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GA-P35C-DS3R Raid Problem

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  • GA-P35C-DS3R Raid Problem

    I have a Gigabyte P35C-DS3R mainboard currently configured with 3 Western Digital 320GB HDD in a RAID 5 array under Vista64.

    Initially the system was installed on a single drive, and then migrated using the Intel Matrix Storage Manager to a RAID 5 array. On commanding a shutdown the system would exit windows but fail to power down, and on resetting one HDD would be reported as failed and the array as degraded. This would occur on each shutdown attempt. For the record, the system is stock standard with no overclocking.

    After much tweaking it seems that the system is stable ONLY if the Intel Matrix Manager is the same version number as the raid firmware (currently and the array has the write-back cache disabled. However this configuration still results in extended shutdown times and decreased raid array speed (as measured using HD-Tach and SANDRA). While I understand the potential problems of data loss on unexpected power failure if using write-back cache I would still like this as an option that doesn't result in multi-hour rebuilds after every shutdown. No problems were apparent with a quick scan of the 3 HDD using the WD lifeguard utilities.

    Firstly, is this expected behaviour for this mainboard and the ICH9 controller in general? Secondly, will any future BIOS update also update the ICH9 raid controller firmware?



  • #2
    Re: GA-P35C-DS3R Raid Problem

    Well i don't have experience with raid 5 but i know that rebuilding my raid 1 config took very long each time it was degraded.
    What does the Intel Storage screen say at boot up ? Is your Raid Array green ?
    As far as i understand, you did a migration from stand alone to Raid 5. I woulnd't have done it this way, i would have installed from scratch on a existing raid 5 array.


    • #3
      Re: GA-P35C-DS3R Raid Problem


      The problem isn't the length of time rebuilding so much as the frequency. The system should be stable when in a RAID 5 array using Write-back cache, and it isn't at all, at least following a shutdown. Strangely it is after a restart. There is some difference in the processes where is appears data is never completely written out to the drives on shutdown and therefore they always come back unclean and result in a degraded array.

      As for migrating to a RAID5 array, I had the system dual booting between various versions of windows until I settled on trying Vista64. It happened to be stable and so for future expansion I went with Vista over XP and simply converted to RAID. Actually this was an easy as advertised and apart from the RAID problems I'd give Intel a big tick for the ease of use of the matix solution.

      Now if only I could use that ****ed write-back cache! Still, the system is usable without write-back, which is better than some on here and I generally like the capabilities of the DS3R board.



      • #4
        Re: GA-P35C-DS3R Raid Problem

        Hi Wembley,

        OK i see.

        I just took a look at my settings and you won't beleave it : Writecache is OFF. I'm surprised myself. But i have to admid that i never had the idea of changing it.
        My System is very stable this way and my RAID 0 Array has the expectet performance. I made a fast HDTUNE test (hdtach does not work on Vista) : Min = 104,1 MB/S - Max = 136.2 MB/S. That looks good to me. RAID 1 about 53 Mb/S.

        I can remember having read something about disabling writecache especially on raid configs, but I lost the exact context about it.
        I understand that you want squeeze all out of your system but i think this Writecache Setting is maybe too experimental and should be used with caution.

        Sorry not having helped you more.

        Just about my specs : P35C-DSR3 / F2 BIOS / RAID 0 STRIPE on 2 Raptor 740 / RAID 1 Mirror on 2 Samsung 2004C / C2D 6850 / 4 GB RAM / 8800 GTX / Windows XP Pro SP2 / Vista Business X64 / Intel Matrix 7.6 Driver


        • #5
          Re: GA-P35C-DS3R Raid Problem

          4 gig Corsair Dominator RAM
          EVGA 8800 GTS Video
          4 Seagate Barracuda 320GB Drives
          Vista Business 32

          I am also running RAID 5. I'm using one of the above seagates as my boot drive and striping w/parity the other 3. I set my raid up in the raid bios
          (ctrl + I) It has rebuilt itself and/or gone into a verify/repair cycle a couple of times. Takes forever. The first time was because of a couple of blue-screen reboots trying to stabalize Vista. The last time was because the power connector on one of the drives was accidently unplugged. I got all of my initial problems resolved that caused the blue screens and everything is stable as a rock. I wouldn't suggest running the OS off of a RAID 5 volume on this or any other desktop class board. Too easy to loose everything all at once. Makes for a bad day.;-/


          • #6
            Re: GA-P35C-DS3R Raid Problem

            ICH9 support RAID5, but vista sounds still have issue.