Single drive with RAID?

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  1. Posts : 85
    Windows 10x64
    Thread Starter

    What led me to continue trying to set it to RAID was Slartybart's post above which confused me a bit into thinking that eventhoug there's a single drive, that behind the SATA port controlling that drive there was some sort of "RAID" solution to increase available bandwidth.
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  2. Slartybart's Avatar
    Posts : 3,502
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3

    antares said:
    What led me to continue trying to set it to RAID was Slartybart's post above which confused me a bit into thinking that eventhoug there's a single drive, that behind the SATA port controlling that drive there was some sort of "RAID" solution to increase available bandwidth.
    It really boils down to - does your firmware and motherboard support NVMe?

    The article I linked (with quote) sets that out clearly
    Most recent high-end motherboards will get firmware upgrades to support NVMe so you can boot from the drive. Most legacy mainstream boards will probably not.

    It was not an instructional article, only a reference in answer to your original post "Why RAID on a single drive?"
    The link in my followup in post #7 was more instructional and seemed as though that was a solid way to configure your machine or at least investigate it further.

    Sorry if it confused you - it happens
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  3. Posts : 85
    Windows 10x64
    Thread Starter

    Slartybart said:
    I found these post that might be of more interest to antares than a debate on RAID

    I would look at this one a little deeper if it were my machine.
    Dell XPS 15 9550 M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD - neither RAID nor AHCI | NotebookReview

    Dell XPS 15 (9550) list of hardware and software problems | NotebookReview
    Slartybart said:
    Sorry if it confused you - it happens
    Yes Slarty, I found those links very useful, thanks a lot, and don't be sorry, thanks again for your contribution. It seems that AHCI is the way to go for this laptop.
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  4. Posts : 85
    Windows 10x64
    Thread Starter

    Here are some benchmarks I did, Crystaldisk, for the Dell laptop (Toshiba NVMe/AHCI):

    And for comparison, here is the one for my PC (Samsung 950 PRO/AHCI):

    So I guess that my Dell laptop in AHCI is performing well, no need for RAID
    Last edited by antares; 01 Jul 2016 at 20:29.
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  5. Posts : 2,735
    Windows 10 Pro X64


    Excellent performance.
    In theory a pair of the best SSDs in Raid 0 could come close to that too. :)
    But I suggest you'd better forget about RAID for now. LOL.

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  6. Posts : 85
    Windows 10x64
    Thread Starter

    Yes, for sure it's faster than my previous WinXP PC with IDE drives
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  7. DeaconFrost's Avatar
    Posts : 1,363
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Wow...very nice.
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  8. Posts : 242
    Win 10 Pro x64 1709

    To the OP of this thread,

    The reason that you cannot boot your new install of Win 8.1 with the SATA storage mode set to RAID is because you did not provide the RAID drivers for the Windows installer to use when the installation was performed. Had you done that your machine would happily boot into Windows with RAID mode set in the bios

    The reason RAID Mode is set in the bios of the Dell laptops is simple. It is a matter of convenience for them for one thing as in doing so a single bios configuration can be used across product lines. Also note that some of the XPS line have capability to support 2 NVMe PCIe M.2 drives in RAID 0 array as the boot device. This would not be possible without the driver support of the Intel IRST drivers.

    Intel IRST drivers since version 13.0 have driver support for RAID, AHCI, and NVMe all in one driver package. NVMe is simply a new standardized interface connection for non volatile memory which is what these M.2 storage devices are made of. The NVMe standard provides for a single driver file for use which all OS platforms can use that can fully utilize the bandwidth that SSD's provide.

    Intel provides this single NVMe driver to manufacturers to embed in the UEFI firmware which controls boot of the storage device. Windows however has built in NVMe support using it's own drivers that adhere to the NVMe standard. When you straight install Windows 8.1 up the default Windows drivers are used and the result is a non RAID enabled installation.
    Last edited by Railtech; 07 Aug 2016 at 19:30. Reason: spelling
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  9. Posts : 2,053
    Win10 1809

    Yes , Drives connected to a Raid Controller but not part of an Array , as in this case, automatically use AHCI instead , this is actually how Intel tells OEM's how to set things up. If you Go into the Raid Bios (Ctrl-I) you will see single disks labelled as Non Raid.

    In my case it is the Boot OS SSD , and a Raid0 Cache 60GB SSD that are non-raid ,while the 3 WD 640 Blacks form the 1.8TB RAID 0 array.
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  10. Posts : 134
    windows 10

    antares said:
    Thanks for your reply. I just installed Windows 8.1 in legacy mode (not UEFI) with Secure Boot disabled, and it won't boot in RAID mode, only when I set the BIOS setting to AHCI. I'd like to use it in RAID mode to take advantage of better bandwidth, any hint? Thanks
    Boot in AHCI ..
    In elevated CMD window.

    REG ADD HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\msahci /v Start /d 0 /f /t REG_DWORD
    REG ADD HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\atapi /v Start /d 0 /f /t REG_DWORD

    Reboot in bios and change to Raid..

    If no go ..
    Try a Clean OS re installation...

    Que : Why use Legacy ... XPS machines with give you optimum performance in UEFI.. Mode.
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