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01.01.2011

Switching from SATA to hardware RAID on an already installed Windows 7 is quite the pain in the ass.

What i wanted to do is simply add a RAID-1 with 2 Disks. No changes to the system drive (except switching it from SATA(non-AHCI) to RAID.

Once simply switching the SATA-Ports from SATA to RAID mode (and remembering to switch the boot device priority), Windows starts to load up but then fails with a BSOD. The same issue as when trying to switch from SATA to AHCI (which can be resolved rather simply, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976/en-us).

While there seems to be a solution for Intel based Raid controllers ICH9 ICH10 ICH10R (see drnathan.teamhackaday.com), for AMD-based ones there is no such workaround but the same problem:

  • When the hdds are running in SATA mode, the driver for the RAID controller can't be installed.
  • When the hdds are in RAID mode, windows won't even boot.

Resolution for my particular problem was the following:

  • Configure your Motherboard to activate RAID, but also SATA (on some ports / different controller) and make sure your system disk is on one of the SATA ports.
  • After successful boot you should see a RAID-Controller in the device manager. Select to choose the drivers for it manually and select the drivers from the AMD AHCI/RAID drivers that you get from AMD.
  • Do NOT try to install JMicron raid drivers (as I did), unless you are really using the JMicron Raid controller on your motherboard (i think in my case that are the grey sata ports).
  • Now your Windows knows AMD Hardware Raid and should find the attached devices.
  • Once thats successfull, simply switch all your sata ports to raid and you should be able to boot with your system drive and all other drives set to RAID mode.

That really took some time and lots of reboots to work. Can't imagine how hard it would have been if i would have tried to migrate my system drive to an actual RAID-1/0 instead of just addressing it through the RAID controller.
Andreas
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