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Two shiny new WD 1200JD drives arrived today and I have problems due, I think, to never having experienced RAID before.
It's a Gigabyte GA-K8NSNXP-939 mobo. Disconnected my IDE drives. Have set up new SATA drives as RAID 1 using the nVIDIA drivers and it appears to be set up correctly - shows up as just one drive in HDD Smart Capability during boot up. Applied the drivers using F6 during XP Set Up. Formatted the drives using the XP CD then started Set Up again - was that correct? Had a choice of identical C or D drives to put XP on so chose C.
Once all the files had loaded and the computer rebooted, it hung on "NTDLR is missing - press Ctrl+Alt+Del to start". I have the boot sequence correct - CDROM then Hard Disk, but I've obviously done something wrong. Any ideas?
Richard - yes, old drives disconnected, only ones on the system are the new WD 1200JD's. Set up the array iaw page 78 of the mobo manual......F10 to select NVIDIA RAID, then moved the two disks in New Disks block over to Array Disks block with RAID mode set to Mirroring and Striping to Optimal. Then F7 to Clear Disk Data to which I answered No as they are new disks. The manual then says to select B to specify the array as bootable but this option was greyed out so I couldn't do that. Pressed Enter to verify details and my screen matched the screen print in the manual. Pressed CTRL+X to complete the RAID setup.
Set up a floppy iaw the manual, page 81, and the RAID drivers (nVIDIA Series ATA(XP)) were zipped to it. Booted from the XP CDROM, pressed F6 as required (with the floppy in the drive). Realised at this point that the drives had not been formatted but I was presented with options to format both C and D so I did that and set up a partition on each. Started the XP installation again but was given the option to install to C or D so chose C. From what you say I should not have had this option.
In Advanced BIOS Features I have the following for Hard Disk Priority: 1. SCSI-0 : NVIDIA Mirror 111.7 First Boot Priority set to CDROM Second Boot Priority set to Hard Disk. Note that in Item Help there is an option for Boot from SCSI but this does not exist in the selectable options.
In the BIOS messages during system boot it shows only one drive in the NVIDIA messages - Mirrored Array, 111.7GB and Healthy. Also the Pri. Master Disk HDD S.M.A.R.T. capability shows only one disk being enabled.
In Integrated Peripherals I have the following: (guesswork on my part in the absence of definite instructions) IDE Function Setup - IDE RAID Enabled ; SATA Primary Master and Secondary Master both Enabled, other options disabled. Serial-ATA 2 (internal PHY) set to Enabled. Onboard Serial ATA set to Enabled. Serial ATA Function set to RAID.
There do appear to be some problems with the GA-K8NSNXP-939 mobo, main problem being incorrect CPU sensing temperature (mine is 17C), but people on the Gigabyte Motherboard forum at http://www.pcper.com/index.php also seem to be having nVIDIA Raid problems - to the point where some have ditched the board. The posts are all far too technical for me and it looks as though the problems are all to do with overclocking rather than my problem which is probably down to pure lack of understanding!
Richard - as I suspected, the problem is due to my lack of knowledge of the set up process. Tried again in slow, slow time and it became apparent that previously when loading the RAID drivers after hitting F6 during Windows Setup I had only selected one of the two drivers shown. When I selected both then only the C: drive was available for Windows installation, just as it should be.
Live and learn!
Now having problems completing XP installation but I'll sort that hopefully!
Richard - completed the XP install okay - just the usual hiccups with having to remove a stick of RAM and also the inability to load some files and also some freezing in the final stages, but eventually got a clean run. My problem of having both C and D drives showing was down to me not loading the second nVIDIA driver for the Raid setup after using F6 in XP setup. Once I did that I saw the C drive only and everything went ahead as advertised.
Re Striping - both Mirroring and Striping Block size are default settings in the nVIDIA Raid setup - page 79 of the Mobo Manual recommends leaving the Striping Block size set to Optimal which is 32KB. Maybe I confused the issue by leaving the word "Block" out of my previous posts?
Richard - I'm out of my depth when it comes to reading or changing RAM timings so need some guidance on that one! Can't see anything relevant in the BIOS but it must be there somewhere.
I have a good stable SP1 set up, no programs installed yet except PartitionMagic - still with only one RAM stick as I'm trying to install SP2, but keep getting varying corrupt file warnings and can't get past the file extraction stage. That's with trying 2 different SP2 disks, 3 different CD or DVD drives, and changing the drive data cable for a brand new one.
Put in PartitionMagic merely to prove that it would install because of problems installing SP2. I see now on other PC forums that there were problems with SP2 and Athlon 64's at the end of August and there were suggestions to wait a while for a fix, but I can't even get past the first stage of installing it. (CPU is an Athlon 64 3500+)
Richard - new magazine arrived yesterday with an article on RAM timing so I understand a little more. Dug out the RAM packaging and it's got 2-2-2-5 written on it. It's a matched pair of Corsair with these markings on the chip
CMX512 3200XLPRO XMS3200 512MB 400MHz.
Advanced Chipset Features are only shown after hitting CTRL-F1 and aren't shown in the screen prints in the Manual - took me a while to realise this. The DDR timing is set to Auto and in Help it says DDR timing setting by SPD.
The relevant BIOS readout is as follows:
DDR timing Setting by Auto (can be changed to manual for all below) CAS# latency CL=2.0 Row cycle time (tRC) 11 bus clocks Row refresh cyc time (tRFC) 14 bus clocks RAS# to CAS# delay (tRCD) 4 bus clocks Row to Row delay (tRRD) 3 bus clocks Min RAS# active time (tRAS) 6 bus clocks Row precharge time (tRP) 2 bus clocks Write Recovery time (tWR) 3 bus clocks Write to read delay (tWTR) 2 bus clocks Read to write delay (tRWT 3 bus clocks Refresh period (tREF) 2x3120 cycles Enable 2T timing Auto
Hope this makes sense so you can suggest some changes for me.
Richard - looks like I'm not the only one with problems with this mobo/memory - there's a long thread running on the Corsair Forums site http://www.houseofhelp.com/v2/showthread.php?t=28664 which will take me a while to get through, but the first few posts there show exactly the same problems that I've got. It looks as though Gigabyte are aware of the problems and a new BIOS should be out next week, but it's obvious this is one hell of a problematic board at the moment - some guys can't even get XP to load....I know how they feel, but at least I'm just past that stage and hopefully SP2 will load once I get some different RAM timings and/or new BIOS.
Last edited by Speechless Two; 19th Sep 2004 at 16:56.
Richard - just had to add a postscript to close this thread. First of all, yet again my thanks for your patience and willingness to pass on your knowledge. This last four weeks of trying to sort out this new motherboard/memory problem has been a nightmare which now appears to be over.
Just for the record and in case anyone else comes up on the forum and has GA-K8NSNXP-939 problems with a F3 bios and inability to load some files in XP setup, freezing during set up, and total inability to load SP2 past the first few seconds of getting random corrupt file warnings, I've got a stable system up and running in one attempt from scratch to loading XP Pro and SP2 in well under two hours. Done by reducing the RAM speed to 2.5-2-4-11, disabling 2T timing and increasing the DDR voltage by +0.2V.
It may not be the fastest on the block - it is however still much faster than my last system - but at least it works!! Hopefully Gigabyte's promised new Bios will sort out the memory problems, the incorrect low CPU temperature reporting, the lack of operation of hard disk activity LED's, the inability to use RAM slots 1 and 3 together and a myriad of other faults.