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Setting Up RAID Using Intel Matrix Storage Technology (Windows Vista)

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This document applies to HP and Compaq Desktop computers using Intel Matrix Storage Technology and RAID controllers in Windows Vista.

Intel RAID technology

Intel's RAID solution is called Intel Matrix Storage Technology. RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) technology allows several hard disk drives to function as one storage area (the array) to provide either data redundancy (backup security) or faster performance (striped reading/writing data from or to the disk drives). This document contains information about common RAID configurations and procedures about how to set up your system to various RAID configurations.

Choosing a RAID configuration

RAID Ready describes a system that is currently not in a RAID configuration. Intel's RAID solution allows you to configure a RAID Ready system to a RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 or RAID 10 volume by adding additional SATA hard disk drives and then running the migration feature documented in this document.
RAID 0 combines two or more hard disk drives so that all data is divided into manageable blocks called stripes. This improves read/write performance by allowing data to be accessed from more than one hard disk drive simultaneously. However, data stored in a RAID 0 volume is not redundant so that if one hard disk drive fails, all data on the volume is lost.
RAID 1 duplicates information from one hard disk drive onto a second hard disk drive. The data files are written to both hard disk drives and read from one drive. This setup provides data protection and security by minimizing the reliability risks; if one drive fails completely, no data is lost. Once the failed drive is replaced, the data is copied to the new drive.
RAID 5 combines three or four hard disk drives so that all data is divided into manageable blocks called strips. RAID 5 also stores parity, a mathematical method for recreating lost data on a single drive. The data and parity are striped across the three or four hard disk drives.
RAID 10 uses four hard disk drives to create a combination of RAID levels 0 and 1. The data is striped across a two-disk array forming a RAID 0 component. Each of the drives in the RAID 0 array is mirrored to form a RAID 1 component. This provides the performance benefits of RAID 0 and the redundancy of RAID 1. The RAID 10 volume appears as a single hard disk drive with a capacity equal to two drives of the four drive configuration. The remaining two drives are used for mirroring.

Before you begin

Before setting up a RAID configuration, turn off sleep mode. Sleep mode can interfere with the RAID migration. Follow these steps to turn off sleep mode:
  1. Click Start , and then click Control Panel.
    Control Panel opens.
    Figure 1: Control Panel
  2. Click Hardware and Sound.
    The Hardware and Sound window opens.
    Figure 2: Hardware and Sound
  3. Click Power Options.
    The Power Options window opens.
    Figure 3: Power Options
  4. Click Change when the computer sleeps.
    The Edit Plan Settings window opens.
    Figure 4: Edit Plan Settings
  5. Select Never from the Put the computer to sleep drop-down list.
  6. Click Save changes, and close the Control Panel.
You are now ready to start the migration steps below.

Configuring computer from RAID Ready to Raid 0

  1. Shut down the computer.
    Click Start , click the arrow on the toolbar, and then click Shut Down.
  2. Connect a second hard disk drive to an available SATA port. The second hard disk drive must be equal to or larger than the original hard disk drive in the system.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. Click Start , All Programs, Intel®) Matrix Storage Manager, and then click Intel Matrix Storage Console.
    Intel Matrix Storage Console opens.
    Figure 5: Intel Matrix Storage Console
  5. Click Improve storage performance with RAID 0.
    Figure 6: Improve storage performance with RAID 0
  6. Click the Create a RAID 0 volume button.
  7. When the confirmation box appears, click Yes to start the migration process.
    A migration status bar appears. The migration process can take several hours.
    NOTE:The system functions fully during the RAID migration.
    Figure 7: Migration status bar
  8. Once the RAID migration is complete, restart the computer to use the entire RAID volume capacity.
    Click Yes to restart the computer.
  9. Figure 8: Migration Status
  10. To format the available unallocated space on your hard disk drive, follow the steps in the Post RAID migration procedure .

Configuring computer from RAID Ready to RAID 1

  1. Shut down the computer.
    Click Start , click the arrow on the toolbar, and then click Shut Down.
  2. Connect a second hard disk drive to an available SATA port. The second hard disk drive must be equal to or larger than the original hard disk drive in the system.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. Click Start , All Programs, Intel®) Matrix Storage Manager, and then click Intel Matrix Storage Console.
    Intel Matrix Storage Console opens.
    Figure 9: Intel Matrix Storage Console
  5. Click Protect data from a hard drive failure with RAID 1.
    Figure 10: Protect data from a hard drive failure with RAID 1
  6. Click the Create a RAID 1 volume button.
  7. When the confirmation box appears, click Yes to start the migration process.
    A migration status bar appears. The migration process can take several hours.
    NOTE:The system functions fully during the RAID migration.
    Figure 11: Migration status bar
  8. Once the RAID migration is complete, click OK.
  9. NOTE:You do not need to restart the computer when migrating to RAID 1.

Configuring RAID Ready to RAID 5

A RAID 5 volume configuration requires three hard disk drives. For more information about RAID 5, click Help in the Intel Matrix Storage Manager or go to the Intel Matrix Storage Manager Web site.

Configuring RAID Ready to RAID 10

A RAID 10 volume configuration requires four hard disk drives. HP does not support a computer model that uses four hard disk drives. For more information about RAID 10, click Help in the Intel Matrix Storage Manager or go to the Intel Matrix Storage Manager Web site.

Post RAID migration procedure

After migrating a system from RAID Ready to RAID 0, RAID 5 or RAID 10, the RAID volume contains the combined capacity of all the hard disk drives, but the migrated partition leaves unformatted space at the end of the RAID volume.
NOTE:This post migration procedure is not necessary when migrating from Raid Ready to RAID 1.
To use this space, use Windows Vista Disk Management to create another partition by following the steps below:
  1. Click Start , right-click Computer, and then click Manage.
    The Computer Management window opens.
    Figure 12: Computer Management
  2. Click Disk Management under Storage.
  3. Right-click the unallocated space and click New Simple Volume.
    Figure 13: New Simple Volume
  4. Click Next in the New Simple Volume Wizard welcome screen.
    Figure 14: New Simple Volume Wizard welcome screen
  5. Specify the volume size, and then click Next.
    Figure 15: Specify Volume Size
  6. Assign a drive letter, and then click Next.
    Figure 16: Assign Drive Letter
  7. Format the partition to make it usable. Enter a Volume label, select a File system type, and then click Next.
    NOTE:Make sure Default is selected for the Allocation unit size.
    Figure 17: Format Partition
  8. At the finish screen, click Finish to start the formatting process.
    NOTE:Formatting the partition may take several minutes. Do not turn off your computer until the New Simple Volume has been completely formatted.
    Figure 18: Completing the New Simple Volume Wizard

Error: A Drive in RAID 0 volume is failing

This error most likely indicates that one of the drives in the array is physically failing. You should make backups of any important files immediately.
To find the failing drive so that it can be replaced, open the Intel Matrix Storage Console from the Windows Start menu and note the port next to hard drive showing the error. This port number should match the SATA port number associated to the hard drive connection on the motherboard.
Figure 19: Failing drive as shown in Intel Matrix Storage Console

Related support

The The Intel Storage Technology Web site (in English) provides additional RAID information.

Related support links

HP Support forums

Find solutions and collaborate with others on the HP Support Forum