Question about ASUS KFN32-D SLI /SAS Motherboard

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Unable to see RAID 5 config on Asus kfn32-D SLI/SAS MB

Have 4 1TB seagate drives. Setup RAID5 in BIOS for first 4 SATA ports. Entered Nvidia RAID util and added the 4 drives to a RAID 5 config with 64 bit striping. Cleared the MBR and set as bootable. Creates a 2.72TB RAID array. Got a warning that arrays larger than 2TB require the use of a 9.xx or greater OS driver. Of course Asus does not supply a raid driver on their website for this board. Anyway, created a driver floppy with the cd that came with the board. Booted with the Server 2003 disk and hit f6 for the raid driver. It read the floppy and had two choices, Nvida RAID or reg IDE. Using RAID driver - no drives found. Using IDE - Setup pulls one disk from the array and proceeds to install. Does anyone know if there is a current driver for this RAID that will work? Or is this setup even going to work? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Chuck May 11, 2010

    try not hitting the F6 button and when it goes to install the operating system when it gives you the option to install to a partition see if it shows the full 2.7 TB

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First IDE mode will not allow you to use RAID so you cannot use that. NVidia RAID should be able to handle the 2.72 TB RAID volume but there are other limitations you need to be aware of. . MBR which is Master Boot Record is the volume structure used by most windows systems and it has a limitation of 2 TB. You can use the newer GPT instead of MBR, but you cannot boot off of a GPT volume directly on most PC's. To do that you would need EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) which basically is a new replacement for the BIOS. The motherboard manufacturer would have to support EFI.

You do have a lot of alternatives here though. Given the fact that you have four drives you could use one drive for the system disk, and use the other three for a RAID 5 volume. You would install windows on the single drive and then boot into windows and used disk manager to create a new partition on the RAID 5 volume. The benefit is read access speed and redundancy. There is a write performance hit because of parity generation and the space available for data is approximately the same as the total of 2 drives. The rest of the space stores the parity information. So you end up with 1 TB system drive with no redundancy, and a 2 TB RAID volume.

You could also use RAID 0+1 which is two stripe sets where one is a mirror of the other to provide redundancy. This gives you speed without the write performance hit. With 4 x 1 TB drives, you would end up with a bootable 2 TB volume with redundancy and excellent write and read performance.

Posted on Jul 20, 2010

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NVIDIA RAID does not support > 2TB (18xxGB) arrays. It will NOT show up properly in Windows.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009

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