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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 5th March, 2005, 09:31 PM
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Installing XP using nVRAID

Many people appear to hit difficulties when it comes to installing Windows XP on a system that's been set up to use nVRAID, for whatever reasons. We at AOA felt that it was time for an article that covered installing Windows XP on an nVRAID system. Documentation that's provided with most nForce 2/3/4 motherboards appears to skip over the topic, hinting that it's possible, but without giving any good solid directions! We set out to rectify that.

Read more!
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Old 5th March, 2005, 10:08 PM
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Very well done Aedan! This should dry a lot of tears...":O}
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Old 5th March, 2005, 10:10 PM
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BTW. Could one make a Ghost Image or a partition to partition back up of a current install and then load it to a Raid drive setup? I've never been able to do this, but have done very little exploration beyond what I need for basic back-ups.
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Old 5th March, 2005, 10:31 PM
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I thought about this, but there's one big problem. If you don't have the nVRAID driver installed, then Windows XP will see the nVRAID array as a couple of hard disks. I *think* you might be able to do it if you have the nForce IDE and the nVRAID array drivers installed before you try to ghost the setup across, it might work. I've not confirmed this yet though.

The biggest problem with trying to move XP across is that it won't know how to access the drives correctly when you go from a non-RAID to a RAID setup.
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Old 5th March, 2005, 10:34 PM
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Hey it was worth the asking! LOL
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Old 5th March, 2005, 10:42 PM
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Excellent work my friend!!!
Nice screens as well!!
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Old 6th March, 2005, 02:14 AM
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Would partitioning a striped array harm performance?
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Old 6th March, 2005, 12:04 PM
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The striping happens at a low level, below that of partitioning. If you've got files that are frequently accessed in both partitions, then yes, it would harm performance due to excessive head movement. The same goes for a single disk however!

The biggest problem with hard disks is their access time rather than their throughput. When you request something from the disk, the time taken to actually read and process that information is practically insignificant compared to the time it takes to move the head into position.
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Old 6th March, 2005, 08:30 PM
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Finding gold always takes longer than spending it! ":O}
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Old 7th March, 2005, 12:20 AM
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Great how-to. One question what driver do i use for server 2003?
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Old 7th March, 2005, 10:37 AM
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If you've got some time to try things, try out the XP drivers. In my limited experience, many of the XP drivers work ok in 2003, as long as you're running the 32bit version.

I know that the nVidia firewall stuff doesn't work in 64bit 2003 however!
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Old 7th March, 2005, 08:41 PM
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very good post aedan this will help alot of people
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Old 21st April, 2005, 02:38 AM
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Great Post. Although I still have a problem with my Raid array.

I have GIG GA-K8NXP-SLI which has 4 ports each for SATA 1 and SATA 2. I can set up a raid 0 on the sil 3114 SATA 1 which is only 150 MB/s but would really like to take advantage of the NVIDIA sata. Every time i go thru F6 and select the class driver and mass storage controller, but then xp pops in and shows me two hard drives. Its really frustrating and can't figure out what i am doing wrong.

My latest idea was to Raid0 or Sil and then install winxp then try to swap the drives to other SATA. Didn't work the way i would have thought, but maybe I'm doing something wrong.

Any hints would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 21st April, 2005, 03:08 AM
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You'd need to set up the drives in the array on the controller you want to use them on. Different controllers have different ways of working RAID, so it's generally safest to assume there's no compatibility between different manufacturer's RAID solutions.

Now, I'm presuming you're using the 64bit version of XP. You are using the RAID drivers from the nVidia "Windows XP Professional x64 Edition" unified drivers? I think the last version I saw was version 6.25 beta.

What drivers have you been using for the nVRAID?
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Old 21st April, 2005, 04:27 AM
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I've been using the drivers from the nvidia nforce4 series utility cd. It uncompresses them onto a floppy disc to be used with f6. Not sure how i'd use the 6.25 version onto a floppy.

Are you thinking that I should swap from Sil to Sata 2 once I get windows installed?

Thanks again

Denver
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Old 21st April, 2005, 06:37 AM
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No. Don't try to swap from the Silicon Image to the nVidia controller. It won't work as they store data slightly differently (That and Windows XP will get confused!)

You could try downloading the newest drivers from nVidia, and then see if you can modify the instructions given in the article.
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Old 25th April, 2005, 11:17 PM
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I have a similar problem, my nvraid is set up for raid0 and everything runs fine(including f6 and installing both raid drivers) but when it gets to the screen setup will now install windows, it freezes. I am also running a sata dvd on the same controller, but not configured in the array. MB=a8n sli deluxe. any thoughts?
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Old 28th April, 2005, 06:52 AM
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Mine freezes too, thought it might be a freak occurence, but did it multiple times.

I'm not too sure what to do and I'm away for the next 3 weeks from desktop. I'm gonna try the nvidia drivers until it works, and maybe rip into the computer store where i bought MB if it doesn't and see what they think. I'll try the advice above first and if I figure it out or not thanks for the posts. I'll post my success when i get a chance to give'r a whirl.

Denver
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Old 23rd August, 2005, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
No. Don't try to swap from the Silicon Image to the nVidia controller. It won't work as they store data slightly differently (That and Windows XP will get confused!)
Hmm interesting...
I though so also (long before I read this guide). Anyway I wanted to switch from nVidia NF2 build in controller to sil3114. My 2 hdd are set in raid0 array.
So I made backup of all my important files. Then I switched cables to sil controller and was about to set array from the begining. How big was my suprise when before I hit proper key to enter sil raid setup, XP loaded up and all is allright till now

So that's why my conclusion is like there must be some standard in raid arrays between manufacturers, isn't it?

Anyway, I need to know something else. How to install Linux on such an array? No matter nVidia or Sil.
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Old 24th August, 2005, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamashumi
So that's why my conclusion is like there must be some standard in raid arrays between manufacturers, isn't it?

Anyway, I need to know something else. How to install Linux on such an array? No matter nVidia or Sil.
There's no published standard. It's entirely up to the whims of the manufacturers as to how they store/stripe data. It's also possible that a driver/BIOS upgrade might break such compatibility.

Whilst there are nVidia and Silicon Image drivers for Linux, they do not support the RAID functionality. Instead, you'd have to use the LVM (Logical Volume Manager) under Linux to do the RAID. However, this is not compatible with the nVidia/SI drivers.
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