Problems with SATA RAID with Promise 376 controller

Hey everyone.

I have a K7N2G-ILSR mobo with the promise 376 sata raid controller on it. I picked myself up 2 120GB Maxtor Diamondmax 9 hard drives and have been trying to get them working. The controller finds them fine and sets them up 0+1 without incident, but when i get into my windows xp setup, after i give it the driver off my floppy disk for the raid controller, it goes really fucking slow, and occasionally just hangs there with the hard drive occasionally clicking (like the head is going back to resting spot. I’ve gotten it to install once, but data corruption quickly ensued afterwards. Problem with SATA is I have 5 systems here but lol non have SATA so I can see if its teh drives, but sicne they are brand new and I’ve seen a lot of posts about this damn controller I was wondering if you guys had any insight…

Anyone else run into this before? Basically it just doesn’t seem to work right. My bios for the controller posts 1.0.0.19 on bootup, I just updated my MSI bios to the lastest one.

WTF si up?

Hi Weetz, and welcome to the forum!

I’ve got a similar setup (same HDs, same mainboard, RAID 0) and it works just fine.

The clicking noise makes me think that one of your discs isn’t functioning properly! Did you already try to use the HDs in a standalone setup and see what happens?

Ofcourse, you can check all the cables etc etc but a problem like this shouldn’t be the cause of clicking discs…

BTW, if you want to have more raid options, let me know, as I have a modded BIOS that unlocks the full potential of the RAID chipset on the mainboard (turns the 376 into a TX2-plus controller).

Originally posted by Dee-ehn
[B]Hi Weetz, and welcome to the forum!

I’ve got a similar setup (same HDs, same mainboard, RAID 0) and it works just fine.

The clicking noise makes me think that one of your discs isn’t functioning properly! Did you already try to use the HDs in a standalone setup and see what happens?

Ofcourse, you can check all the cables etc etc but a problem like this shouldn’t be the cause of clicking discs…

BTW, if you want to have more raid options, let me know, as I have a modded BIOS that unlocks the full potential of the RAID chipset on the mainboard (turns the 376 into a TX2-plus controller). [/B]

Did yours work before you modded your bios? I’ve been able to get the disks to work in windows off what I had booting before and just using them as a raid setup. They worked but I’d still get the pauses on large copies. That usually to me means driver issues but its hard to tell.

Sure I’m interested in your bios mod but at this point I jsut want to ensure things work at all.

Is there something in the bios I have to s et right? Sometimes I get this error that Fasttrak cannot determine proper IRQ’s blah blah. Its all annoying and unfamiliar so I’m not sure what to do.

should I try just one hard drive at a time and see how it goes? I never thought to do that but it could help me determine if maybe its just one of the hard drives clicking.

Yes, they worked fine before I modded my BIOS. I’ve had the “delayed write failure” a couple of times (not only on this system), and it always turned out to be a defective harddisk, or a malfunctioning cable.

I’ve never experienced any HDs making tickling noises because of a wrong configuration, defective cables etc etc… but you can always try ofcourse.

One thing: the RAID bios on your mainboard is only designed for RAID arrays between a SATA and a PATA disc (pretty stupid, I know), but I know it’s possible to cheat, even without the BIOS mod.

What kind of RAID array are you using? RAID 1 or 0? There isn’t really much you can do wrong: set up the array in the BIOS of the 376 controller, boot to Windows, install the RAID drivers (or, load the RAID drivers during the Windows setup) and off you go. You might want to install the RAID utility that comes with the mainboard, to setup your discs. With that utility, you can manage the array…

Originally posted by Dee-ehn
[B]Yes, they worked fine before I modded my BIOS. I’ve had the “delayed write failure” a couple of times (not only on this system), and it always turned out to be a defective harddisk, or a malfunctioning cable.

I’ve never experienced any HDs making tickling noises because of a wrong configuration, defective cables etc etc… but you can always try ofcourse.

One thing: the RAID bios on your mainboard is only designed for RAID arrays between a SATA and a PATA disc (pretty stupid, I know), but I know it’s possible to cheat, even without the BIOS mod.

What kind of RAID array are you using? RAID 1 or 0? There isn’t really much you can do wrong: set up the array in the BIOS of the 376 controller, boot to Windows, install the RAID drivers (or, load the RAID drivers during the Windows setup) and off you go. You might want to install the RAID utility that comes with the mainboard, to setup your discs. With that utility, you can manage the array… [/B]

well i’ve been trying to raid two SATA disks. It does’nt support that? Is that what you just told me? That makes zero sense. So as is iI can’t raid two SATA drives?

Right now I’m trying just one drive at a time (0+1) striping on one drive heh. I just want see if I get the clicks on one or the other.

I tried that utility once, it seemed more like some sort of RAID server ? admin thing, i didn’t get it.

Originally posted by weetz
well i’ve been trying to raid two SATA disks. It does’nt support that? Is that what you just told me? That makes zero sense. So as is iI can’t raid two SATA drives?

It is configured to only support SATA and PATA raid, but it’s no problem to make a raid of two SATA discs.

What you do, is make two arrays, each existing of one drive. Then, in Windows, you can create an array of those two discs. Notice, Windows sees only one disk at first, the other disc has to be enabled with the Array managment software!

Originally posted by weetz
Right now I’m trying just one drive at a time (0+1) striping on one drive heh. I just want see if I get the clicks on one or the other.

That’s the way to test it, indeed!

Originally posted by weetz
I tried that utility once, it seemed more like some sort of RAID server ? admin thing, i didn’t get it.

Well, it’s a kind of server indeed, but the utility has a built-in admin program, for managing your local and your remote RAID arrays.

Originally posted by Dee-ehn
[B]It is configured to only support SATA and PATA raid, but it’s no problem to make a raid of two SATA discs.

What you do, is make two arrays, each existing of one drive. Then, in Windows, you can create an array of those two discs. Notice, Windows sees only one disk at first, the other disc has to be enabled with the Array managment software!

That’s the way to test it, indeed!

Well, it’s a kind of server indeed, but the utility has a built-in admin program, for managing your local and your remote RAID arrays. [/B]

two arrays each of one drive eh? How would I do that if I’m trying to do a windows install? In the end I want it over both drives.

When I have my SATA as raid 0 it takes the controller forever to probe IDE devices, probably because it isn’t technically supported???

I take it I’ll have to do a manual array creation since the auto setup just raids both drives.

Originally posted by weetz
two arrays each of one drive eh? How would I do that if I’m trying to do a windows install? In the end I want it over both drives.

This is indeed a limitation, one that can’t be solved wihtout a BIOS upgrade (AFAIK ofcourse).

Originally posted by weetz
When I have my SATA as raid 0 it takes the controller forever to probe IDE devices, probably because it isn’t technically supported???

Hmm that could be, I never tried that! Would be pretty strange and not very user friendly, so it could be something else is wrong…

Originally posted by weetz
I take it I’ll have to do a manual array creation since the auto setup just raids both drives.

Yes, try that please and see how it turns out.

I’d first check the discs if they work okay in single mode. If so, just install the hacked BIOS and forget about the limited one…

one drive is either dead or something is borked

When I have them both plugged in only one drive shows up in the device assignments.

I’m trying one at a time now. With one the IDE scanning doesn’t take long at all, with the other its totally borked (takes forever). So that may be part of the problem.

UGHHGHGHHG

lol, it can’t find drive number two. How i didn’t notice this before I don’t know.

Heh.

When there’s just one drive connected to the controller, make sure it is jumpered the right way (master/slave settings!). Otherwhise, some controllers just don’t detect it.

the utility has a built-in admin program, for managing your local and your remote RAID arrays

If you’re talking about the PAM utility, you deffinitely want to install it. It’s a bit of a pain, because it’s designed for network management, but it’s the only way to enable the drive cache. You deffinitely want to take advantage of that.

dose ne1 know it u can just use to sata drive and not have them run in a aray.i have always ran a ata drive as my boot and i had a sata drive that i used for storge ,now that i have swiched to 2 sata drives i want them to work independently 1 shows up but my other 1 dosent.please help. i realy needthe stuff on the 1 thats not showing up :sad:

Hi :slight_smile:
Your new drive probably needs formatting. Right click on my computer, left click manage, right click on drive, then left click format. After drive is formatted, shutdown all programs & reboot.

Make sure you set your Promise controller to IDE mode in BIOS, not Raid if I understand you correctly.:slight_smile:

Yeah, without using RAID on them you must format them in windows first.