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RAID – What is RAID? And Setup Guide For First Timers

Level 15

Level 15
Setting Up RAID

1. Download Intel’s Latest Rapid Storage Technology Drivers and save the install package to external media such as a USB flash storage device. The RST version you use will make a difference to your overall performance. I like to have the latest chipset drivers on hand too. You can read about how I prepare for a new OS install here.

2. Prepare your new system and ensure that you have written down or printed out the instructions if you do not have a notebook or tablet at hand.

3. Start the PC and go into BIOS by pressing Del.

4. Navigate to your Storage Configuration, Configure SATA options.

5. Select RAID

6. Press F10, then Enter to reboot the PC.

7. The PC will restart, then as soon as the Intel Matrix Storage Manager Screen appears for a few seconds press Ctrl+I

8. Select Create RAID Volume.

9. You will then arrive at a screen, then take these four simple steps:

Select RAID Level (RAID0) or whichever RAID you wish to use.
Select Disks (Tab to Down and Press Enter To Select)
Select Stripe (Intel Recommends 16k for SSDs)
Select Capacity (At Max By default)
10. Enter and when asked at the conformation screen press Y for yes.

11. Escape to reboot.

12. Insert your OS medium - I use a USB stick for OS installation

13. As system reboots press F8 to select boot options, or go back into BIOS by pressing Del.

14. Navigate to the BOOT section and confirm that RAID volume is set as the primary boot device. I like to do my clean install with no other drives present. In other words I only have the RAID volumes available. If you have other drives present, the possibility of other drives being set by default as the boot disc is likely. Therefore you need to ensure the primary boot is set to the RAID volume.

15. Press F10 to Save and Exit

Install your OS

1. Follow all prompts the Windows installation offers as normal

2. During the Windows 7 installation you need to select the drive or partition for your OS to be installed: select your RAID array (shown as one drive) and install Windows onto it. Warning – if you have multiple disks in the system please select carefully as installing a OS can wipe all data from your hard drive if you get your selection wrong. For this reason, I prefer not to have any other drives present in the system during installation).

3. Direct the OS installer at your RAID drive, and let the OS (Windows 7) do the rest, you do not need to format the drive if you’re using SSD drives. The Windows installation will start and simply carry on as normal.

4. After the system has installed and rebooted itself a few times, you will have successfully set up your first RAID. Congratulations!

Thanks for the RAID guide. I have an Asus x99 Deluxe MOBO. I'm having problems with my Raid 0. Periodically (randomly), one of my drives doesn't show in Bios and invalidates the raid. But rebooting, it'll come back, sometimes. Is this because one of the 3 raid drives is plugged into the Sata Express port? Which Sata Express ports can I use? Can I mix and them with regular 6gb and 3gb SATA ports?

I'm also about toe setup a second RAID 0 with 4 960gb SSD drives. Do they need to use all the same type of SATA port?

Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Level 15
Install your software drivers
1. Once in the Windows desktop, install the Intel chipset installer utility and reboot when required.

2. Install the latest Intel RST Package that you downloaded and stored on a USB flash drive.

3. Your system is running in RAID and your performance will be good! But we are not done yet.

4. Go to Programs and open the new folder called Intel.

5. Open the Intel Rapid Storage Technology application:

6. Click on ‘Manage

7. Click on Advanced

8. Click to enable Write Back Cache and select yes to continue.


And that is all there is to it. Your RAID will be fully functioning and will work perfectly. All that is left is for you to enjoy your RAID array and new system setup!

Level 13
Very Nice! Make it a Sticky! Please.

Level 11
Awesome... :cool:

Finally people will understand more about SoftRAID, how it works, differences between them and why they should or shouldn't use them.
...even though it's not a new technology.

But MarshallR... It's all every well informing the kids how to use the features and setup their hardware but isn't it part and parcel to inform them why this isn't a suitable backup device/solution??? Atlease people can make an informed decision knowing it's advantages and disadvantages - we're talking about people's personal data and memories here...
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Level 40
I like it 😄
To help us help you - please provide as much information about your system and the problem as possible.

Good, Accurate writeup and not recommending users to prep F6 disk for no reason. For those unaware, Win7 includes v8 of Intel's RAID driver which is universally compatible with Intel RAID controllers.

Thanks for telling your readers to use the latest RST driver especially for SSD uses.

I strongly suggest you revise the comment about enabling writeback cache and suggesting that users enable that optionally ad their own risk.

The default settng is fine for most users. Those who know what they are doing will be aware of the extra options anyway.

The same applies for Intel Smart Response, safe mode versus performance mode both can corrupt the filesystem in performance mode if the system freezes or power is lost worst case.

found this to be useless, they leave out important parts , like install drivers with floppy , how , please, what is not even mentioned is the fact that you can only have raid with lintel ports .so if like my asus max v extreme , port 1 and 2 red can only provide raid , ports 3 threw 6 are asmedia which do not support raid .figure this to be important

Link's dead...

if possible, please update, best regards.