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RecceDG
06-30-2012, 11:17 AM
Howdy gents,

After 8 years of solid use, my Alienware M9700 is starting to get a little creaky. I had a really good run with that machine, and it is incredible how long it stayed viable, but it is time to replace the old workhorse with a new horse.

I decided on the Asus G75, and I have a ds73-3D waiting for pickup on Tuesday.

That model comes with 2 x 750Gb hard drives striped RAID 0 to make 1.5 Tb. I don't need that much space; instead I want to set the machine up as a 750 Gb RAID 1 array. RAID 1 has saved my ass more than once (the M9700 had it) as it makes data immune to hd failure.

According to the manual (which I can read online) the BIOS supports RAID 1, so that part is covered.

What should be the process of converting to RAID 1 should be:

1. Get into the BIOS screen before boot;

2. Switch to RAID 1 and build the array (using the BIOS utilities) which formats and erases both drives; and

3. Run the OEM recovery DVD to do a clean install on the new array.

Has anybody done this? Any guidance or advice on the process?

DG

john_from_ohio
06-30-2012, 12:31 PM
Sounds mostly right ... uninstall the Asus live update utility first before doing anything else and then update Asus Recovery utility to latest version and use that updated version to build a set of Recovery DVD's ( or better yet isos of the recovery DVDs onto an external hard drive _ then burn those isos ).

After getting such a fast machine though ... you probably will want to seriously consider upgrading to an SSD at some point. You can do that and then get win 7 system image backups of your boot OS drive ( SSD ) ... even getting them onto your 2nd internal drive at times.

The G75VW is an absolute beast when running from an SSD!

RecceDG
07-04-2012, 02:06 AM
OK, I am in the middle of this now.

Picked up machine

Power on

Windows first time load config stuff happens

Delete Asus Live Update

Connect to network and install newest version of AI utility

Run AI utility - burns 4 DVDs. Slowly

Reboot, F2 to get BIOS. Not much there. Switch hds from sata to RAID and change boot order to optical drive first

Reboot, hit control-i to get storage management interface

Create new RAID volume. Name it. Set to RAID 1

Put DVD 1 in drive. Reboot. Machine boots, asks to restore. Message talks about recovering hidden partition... But starts loading data off DVDs. I'm now on disk 4 with the progress meter at 62 percent. This is NOT quick.

So far so good. I'm a little worried the AI utility is not going to install the system on my newly created RAID array but instead is rebuilding all those odd partitions... I guess I'll see soon enough.

DG

RecceDG
07-04-2012, 02:13 AM
OK, it rebooted, booted off the hd, and ran a dos script, and now has the preload wizard up.

Recover windows to entire hd

Dos windows running scripts

Now a dos window running imagex and a progress bar

DG

RecceDG
07-04-2012, 02:55 AM
More dos windows

Rebooted to windows

Setup installing devices

Applying system settings

Reboot

Preparing computer for first use...

More scripts

Man, installing Linux is easier than this...

Looks like a script is installing the nvidia driver

Reboot

The reboot screens show the RAID array in place so my hopes are up

Came up in 1080p

More scripts

Device drivers being installed

Mcafee installed - it is squawking about computer at risk

This is taking forever.

Reboot

I think this is it... Nope

More scripts

DG

RecceDG
07-04-2012, 03:48 AM
Two more friggn' reboots and it is done. I'm soaking in it now.

C:\ shows up as a 675gb single partition and the properties have it on the RAID array drive volume so I think it worked. Huzzah!

Just need to fid what utility Intel uses to display / rebuild the array from Windows (so I can tell if the array is degraded or not)

Net up - PCMover to try and move my data and programs over from my old machine.

DG

RecceDG
07-11-2012, 01:02 PM
The OEM RAID drivers do work in RAID 1 but Asus does not provide any array management utility.

Installing the Intel Rapid Storage Technology drivers installed the monitor utility and upgraded the RAID drivers themselves to the latest version.

I haven't seen any noticable performance increases from the new drivers, but it is nice to be able to verify the health of the array.

So then, success - the G75 can indeed run in RAID 1.

DG

d-Metrius
08-28-2012, 07:28 AM
Thanks a lot, man! I'm about to do the same!

d-Metrius
08-30-2012, 08:40 AM
After making RAID-1 and recovering the system on it, windows experience index showed me 5.3 for HDD performance instead of 5.9 in non-RAID configuration. HD Tune software showed me less average read speed than non-RAID setup. Installing Intel Rapid (Matrix) Storage Manager and drivers made windows experience index jump to 5.6.

When I created RAID-0 array and recovered OS on it, I received 5.9 windows experience index and almost as twice boost in HD Tune read speed. But this kind of setup is pretty dangerous.