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RedHatVideos
DIY Challenge II SATA Drives
on Jun 1, 2005 at 9:26:22 pm

I am building the DIY Challenge II “Big Blue” and trying to follow all the suggestions for parts and setup.
Help please with advice on which connections I should use for my four SATA Hitachi 160GB Drives. I want to use one as the Boot Drive, one as a Backup Drive, and the other two RAID0 stripe for video as suggested in DIY Challenge II.
On the P5AD2-E Premium Motherboard there are four connectors labeled SATA1 through SATA4. There are also four connectors labeled SATA RAID1 Through SATA RAID4. Do I use the four SATA1 through 4 to connect all four of the drives? Or do I need to connect two drives to SATA 1 and 2 and two drives to SATA RAID 1. and 2? I Have NO experience with Serial ATA drives or RAID configurations.

PS. I received all my goodies from UPS and am having fun putting it all together. The Aspire X-Navigator chassis looks super and can’t wait to power it up. But alas Tiger Direct back ordered my Quadro FX 1300 Graphics Card and it was supposed to be “in stock”. Bummer. Don


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Jon Oransky
Re: DIY Challenge II SATA Drives
on Jun 2, 2005 at 1:47:36 pm

connect 2 drives to the regular SATA controller, then connect the other 2 to the RAID controller. when you boot up the machine, you will see a message that says hit ctrl-a (or something similar) to enter the RAID bios. go in there, configure the raid and you're all set to format inside windows.

- Jon


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RedHatVideos
Re: DIY Challenge II SATA Drives
on Jun 2, 2005 at 5:05:10 pm

Thanks Jon
I think I have everything else in place and correct. Still waiting for the Graphic Card. When I get it installed I will hold my breath and power it up. Will let this forum know how it goes.....

MyVegas6+DVD is on its way from Vidoguys. I couldn't resist ordering the Bella EZKEY4105 Keyboard for Vegas. It was kinda expensive at $175.00 but if it makes editing easier it should be worth it. Don


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wayl0n
Re: DIY Challenge II SATA Drives
on Jun 3, 2005 at 11:57:26 pm

I ran into this problem as well, there are two sets of four SATA connectios, the bottom 4 are marked as RAID, but the ones in the middle the manual says can be set to RAID as well on two of them, so wasnt sure for my swipe drive if i was supposed to use those two or the raid set on the bottom.....

which brings me to another problem I didnt see mentioned in the article, I got everything put together, bios sees all the drives, everything powers up great, but the install of WinXP will not see the SATA drives. In looking at the ASUS manual it tells you that in order to see the drives, Win2K or WinXP must ALREADY BE INSTALLED or it will not see the drives. So if you are doing a fresh install, which I assume most doing this DIY project are....how do you get the OS on there if it wont see the drives to begin with? Does this mean that we have to put an old style PATA IDE drive on just so we can install the OS?


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RedHatVideos
Re: DIY Challenge II SATA Drives
on Jun 4, 2005 at 6:20:19 pm

Thanks wayI0n for the heads up in the XP OS install problem. I will be using all SATA drives. Jon_Videoguys say I will see a message asking me to enter the RAID bios to enter the RAID bios. I guess that didn’t happen in your case? Did you solve the problem and if so how?

While I’m waiting for my graphic card I might mention another slight problem (confusion on my part) when connecting the five fans in the Aspire X-Navigator chassis. All instructions with pictures for this chassis are on the box and nothing inside and if you are using UPS they tend to stick a label over part of those instructions and it doesn’t come off. But thank goodness they didn’t stick it over the part on how to connect the fans.

The instructions start out by asking you to “find the two black-and-yellow cable connectors from front panel, one with INPUT CD 12V (think they meant INPUT DC 12V), the other with OUTPUT 0.3A FANS MAX 1.2A. These two connectors are for Fan Speed Connector and fan connection.” This was no problem as they were clearly labeled and a picture showing these two.

Next it ask to “Connect the INPUT connector to PSU 4-pin connector” and again no problem. Next it ask to “Link all 5 fans 2*Back Fans, 1* Side Window Fan, 1*Front Fan 1*Top Fan together (Male to Female)”. Then connect 1*4 pin Male end to OUTPUT 0.3A 5 FANS MAX 1.2A Connector.

This is the part that was confusing to me and I don’t think the picture was clear. If you connect all 5 fans together there is no Male end to connect to the OUTPUT 0.3A etc connector. It creates a loop. After an hour of head scratching I realized the LAST connector ONLY needs the female end connected leaving the male end to connect to the female OUTPUT connector. DUH!
I have not figured out what the asterisks * stand for?

The next instruction says to “Find green-and-white 2-pin cable connector for LED. Then, find the black-and-red twisted 4-pin cable connectors for LCD Connect the LED 2-Pin Male connector to LCD 4-pin Female connector”. I mention this part not because it was confusing but because there is only ONE BLACK AND RED TWISTED PAIR and it is NOT labeled.. The rest of the black and white connectors are NOT twisted so be sure the “twisted pair” is connected to the green and white wires. Final instruction has a clear picture showing how to connect the 4-pin Male connector for LCD to PSU 4-pin Female connector. I hope this helps someone to do a little less head scratching. Don


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wayl0n
Re: DIY Challenge II SATA Drives
on Jun 5, 2005 at 2:53:45 am

That happened in my case...it did recognize the drives in the BIOS and the raid setup, I set a raid0 for the two 160GB drives, it accepted it, I rebooted with the WinXP disc and it began the install process but gives the message that no drives are found. It tells you right in the manual that Windows will not see the drives unless the OS is already on the drives, so this is not a random thing. I have researched this and I am not the only one frustrated at this. I have installed an old style IDE drive and the install saw that one and I now have WinXP installed OK, however windows is still not seeing the four drives (I have all four connected on the RAID connections on the bottom). I will keep you all posted, I'm working on it some more tonight. If I were you though, I'd be looking for a standard IDE drive while you are waiting for parts.


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wayl0n
Finally done
on Jun 6, 2005 at 4:13:50 am

Finally got the drives recognized by WinXP, however not in RAID. No matter what I did in the BIOS with RAID, I could not get Windows to see them. So I ended up just plugging all 4 of the SATA drives in the SATA1-4 sockets, and setting the BIOS to standard SATA and Windows picked them up and formatted.

One other small problem I had was the SATA connections themselves, this is my first experience using SATA, but the connections seem VERY flimsy. The connection feels a little more solid on the motherboard than it does on the hard drive, so this may just be a prob with the drive, but there were several times when trying to configure the RAID where it wouldnt see the hard drive at all and its because the connection oved like 2 degrees out of place. For those building this be aware of this....jsut bumping the wire can lose the connection. I would highly recommend get your drives in a working and stable condition, then tape the chords down as solid as you can get where they will not be bumped or disturbed. That was another reason I decided to not RAID the drives, I was scared one of the conenctions would come loose during a transfer and corrupt or crash the RAID set.

My only other issue now, is sometimes when I boot, during the DOS portion it will freeze, rebooting fixes it everythime, and I'm sure this is probably fixable with a bios upgrade or setting in CMOS.

Oh, VIDEOGUYS....can you please post exactly what CMOS settings, and more details on the RAID setup screen that you are using on big blue? I'd still like to get the RAID working, but I cannot seem to get the $(*$&@) bios set right to where windows will see it.


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wayl0n
Re: DIY Challenge II SATA Drives
on Jun 6, 2005 at 4:27:01 am

RedHat.....sorry didnt see the problem you were having with your connections before. You dont make a loop, it starts at the PSU 4pin plug which connects to the INPUT black and yellow case connector. On your fan chain the first and last do not connect together, the one end connects to the OUTPUT black and yellow and if I remember right the other end does not connect to anything. Hope that helps.


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