Solved: nForce Raid Drivers

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drowninglessons

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I'm trying to install a raid-0 with Vista x64 across two 250gb drives. As i'm running an Asus P5N-D (i'll be using the onboard raid controller), i've read that i'll need the nForce drivers (I can't find any information as to whether or not Vista already includes these drivers). I downloaded the 64 bit package, dropped it on my flash drive, and started setup. When I prompt the installation to load drivers, direct it to my nForce raid driver folder, and select "only show compatible drivers", this is what is shown:

Nvidia nForce Raid Controller
Nvidia nForce Raid Device
Nvidia nForce Serial ATA Controller

When I deselect "only show compatible drivers", the only other drivers shown from the folder are several other duplicates of the ones listed above.

I couldn't find any information on this at all. Do I add one driver, or add all three? Also, if Vista does in fact include these raid drivers, would adding these in present any problems?

And, finally, after installation, is there anything I need to install once inside my OS? I know, I know, this is my first attempt at raid, heh.
 

crjdriver

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First of all, I always recommend that if you really want raid, then use a real raid card. The nvidia raid controller is not all that great. Of all the onboard controllers, the intel one is about the best. Just think about if for a min or two. A quality raid card costs more than your motherboard cost. What kind of performance do you think you are going to get with the onboard controller???

To answer your question. Here is what I would do.

Boot with the vista install dvd. If it finds the raid array, then great. If it does not find the array, then load the nforce raid controller driver and the raid device. I doubt it would do any harm to load the serial ata controller as well however you should not need it.

Next item. You do understand that raid of any type is NOT a backup plan. In addition using raid0, if either drive fails you loose everything. You must have a third drive that is not part of the array, an external usb/firewire type drive, or NAS for storing backups.
 

drowninglessons

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First of all, I always recommend that if you really want raid, then use a real raid card. The nvidia raid controller is not all that great. Of all the onboard controllers, the intel one is about the best. Just think about if for a min or two. A quality raid card costs more than your motherboard cost. What kind of performance do you think you are going to get with the onboard controller???
The way I see it, for whatever slight performance boost I can get, might as well. The purpose of this isn't for a hardcore high-end raid setup - it's more of a 'I have a spare hd and nothing to do with it' kind of thing.

Next item. You do understand that raid of any type is NOT a backup plan. In addition using raid0, if either drive fails you loose everything. You must have a third drive that is not part of the array, an external usb/firewire type drive, or NAS for storing backups.
Yep - I have two 250's that I want to raid 0. That array can fail at any time, and it wouldn't matter to me - it'll only be storing apps, games and such. I have two 750's, a spare 250, and a flash drive that will constantly be backing up everything else that can't be reinstalled.

You mentioned i'd be fine if I boot into the install DVD and it recognized my raid device. Does that mean that, if it recognizes it, then it has the drivers for it? It sounds like a stupid question, but I figured drivers might add something else. For instance, maybe Vista had enough information to see the array, but didn't have the capability to write to it.
 

crjdriver

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If it sees the array, it can do the install. You will need to install your chipset drivers after you finish; the same as with any install.

I would really doubt you will see any performance increase using two older 250gig drives. A single modern drive with 32meg of cache will most likely outperform the two older drives in raid0.

If you are doing this for a learning experience, then it is fine. If you are thinking you are going to get better performance, then I think you will be disappointed. A modern drive will give better performance.
 

crjdriver

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FWIW I have installed vista on a few raid setups and it has always found the array. These were two promise controllers and one highpoint so I would think it will "See" your array. If not, then it is a simple matter to load the driver.
 

drowninglessons

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Thanks for the replies.

This is more of a learning experience than anything - i'd like to just get this raid working successfully.

You've pretty much covered everything I wanted to know. Thanks for the help!
 
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