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P4C800-E Delux: Setting up SATA Drives with RAID



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 11th 04, 05:02 PM
Will
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Posts: n/a
Default P4C800-E Delux: Setting up SATA Drives with RAID

I've built several computers but never set up dual SATA Drives under
RAID. I'd like to build a RAID 0 system that boots off the SATA
drives. From what I've read in the MB manual, it shouldn't be too
difficult when performing a clean Windows XP Pro installation. I've
read several articles (and every posting I could find), however, and
I'm not entirely sure this is the right way to go. I know RAID 0
offers no data back-up if one of the drives fails, but I can always
back-up data on an external drive, which is what I do now. If I'm
really concerned out the data I further back it up on a CD ROM or DVD.
I'm also aware that at least one writer claims the MTBF of the SATA
drives will be halved by using them in a RAID 0 array. I've worked in
QA (aircraft not computers per se), and I'm not convinced that the
failure rate of two SATA drives operating under RAID 0 would be worse
than the failure rate of the individual drives, or of drives working
under RAID 1. I know as well that the same author claimed the increase
in speed using RAID 0 isn't substantial, but I'd like to see for
myself. Apparently there is a compromise -- a RAID 0 + 1
configuration. The P4C800-E manual mentions it, then offers no
description of how it works or what it actually does. Some questions:
Is setting up a RAID system as easy as it seems? Are there any traps
to avoid? Has anyone tried using a 0+1 set up? Am I foolish to even
think about a RAID 0 set up? Last question (a bit unrelated to the
topic)-- is there a really good alternative to Norton for firewall and
virus protection? Their software seems to be getting progressively
buggy. Thanks for reading this too long posting and for any advice
you can give.
  #2  
Old July 11th 04, 06:59 PM
ChrisH
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Posts: n/a
Default

On 11 Jul 2004 09:02:19 -0700, (Will) wrote:

My own take on this is that using the implemetation of RAID on a
motherboard is not the way to go. I have never used a RAID to boot the
OS - always used a separate IDE drive for that job. In the past I used
a RAID 0 array for two data drives via the onboard Promise chip of a
P4B-E, but the controller chip died within 18 months. To recover the
data on those drives I purchased a PCI Promise card (which also
offered the ability to do RAID 0+1 on 4 drives). The stripe format was
the same as the onboard controller so I recovered my data. With the
IDE card I bought an extra 2 drives and installed a 4-drive RAID 0
array, and within another 12 months 2 of the 4 drives had failed.
Lucky I had a backup of the important data. Remember that the drive
does not need to fail to lose data, screwed-up disk writes can do the
same and it's much more difficult to recover data from a screwed RAID
than from a single drive. This happened to me when the power supply to
one of the drives became intermittant due to a faulty connector. Most
disk utilities cannot cope with damaged array data.

Rather ****ed off with the unreliability I installed 4 larger drives
(160GB) as a 0+1 array. I see no marked increase in speed (there may
be some) but do have the satisfaction of better data security.
Consider though, this extra security has cost me double the price of
the drives - two drives are the striped array but the other two are
invisible and used only for mirroring.

My advice, for what it's worth, is that if you really want to use RAID
then get a decent controller - forget the MB implementation. However,
much depends on how you propose to use your PC. If it doesn't bother
you to lose all the data on the array (perhaps just using it as
temporary work drives for video encoding) then a RAID 0 is fine. If
you need both RAID and security you will want to go RAID 0+1 and
therefore use at least 4 drives. I wouldn't bother with RAID 0 with
only two drives and the array as the boot device.

RAID 1 is just a lazy way to maintain a continuous backup, using Drive
Image or Ghost onto external media would be an acceptable substitute.

ChrisH
  #3  
Old July 11th 04, 08:31 PM
MikeSp
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In my new computer build using paired Raptors (P4C800-E D mobo), it was EASY
to set up a RAID 0 configuration and I question the validity of the reduced
life of RAID 0 HDDs. Raptors come with a 1.2 MILLION HOUR MTBF rating which
nothing else compares to. The install went without a hitch and I had never
set up RAID before.

BUT, because of Norton (%^$#@!*&) conflicts with a couple of pieces of
software as well as itself on this, my THIRD clean install, I am getting
rid of Norton 2004 (have used Norton since 386's) and going to remove the
RAID partition and start over in a few hours--this time with RAID 1 instead
of RAID 0--a thread in this newsgroup convinced me that for my needs, RAID 0
was an uber geek thing and not really in my best interest. I also have a
200 GB IDE backup HDD too.

To set up RAID 0 or 1--use the Intel South Bridge controller and disable the
Promise controller in BIOS, which is PCI-based and IMHO, not needed for most
people. Have the Intel RAID drivers on a floppy diskette--AND BEFORE
starting the installation, set up the RAID configuation in the BIOS: set
OnBoard IDE Operate Mode to [Enhanced Mode], Enhanced Mode Support On to
[S-ATA], Configure S-ATA as RAID to [Yes], Serial ATA Bootrom to [enabled]
and press 10 ans ave changes and exit the BIOS setup (making sure your boot
drive is CD-ROM).

Create a floppy diskette of the Intel Application Accelerator RAID Editgion
to be used during isntallation of Windows XP--either off of the Asus
installation diskette in a folder labeled "IAA" or a newer version can be
obtained by downloading it from the Asus download/support Site. The file to
download is called "iaa35r.zip" Unzip it and notice that there is a
"MakeDisk.exe" file--place a floppy diskette in the drive and double click
that file to create a driver diskette that contains these four files:
iastor.inf, iastor.sys, iastor.cat, and txtsetup.oem.

Before attempting to load Windows XP, boot computer and while in POST, do a
CTRL-I (eye) to get into the RAID BIOS and make the following changes:
Creat RAID volume (in main menu), Set Stripe Size (probably to 64KB) in
Create Array Menu, Set Raid Level to 0 (striping) or..., highlight "Create
Volume" and press enter and press "y" when a confirmation message apepars
and scroll down to option 4 and press enter.

Place XP install CD in the drive and boot to the CD, having the RAID
diskette handy. At one point, WIndows will briefly ask if there are
additional drivers and if so, hit F6--do so and place the RAID driver
diskette in the drive. Eventually, Windows will then ask for SCSI drivers
and enter "S" for installation and "specifiy additional device" of a SCSI
driver (setup feels that RAID drives are SCSI too??), leave the diskette in
the drive, after pressing enter, a list of available SCSI adaptors will be
presented and it should list the Intel 82801ER Serial RAID controller which
should be selected by you and press enter. The next screen should confirm
that the Intel RAID controller was selected and press enter again to
continue. Finish Windows installation. Upon rebooting, get back into the
BIOS and reset the boot sequence to the RAID volume (making sure that the
RAID drive is shown).

The RAID should be up and running at this point--probably should go ahead
and install theInten Chipset Inf Utility...

Hope there are not too many typos above--was in a hurry since I needed to be
somewhere else. Good luck.

MikeSp
"Will" wrote in message
om...
I've built several computers but never set up dual SATA Drives under
RAID. I'd like to build a RAID 0 system that boots off the SATA
drives. From what I've read in the MB manual, it shouldn't be too
difficult when performing a clean Windows XP Pro installation. I've
read several articles (and every posting I could find), however, and
I'm not entirely sure this is the right way to go. I know RAID 0
offers no data back-up if one of the drives fails, but I can always
back-up data on an external drive, which is what I do now. If I'm
really concerned out the data I further back it up on a CD ROM or DVD.
I'm also aware that at least one writer claims the MTBF of the SATA
drives will be halved by using them in a RAID 0 array. I've worked in
QA (aircraft not computers per se), and I'm not convinced that the
failure rate of two SATA drives operating under RAID 0 would be worse
than the failure rate of the individual drives, or of drives working
under RAID 1. I know as well that the same author claimed the increase
in speed using RAID 0 isn't substantial, but I'd like to see for
myself. Apparently there is a compromise -- a RAID 0 + 1
configuration. The P4C800-E manual mentions it, then offers no
description of how it works or what it actually does. Some questions:
Is setting up a RAID system as easy as it seems? Are there any traps
to avoid? Has anyone tried using a 0+1 set up? Am I foolish to even
think about a RAID 0 set up? Last question (a bit unrelated to the
topic)-- is there a really good alternative to Norton for firewall and
virus protection? Their software seems to be getting progressively
buggy. Thanks for reading this too long posting and for any advice
you can give.



  #6  
Old July 11th 04, 10:19 PM
Ron Reaugh
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"ChrisH" wrote in message
...
On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 20:06:09 GMT, "Ron Reaugh"
wrote:


"ChrisH" wrote in message
.. .
On 11 Jul 2004 09:02:19 -0700, (Will) wrote:


Huh, it's often the best way to go and there are two RAID 0 options on

the
P4C800-E Dlx: Promise and ICH5R.

Can you use both together? How many drives? Are the drives
interchangeable?


Relevance?

My advice, for what it's worth, is that if you really want to use RAID
then get a decent controller - forget the MB implementation.


There's no significant HW difference between mobo RAID and addon PCI card
firmware RAID. Both work very well.

If the raid card fails you can just replace it.


HUH, and a serial port or a parallel port or USB or firewire or sound HUH!

Also, the BIOS support on the mobbo version is usually a cut-down
version of the full implementaion on the card.


That's false.

So it is with Promise.


No, there's no significant cut-down.

Yes, you can hack the mobbo BIOS but it's not a lot of fun.


RAID 1 is just a lazy way to maintain a continuous backup, using Drive
Image or Ghost onto external media would be an acceptable substitute.


No, RAID 1 does better than that as multitasked reads have near double

the
performance of a single drive.

I think you forgot to add the word 'potentially', in real terms you
get nowhere near double performance.


Wrong, in intense multitasked small record random I/O one gets near exactly
double the throughput.


  #7  
Old July 11th 04, 10:59 PM
ChrisH
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 21:19:55 GMT, "Ron Reaugh"
wrote:


Can you use both together? How many drives? Are the drives
interchangeable?


Relevance?

....being what's the ****ing point in having two different RAID systems
operating at once in one PC?


If the raid card fails you can just replace it.


HUH, and a serial port or a parallel port or USB or firewire or sound HUH!


You miss the point - it happens. It happened to my board. It happened
to others.

Also, the BIOS support on the mobbo version is usually a cut-down
version of the full implementaion on the card.


That's false.

No it isn't

So it is with Promise.


No, there's no significant cut-down.

Yes there is. 4 drive RAID 0 is impossible for one thing. There are
plenty of sites offering the full Promise BIOS. Look around.

Yes, you can hack the mobbo BIOS but it's not a lot of fun.


RAID 1 is just a lazy way to maintain a continuous backup, using Drive
Image or Ghost onto external media would be an acceptable substitute.

No, RAID 1 does better than that as multitasked reads have near double

the
performance of a single drive.

I think you forgot to add the word 'potentially', in real terms you
get nowhere near double performance.


Wrong, in intense multitasked small record random I/O one gets near exactly
double the throughput.


Yeah, right. Well obviously you're a ****wit so this conversation
ends. Plonk.
  #8  
Old July 11th 04, 11:02 PM
Ron Reaugh
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"ChrisH" wrote in message
...
On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 21:19:55 GMT, "Ron Reaugh"
wrote:


Can you use both together? How many drives? Are the drives
interchangeable?


Relevance?

...being what's the ****ing point in having two different RAID systems
operating at once in one PC?


Ask, Asus as they put the two there. The one from Intel you get for free.

If the raid card fails you can just replace it.


HUH, and a serial port or a parallel port or USB or firewire or sound

HUH!


You miss the point


NO, you missed the point and got nailed for it.


  #9  
Old July 12th 04, 12:36 AM
tony
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

ChrisH wrote:

RAID 1 is just a lazy way to maintain a continuous backup, using Drive
Image or Ghost onto external media would be an acceptable substitute.


Not really. Hot swap with a RAID 1 allows you to have zero down time in
the event of a disk failure. Can't do that with Ghost.


  #10  
Old July 12th 04, 02:51 AM
Will
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

(ChrisH) wrote in message . ..
On 11 Jul 2004 09:02:19 -0700,
(Will) wrote:

My own take on this is that using the implemetation of RAID on a
motherboard is not the way to go. I have never used a RAID to boot the
OS - always used a separate IDE drive for that job. In the past I used
a RAID 0 array for two data drives via the onboard Promise chip of a
P4B-E, but the controller chip died within 18 months. To recover the
data on those drives I purchased a PCI Promise card (which also
offered the ability to do RAID 0+1 on 4 drives). The stripe format was
the same as the onboard controller so I recovered my data. With the
IDE card I bought an extra 2 drives and installed a 4-drive RAID 0
array, and within another 12 months 2 of the 4 drives had failed.
Lucky I had a backup of the important data. Remember that the drive
does not need to fail to lose data, screwed-up disk writes can do the
same and it's much more difficult to recover data from a screwed RAID
than from a single drive. This happened to me when the power supply to
one of the drives became intermittant due to a faulty connector. Most
disk utilities cannot cope with damaged array data.

Rather ****ed off with the unreliability I installed 4 larger drives
(160GB) as a 0+1 array. I see no marked increase in speed (there may
be some) but do have the satisfaction of better data security.
Consider though, this extra security has cost me double the price of
the drives - two drives are the striped array but the other two are
invisible and used only for mirroring.

My advice, for what it's worth, is that if you really want to use RAID
then get a decent controller - forget the MB implementation. However,
much depends on how you propose to use your PC. If it doesn't bother
you to lose all the data on the array (perhaps just using it as
temporary work drives for video encoding) then a RAID 0 is fine. If
you need both RAID and security you will want to go RAID 0+1 and
therefore use at least 4 drives. I wouldn't bother with RAID 0 with
only two drives and the array as the boot device.

RAID 1 is just a lazy way to maintain a continuous backup, using Drive
Image or Ghost onto external media would be an acceptable substitute.

ChrisH


Thanks. I may just avoid the on-board RAID alltogether.

Will
 




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