Re: A8V Deluxe & HDD Problems

On Fri, 28 Jul 2006 19:25:12 GMT, nospam@xxxxxxxxxx (Paul) wrote:

In article <6ukkc250nq8cj8jrafsg48ks8jbdd3ijs7@xxxxxxx>, Holy Schmoly
<dont@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

My friend has an A8V and is trying to have windows recognize the 2
SATA HDDs which are to be used in a non RAID manner. He says that
they were being used in some RAID configuration before, but he has
reinstalled Windows XP Pro and is now wishing to use them as just two
separate HDDs.

His non SATA HDD has Windows XP Pro installed on it and is functioning
properly and shows up in Disk Management of Windows XP's Computer
Management. But his two SATA HDDs don't show up at all in it.

He has tried disabling the onboard RAID controller in the BIOS, but
that didn't do anything.

Can someone please suggest some things to try to resolve this problem?
Thanks for your time and coutesy.

It would help if you did "Delete Array" in the RAID BIOS
that did the "Create Array" in the first place. That erases
the metadata on the disks. Erasing the disks with DBAN would
be another option, but a waste of more time. (A single pass
erase would do.)

AFAIK, the 8237 uses the RAID driver, whether doing RAID or not.
For non-RAID, you are effectively using "JBOD". If you added
one disk to the 8237, did not enter the RAID BIOS, had the
8237 RAID driver installed, it is possible it might get picked
up as JBOD. If the metadata on the disk is valid for the 8237
though, and says the disk is part of some RAID array, there is
no reason for the driver to revert to JBOD.

Some Southbridge chips, like the Nvidia Nforce, can use the
Microsoft driver and run in non-RAID mode. There is usually
a BIOS setting that controls RAID per port as well. The
VIA don't seem to work that way, and as a result, I think
that is why the RAID driver is used all the time. And with
the RAID driver in place, you don't want any info in the
reserved sector telling the driver that the drives are
part of an array. I cannot see that helping.

The closest thing to a manual I can find for VT8237 is this:

In particular, read the last page of that document. Then
have a look at section 4.6 on page 12.

On the Promise controller, there are separate ATA and RAID drivers.
I think the Promise controller still uses a metadata (reserved sector)
approach, even when using those two drivers. It would not be a
good idea to confuse things, by presenting a disk that still
has the metadata from a RAID, and then trying to use the ATA
driver on it. So deleting the array on the two disks, if
prepped by the Promise RAID BIOS, might also be a good idea.

Paul, thank you very much for your detailed reply. Really appreciate
it. And now that you mention it, I seem to recall the SATA disks were
being controlled by a Promise controller card.

So, he just took out the card, connected the SATA disks directly to
the A8V and was left with the problem of Windows not recognizing the
two SATA disks.

However, he did mention that during the boot process, the SATA disks
were listed along with the primary disk which has Windows XP Pro on
it. This disk is a non SATA drive.

So, since he was using a Promise controller previously, there's a good
chance that the metadata is still on the disks, therefore he should
delete the array?

Sorry for asking what probably is a very obvious question, but how
would one go about deleting or erasing the RAID on the disks? Would
my friend have to format the disks or use some utility to achieve
this? Thanks again.