAID0 is typically used for its performance characteristics, I presume that you would want these drives to have the best performance and thus they should be connected to the blue ports. The other drives and the ODD should be connected to the black ports. Regardless of your decision, I would recommend that the RAID array be on similar ports (i.e. two blue ports or two black ports). Note also that you need to take into account the capabilities of the drives. There is no point connecting a drive capable of only 3 Gb/s to one of the 6 Gb/s ports; this port is going to operate at only 3 Gb/s in this case.
- In order to activate the RAID option ROM, you need to change the configuration of the SATA ports from Legacy/AHCI to RAID. Then, you can use Control-I to get into the RAID manager.
- You use the boot order configuration section in BIOS Setup (in the BOOT Scene) to indicate the drive usage order for booting into Windows. If your RAID array contains your system drive and you have plugged this array into two of the black (3 Gb/s) ports, you will need to change the boot order to put the RAID array first in the boot order list. The two 6 Gb/s SATA ports are first in the boot order list by default.
- Once you sort out the SATA ports to be used by the various drives, they should be displayed properly in the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) GUI. If you are seeing something strange, it may be because you have a very old (and perhaps buggy) version of RST. Make sure that you are running at least the latest version available in the downloads page for your BG board. I say 'at least' because you also have the option of attempting to use an even newer version of RST. You could, for example, use the latest available for one of the 8 Series boards. It should work; if it doesn't, simply go back to the older version.
Hope this helps...
Thanks for all your help. I implemented your suggestion and everything is working fine now. I updated the RST and place both RAID drives on the 6 GB SATA Ports (the drives are 6 GB compatible). Everything is displayed properly in the BIOS and the RST. Apparently my 2.0 GB hard drive is dead which is causing it to read as 0 GB (still investigating that).
However, I'm curious about one thing, if RAID can be configured on any SATA Port (6 or 3 GB), then why does the manual say this "1. Assemble your system and attach two or more SATA hard drives to the black SATA connectors." That's verbatim. It further states that that the black SATA Ports are configured for RAID. Did a new BIOS update change what the manual initially recommended (if that's even possible)? I'm just curious because like me, anyone going by the official manual would believe that the blue 6 GB ports are not for RAID. Which apparently is wrong, because they are working fine for me. The system even runs significantly faster.
In the 5 Series generation, the six chipset-based SATA ports supported only 3Gb/s throughput. In order to deliver 6Gb/s support in this generation, a discrete SATA controller was included on the board. The ports for this controller were colored blue (vs. black) to differentiate 6Gb/s interfaces from 3Gb/s interfaces. In the 6 Series generation, two of the chipset SATA ports were made 6Gb/s capable but the remaining four remained only 3Gb/s capable. For consistency across generations, the two 6Gb/s ports were colored blue and the 3Gb/s ports black. The difference between the generations was that the 6Gb ports in the 6 Series could also be used for RST-based RAID.
As you can imagine, from one generation to another, developers do not discard a previous generation's documents and develop from scratch for the new generation. That model would significantly add to development costs (especially time). Instead, they take the previous generation's documents and modify them as necessary for the new generation. In this case, it would appear that a necessary change was missed and details specific to the previous generation (i.e. the existence of this discrete SATA controller and its impact on RST-based RAID configurations) remained in place. Shame on me. Back then, I was one of the reviewers for these documents and I certainly missed this change...