Raid Install

ByLine
How to do a Raid install in Windows Vista.
Synopsis
This will show you how to install in a Raid configuration in Windows Vista.
Firstly all my references are to do with SATA drives and I am unsure if the problem is present for PATA configs, but i would still disconnect the PATA drives when I reference to disconnect SATA drives.

The Problem:
When doing a fresh instal of vista on a raid configuration with other hard disk drives present the boot files get loaded onto the first non raid drive (most cases drive d: ). Upon the first restart/reboot you will get an error 'BOOT DISK FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND HIT ENTER'
You can still access your fresh vista install by inserting your installation DVD and hit enter.
NOTE: do not press any key to load the boot dvd, just let it run by and it will automatically bring up your install.
A FRESH INSTALL IS REQUIRED TO FIX THIS PROBLEM. I HAVE TRIED COPYING BOOT FILES ACROSS AND MANY OTHER POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS BUT NONE CORRECTED THE ERROR.
All this can be avoided by following the remainder of this tutorial.

The Pre Install:
Make sure all drives are connected.
Beginning with the bios and raid configuration check/do the following;
* Press delete to enter bios.
* Check the bios has detected all SATA drives.
* Set/enable raid for the two/four SATA ports that are connected to your two/four HDDs that you wish to use for the install of vista. (in my case sata 1 & 2 for my two 150gb Raptors) Reboot to save changes.
* Enter the raid config, setup the raid array. MAKING SURE TO ENABLE/SET BOOT. Save configuration/array and reboot
* Enter bios and go to boot section.
* Check/change your boot order to - 1.CDROM 2.Hard Drive (other options can be disabled)
* Check/change you hard drive order to - 1.RAID ARRAY 2.3.&4etc will be all your other SATA HDDs. (must make sure the raid array is number 1)
* Save changes and turn off your pc.

The Install:
Ok so you have correctly setup the raid array and your bios settings. Now its time to remove Vistas chance to install any files to any drive except the raid config.
Unfortunately its not as easy as just installing the operating system to the raid drive as I did this and for reason yet to be known, Vista decided to install all boot files to my next non-raid SATA drive (in my case my media drive D:\)

Disconnect all SATA drives that are not involved in your raid configuration.
Now you can install Vista as per normal selecting your new raid array and not have to worry about the files being loaded elsewhere.

Note: In this tutorial I have not included any information about having to load additional drivers at the partition install selection as I had not needed them in my case.
Vista detected my raid drives first go no worries.
If you do find that Vista does not find your raid partition then you need to obtain the correct manufacturers WHQL driver to load at the partition selection to enable/view your raid config and continue the install.


The End:
Well not quiet, after the install has completed and multiple reboots later you will finally be in your new fresh OS. Its now safe to do all updates/patches and then restart.
You should not have any boot errors and Vista should load as per a normal config.
At this time it is safe to power down your pc, plug in all the SATA drives previously disconected, enter your bios and double check the hard drive order (make changes if need, but be sure to leave the raid array as number 1).
You can also change your boot order if you like (I like to make the Hard Drive first instead of CD Rom and disable all others).
Restart and your away.
You can use disk managment from within Vista Administartive tools to check the staus of all hard drives, format/change letters as needed.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Comments

Great tutorial but I have one question. You say to disconnect all SATA drives not involved with the RAID array. My DVD drive is a SATA drive and if I disconnect that how will I install windows as it won't read the installation cd.
 
Great tutorial but I have one question. You say to disconnect all SATA drives not involved with the RAID array. My DVD drive is a SATA drive and if I disconnect that how will I install windows as it won't read the installation cd.
Sorry, silly oversight on my behalf. The SATA cd/dvd drive is ok to be left plugged in.
 
I just want to say that after weeks of trying to get my computer running with Vista I have finally done it thanks to this tutorial. Fantastic!
 
I just want to say that after weeks of trying to get my computer running with Vista I have finally done it thanks to this tutorial. Fantastic!
Glad to know it was time well spent. The tutorial wasn't that time consuming, but figuring out why vista was loading the boot files incorrectly was, as you have already mention, many weeks :mad::o

Cheers
Grimace
 
Hello,

I would like to do a dual-boot install on my machine. First Xp and then Vista. Will there be any problems after I've installed XP to a RAID0 array?`Will Vista notice the array and install nicely? I have two 500GB drivers.
 
Hi Termis, welcome to the forum.

You will need a driver for your RAID controller in XP (you have to load it by pressing F6). Therefore you need a floppy drive or you have to include the drivers in your installation CD. Once the drivers are loaded, you should be able to see all the partitions on your array.
 
Hi Termis, welcome to the forum.

You will need a driver for your RAID controller in XP (you have to load it by pressing F6). Therefore you need a floppy drive or you have to include the drivers in your installation CD. Once the drivers are loaded, you should be able to see all the partitions on your array.
Thank you for welcoming and for the quick reply,


Xp raid drivers are A-ok, and the plan is to first load them, install XP, and then partition the new "array" so that I will make a partition for vista and for everything else.

The question is, when I then install a fresh install of Vista, will it see the array ok and notice that XP is installed and that the array has a partition for itself? :) I just see problems ahead when first setting the array with xp..
 
Hi Termis,

Unless the Vista installation disk has RAID drivers for your motherboard, it will probably not pick up that you have RAID installed and instead offer to install on a single disk as opposed to the array. Even if it does have the correct driver, you may need to supply it from alternative media at the appropriate point in Setup. These are fundamental drivers which are essential to the smooth running of Vista, and for this reason I recommend Vista-compatible drivers. Check the website of your motherboard manufacturer.
Dwarf
 
Hi Termis,

Unless the Vista installation disk has RAID drivers for your motherboard, it will probably not pick up that you have RAID installed and instead offer to install on a single disk as opposed to the array. Even if it does have the correct driver, you may need to supply it from alternative media at the appropriate point in Setup. These are fundamental drivers which are essential to the smooth running of Vista, and for this reason I recommend Vista-compatible drivers. Check the website of your motherboard manufacturer.
Dwarf
Aah, so I was right that there could be problems. Hmm, I have EVGA nforce 750i FTW and downloaded both vista and xp RAID drivers from EVGA's site, where there were both xp and vista64 drivers. This probably means that they are compatible and the installation will work? At what point will I introduce the vista drivers for the installer?


edit,

yes, processor is CORE 2 QUAD Q9450
 
Yep, it should not be any problem if the array configuration has been done properly in your bios.
Let us inform once you installed your dualboot.
 
Yep, it should not be any problem if the array configuration has been done properly in your bios.
Let us inform once you installed your dualboot.
Could you perhaps be more specific about that array configuration? Or are you refering to this thread's tutorial? The Bios setup has been done in the shop (where I bought the pc) and I will double-check it myself; set it to raid and boot etc.

But will inform here tomorrow, if everything goes ok. Will be on my laptop so I'll ask help here if there are problems :)


Thanks again for the replies.
 
Hi Termis,

Follow the instructions as given in the tutorial 'How to Do a Clean Install and Setup with a Full Version of Vista'. When you get to the screen like the screenshot below point 10 of Step 1 of Shawn's tutorial, you will notice that one of the options is 'Load Driver'. Click this option, and you will be prompted to supply the appropriate driver on alternate media. When you have loaded the driver, simply continue the tutorial from where you left off. If you are using an upgrade version of Vista, follow the instructions in the alternative tutorial, 'How to Do a Clean Install with a Upgrade Version of Vista'. In this case, the point at which you need to load the driver is at point 13 of the 'First Install' section of the tutorial. Again, continue the tutorial from where you left off after loading the driver.
Dwarf

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/117366-clean-install-full-version-vista.html

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/68767-clean-install-upgrade-vista.html
 
Hi Termis,

Good luck with your installation. Any problems, don't hesitate to get back to us at the forums and we'll do our best to assist you.
Dwarf
 
Dual booting, you will need to install the oldest OS first, 32-bit before 64-bit. Each OS will need F6 drivers installed to work properly. I would suggest a common app partition.

C: XP
D: Vista
E: common apps partition for both OS.

You will need to install the apps in each OS and patch OS.
 
Hi Michael,

Vista no longer has the F6 option to install drivers for enabling RAID. Instead, they are loaded when needed at the appropriate point during Setup. See my previous post in this thread.
Dwarf
 
On my LSI Logic 8708EM2 SAS RAID controller, I had to install the drivers at the beginning to get the LSI version to load properly. I don't remember if I hit F6 or something else. The entire Vista x64 Ultimate SP1 install with all the reboots was 18 minutes.

I just did XP x64 and it had F6.
 
Dual boot install failed probably because my floppy drive was broken. Couldn't load win xp raid drivers, so I gave up installed Vista 64 only. Vista installer went well and it saw the array a-ok. Seems to run smoothly :)

 
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