RAID on a Gigabyte K8NF9 Ultra Board

Wanting to do the right thing with our new office PC, I opted for a Mirrored RAID setup (RAID-1) across two SATA-II 200GB drives. Not knowing which SATA ports to plug the drives into, I opted for the first two (SATA-0 and SATA-1). The default state of the Award BIOS listed the two drives, but the RAID function was disabled. I enabled RAID across the board, rebooted, and... the drives had disappeared from the POST drive detection screen and from the list of drives when I entered the BIOS. However, if I let the PC continue to the end of the POST phase, a prompt came up to hit F10 to enter the RAID utility. I did so and ... nothing happened!

Back I went into the BIOS. Bear in mind that there was nothing in the manual, or on the Giga-Byte website, about how to configure RAID. I tried various things, and in desperation sent a support ticket to Giga-Byte:

I am trying to configure my system with RAID-1 (mirrored) configuration, using two Samsung SP2004C 200GB SATA-II drives. In non-RAID mode the drives are listed in the BIOS standard CMOS features screen and during POST, but if I enable RAID on either SATA 1 or SATA 2 (in the Integrated Peripherals screen) the drives are no longer listed in BIOS or POST, and are not listed as a potential RAID array at the end of POST (when the RAID utility prompts me to hit F10 to configure. If I hit F10 to enter RAID configuration, nothing happens as presumably no RAID arrays can be found.

So my question is, what is the correct configuration to do RAID-1 with 2 SATA-II drives? Which SATA sockets should I use and how should things be configured in BIOS and in the RAID utility?

I've checked your site and the manual over and over for this, but neither have anything about 'how to configure RAID'.

They replied a couple of days later, suggesting I choose the 'optimized defaults' option in the BIOS, and that would enable RAID. Sure enough it didn't, and got me nowhere further forward. Giga-Byte support hadn't answered my questions on how the BIOS should be enabled, so I was no more enlightened there.

Eventually it dawned on me that maybe the reason that hitting F10 had no effect was because I was using a USB keyboard. There was a 'support legacy usb keyboard' option in the 'integrated peripherals' section of the BIOS, set to disabled. I enabled it, rebooted, and ... hey presto! I was in the RAID utility with my two drives listed and waiting to be put in the RAID. This utility was quite straightforward to use, but might be rather beyond the newbie; there were no explanations of what to do, so I just went with my instincts.

All I had to do then was make sure I loaded the SATA/RAID drivers from a floppy during XP64 bootup (by hitting F6 at the beginning of the CD boot), and Window setup had no problems. The RAID only comes out at 190GB by the way. 10GB missing... quite a lot really!


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