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About Intel® Matrix Storage Manager

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This document pertains to HP notebook PC models with Intel Matrix Storage Manager Technology.
According to Intel, the Intel Matrix Storage Technology solution provides improved performance and reliability as well as support for lower power consumption on computer systems equipped with Serial ATA (SATA) hard disk drives. Over time, updates to the Intel Matrix Storage Manager driver have been released to address known issues.
For additional information regarding Intel Matrix Storage Technology, please visit the Intel website (in English).

HP recommends running the latest available Intel Matrix Storage Manager Driver

HP offers the Intel Matrix Storage Manager driver for notebook PC models that were factory configured with Intel Matrix Storage Manager Technology. The later device driver versions address multiple known issues that could affect hard drive performance and reliability.

How do I know if my PC has the latest Intel Matrix Storage driver?

For Microsoft Windows 7 or Vista, use HP Support Assistant to determine if your notebook PC is using the latest device drivers or if it requires any software updates.
Alternatively, you can verify the version of the drivers on your PC and check for an updated version on the HP Support and Drivers web page for your specific product model.
  1. Click Start , select All Programs , select Intel Matrix Storage Manager , and then click Intel Matrix Storage Console .
  2. On the console window, click Help and then select About to display the number of the installed version.
  3. To determine the version of an available updated driver, open a web browser, go to http://www.hp.com/ , select Support and Drivers , and then click Drivers and Software .
  4. Enter the product name or number and then click Search . If an additional list appears, select your computer from that list.
  5. Select the appropriate Vista or Windows 7 operating system from the list, and press the enter key.
    NOTE:For your specific operating system information, open the Control Panel and select System.
  6. Scroll down and find Intel Matrix Storage Manager Driver under Driver – Storage and note the version number of the available driver.
  7. If version number is higher than the driver on your computer, download and install the newer Intel Matrix Storage Manager Driver following the on-screen instructions.

RAID Technology Overview

It is important to have a backup drive or backup software to recover lost data. In the event of a hard drive failure, manually copying files using disks or software can be time consuming, costly, and incomplete. In recent years, desktop computers have had the security and benefits of RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) technology to recover data in the event of a drive failure.
HP offers a simple RAID solution for notebook computer consumers who need to protect data on a SATA disk drive in case of drive failure or virus attacks. HP's RAID solution will also benefit notebook PC consumers who frequently work with large files and want to improve the performance of their computer.
The following terms are defined in relation to the RAID implementation for HP notebook PCs.
TermDefinition
IRRTIntel Rapid Recovery Technology
Fault toleranceThe ability of the computer to continue to operate if one drive fails. Fault tolerance is often used interchangeably with reliability, but the two terms are different.
HDD (Hard Disk Drive)One physical Hard Disk Drive in the RAID array.
Option ROMA software module inside the system BIOS that provides extended support for a particular piece of hardware. The RAID option ROM provides boot support for RAID volumes as well as an interface for managing and configuring the systems RAID volumes.
Primary driveThe main internal HDD in the notebook PC.
RAID arrayThe physical drives that appear as one logical drive to the operating system.
RAID migrationThe change of data from a non-RAID to RAID configuration. "RAID level migration," or the change of data from one RAID level to another, is not supported.
RAID volumeA fixed amount of space across a RAID array that appears as a single HDD to the operating system.
Recovery driveThe hard drive that is the designated mirror (copy of the primary) drive in a RAID 1 and IRRT volume.
ReliabilityReliability refers to the likelihood, over a period of time, that a HDD can be expected to operate without failure, also known as mean time before failure (MTBF).
StripeSet of data on a single hard drive in a RAID volume.
StripingThe distribution of data over multiple disk drives to improve read/write performance.

RAID Modes Supported

The RAID modes supported by HP include RAID 0, RAID 1, and Intel Rapid Recover Technology (RAID 1 enhanced) as described below. Each RAID mode requires two SATA HDDs. This can be accomplished by inserting a second SATA hard drive into the Upgrade Bay or eSATA port (if available) of the notebook PC, or in the SATA swappable bay of the HP Advanced Docking Station. RAID 5 and RAID 10 are not supported.
RAID LevelsFunction/ApplicationsAdvantages/Disadvantages
RAID 0Data is distributed across both disk drives.
  • Image editing
  • Video production
  • Pre-press applications
Advantages:
  • Read performance is higher than that of a non-RAID HDD. Total storage capacity is doubled.


Disadvantages:
  • The entire array fails if one drive fails; data cannot be recovered. Storage space may be wasted if the capacities of the primary and recovery HDDs are different.
RAID 1Identical (mirrored) data is stored on two drives.
  • Accounting
  • Payroll
  • Financial
Advantages:
  • Provides high fault tolerance.


Disadvantages:
  • Only half of the total drive capacity can be used for storage.
  • Storage space may be wasted if the capacities of the primary and recovery HDDs are different.
RAID IRRTIdentical (mirrored) data is stored on two drives. Boosts the functionality of RAID 1 with valuable features.
  • Any application that requires a simple data protection method.
Advantages:
  • Provides high fault tolerance.
  • You can choose to mirror data continuously or on request.
  • Data recovery is quick and easy.
  • Allows hot-plugging of mirrored drive (with eSATA or docking station HDD)


Disadvantages:
  • Only half of the total drive capacity can be used for storage.
  • Storage space may be wasted if the capacities of the primary and recovery HDDs are different.

Operating systems, devices supported, and drive options

This section describes the operating systems and devices supported for RAID migration, including the SATA drives, computers, and docking station. External USB 2.0 SATA drives connected to the computer or docking station cannot be used for migrating to RAID.
    HP RAID supports 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows XP Professional (SP1, SP 2, and SP3), Windows Vista SP1, and Windows 7 operating systems.
    RAID LevelPrimary and Upgrade Bay SATA HDDs in the computerDocking station HDD or eSATA HDD attached to computer
    RAID 0YESNO
    RAID 1YESNO
    IRRTYESYES
    HP offers SATA drive option kits for the notebook PC Upgrade Bay and the docking station SATA swappable bay to support RAID migration. For optimal RAID performance, it is recommended that both drives have the same speed. Drives of different capacities are also supported for RAID migration, as long as the capacity of the secondary (recovery) drive is equal to greater than that of the primary drive. For example, if the primary drive is 200GB, then at least a 200GB drive is required in the Upgrade Bay to create a RAID volume. If the capacity of the secondary drive is larger than that of the primary drive, the excess capacity of the secondary drive will not be accessible. If, for example, the primary drive is 160GB and the secondary drive is 250GB, only 160GB of the secondary drive will be usable in a RAID configuration. Therefore, for optimal use, it is recommended that both drives have the same capacity.
    eSATA HDDs (select models only)
    HP EliteBook 8440w Mobile Workstation
    HP EliteBook 8440p Notebook PC
    HP EliteBook 8540w Mobile Workstation
    HP EliteBook 8540p Notebook PC
    HP EliteBook 8740w Mobile Workstation
    HP EliteBook 8740p Notebook PC
    HP EliteBook 8530w Mobile Workstation
    HP EliteBook 8530p Notebook PC
    HP EliteBook 8730w Mobile Workstation
    HP EliteBook 8730p Notebook PC
    NOTE:ESATA is an external interface that allows an eSATA drive to achieve data transfer speeds up to 6 times that of a SATA drive using standard USB 2.0 interface.
    Select HP Business Notebook PCs support RAID using Intel Matrix Storage Manager Software (v8.9.1.2 and higher) with secondary SATA drive in the Upgrade Bay of notebook or docking station.
    IRRT supports docking and undocking, and can be used to implement mirroring between the primary HDD and an optional HDD in the SATA swappable bay of the HP Advanced Docking station.

Intel Matrix Storage Manager

The Intel Matrix Storage Manager program supports the following features.
  • Advanced Host Controller Interface
    The Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) is a specification that allows the storage driver to enable advanced SATA features such as Native Command Queuing and hot plug capability. AHCI must be enabled in the system BIOS for these features to apply. AHCI is enabled by default on supported HP notebook PCs.
  • Native Command Queuing (NCQ)
    A read/write drive writes data to an HDD platter in concentric circles based on the order in which the write request was received. Because applications rarely request data in the same order that it was written to the platter, long delays would result if the drive had to locate data in the exact order that the HDD receives read requests. Native Command Queuing (NCQ) allows SATA HDDs to accept multiple commands and change their execution order to improve performance. This is analogous to the way an elevator reorders floor requests to minimize travel time and mechanical wear. Similarly, NCQ reduces the latency and unnecessary drive movement required to execute multiple outstanding read/write requests, resulting in increased performance and reliability. NCQ requires support from the system BIOS, SATA controller, and controller driver.
  • Hot Plug Capability
    Hot plug capability allows the SATA recovery HDD to be removed or inserted while the notebook PC is running. Hot plug capability is supported when the recovery HDD is connected to the eSATA port or located in the docking station SATA swappable bay. For example, the recovery HDD in the docking station SATA swappable bay can be removed while the notebook PC is running if an optical drive needs to be temporarily inserted into the bay. With hot plug capability, the notebook can be docked and undocked at any time.

Intel Rapid Recovery Technology

Intel Matrix Storage Manager supports the following IRRT features.
  • Mirror update policies
    IRRT allows for choice of how often the mirror HDD is updated: continuously or on-request. When using the continuous update policy, data on the primary drive is simultaneously copied to the mirror drive as long as both drives are connected to the system. If you undock the computer while using the docking station recovery drive, all new or revised data on the primary HDD is automatically copied to the recovery HDD when the notebook is re-docked. This policy also allows for an unfinished mirroring operation to be completed if it was interrupted when you undocked the notebook.
    When using the update on request policy, data on the primary HDD is copied to the mirror HDD only when you request it by selecting Update Recovery Volume in IRRT. After the request, only the new or updated files on the primary drive are copied to the mirror HDD. Prior to updating the mirror HDD, the on-request policy allows a file to be recovered if the corresponding file on the primary HDD is corrupted. The on-request policy can also protect data on the mirror HDD if the primary HDD is attacked by a virus, provided you do not update the mirror HDD after the virus attack.
    NOTE:The mirror update policy can be changed at any time by right-clicking Modify Volume Update Policy .
  • Automatic HDD switching and rapid recovery
    If the primary HDD fails, IRRT automatically switches to the mirrored drive without physical intervention. IRRT displays a message to notify you of the primary HDD failure. In the meantime, the computer can boot from the mirrored HDD. When a new primary HDD is installed and the computer is booted, IRRT's rapid recovery feature copies all mirrored data to the primary HDD.
    NOTE:If using the update on request policy and the primary HDD fails or a file on the primary HDD becomes corrupted, all data that is not mirrored is lost.
  • Simplified migration from RAID to non-RAID
    Migrating from a RAID 1 or IRRT volume to two non-RAID HDDs is called "breaking the array." Migration from RAID 1 to IRRT is also supported. However, migration from RAID 0 to RAID 1 or from RAID 9 to a non-RAID primary HDD is not supported.

Initiate RAID migration using Intel Matrix Storage Console

To initiate RAID migration using Intel Matrix Storage Console, complete the following steps.
  1. Open the Intel Matrix Storage Console by selecting Start , All Programs , Intel Matrix Storage Manager , and Intel Matrix Storage Console .
    NOTE:Some versions of Microsoft Windows include the User Account Control feature to improve the security of the notebook. Refer to Windows Help for more information if prompted for permission or password for specific tasks. The Console opens in Basic mode, displaying the status of the installed drives. The available RAID levels are based on the location of the secondary HDD. For example, when the secondary drive is in the notebook PC Upgrade Bay, all three RAID options are available as show.
    Figure 1: Device Console - Basic mode
    Image of the device console in basic mode.
    When the secondary HDD is in the docking station bay or connected to the eSATA port of the notebook PC, IRRT is the only RAID option available.
    Figure 2: Console with IRRT showing
    Image of the device console showning IRRT only.
  2. When you select an available RAID level in the left pane, a description displays in the right pane. After you choose the best RAID level for your application needs, follow the appropriate instructions in one of the following sections.

Migrating to RAID 1

  1. In the left pane, select Protect data from a hard drive failure with RAID 1 , and then click the icon beside Create a RAID 1 volume in the right pane. When the confirmation message displays, click Yes to begin the migration, or click No to cancel the migration.
    Figure 3: Protecting data from a HD failure w/ RAID 1
    Image of Protecting data from a HD failure w/ RAID 1.
  2. The progress of the RAID 1 migration displays in a separate window. The Console and progress windows can be minimized during the migration process in order to continue using the notebook.
    Figure 4: Migration process
    Image of the migration process window.
  3. The hard drive and volume status display after the migration is complete.
    Figure 5: Status window
    Image of the hard drive and volume status window.
  4. Close the Console window, save any open files, and restart the notebook.

Migrating to RAID 0

NOTE:Migrating to RAID 0 requires additional advanced steps, which include copying data to an additional external USB HDD. Read the entire RAID 0 migration procedure before migrating to RAID 0.
  1. In the left pane, select Improve storage performance with RAID 0 , and then click the icon beside Create a RAID 0 volume in the right pane. When the confirmation message displays, click Yes to begin the migration, or click No to change to a different RAID volume.
    Figure 6: Improve storage performance
    Image of the hard drive and volume status window.
  2. The progress of the RAID 0 migration displays in a separate window. The Console and progress windows can be minimized during the migration process in order to continue using the notebook.
  3. Select Yes to restart the system when prompted after the volume creation is complete.
    NOTE:Although the total capacity of the RAID 0 volume appears in the Console, the extra capacity created with the addition of the secondary HDD appears as unallocated space to the system. After the system restarts, the unallocated space will need to be allocated. For Microsoft Windows XP, the only option through the operating system is to create and format a separate volume.

Migrating to IRRT

IRRT offers more control over how data is copied from the primary drive to the recovery drive. When the secondary HDD is in the docking station SATA swappable bay or connected to the eSATA port of the notebook PC, IRRT is the only RAID option available.
  1. Select Protect data using Intel Rapid Recover Technology in the left pane, and then click the icon beside Create a recovery volume in the right pane. When the confirmation message displays, click Yes to begin the migration, or click No to change to a different RAID volume.
    Figure 7: Protect data using IRRT
    Image of the Protect data using IRRT window.
  2. The MSM software runs in the background while creating the RAID volume. The Console and progress windows can be minimized during the migration process in order to continue using the notebook.
  3. After the RAID migration is complete, a notification message displays. The Console window displays the volume status.
    Figure 8: Final status window showing volume status
    Image of the final volume status window.
  4. It is recommended that you restart the computer after the RAID volume is created.

Intel Matrix Storage Console advanced features

This optional configuration procedure is an advanced option.
  1. For a more detailed view of the RAID controller and the SATA HDDs present in the system, select View , Advanced Mode . The left pane, also called the device pane, shows the logical and physical views of the available drives.
    Figure 9: Storage Console - View
    Image of the storage console with
  2. In Advanced Mode, the Console also includes the Actions menu, which can be used to access advanced RAID options that allow manual configuration of RAID or recovery volume.
    Figure 10: Advanced mode - Actions menu
    Image of the Advance mode Actions menu with 'Actions
  3. Selecting one of the Action options opens the Create Recovery Volume Wizard, allowing for selection of the primary (master) drive and the secondary (recovery) drive. Select Help , Contents and Index for more information.

Using Intel Matrix Storage Console IRRT features

Modifying the volume update policy
When using IRRT, select how often the recovery HDD is updated: continuously or on-request. Continuous Updates is the default update policy. The steps to change the update policy to on-request are listed below.
  1. Select Modify Volume Update in the left pane. The current update policy is displayed in the right pane.
    Figure 11: Update policy
    Image of the current update policy.
  2. Select the icon beside Disable Continuous Updates in the right pane. The on-request update policy displays in Basic mode.
    Figure 12: Intel(R) Matrix Storage Console - Basic Mode
    Image of the Intel(R) Matrix Storage Console in Basic Mode.
  3. When using the on-request update policy, the recovery volume can be manually updated by selecting Update Recovery Volume in the left pane, and then selecting the icon beside Update Recovery Volume in the right pane.
  4. Restore the continuous update policy at any time by selecting Modify Volume Update Policy and selecting the icon beside Enable Continuous Updates .

Accessing recovery drive files (IRRT only)

When using IRRT, it is possible to access the recovery drive to view the files in Windows Explorer. However, when the recovery drive files are accessed, the recovery volume cannot be updated until the continuous update policy is re-enabled.
NOTE:When files on the recovery drive are accessed, the recovery drive status changes to read-only. Files from the recovery drive can only be copied to the primary drive or to other storage media.
  1. Select Access Recovery Drive Files in the left pane, and then click the icon beside Access Recovery Drive Files in the right pane. A message displays that updates to the recovery volume will be disabled.
    Figure 13: Access Recovery Drive Files
    Image of the Access Recovery drive files window.
  2. Click OK to confirm access to the recovery drive files. Open Windows Explorer to view the files.
    Figure 14: Access Recovery Drive Files - confirmation
    Image of the confirmation window to Access Recovery Drive Files using Windows Explorer.
    The Update Policy changes to On-Request and the Recovery Volume flashes red in the Console window.
  3. After the files have been viewed in Windows Explorer, select Modify Volume Update Policy in the left pane, and then select the icon beside Enable Continuous Updates in the right pane.

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