Could you give me a hint what is the right way to move from AHCI to RAID on X99 board, which has just one bootable SSD? In future I plan to replace my current SSD with a pair of new ones, and configure them in RAID 0. And I want to switch to RAID prior to installing the new SSDs.
Current single SSD is imaged with Win 10 Prof, which has inbox storage controller driver installed. This driver allows the system to boot and run smoothly in AHCI mode. If I simply switch to RAID in MB’s BIOS, the system won’t boot, and I guess it needs SATA RAID driver installed prior to going to RAID mode. So, in AHCI mode I try to install 15.x family driver (13.x, 14.x), but it immediately reports ‘platform not supported’. Then I try to install enterprise family 5.x driver, and it completes OK. But it installs AHCI driver, not RAID, and when I switch to RAID in MB’s BIOS, the system won’t boot. I also tried to manually install RAID driver pointing to iaStor.inf file, but it suggests installing RAID SAS (SATA mode) driver, which finally does not work either.
Is there an automated installer, which in AHCI mode installs correct RAID driver for X99 chipset SATA controller + compatible RSTe software?
The main questions are:
1. Which one of your Disk Drives (a single SSD or your future RAID0 array) shall be your system drive, where the OS and the boot sector will be located?
2. To which one of your 2 on-board Intel SATA Controllers (to the “normal RST” Intel SATA Controller or to the “Enterprise Edition” sSATA one) will it be connected?
No. As long as the related Intel SATA Controller is running in AHCI mode, it only will accept an AHCI and no RAID driver. Vice versa you will only get a RAID driver installed onto an Intel SATA Controller, which is currentlyrunning in RAID mode.
On the other hand X99 chipset mainboards have 2 independently working Intel SATA Controllers (one of them is an sSATA Controller). So you can run both Controllers with a different SATA mode (AHCI and RAID).
Fernando, thank you for the comment!
Your reference to 2 chipset SATA controllers on X99 puzzled me a bit… My understanding was that on my X99 board (which is MSI X99A Raider) there was only one SATA controller provided by chipset. According to MB manual, it handles 10 SATA ports, where ports 1-6 support IDE, AHCI, RAID, while 7-10 support IDE and AHCI. Could you share a link to read more about the controllers you mention?
Yes, my final goal is to have bootable RAID 0 of two SSDs. But for now I want to keep my single SSD and just to move from AHCI to RAID mode. My understanding is that the only thing I need to do is to install correct Intel SATA RAID driver instead of inbox ACHI driver. The SSD is plugged to SATA1 port, which I guess is "normal RST"?
>Here< is the proof.
You cannot install a RAID driver onto a SATA Controller, which is running in AHCI mode. Before you can install a RAID driver, you have to enter the BIOS and to switch the SATA mode of the Intel SATA Controller to “RAID”.
If you want to boot off an Intel RAID0 array, you have to do the following:
1. Create a bootable USB Flash drive, which contains the desired OS you want to run on your future RAID0 array. I recommend to ue the tool named Rufus and to choose the “GUIMode Partition Table” as desired partition scheme.
2. Unplug all your currently connected Disk Drives.
3. Connect the Disk Drives, which shall be the future members of the RAID array, to the first 2 SATA ports.
4. Enter the BIOS and set the Intel SATA Controller to “RAID”.
5. Create the desired RAID0 array and mke sure, that it declared as being healthy and bootable.
6. Boot off the USB Flash drive in UEFI mode and install the OS onto the RAID array.
7. Once the OS is up, you can reconnect the previouly unplugged HDDs/SSDs, but this time you should connect them to the SATA ports from 7 up.
I cannot believe that natural and reasonable upgrade of the system from AHCI (1 bootable SSD) to RAID (bootable volume stripped across 2 SSDs) must be so complex. Actually, I will have to cold install Windows on newly created RAID volume, re-attach old system SSD and spend hours migrating applications, data, and settings accumulated over months to new system volume. I do believe there should be way to force install RAID driver on the old SSD in AHCI mode, then boot from it in RAID (it should be detected as non-member disk), then simply clone this old SSD to the RAID of two. I will experiment with that in the coming days.
Anyway, thank you for the instructions, they will be my last resort!
And, if we have 2 SATA controllers with X99 boards, does it mean we have 3 separate drivers in 5.x (4.x) RSTe package: standard SATA AHCI driver, standard SATA RAID driver, sSATA AHCI driver? If yes, then can I install just sSATA AHCI driver without touching driver for standard controller?
The change of the system and the SATA mode is always a good opportunity for a clean install of the desired OS (especially since the brandnew Win10 “Cteators Update” is available now.
Benefit for your system: Better performance, because you get rid of all the garbage from the past.
By the way: I do it very often and it doesn’t take me more than 1-2 hours of work (incl. the customization of the OS and the installation of my favorite programs).
These Intel RSTe driverpacks contain 2 drivers named iaStorA.sys (= AHCI/RAID driver for Intel’s “Standard” SATA Controller running in RSTe mode) and iaStorB (= AHCI driver for the Intel sSATA Controller), but 3 different *.INF files, which are responsable for the proper installation and usage of the related real driver (= *.SYS file) in AHCI or RAID mode.
Yes, but this is only valid, if you don’t want to use any Intel RAID array. The sSATA AHCI driver will only affect HDDs/SSDs, which are connected to one of the SATA ports 7-10.
Just to close the topic -
It did not take me long to force install SATA RAID driver on my single system SSD in AHCI mode. I did it through ‘Update driver’ in Device manager, and at 3rd attempt I picked the right controller type from the options list (cannot recall which one exactly). It installed driver for the 1st controller (standard SATA), which allowed me to restart, set RAID for the 1st controller in MB’s BIOS, and boot successfully. Now, in RAID mode, I discovered that one of 13.x RST family driver was actually installed, and I immediately upgraded it to the latest 15.5 driver. I did not touch anything for the 2nd controller, and it still is handled by inbox MS driver, but I do not plan to use ports 7-10 and do not care about that. What I did not manage to do - install RST(e) software. I tried all versions from 15.x family and one from 14.x family, but installations quit silently in the middle. Never mind, I can live without this nice application.
So, I want to point that migration from ACHI to RAID on X99 board is absolutely possible without whole system re-installation, which in my case will do take time. It is a really fast way to boost disk performance of the PC. The only thing that is needed - this great site with the driver packs. Thank you for the excellent resource!