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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

RAID -AMD 8/9 series chipset and Seven x64

O. Saucedo's hardware:
Asus M5A88-M
AMD FX1600 X6
2 Maxtor 500GB SATA as RAID1
1 Seagate 500 GB SATA as provisional DATA drive
1 DVD SATA drive
64bit AMD RAID drivers not recognised
The Win7 RC x64 ("clean") install setup process does recognise all drivers offered via diskette, USB-stick or CD-ROM if you un-tick the box "search for signed drivers only" on the 3rd-party driver installation selection page.
After that, it displays and loads the drivers of your choice - eg Vista x64 AHCI/RAID (AMD) drivers and resumes the installation process. However, at 1st reboot in AHCI mode it stops with an error message indicatng that it couldn't load "unsigned drivers" .
This happens with the latest ASUS and AMD/ATI x64 drivers - they're obviously "unsigend" to Win7 x64, but work flawlessly with Vista x86 and x64.
In due course, the only way to go is to install Win7 RC x64 in IDE mode - no AHCI, no RAID. 
There might be a slim chance to get AHCI / RAID up and running by activating Microsoft's generic Msahci driver subsequently (after IDE install) via registry tweak and then boot in AHCI mode, but I haven't tried this yet.  
My hardware:
ASUS M3A 78 Pro
AMD Phenom x4 8850 BE 3.0 GHz
4 GB RAM (DDR-2 800 MHz CL5)
4 SATA HDD's (single drives, no RAID)
2 SATA optical drives (DVD ROM/RAM)
ASUS/ATI EAH3450 Graphics
Onboard Graphics enabled with "Hybrid Crossfire"

It is a pity that there are not even Win7 OEM mobo maker drivers available yet for the AMD SB/NB chipset integrated storage controllers. That's very basic / essential stuff!  
I didn't expect to run into any such show-stoppers with Win7 RC x64, decided to use it from now on and then buy the "Ultimate" version immediately upon availability, but under said prohibitive circumstances this isn't a good idea. 
I might give it another try during the next two weeks - if there's no driver support improvement by then I'll stick with Vista x86 and wait another year until there are more mature / versatile LINUX versions available out there.
thanks for this info. You're lucky to have Gigabyte XP x64 chipset drivers which are OK for Win7 RC. Unfortunately, the equivalent ASUS XP x64 drivers are not - they're exactly the same as the Vista x64 drivers (!), 100% identical and "unsigend", and there are no Win7-compatible AMD/ATI "generic" chipset (AHCI/RAID) drivers available yet.
Definitely not Microsoft's fault but a grieveous nuisance anyway.   
The SB950 chipset was released in 2011, so is unlikey to be included in the core win7 release
AHCI chipset drivers were released far earlier
You might get further adivce re the SB950 chipset / raid driver and the apparent 'unsigned issue' if you were to post to MSDN Technet
Personally I wouldnt recommend using either AHCI raid or the motherboard chipset AMD RAID drivers, from experience I have seen to many problems caused when using software raid, from raid going out of sync, to in the worst case loss of data. I've seen this happen with various motherboards.
If you want to use raid buy a dedicated hardware RAID card, a decent one will cost some $350

When Windows is asking for driver, just click Cancel. You will be brought back to the welcome screen. At the welcome screen, remove your USB drive, insert it back to DIFFERENT USB PORT. Click Install Now again. The installation process will be like usual.
This problem happened to all new version of updated Windows 7 installer. I think, it is due to failure of Windows installer to remain its detection to the USB drive. It lost the connection, and became confused, don't know where to find the USB drive it used to read before.
When we re-insert the USB drive, Windows installer will detect the USB drive back, and continue like usual.
Windows 7 cannot install 64 bit AMD RAID driver
Some skill is necessary since it is a bit complicated. The component to make this work is an extra harddrive not essential to setting up the RAID array. I assume that you have a bootable Windows 7 x64 install, if not, do a fresh install to a single harddrive and follow these instructions:

1. Install the Windows 7 x64 RAID driver for your motherboard and re-boot.
2. Install the harddrives to be used for the RAID array.
3. Set the desired RAID array (0/1/5/10) up in your BIOS.
4. Boot into Windows 7 x64, making sure the RAID array is recognised.
5. Clone the bootable Windows 7 x64 harddrive to the RAID array.
6. Re-boot making sure you select the RAID array as boot device.
7. You now should have a bootable Windows 7 x64 RAID (0/1/5/10) array.
8. Add the original hard-drive to the RAID array if desired.
9. Enjoy

The problem with doing a fresh install of Windows 7 x64 to a RAID array is the driver signing required by Microsoft for the x64 RAID driver install. This is not present for the x86 RAID driver install, which can be done with ease. The Windows 7 x64 driver can be installed without a problem once Windows 7 x64 have been installed to a single hard-drive. Now you just have to clone this bootable hard-drive to the RAID array! Hope this helps.
On boot windows complains that the Bchtsq64.sys file does not have a valid driver signiture (although it was the one on the disk) and the only way i could install and boot into Windows 7, is to hit F8 and dissable the driver signiture on boot option, i have scanned the forums and found that this seems to be a common problem with MS 64bit OS and AMD boxes, most of the forums suggested a bios update, which i have done or downloading a newer version of that file and replacing it, whic hbrings me on to the other annoying issue, i know where that file is stored and where to copy it to, but for some reason, not even the local administrator has access to the folders under system32, which stops me replacing the file and seeing if the box will boot, i know there is a repair function on boot, but that does not detect my SATA disk controller and i need to use drivers off a usb stick before i can see my disk.
I belive the
MB you mentioned is M4A78T-E. The latest RAID Controller driver of this MB is released on 2009/07/22.
Try to download install this RAID Controller driver for windows 7 64bit  from the Asus website:

 1.  Open the following link:
2. On left panel,   type in “Download” section, then click Search Info button.M4A78T-E
3. Click , select  your operating system.M4A78T-E
4. Click “Others”, download “AMD AHCI Compatible RAID Controller Driver” and then save it into USB stick.
5. When installing windows 7, please locate this driver to install RAID Controller Driver.
The facts:
Motherboard: Asus M3A78-EM; BIOS rev. 2701
On Board RAID Controller: ATI SB700
System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64bits
Disk0: 500 GB System disk
Disk1: 1 TB data1
Disk2: 1 TB data2
Disk1 and Disk2 are hardware identical
All disks are connected through the SATA interface ('SATA Operation Mode' is set to 'SATA' in BIOS).
System is running perfectly...
What I wanted tot do:
Contunue to use W7 on my system disk (so no new W7 install)  and make Disk1 and Disk2 a RAID1 Logical Disk and use this under W7 as secure data-storage.
What I did:
I change in BIOS the 'SATA Operation Mode' from 'SATA' to 'RAID'; restart te system; use the 'AMD Onboard RAID FastBuid Utility' to configure Disk1 and Disk2 in RAID1 Logical Disk and reboot the system.
 Then Windows 7 fails to boot; is stops during the display of the 'Windows Logo'. Rebooting with a W7 Repair disk works (the system boots up from the DVD) but installing RAID drivers won't work (after a minute of starting the install function an error message is displayed "driver install failed")
Maybe I'm looking at the wrong drivers or maybe there is something else I've missed...

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