K8T Neo2-F V2.0 raid info needed

Discussion in 'MSI' started by AMD, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. AMD

    AMD Guest

    I've got this board K8T Neo2-F V2.0 and it says raid 0 supported but how? it
    has no bios for it and no way to set it up or anything. no drivers for it
    either.
     
    AMD, Aug 15, 2007
    #1
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  2. AMD

    Paul Guest

    There is a floppy image for F6 RAID driver install here, as well as a manual.
    The manual is not much to look at.

    http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?func=downloaddetail&type=manual&maincat_no=1&prod_no=208

    An Asus A8V motherboard is the nearest equivalent to your board. In the
    manual for the A8V, it says:

    "Press <tab> during POST, to enter the RAID BIOS"

    Give that a try and see if it responds. The RAID BIOS has to be enabled in the
    BIOS setup screen first, before the attempt to POST and press the <tab> key.
    If the RAID BIOS is not enabled, then pressing <tab> won't do anything.

    The RAID driver on the floppy, would be if you were installing
    an OS on the array. A separate package may be available, with a
    RAID management window for use while Windows is running.

    VIA has a section on their site, about the storage interfaces
    on their chipsets.

    http://www.viaarena.com/default.aspx?PageID=58&ACatID=128

    "VIA V-RAID"
    http://www.viaarena.com/default.aspx?PageID=5&ArticleID=467&P=2

    The following two documents are a bit better. The first is a
    document specific to VIA RAID for chips like 8237R. The reference
    to 6410 and 6420, is the logic block that does the RAID. VIA also
    made chips with just those logic blocks in them. The second doc
    is the A8V, a board similar to yours. PDF page 109 and section
    "5.6 RAID Configurations" has some info.

    http://support.asus.com/technicaldocuments/VT6420.pdf
    http://dlsvr03.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/socket939/a8v/e1994_a8v.pdf

    If installing the OS on the RAID, use the MSI "floppy package"
    mentioned above. That will give you a floppy to use during the F6
    phase of the Windows install. The Viaarena download page will have
    a V-RAID driver, if you only wanted to add a couple of disks as
    data disks (i.e. if the OS was already on an IDE< and you wanted
    to add a RAID 0 made of two SATA disks). The V-RAID may also have
    a management window, for examining the status of the disks while
    running in Windows.

    Is RAID worth it ? Not really. It may seem fun at first, if you run
    a few benchmarks. But the day you turn on the computer, and the
    RAID BIOS pops up and says "Array Failed", that is when you'll
    regret the choice. If there is any data of value on a RAID like
    that, back it up.

    HTH,
    Paul
     
    Paul, Aug 15, 2007
    #2
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  3. AMD

    AMD Guest


    Paul, thanks a million for the msi raid driver to use on a floppy.. The BIOS
    does not give any option to enter a raid tool to set it up etc. MSI told me
    to flash it with the newest. If it did not then after the flash they think
    it's a bad board. I personally don't think it does this at all and there is
    nothing wrong with it. So how do I know for sure? The box and manual do not
    say anything about raid other then it supports software raid 0 and 1. The
    tech that installed the board for me said probably you install windows on
    one drive and install raid software on it then it will set up the raid 0 or
    1 for you and copy the data to make the raid work correctly.

    I enable the raid in the bios and flashed the bios. Still no option to
    config the raid in the bios. So I'm hesitant to rma it because i don't think
    anything is wrong other then you'd think all raid would have a raid tool in
    the bios. Maybe this don't. I don't know.

    This ABS Ultimate M5-64 computer came with the Asus A8V deluxe. I can't find
    that to buy it anywhere from a store or I would have. It's a WAY better and
    more fully featured board.

    Anyhow I think I'm hosed, :(
     
    AMD, Aug 25, 2007
    #3
  4. AMD

    Paul Guest

    ******* Your MSI board *******
    7094v36.zip (Award BIOS - splitawd extracts this module)

    6420r450.ROM 65536 bytes

    Copyright (C) VIA Technologies, Inc. All Right reserved.
    VIA Technologies, Inc
    VIA VT6420 RAID Controller
    VIA VT6420 Serial ATA RAID BIOS Setting Utility V4.50
    VIA VT8237 Serial ATA RAID BIOS Setting Utility V4.50

    ******* Asus A8V board *******
    A8V-0229.zip (AMI BIOS - mmtool extracts this module - no file names with mmtool)

    2 59392 bytes

    Copyright (C) VIA Technologies, Inc. All Right reserved.
    VIA Technologies, Inc
    VIA VT6420 RAID Controller
    VIA VT6420 Serial ATA RAID BIOS Setting Utility V2.01
    VIA VT8237 Serial ATA RAID BIOS Setting Utility V2.01

    Structurally, both the Asus A8V and the MSI K8T Neo2-F V2.0 are
    set up the same way. The BIOS is based on a different platform
    (Award versus AMI), but the add-in module for RAID seems to be
    similar in composition. Only the version seems to be different.
    The text strings copied above, is at the beginning of each of
    the extracted add-in rom files. That means the BIOS seems
    intended to support software RAID.

    If you have two drives connected, try using the VIA RAID
    Management software while in Windows. Don't do anything
    while in there, but just see if the VIA RAID Management
    software will run or not, and whether it lists the
    two connected disks or not.

    For example, on this page, they mention:

    http://www.viaarena.com/default.aspx?PageID=5&ArticleID=93

    "5) Plug in your the Serial drive/s and use the V-RAID Tool
    to set up RAID in the configuration of your choice"

    The V-RAID Tool is what you are looking for. The V-RAID Tool
    would only run if the RAID driver is installed in Windows.
    Note that, for some setups, if your boot drive was connected
    and Windows installed while the RAID was disabled, that can
    spell trouble booting later, if you enable RAID.

    I don't think you're screwed. If I was doing this experiment
    myself, I'd want to be booting from an IDE drive, and
    making the RAID array a data-only array for my first try.
    Once everything seemed to be working, that might make it
    easier to reinstall Windows on the array as a second try.
    In that case, if installing Windows on the RAID, you'd
    need to F6 install the RAID driver floppy.

    Look in the V-RAID Tool and see if there is any notion
    of migration or morphing. Those might be technical terms
    used to describe going from one boot disk. to a RAID0
    boot array, but not all software RAID packages support
    that. Nvidia Mediashield and Intel Matrix RAID are
    examples of packages that do have the capability.

    I'm just surprised pressing the <tab> key, while the
    BIOS is starting, is not doing anything. I wonder if
    the MSI BIOS uses the <tab> key for something else ?
    I don't know how to figure out what key to use. If
    I look in both the add-in ROM images, I can see:

    "Press < Tab > Key into User Window!"

    So at least VIA thinks the Tab key is the one to use
    at the beginning of the BIOS POST sequence.

    Paul
     
    Paul, Aug 25, 2007
    #4
  5. Hi, I have exactly the same problem. There is an option in the bios,
    Sata Mode: IDE/RAID (the 'help' pane mentions IDE is for XP, though I
    suspect for installation or something).

    What happens is when I put the option to IDE, the drivers get detected
    as IDE chan 3 and I can boot from it. If I put the option on RAID I
    get .. nothing. No 'press tab' no hdd detection routine, no boot! I do
    get a 'warning' however. "WARNING: Have option ROM could not be
    invoke: (VENDOR ID:1106h DEVICE ID: 3149h)"
    Now i have googled for this error, and all i've gotten 'ignore, not
    bad, rom could not be loaded from your NIC etc'
    The interesting part however is, that if you look up those id's, it's
    VIA and 'VT6420 SATA RAID Controller' ... wich incidently is the exact
    thing that doesn't show me it's ROM!

    Any thoughts on this?
     
    oliver.schinagl, Sep 2, 2007
    #5
  6. AMD

    Paul Guest

    Well, first off I don't have an answer for you. Your description is a bit
    puzzling though.

    As near as I can tell, when the option ROM is included, it basically supports
    RAID and non-RAID at the same time. In pci.ids (the list of PCI identities),
    the entry is "3149 VIA VT6420 SATA RAID Controller", and the Asus manual
    for using VT6420 type devices claims you can use them with RAID, but if you
    have a standalone drive, you don't have to do anything in RAID setup to use
    it. I would expect, though, in that case, that the RAID driver is still
    required, to access the vanilla disk.

    So, the first puzzle is, why does your BIOS have a "IDE/RAID" option ?
    On the Asus A8V, there is an option to enable/disable a "SATA BootROM",
    plus the IDE drives section only mentions the four drives you can put
    on the IDE connectors, and makes no mention of SATA. Which says the SATA
    are always handled by the option ROM, and if you disable the option ROM,
    then the SATA drives could only be used as data drives in Windows.

    So why does the MSI BIOS offer IDE/SATA ? I didn't think VIA supported
    IDE emulation on the SATA ports, such that you could install Windows
    without a driver, on a SATA port.

    If it was my board, my next step would be to investigate what the device
    enumeration reads as when booted. The idea would be, to use an IDE disk
    to boot the system, then have a look with Everest or the like, to get
    the device details. Also, Device Manager might have some info you could
    use.

    Interesting pci.ids entries are 3149 (which should be the SATA ports) and
    4149, which appears to be the IDE ports (but perhaps that enumeration
    would only occur in a standalone 6420 chip, and not an 8237 ? not really
    sure...).

    http://pciids.sourceforge.net/pci.ids

    3149 VIA VT6420 SATA RAID Controller
    4149 VIA VT6420 (ATA133) Controller

    If I was debugging this, I'd want to see what the storage devices
    enumerate as, in the two test cases. And that would require
    changing what you use as a boot device, so you can get booted.

    Another way to do it, would be to boot a Linux LiveCD like Knoppix
    or Ubuntu (distros that don't need to install, in order to boot,
    you just boot the CD right into the desktop). Then, in a command
    window, you'd use the "lspci" command, to look at enumeration info.
    If your CD was connected to a ribbon cable, that improves the odds
    you'd be able to boot for both SATA test cases (BIOS setting set to
    IDE and BIOS setting set to SATA).

    Everest is here, if you want to look at Devices:pCI for inspiration.
    Everest was formerly known as AIDA32. Continued support is available
    from lavalys.com, and any newer versions than the one in this URL,
    cost money. This is the last free one.

    http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=4181

    BTW - Your board is something of an achievement :) This is the
    first time I've run into a motherboard+BIOS, where there was a
    misalignment between add-in ROM and motherboard design. At least,
    to the extent that it wouldn't load.

    Paul
     
    Paul, Sep 2, 2007
    #6
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