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Problems setting up 2 HDD RAID 0 with SDD boot

Level 7
Hello all,

I'm fairly new to setting up RAID configs but have been building systems and overclocking for a long while. I wanted to try something new and am running into some issues with my Maximus VI Formula.

- Windows 10 Pro
- Maximus VI Formula, BIOS v1603
- i7 4770k @ stock
- 16g ram
- GTX 780 @ stock
- Samsung 840 250g SATA 3 SSD
- x2 1TB WD blue HDDs


I'd like to use the SSD as a boot drive and use the two HDD's in RAID 0 GPT as a data drive for games and doing some video/audio production. I am also starting fresh on the drives with a clean format / OS install. I've done a lot of research and I can't seem to find a correct resolution on how to achieve this goal. Haaaalppp!!!

The general workflow is:
1) Set SATA mode to RAID in bios before installing OS.
2) Set boot priority #1 to UEFI optical and reboot from CD
3) Install the OS with ONLY the SSD connected. Doing so with mode set to RAID ensures the proper RAID controller driver is installed
4) Ensure boot to OS works. Then, shut down and connect HDDs.
5) Mash < CTRL >+< I > when seeing the intel RAID config util display.
6) In the RAID config, create a new volume with the x2 HDDs and save changes to reboot (Do NOT include the SSD in RAID volume)
7) Enter bios again and change boot priority to #1 SSD, #2 windows boot manager
😎 In the OS, navigate to disk partition management and create a new partition volume and assigning a drive letter

Problems I'm encountering

Problem example 1:
I POST and see the bios entry prompt. Then, i'm taken to the intel config util and another POST happens shortly afterward which sends me back to the bios entry prompt. Then, it sits on a black screen for about 15 seconds. After the short wait, the ASUS ROG logo is displayed and a spinning circle underneath for another ~10 seconds. Finally, the OS loads. An AHCI setup gives me a ~7 second boot.

Problem example 2:
Sometimes when booting, the RAID util shows the RAID volume as and sometimes it shows as . When it shows failed, it sends me directly to the BIOS afterward.

Problem example 3:
Increased CPU or drive load when performing simple tasks like installing a game or playing a game from the RAID drive. Occasionally, the CPU and/or RAID drive will spike and maintain a 100% load when installing a game. I installed Hearthstone on the RAID drive and played a few games. The CPU sat at 80-100% while the drive sat at 0%. In the past, I have not seen this kind of strange performance with AHCI setup.

Problem example 4:
I've read in the manual the following, "Due to chipset limitations, when SATA ports are set to RAID mode, all SATA ports run at RAID mode together." Does this mean that I can't accomplish the type of setup I'm attempting to perform?


Overall, is there anything that I'm apparently doing wrong with this setup? I'd really like to get this up and running if possible. Otherwise, I'm not too worried about running the drives independently. I just thought it'd be cool to have some increased performance on the HDD's. If I'm missing any critical details in this, let me know. This is all very new to me and I would much appreciate the assistance!

Level 7
Lot of help here. Lol, I still have this board and trying to set up Raid0 for boot. I'll figure it out. Hope you made out alright although your probably three systems ahead now.