Asus P4C800 Deluxe ATA SATA and RAID Promise FastTrack 378 Drivers and more.

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Julian, Aug 8, 2004.

  1. Julian

    Julian Guest

    The Asus P4C800 Deluxe Promise RAID OEM implementation .

    I hope that would be some Pro that would clarify once and for good for the
    masses with some computer knowledge which I consider part of myself.
    Many thanks in advance for that.

    Useful Links related to my questions (so nobody would answer the clasical:
    "Go and read the Manual"):

    Overview P4C800 Deluxe:

    Specs P4C800 Deluxe : Deluxe&langs=01

    Drivers for P4C800 Deluxe: Deluxe&Type=Latest

    Related non-OEM products from Promise's website:

    Serial / ATA Card - FastTrak S150 TX2plus

    Serial /ATA Card (non-RAID) - SATA150 TX2plus

    1.) From the Specs and Overview and reading the Manual we get the following

    ""The P4C800 Deluxe offers the most complete RAID solution. A Promise SATA
    controller offers RAID 0, 1 and 10 functions with Max. 2 UltraATA 133 ports
    and 2 SATA HD ports, enabling users to build a RAID array with any 2, 3 or 4
    of the ports. With unique multi-RAID function, RAID 0 and RAID 1 array can

    ""Promise 20378 RAID controller:
    1 x UltraDMA 133 support two hard drives
    2 x Serial ATA
    RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, Multiple RAID"

    My question: Does it mean that we can use the following cominations?:

    1.1 - two SATA HDDs connected to the SATA ports, in RAID 0
    1.2 - two ATA HDDs connected to the ATA ports, in RAID 0
    1.3 - one SATA HDD connected to a SATA port and one ATA HDD connected to the
    ATA port, in RAID 0
    1.4 - one SATA RAID array and one ATA RAID array in the same time
    1.5 - two (one SATA + one ATA) RAID arrays
    1.6 - one SATA RAID 0 array mirrored on a HDD of equal or larger size
    connected to an ATA port (RAID 0+1)
    1.7 - one SATA RAID 0 array mirrored on a RAID 0 array connected to ATA
    (RAID 0+1)
    1.8 - SATA or ATA HDDs, maximum four, used independently on any port
    1.9 - one RAID (0 or 1) array and one or two independent HDDs (lets say for
    storage etc)

    2.) Second question is related to the DRIVERS I have to use for my Promise
    FastTrack 378 (chipset PDC20378) integrated (OEM) controller.
    On ASUS's website I found three types of drivers for download:

    A - that is explained as : "Promise FastTrak 378 RAID
    Driver V1.00.1.37 for Windows 98SE/NT4/ME/2000/XP/2003" or "FastTrak 376/378
    Driver" in the README file.
    B - that is explained as : "Promise SATA378 Driver
    V1.00.0.26 (ATA Mode) " or "Promise SATA378 Driver" in the README file.
    C - that is explained as : "Promise FastTrak 378 ATA Driver
    V1.00.1.30 " or "Promise SATA378 Driver" in the README file.

    On the original ASUS CD that came with my motherboard I found the following

    A (CD) - 378ATA explained as "Promise SATA378 Driver" in the README file
    B (CD) - 378RAID explained as "FastTrak 376/378 Driver" in the README file

    There are also two .doc files "FastTrak 378 Quick Start Guide v1.0_OEM" and
    "SATA 378 Quick Start Guide v1.0_OEM"

    There is NO clear explanation in the Manual, README files or other docs on
    why are two or three types of drivers for the same chipset. It seems that
    this Promise FastTrak 378 controller OEM card can be used as a RAID
    controller (see SATA150 TX2plus) or as SATA/ATA simple ports (see S150
    TX2plus) extention card, but not both in the same time (is my question 1.9
    valid then?!?). Why Promise creates two non-OEM (FastTrak S150 TX2plus and
    SATA150 TX2plus) cards and one "two in one" sollution for OEM then? Why
    there are two SATA drivers ('B' and 'C') on Asus web site, one branded as
    "ATA mode"?!?

    Related to these questions above I found some answres in Google\Group, but
    none very clear.

    3.) Third question: Is the Promise OEM BIOS integrated with the motherboard
    BIOS? I think I've seen in one of BIOS update ROM file related README file
    that the "Promise FastTrak BIOS will be updated together with this file".
    What does it mean?

    4.) Fourth question. For the moment I'm using two 80Gb Seagate SATA HDDs in
    RAID 0 with Windows XP Pro SP1 installed. Under Device Manager \ SCSI and
    RAID Controllers tab I can see the following:

    A. - SCSI\RAID Host Controller
    B. - Win XP Promise FastTrack 376/378 (tm) Controller
    C. - XMASSCSI SCSI Controller

    I can understand what 'B' is, but not 'A' and 'C'.

    5.) Fifth question: The SATA connectors controlled by the ICH5 chipset.
    Where are the drivers for them? I read somewhere that SP1 introduced them.
    What about Win XP before SP1. There is now download link on Asus website. Or
    maybe is the Intel(R) Chipset Software Installation Utility that provides
    some SATA support? Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Under Device Manager \ IDE ATA/ATAPI ontrollers I have the following:

    A. - Intel(R) 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers
    B. - Primary IDE channel
    C. - Secondary IDE channel

    Is 'A' the SATA driver for the two SATA (ICH5) ports on my motherboard?

    Many thanks in advance,
    Julian, Aug 8, 2004
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  2. Julian

    Paul Guest

    There are plenty of pros, I'm not one of them :)

    There are two documents, a Fasttrak 378 document, and a SATA 378 document
    on the motherboard CD in the manuals directory. While they don't shed much
    light on how many arrays are available, at least one of the interfaces
    has room to display multiple arrays.

    Your 1.2 config is possible, but not recommended. Users have noticed
    performance drops with any product, when an array is placed on the
    same IDE cable. It is better to pair a SATA + an IDE, to make a array,
    as the packet data gets to travel on separate cables during an operation
    to an array. Since no drive by itself can exceed the data rate of the
    SATA cable or the IDE cable, the odd mixture shouldn't be a problem.

    1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.7 Sounds good.
    1.6 Not sure, not likely
    1.8 Quite likely, especially with the ATA driver (
    1.9 Tricky. I thought single drives can run under the RAID BIOS,
    so it should work.

    Please remember that no manufacturer is as methodical as you are (in
    their documentation), and no single user has tested even a fraction
    of these combinations. Most people are happy to get these on-board
    solutions to do a single RAID0 or RAID1. I mean, I cannot think of
    one stinking manual that states that a single drive will work by
    itself on one of these types of RAID controllers - thus that same
    question is asked over and over again.
    As far as I know, single drives can be used on a RAID controller.
    For example, imagine a broken mirror, it has to work too.

    The advantage of the ATA driver, is that there is no dependency on
    the "hidden sector" and its contents. And possibly, a difference in
    performance by not having to go through the RAID driver code.
    Two price points. If you pay $$$ for a RAID card, you aren't likely
    to neuter it by running the ATA driver. I presume the chip is jumpered
    appropriately to prevent using the ATA version as a RAID. Just a guess.
    Yes. The BIOS in the motherboard flash chip is actually a miniature
    file system. One of the files inside the BIOS is the Promise RAID
    code that runs in the BIOS screen. You need to upgrade the motherboard
    BIOS to get a newer Promise BIOS.
    No idea. Item "C" is particularly clever, whatever it is :)
    AFAIK, when an ICH5 type southbridge is run in non-RAID mode, the
    drivers are in the OS. In compatible mode, an older OS like Win98
    access the hardware via I/O addresses. In enhanced mode, an OS like
    Win2K or WinXP accesses the hardware via PCI addresses. I believe in
    both cases, there is a driver in the OS appropriate to the situation.
    The third case, is an ICH5R SATA ports, where RAID has been enabled.
    You can use the Intel Application Accelerator RAID driver, such as
    IAAR35. It is not part of INFINST (the chipset drivers). You can
    download this from the Intel site if you want. It runs under WinXP.
    Again, no idea what you will see in the Device Manager. I'm not a
    RAID guy.

    Paul, Aug 9, 2004
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  3. Julian

    Julian Guest

    Great answers. Sorry for delay on my reply.

    This is a bit too technical for me. Could you detail it a bit?

    Also, more detail on Compatible versus Enhanced mode.

    Julian, Aug 11, 2004
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