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Windows 7: Setting up RAID 0 and installing Win7 on it

17 Dec 2009   #1

Windows XP SP3
Setting up RAID 0 and installing Win7 on it

Hello, I'm new to setting up RAID arrays and installing Windows 7 and I'd just like to clear some things up. System:
MOBO: Asus P7P55D
CPU: Core i5 750
GPU: Radeon HD 4890 Vapor-X
PSU: Cooler Master Silent Pro M700 700W

I currently have WinXP SP3 installed on a WD 1TB Green HDD. I recently bought two Intel X25-M's with 80GB each to put them in a RAID 0 array and to install Windows 7 on that array.
I know how to set up a RAID 0 array in BIOS but I have one question. I sort of figured out that I have to remove XP and set up the RAID 0 before installing Windows 7 or it won't work. Is that correct? So I basically have to remove XP, then set up RAID 0 in BIOS and then insert the Windows 7 DVD and start the setup. There's one more thing I'm not sure about; it said somewhere that I need to have a USB flash drive with the RAID driver in order to successfully install Windows 7 on the RAID 0 array. Is that really necessary?

I would really appreciate some help because I don't want to mess up anything. Thank you.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Dec 2009   #2

Windows 7 RTM 64bit

How to set up a Raid 0, with SATA drives.

This is a simple guide on how to set up a raid 0. I recommend setting up a Raid 0 with an even number of identical SATA hard drives.
  • Install your hard drives in your case and plug the sata cables in. If you are planning to overclock, make sure you check your MOBO manual to see which sata ports are locked. You want to use the locked ports for the Raid 0.
  • Remove the jumpers from the back of the hard drives, and put them in a safe place for future use.
  • Prepare to format your computer. Get your windows disc, and the Sata/Raid floppy disc that came with your Mobo.
  • Set the bios to load from CD Rom first, Local Drive second, and Floppy third. (if you don’t have a floppy, you should. They are only 10 dollars. Otherwise borrow one from a friend.) I have had problems doing it with a usb drive in the past.

  • Start your computer, and put your windows CD in the CD Rom.
  • Shut down your computer.
  • Start your computer and go into the bios. (Press the delete key or your specified key) as the computer is booting up
  • In the bios find and enable the Raid/SATA Ports that you are using.
  • Exit the bios and get ready to push your F10 key, or whatever key your screen/manual tells you for entering the Flash/Raid Bios.

Now you’re in the Raid Bios.

There are four things you will need to do.

(All Raid bioses are a little different, but the premise is the same.)

  • Set the Stripe/Mirror section to Stripe.
  • Set the Stripe to 16kb, or 32kb. The larger you set the kb, the faster your raid will be BUT the larger you set the kb the less efficient use of hard drive space you will have. (If you have twice the hard drive you’ll ever use, set it high.)
  • Move you hard drives over to the array. The screen will show you your hard drives. You will need to move them over to the array.
  • At some point the Raid bios may ask you if you want to clean/wipe the drives. Say yes.
  • Exit the Raid bios.

Get ready to push F6 quickly

After you've exited the raid bios, it will boot into the windows install setup. When you see "press F6 to setup third party drivers, Hit F6, and insert the floppy disc(If you haven't already). Then it will start the normal format process. It won’t actually read from the floppy disc yet. (If you’ve never formatted a computer before, you have no business trying to set up a Raid)

Watch the bottom of the screen. When it asks you if you have third party drivers press F6 100 times, LOL. (It’s very important that your F keys are on. Some newer keyboards you must enable the F keys on the keyboard.)

Start normal format process.

  • If you have 2 X 100 gig hard drives, it will show up as a 190 gig partition.
  • Set it up NTFS
  • Do the long, not the quick format. You want to format the partition.
  • When it asks for the third party drivers put the Floppy in. Load both sets of drivers on the disc. It will ask for them one at a time. Load the first set on the list first. When that’s done, it will ask again. Load the second set on the list.
  • Leave the floppy in the drive until you’re done loading the full windows operating system. It may need access to the floppy disc during that time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Setting up RAID 0 and installing Win7 on it

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