jdxtr
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Studio XPS 9100 Migrate non-RAID to RAID-1

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I added a second drive to my XPS 9100 and am attempting to migrate my non-RAID system to RAID-1 per instructions in Studio XPS 9100 Technology Guide Manual on page 97.  (I previously set up my old Dimension 8400 for RAID-1 this way and it migrated while preserving my OS installation and all my data.  Worked great.)  The general idea is to set the 2 drives to RAID mode, start up Windows, and use the Intel Matrix Storage Manager to do the migration.  The Manual tells me to first enable RAID as per instructions Page 87, which says to enable each applicable drive for RAID using the System Setup Program (F2 on boot).  There is no such option in the BIOS (AMI v02.67).  The only BIOS option that has anything to do with RAID is under "Advanced Chipset Features", where there is a choice of "SATA Mode" between AHCI and RAID (not specific to any drive).  I tried changing this from AHCI to RAID, but then Windows 7 will not boot.  It says "Windows Failed to start.  A recent hardware or software change might be the cause."  It recommends launching Startup Repair, which I did.  Startup Repair cannot find a problem.  If I instead select "Start Windows Normally", it just ends up back in the same place.  After I made this SATA Mode change to RAID, I do get the option of entering Control-i to enter the Intel Option ROM RAID configuration utility.  However, if I use this "Create RAID Volume" to set up my RAID, I will lose all data on my hard drive.   Am I missing something here, or is the BIOS intentionally set up to prevent easy migration to RAID for some (mysterious) reason?

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jdxtr
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Re: Studio XPS 9100 Migrate non-RAID to RAID-1

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One other person on this forum, TomXPS, appears to have had the same problem but was apparently not able to get around it and had to completely reload his drive after creating a RAID volume.  Perhaps others have tried a RAID migration and just given up.  I got lucky and found a solution. 

After much googling, I came across a Microsoft Knowledge Base article somewhat related to the problem (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976).  Their problem was the reverse of mine, in that their system would not boot after changing the BIOS SATA mode from RAID to AHCI.  According to the article, "This issue occurs if the disk driver in Windows 7 and Windows Vista is disabled. This driver must be enabled before you change the SATA/RAID mode of the boot drive."  The article includes a "Fix This Problem" link to a Wizard that corrects the issue.  It also includes instructions, for the brave, on fixing the problem yourself by modifying the Windows Registry using the Registry Editor (regedit).  I didn't bother trying the Wizard because my system was obviously already loading the AHCI driver (msahci) OK.  What my system needed was the Intel RAID driver.  More googling and I found that the Intel RAID driver that I thought I needed to have loaded was named "iaStorV".  I went to that Registry entry and changed its "Start" value from 3 to zero.  (Check the Microsoft article for the particulars of where to find these Registry entries and how to modify them.)

I then rebooted, hitting F2 to enter the BIOS Setup, where I again changed the SATA Mode to RAID and saved the change with F10.  The boot continued successfully this time, and when Windows 7 came up it started loading drivers for all of my SATA devices, some of the drivers being automatically downloaded.  After a couple of minutes of this, the driver installation completed and said I needed to reboot.  System rebooted successfully.  I then started the Intel Matrix Storage Manager and the Action menu now included an option to "Create RAID volume from an existing drive".  I set it up as RAID-1, with the source drive being my boot drive and the member being the new drive.  It is now happily migrating the source contents to the mirror drive as I write this.

I hope this helps anyone else who might run into this problem.

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jdxtr
1 Nickel

Re: Studio XPS 9100 Migrate non-RAID to RAID-1

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One other person on this forum, TomXPS, appears to have had the same problem but was apparently not able to get around it and had to completely reload his drive after creating a RAID volume.  Perhaps others have tried a RAID migration and just given up.  I got lucky and found a solution. 

After much googling, I came across a Microsoft Knowledge Base article somewhat related to the problem (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976).  Their problem was the reverse of mine, in that their system would not boot after changing the BIOS SATA mode from RAID to AHCI.  According to the article, "This issue occurs if the disk driver in Windows 7 and Windows Vista is disabled. This driver must be enabled before you change the SATA/RAID mode of the boot drive."  The article includes a "Fix This Problem" link to a Wizard that corrects the issue.  It also includes instructions, for the brave, on fixing the problem yourself by modifying the Windows Registry using the Registry Editor (regedit).  I didn't bother trying the Wizard because my system was obviously already loading the AHCI driver (msahci) OK.  What my system needed was the Intel RAID driver.  More googling and I found that the Intel RAID driver that I thought I needed to have loaded was named "iaStorV".  I went to that Registry entry and changed its "Start" value from 3 to zero.  (Check the Microsoft article for the particulars of where to find these Registry entries and how to modify them.)

I then rebooted, hitting F2 to enter the BIOS Setup, where I again changed the SATA Mode to RAID and saved the change with F10.  The boot continued successfully this time, and when Windows 7 came up it started loading drivers for all of my SATA devices, some of the drivers being automatically downloaded.  After a couple of minutes of this, the driver installation completed and said I needed to reboot.  System rebooted successfully.  I then started the Intel Matrix Storage Manager and the Action menu now included an option to "Create RAID volume from an existing drive".  I set it up as RAID-1, with the source drive being my boot drive and the member being the new drive.  It is now happily migrating the source contents to the mirror drive as I write this.

I hope this helps anyone else who might run into this problem.

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jdxtr
1 Nickel

Re: Studio XPS 9100 Migrate non-RAID to RAID-1

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Found another Microsoft Knowledge Base article that specifically applies to this problem of changing SATA Mode from AHCI to RAID.  It has detailed instructions for modifying the Registry.  Unfortunately, it does not include a Wizard for doing the job.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/975453

 

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logain74
1 Copper

Re: Studio XPS 9100 Migrate non-RAID to RAID-1

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I have a somewhat different scenario.  I have a 9100 on order with a single drive.  I want to keep that single drive as my C: drive, then add 2 additional after-market drives and configure them in RAID1 as my secondary drive.  Does anyone know if this is a technically feasible combination?

What concerns me is that the BIOS "SATA Mode" setting appears to apply to all SATA channels and either all drives must be RAID or non-RAID.  This would not allow a combination the combination single-drive plus RAID that I want to implement.  Any thoughts?

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speedstep
6 Thallium

Re: Studio XPS 9100 Migrate non-RAID to RAID-1

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I would think you need a separate controller to keep the system from becoming confused as to which is raid or not.


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jackshack
5 Tungsten

Re: Studio XPS 9100 Migrate non-RAID to RAID-1

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Put the RAID disks on SATA 2 and SATA 3.  If the option to make the RAID bootable shows up in the RAID configuration page (reached by CTRL-i after POST during the drive status message) don't choose it.  Leave your bootable drive on SATA 0.  Should work just fine.  Just for safety, go back to System Setup (F2 during POST) and check to make sure that your SATA drive is selected as the boot device, and if the RAID shows up at all, make sure it is last in the boot order.

Dell Forum member since 2005

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logain74
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Re: Studio XPS 9100 Migrate non-RAID to RAID-1

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Thanks JackShack, I'll give that a shot when I get it in.  Although, I was just looking at the 9100's motherboard diagram and the SATA1 & SATA2 connectors look different than the SATA3.  I'm wondering if it's because the SATA3 is only for the external connector?  Does anyone know if this motherboard supports 3 internal hard drives?

Also does the 9100 case even have room for 3 internal hard drives?  Tech specs seem to indicate not:

Drive Bays

Three 3.5": (two internal, one external)

Two 5.25" bays

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jackshack
5 Tungsten

Re: Studio XPS 9100 Migrate non-RAID to RAID-1

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My son has an XPS 9000 that uses the same chassis; he has a bootable RAID 0 and a third stand-alone drive.  We just mounted the third drive underneath the RAID and bought a SATA data cable for it.  Incidently, his RAID is in SATA 2 and 3.  Don't forget that despite the numbers, SATA 2 and 3 are the third and fourth ports respectively.

The documentation for the XPS 9100 left off the information that the first four SATA ports are arranged in two blocks that each contain two ports.  You need to be looking at the board edge-on to see them easily.  You simply plug two SATA data connectors into each block, one above the other as viewed from above the main board.  The connector you are calling SATA 3, the single connector behind the first four ports that you can just plug straight into, is SATA 4.

Dell Forum member since 2005

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logain74
1 Copper

Re: Studio XPS 9100 Migrate non-RAID to RAID-1

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Thanks, that helps a lot.

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