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Windows 7: Unable to configure RAID on Windows 7 Home Premium

22 Jun 2012   #1
MikeyB3649

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Unable to configure RAID on Windows 7 Home Premium

Hello everyone,

I'm about at my wit's end trying to figure out my problem and finally decided I should ask the pros for help, since an exhaustive search of the interwebs has turned up nothing. I'm a hobby PC user so please be patient with me. So here is my problem.

I recently bought all the stuff to build an HTPC/gaming rig for my girlfriend and I and I wanted to set up RAID 1 but no matter what I try, I can't get it to work. Here is my rig.

ASRock H77 Pro4-M mobo
Intel i7-2600
(2) 2TB Seagate Barracuda 7200 rpm; 6.0GB/s HDD
(4) 2GB G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR 1600 RAM
EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti Video Card
Cooler Master 600W Silent Power supply

I think that's about it.

Here is what I've done.

I went into bios and set my storage configuration to RAID. After, I saved and exited, and allowed the machine to reboot. When it did, I pushed Ctrl + I to enter the RAID volume setup menu. I labeled the volume, chose RAID 1, selected my drives, selected my size, and saved and exited. Then I booted from my Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit (Dell OEM, if that matters). I selected my regional settings, and when prompted, accepted the terms and selected "Custom" install. At the drive select screen, I saw one disk, which I believe is what I should see. I highlighted the drive and selected "Load Drivers." I used the driver labeled with the arrow in the attatched image. I got it from my mobo's website found here ASRock > Products > H77 Pro4-M. After the driver loaded, I removed the USB drive, hit "Refresh" and selected the Drive 0. When I clicked next, I got an error that read "Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition. See the setup log files for more Information." No matter what I did, I could not proceed past this point. I decied to try a software RAID. I reset everything in BIOS to ACHI (I think that is what it was labeled as), and then proceeded to boot from the windows CD. This time, I saw both drives. I was able to select Disk 0 and install windows. Afterwards, I got all my drivers loaded and then tried to use Intel Rapid Storage to create a software RAID. However, when I started the utility, I found that I don't have the "Create" button. So it seems I can't even try to create a software RAID. I have looked in the disk manager of windows and the option to create a mirrored volume is greyed out.

As I've stated, I'm totally lost on what to do. Hopefully one of you tech savy individuals can help me out.

Thanks in advance.

Mike H.




Attached Thumbnails
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My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Jun 2012   #2
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

Why do you want RAID? WIn7 doesn't much like RAID which isn't even Redundant so risks losing both HD's if one fails. Better to install to one HD and use the other for backing up an image.

If you saw one correctly-sized RAID array when you booted into the installer to try hardware RAID then the driver wasn't needed as it's only loaded when no drive shows up. Try again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2012   #3
MikeyB3649

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

What do you mean by Windows 7 doesn't like RAID and it isn't redundant? When RAID 1 was explained to me, I was told that it would constantly mirror itself to the other HDD. If one failed, simply use the operational one and keep going. Is this not the case?

As far as using the image, I thought of this, but I didn't want to have to manually do it everytime....since as humans we all get complacient. Is there a way that the system could be set to automatically image and back up the drive, partitions and all?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Jun 2012   #4
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

RAID1 is a mirror but from an installer's viewpoint it causes more problems than it's worth.

Yes, you can set up automatic backup:
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
Backup User and System Files
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2012   #5
MikeyB3649

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

I'll have to install windows again and check that out. I'm perfectly fine with saving the images, just as long as it's automatic. I don't want to get lazy and stop backing up regularly and then regret it later.

Thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2012   #6
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

I like to keep a baseline image after install and setup in addition to follow up images on a semi-regular schedule.

What's important to have current is the User folder data. For this I use the cool new Skydrive app which offers free 7gb of storage in MS servers for each Windows Live ID, accessible from anywhere, synching User folders with this app: Sync Any Folder to Your SkyDrive Account | PCWorld
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2012   #7
MikeyB3649

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

So for my own personal gratification, so I don't feel so defeated, any ideas as to why I didn't get RAID configured? Regardless of how I choose to go, I'd still like to be able to figure this problem out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2012   #8
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

As I said earlier, if it saw a drive when you booted into installer Drive Selection Screen then it normally doesn't need a driver to continue. If it fouls out at that point I would try wiping the drive with Diskpart Clean Command as often conflicting boot code requires overwriting.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2012   #9
MikeyB3649

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

This is the process I followed

select disk 0
clean
create partition primary
active
assign letter c (it told me the letter could not be assigned)
exit

I then tried to install and got the same error. "Setup could not create a partition or locate...."

Just out of pure desperation, I unplugged the second hard drive. When I booted, I got a notice telling me that my RAID volume was degraded. I booted from my windows cd and magically, I'm able to install the OS. Any ideas on what went wrong?

Also, I'm currently in the process of installing the OS. After that's done, can I just plug in the second disk and have RAID 1 or is setting up that array a lost cause at this point?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2012   #10
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

If it wouldn't install to the RAID array, then it's not going to RAID now.

I'd want to know what the SATA controller setting is. Did it default to AHCI, IDE from RAID when you unplugged the second HD or did you reset it yourself?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Unable to configure RAID on Windows 7 Home Premium




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