nVidia RAID : nvRAID

The motherboard in my home-built PC is an ASUS A8N-E. It’s an nForce4 AMD motherboard with not only the standard ATA interface, now known as Parallel ATA or PATA, but the newer Serial ATA or SATA and an Nvidia RAID controller. I started with a single SATA drive and planned to upgrade to a RAID1 configuration for my boot drive at a later date. One of my favorite stores, Central Computer, offered some discounts over the holidays and I picked up a second, identical drive and decided to try to RAID my existing XP Pro installation. Simple, right? Wrong!

To even be able to boot a RAIDed system, you’ve got to have installed the RAID drivers and, without an existing RAID on the system, they (or at least the nVidia ones) don’t install! Now, you’d think this would all be pretty well documented in various forums (fora?) around the Internet but I couldn’t find anything to really help me and, believe me, I did a lot of searching! So, I managed to create a RAID using my second SATA and a third that I had on-hand to hold backups and such. That allowed me to get my drivers installed (and also the nVidia XP-based RAID manager software). Then I backed up my system, undid the RAID, RAIDed my boot volume, restored the system to the newly RAIDed boot volume and, fortunately, that worked! Kudos to Acronis True Image for supporting RAID.

A simple matter of about 4 evenings work split up between searching the Internet, downloading drivers, installing, uninstalling, backing up, restoring and a lot of luck!

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