1.    22 Feb 2016 #1
    Join Date : Feb 2016
    Posts : 79
    Windows 1-0

    Adding a SATA RAID card


    I'm wondering if I've made a schoolboy error here...

    I'm trying to add more disks to my desktop and have run out of SATA ports the motherboard has 6.

    I've just added a SATA RAID card (Semlos 4 Ports PCI Sata Internal Raid Controller Card Sil3114 Chipset with 2 Sata Cables: Amazon.co.uk: Computers Accessories) but when I boot up the PC sees the new card but doesn't see SATA portsthe motherboard (so I'm left with 4 SATA ports as opposed to the 6 I had )?

    Should I be able to use the onboard SATA ports and the new card?

    Thanks!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    22 Feb 2016 #2
    Join Date : May 2015
    Posts : 1,647
    Win 10 X64 Pro 15063

    I have no recent experience with this, but I'd expect that you should be able to use both onboard and add-on SATA ports. (Lots of motherboards have third-party SATA controllers. Functionally the same as an add-in card, although the bits are soldered to the motherboard.)

    Does the BIOS setup show anything about the onboard SATA controller?

    (I'm desperately trying to avoid joking about using a PCI card. I don't recall when I last owned a motherboard with a PCI slot.)
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    23 Feb 2016 #3
    Join Date : Feb 2016
    Posts : 79
    Windows 1-0
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by winchesterstoke View Post
    I'm wondering if I've made a schoolboy error here...

    I'm trying to add more disks to my desktop and have run out of SATA ports the motherboard has 6.

    I've just added a SATA RAID card (Semlos 4 Ports PCI Sata Internal Raid Controller Card Sil3114 Chipset with 2 Sata Cables: Amazon.co.uk: Computers Accessories) but when I boot up the PC sees the new card but doesn't see SATA portsthe motherboard (so I'm left with 4 SATA ports as opposed to the 6 I had )?

    Should I be able to use the onboard SATA ports and the new card?

    Thanks!
    Thanks Bobkn. I've had a look in the BIOS and it allows me to enable the (what I think) is the onboard RAID controller. I've tried having it enabled and disabled and both seem to have no effect. I'm going to try and install a later BIOS to see if that has any more options.

    (The motherboard is quite old 4 or 5 years - but it's got a fairly decent CPU on it. I've just upgraded everything else on it but haven't got round to the MB as that will probably mean getting a new Windows license).
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    24 Feb 2016 #4

    Hi there

    While your BIOS shows the RAID controller you probably need the driver to load when windows boots - currently your Windows probably is in AHCI (normal SATA non RAID mode).

    Depending on the card there might be some sort of utility you go into to configure your RAID array - typically RAID 0 or 1 - this should configure your physical HDD's for example say you create an array of 2 physical HDD's that you use for one logical volume then when Windows starts up it will see the logical volume as a single HDD.

    For example if you have 2 X 1 TB HDD's you want to make as RAID 0 with striping then Windows will probably show this as a single HDD of around 1.8 TB. You need to look at the manual -- I'm sure most hardware raid controllers need to be initialised and a utility run BEFORE windows boots.

    I've only ever done this with Linux where it's easy -- on my system in the BIOS there's a RAID utility that I can run as part of the boot process. Then when I install the OS I "Blacklist" the standard AHCI driver with modprobe.blacklist=ahci inst.dd or something similar --the OS install then prompts me to load the RAID driver which I have on a USB.

    Windows should have something similar - you'll need to look in the manual -- in your case the AHCI driver is obviously being loaded and not the RAID controller.

    What I don't know is whether you can "Mix and Match" RAID with standard HDD's -- in my case I have 2 X 3 TB and 2 X 4TB HDD's which I set as 2 arrays of Raid 0 and an SSD as a single array of 1 disk -- windows just sees 2 "logical HDD's" and the SSD which is my boot device for Windows. Same when I boot Linux. You probably can since the separate card should only handle the RAID devices.

    I think a bit of Googling and Manual Reading (What's a manual !!!!) is required.

    If you have other options than RAID 0 / 1 (RAID 10) I'd try RAID 0 first as it's probably the easiest to experiment with.

    Note SAVE ANY DATA on HDD's before messing about with RAID as the controller will "Wipe" them when creating the logical drives.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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