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Windows 7: Hardware RAID installation after Windows 7 OS install

15 Oct 2012   #11

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Late951 View Post
It's a worthwhile boost/tradeoff in anyone's terms.
If you are trying to avoid a pissing match over semantics, don't make such bold generalizations. RAID0 is FAR from worth it for everyone. Why do you think RAID0 is considered dead on pretty much all enthusiast forums around the web? It was never really worth the trade-offs, and now that SSDs have been around and settled in price, RAID0 takes a bigger hit.

It was all the rage 6 or 7 years ago, when the Raptor 36 GB drives hit the market. I was one who jumped on board with two of them. Seemed great and my synthetic benchies proved it. Then something happened. Anandtech and [H]ardForums started real world testing and comparing notes. Then the tests were opened to forum members. Once we all saw the hype didn't match reality, RAID on a desktop faded into history. Anandtech probably still has their article online that's been linked and relinked millions of times to explain the myth and it's debunking.

The debate was briefly reopened when companies started RAIDing two small SSDs together. However, that was determined to be done only for capacity sake, and could actually hurt the SSDs performance.

In short, it's never been worth the tradeoffs. You yourself have even admitted the SSD cache would have been a faster option. You don't have to worry about this becomine a debate or a pissing match, because there's really nothing left to settle or debate. It's been debunked and put to bed for several years now. But you don't have to take my word for it. This forum is wonderful, but it's more about support. Read on some enthusiast boards and you'll see for yourself.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

01 Nov 2012   #12

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
How to convert an existing Windows 7 installation from IDE to RAID

How to convert an existing Windows 7 installation from IDE to RAID

I have successfully converted a pre-existing Windows 7 IDE installation to a RAID 0 configuration. It was actually not that difficult. I read hundreds of posts on multiple forums and was never able to find a solution, so I figured it out myself. Below are the steps to accomplish the task. Note: If your current OS hard drive will be used in the RAID array, you must first clone your operating system partition to a hard drive that will not be used in the RAID array.

1. Prerequisites: You must have the hard drives you will be using in your RAID, a different hard drive with your current Windows 7 installation, and an external hard drive for an OS image (DVDs or Blu-Rays would work, but much more time consuming).

2. In the Windows start menu search box type "regedit" (without the quotes) then right click the entry and click "Run as Administrator" then enter your user credentials for the UAC prompt then click yes to open regedit.

3. In regedit navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\msahci, in the right pane right click "start" then click "modify"

4. In the window that opens change the hexadecimal value to "0" and click OK. Close regedit click "File" at the top left and click "Exit".

5. Restart your computer. Enter the BIOS and change your SATA configuration to AHCI. Save settings and exit BIOS.

6. When the computer boots up, Windows 7 will install the AHCI drivers automatically. A prompt will tell you that your computer needs to restart.

7. Restart your computer. After booting up you should receive no hardware installation prompts. If you do, restart again.

8. Once there are no hardware installation prompts or restart notifications. Shut down your computer.

9. Most motherboards and RAID cards have an option to run specific SATA ports as IDE in RAID mode.

10. Verify/Connect your hard drive to a SATA RAID port that supports IDE (refer to your BIOS or motherboard manual to determine port, on my board it was SATA 5 & 6).

11. Power on your system, enter the BIOS, and change SATA operation to RAID, but change the mode to IDE (RAID is turned on, but will be running in IDE mode on the specified ports). Save BIOS settings and exit.

12. Boot into Windows 7 and you should be prompted to restart. Restart your computer.

13. You should now have a RAID controller that requires drivers. Install your RAID drivers. Restart computer.

14. Verify that your computer boots up and all hardware is installed and there are no prompts to restart. If asked to restart again, restart computer.

15. Check the device manager and verify that everything is installed properly and functioning. Shut down the computer.

16. Connect your OS hard drive to a different SATA port not assigned to the RAID. Connect the hard drives you want to use in the RAID to the proper SATA ports (I set up a RAID 0 with two identical 1 terabyte drives on SATA ports 5 & 6).

17. Power on computer and enter the BIOS. Go to SATA operation and change the mode from IDE to RAID (Should now have RAID enabled and mode set to RAID). Save changes and exit BIOS.

18. During boot up, press the key combination to enter the RAID configuration utility (mine was Ctrl-F). Create your RAID. Save changes and exit.

19. Boot up to Windows and, using Windows Disk Management (right click Computer and choose Manage, then click Disk Management), initialize the drive and partition/format if desired/required.

20. If the OS or RAID drives contain multiple partitions, go to the next step. If cloning drive follow this step and skip the next step.
Using your favorite image creating software (I use Acronis or Ghost), clone the OS drive to the RAID drive. This can be tricky if there are multiple partitions on the OS drive or the RAID drive. If the OS drive and RAID drive both utilize a single partition, cloning is the best option. After cloning drive, reboot computer.

21. Skip this step if you cloned the OS drive to the RAID drive.
Using your favorite image creating software (I use Acronis or Ghost), create an image of your Windows 7 partition and restore the image to the desired partition on your newly created RAID. Reboot computer.

22. Enter your system BIOS and change your hard drive boot priority to start with your RAID drive. Save changes and exit BIOS.

23. Boot in to Windows and verify that the RAID drive is now your C:\ drive. Using Windows Disk Management, re-partition/format original OS drive, or if no longer needed in system, shut down computer and disconnect original OS drive.

24. If all went well, you should now be running Windows 7 on your newly created RAID drive and your original OS drive is either blank and available as a backup/storage drive or no longer installed in the computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Hardware RAID installation after Windows 7 OS install

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