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Windows 7: Enabling RAID in BIOS


07 Dec 2009   #1

Windows 7 Professional
 
 
Enabling RAID in BIOS

Despite the warnings, I tried enabling RAID in BIOS (Intel chipset) and almost fried my Win 7 installation. So, I now believe for myself that the only way to enable RAID is to also reinstall Windows 7.

Does anyone know whether a data partition on the Windows boot drive would be affected?

Are there any clear advantages to RAID in a one-drive system? (I did not see a way to enable NCQ).

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Dec 2009   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

I looked into old RAID technology because of the many problems it is giving with Windows 7 installations. It can require reformatting the drives with loss of data to set up RAID.

It also needs two drives to be RAID, I believe, as it is redundant array.

RAID is completely redundant IMO with drive imaging now even built into Windows 7. Best to set up modern AHCI config of your SATA controllers.

Just load the AHCI drivers from your mobo CD/Downloads page into the installer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2009   #3

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

How do I enable AHCI? I did not see it offered in the BIOS settings. Is that a limitation of the controller or the hard drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Dec 2009   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Cluent View Post
How do I enable AHCI? I did not see it offered in the BIOS settings. Is that a limitation of the controller or the hard drive?
Mobo - read the manual on yours if you want to know more.

What are the settings offered?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2009   #5

 

RAID can still perfectly valuable to increase disk performance, and drive imaging will still work with most system cloning software. That said, as SSD's drop in price, at a point in the not too distant future I'm sure performance increases from SSD's will be more affordable, and simpler than data spread over several mechanical disks

To enable AHCI (and consequently both NCQ and SATA hotswapping) you should load the appropriate driver during the earliest stages of setup at the F6 prompt.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2009   #6

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

The only settings currently offered are SATA and RAID. Are you saying I have to find a driver and use a boot disk to load rather than loading it from Windows?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2009   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

Again I think you need to read your mobo manual to learn how to enable AHCI for your model, if possible.

You can also check the Support>Downloads page for your mobo model to see if there is an AHCI driver, then attempt to Upgrade the SATA controller driver via the Device Manager, since you have already installed and don't need to load it into installer.

Otherwise I'd stick with SATA as RAID requires two drives and reinstall. Why do you want RAID?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2009   #8

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

I want to install the Intel Matrix Storage Manager in order to enable software NCQ, but Intel Matrix Storage Manager won't install unless the hard drive controller is in RAID or AHCI mode. AHCI mode is not available in my BIOS settings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2009   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

This explains it a bit more: AHCI Controllers? - Tech Support Forum

Here is the solution of guy who was struggling here yesterday to get RAID installed: My Windows 7 Install
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2009   #10

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Cluent View Post
I want to install the Intel Matrix Storage Manager in order to enable software NCQ, but Intel Matrix Storage Manager won't install unless the hard drive controller is in RAID or AHCI mode. AHCI mode is not available in my BIOS settings.
What is your motherboard? If it has more than one SATA controller, which one are you using?

(My Asus motherboard has three available settings for its Intel SATA controller: IDE, AHCI, and RAID.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Enabling RAID in BIOS




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