How do I uninstall RAID 0 from Asus P5N-E SLI motherboard?

Discussion in 'Asus' started by garethjmsaunders, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. Hi folks,

    I recently bought a new PC with an Asus P5N-E SLI motherboard, Intel
    Core 2 Quad Q6600, and two SAMSUNG HD501LJ 500GB hard drives set up in
    a RAID 0 (STRIPE) configuration, producing a single 931.52GB bootable
    volume. In Windows XP it shows as a single partition: drive C; I have
    no other hard drives or partitions on the system. Yet.

    What I'd like to do is uninstall the RAID 0 configuration and return
    the drives to two separate 500GB (realistically 465GB) drives. Once I
    get the separate drives back I'm very familiar with partitioning
    drives and reinstalling Windows XP so I'm okay with that part of the
    operation.

    But I'm not 100% sure how to uninstall the RAID 0 config, and this is
    the first time that I've had SATA drives and so I'm doing some
    homework before I attempt anything. I'd really appreciate your
    advice.


    === RAID SETUP ===

    When the PC boots, after the initial POST and invitation to press Del
    to get into the BIOS, I'm presented with the option to press F10 to
    enter the RAID setup utility. If I do this I see the following
    information:

    -------------------------------------------------------
    MediaSheild Utility May 22 2006
    - Array List -

    Boot: Yes
    Status: Healthy
    Vendor: NVIDIA
    Array: STRIPE
    Model Name: 931.52G
    -------------------------------------------------------

    The options here are [Ctrl-X] Exit, [Up/Down] Select, Set Boot,
    [ENTER] Detail. If I click on Enter to get details I see the following
    information:

    -------------------------------------------------------
    Array 1 : NVIDIA STRIPE 931.52G
    - Array Detail -

    RAID Mode: Striping
    Striping Width: 2
    Striping Block: 64K

    Port: 2
    Index: 0
    Disk Model
    SAMSUNG HD501LJ
    Capacity: 465.76GB

    Port: 3
    Index: 1
    Disk Model
    SAMSUNG HD501LJ
    Capacity: 465.76GB
    -------------------------------------------------------

    Here I have the options for [D] Delete, [C] Clear Disk, [ENTER]
    Return.


    === IS THIS WHAT I DO? ===

    Could someone/folks please confirm whether the following is the right
    process, or please correct my assumptions.

    What I'm presuming that I have to do is:

    1. Boot PC
    2. Enter the RAID setup
    3. Select the only volume there and press [ENTER] to get details
    4. Select [D] to Delete the current RAID configuration
    5. Exit RAID setup
    6. Reboot PC with Windows XP CD-ROM in drive
    7. Create new partitions and format them
    8. Install XP

    Is that correct? Or are there any additional steps that I need to
    take in the BIOS (Phoenix AwardBIOS). Also could someone please
    confirm whether I will also need to install (reinstall?) the RAID
    driver from floppy after step 5 (between deleting the RAID config and
    rebooting with the XP CD-ROM in) -- I'm not sure here whether the RAID
    drivers are simply for RAID only or whether they also include AHCI
    drivers needed to optimize the SATA drives.

    I'd really appreciate your input. I hope I've given you enough
    detail. Like I said, I'm very familiar with a lot of areas of setting
    up PCs, but this is my first encounter with SATA and RAID. I bought
    my last PC in 2003 and it simply came with a 120GB IDE HDD.

    Thanks in advance,

    Gareth J M Saunders
    Anstruther, UK
     
    garethjmsaunders, Jan 29, 2008
    #1
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  2. garethjmsaunders

    Paul Guest



    According to the latest Mediashield manual,

    "Clear the MBR (press C, then press Y at the prompt).
    Delete the array (press D, then press Y at the prompt)."

    "What does “Clear Disk” mean in the RAID ROM Setup?

    Clear Disk clears the MBR (Master Boot Record). This is needed to prevent
    invalid data from appearing in the MBR space on any of the drives included
    in the array. Not doing so could render the system unstable."

    http://us.download.nvidia.com/Windows/nForce/9.46/NVMediaShield_UGv6.pdf

    So that at least suggests the time to test the command, should not
    be too long.

    Paul
     
    Paul, Jan 29, 2008
    #2
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  3. Thanks Paul, that's really helpful, as is the manual download --
    exactly what I needed.

    Thanks again,

    Gareth
     
    garethjmsaunders, Jan 29, 2008
    #3
  4. According to the latest Mediashield manual,
    Just to confirm, is that the order that I carry out these operations?

    1. Clear the MBR
    2. Delete the array

    Thanks again

    Gareth
     
    garethjmsaunders, Jan 29, 2008
    #4
  5. garethjmsaunders

    Paul Guest

    It all depends on how exactly Nvidia implemented their clear operation.
    The manual doesn't go into details on that.

    You could clear the MBR, delete the array, and then attempt to
    clear the MBR on each drive separately. Now, whether that last option
    is possible, you'll discover when you test it. I don't have any
    RAID setups here to test.

    To clean a drive, I boot Knoppix or Ubuntu, and use the "dd" command,
    to erase part of the drive. Something like this is suggested.
    On Knoppix, there is no root account to log into, so the "sudo"
    command is prepended to the command, to elevate the user. dd
    stands for "disk dump", and in this case is transferring a source
    of zeros (the pseudo device /dev/zero) to each sector.

    sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1

    I modify that slightly, like setting the count=10000 and wipe out
    a bit more of the drive. I had to use the "dd" command, the last
    time I tried to install Windows on a previous Linux disk. I had
    to wipe the drive, before Windows would touch it.

    sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=10000

    That would zero out about 5 megabytes of storage at the beginning of
    the disk drive. The "/dev/sda" must be adjusted, according to the
    naming conventions of Linux, for attached disks. Also, be *very*
    careful, to erase the proper disk. For safely, you can disconnect
    all drives, except the drive(s) to be erased. I've read of
    enough accidents by users of DBAN, to know that such a
    warning must be given, over and over again.

    Paul
     
    Paul, Jan 29, 2008
    #5
  6. Just to confirm, is that the order that I carry out these operations?
    Thanks Paul for your advice.

    Last night I plucked up the courage, simply cleared the MBR, deleted
    the array and then disabled NVRAID RAID support in the BIOS. That
    appears to have done the trick. I now have two separate SATA drives,
    with the required partitions and Windows XP is happily reinstalling.

    Thanks again for your assistance.

    Gareth
     
    garethjmsaunders, Jan 30, 2008
    #6
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