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Asus Z97-Pro MB. Can you Raid-1 only 2 of three installed SATA drives. OS is on SSD.

I have a PC with Asus Z97-Pro mb. OS (W10) is on SSD. Two SATA HDD's (each 1 TB) contain dissimilar data. Can I add a third SATA drive (1TB) and create a RAID-1 configuration with only one of the two existing drives? The mb manual says that when SATA ports are set to RAID mode, all SATA ports run at RAID mode together. Does this mean that I cannot do what I am asking? Thanks.
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  1. If you are using the Intel ports, you can use raid 1 for some drives and keep the others out of the pool, but they will all be listed as RAID rather than ahci. That is likely what the manual meant to say. Whether or not another controller (usually secondary marvel raid controller for an extra port or two) can do that depends on that controller.
  2. Hey there, sumdumgaiGA!

    @basroil is right, it really does depend on the RAID controller. It's highly possible to encounter issues if you have already set the RAID configuration on the controller in question. Here are a couple of similar threads you might find useful:
    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-1792812/ssd-ahci-hdd-raid.html
    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-2365277/ssd-ahci-hdd-raid.html

    However, you'd need to re-configure the whole storage setup if you wish to create a RAID 1 array. This would require you to format the HDD, so you'd definitely need to back up all your data somewhere else.
    As for the non-RAID HDD, it's recommended to plug it in the SATA ports that (I believe the black ones) have a different controller.

    Hope this was helpful. Good luck! :)
    SuperSoph_WD
  3. SuperSoph_WD said:
    Hey there, sumdumgaiGA!

    @basroil is right, it really does depend on the RAID controller. It's highly possible to encounter issues if you have already set the RAID configuration on the controller in question. Here are a couple of similar threads you might find useful:
    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-1792812/ssd-ahci-hdd-raid.html
    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-2365277/ssd-ahci-hdd-raid.html

    However, you'd need to re-configure the whole storage setup if you wish to create a RAID 1 array. This would require you to format the HDD, so you'd definitely need to back up all your data somewhere else.
    As for the non-RAID HDD, it's recommended to plug it in the SATA ports that (I believe the black ones) have a different controller.

    Hope this was helpful. Good luck! :)
    SuperSoph_WD


    I did not know there were different controllers on this motherboard. I did not add any. So, I'm guessing that I can set up Raid-1. When I did the OS install (W8) on the SSD, the SATA drives were not connected. When I upgraded to W10, I, in fact, had to disconnect the SATA drives. Drives A and B are data. If I add another SATA (D), I should be able to RAID-1 B & D, leaving A as standalone.
  4. Hey there again, sumdumgaiGA!

    IMHO it would be best to contact the motherboard manufacturer's customer support, if you need further assistance with the controllers on your mobo.
    You should be able to do that, yes, but Drive A should be unplugged until you've set up the RAID 1 configuration with (HDDs B & D). Afterwards, you should be able to have access to your HDD A as a standalone, but it needs to be connected to a different controller.
    Can you take a picture and upload it here, so we see how exactly you've configured the storage devices?

    SuperSoph_WD
  5. SuperSoph_WD said:
    Hey there again, sumdumgaiGA!

    IMHO it would be best to contact the motherboard manufacturer's customer support, if you need further assistance with the controllers on your mobo.
    You should be able to do that, yes, but Drive A should be unplugged until you've set up the RAID 1 configuration with (HDDs B & D). Afterwards, you should be able to have access to your HDD A as a standalone, but it needs to be connected to a different controller.
    Can you take a picture and upload it here, so we see how exactly you've configured the storage devices?

    SuperSoph_WD


    Do you mean a picture of the physical board or a schematic as in Easeus Partition Master or Disk Management? Thanks.
  6. Hey there again, sumdumgaiGA!

    Sorry for the late reply. Actually taking a picture of both would be even more helpful. However, I was talking about the motherboard's SATA ports and your HDD placement there.
    I think you should check your mobo's manual and see if it does have two SATA controllers or not. If you cannot find information there, you should contact the MB's customer support. I believe they'd be much more useful in assisting you with this.

    SuperSoph_WD
  7. SuperSoph_WD said:
    Hey there again, sumdumgaiGA!

    Sorry for the late reply. Actually taking a picture of both would be even more helpful. However, I was talking about the motherboard's SATA ports and your HDD placement there.
    I think you should check your mobo's manual and see if it does have two SATA controllers or not. If you cannot find information there, you should contact the MB's customer support. I believe they'd be much more useful in assisting you with this.

    SuperSoph_WD


    OK, I think I'm getting to understand this better and also that I may have hooked things up incorrectly. The motherboard has 6 Intel SATA connectors, 2 of which can be used as SATAEXPRESS. These are named: SATA6G_1 thru SATA6G_6. The Intel ports support RAID 0,1,5, and 10. There are two other SATA connectors supported by ASMedia ASM1061 controller (no Raid). These ports are SATA6G_E1 and SATA6G_E2.

    Right now here is the way things are connected:
    SATA6G_1 - 2TB HDD; multi-partitioned drive (T,U,V,W) used for backup and other data
    SATA6G_2 - CDDVD; Drive 1
    SATA6G_3 - 1TB HDD; Drive A used for shared data (photos, pictures, music etc.)
    SATA6G_4 - 1TB HDD; Drive B used for private and program data
    SATA6G_5 - empty
    SATA6G_6 - empty

    SATA6G_E1 - CDDVD; Drive 2
    SATA6G_E2 - 250GB SSD used for OS and programs

    So, everything is working but shouldn't I have put the SSD on a faster Intel port? Which one?
    1) How should I have connected these devices?
    2) With RAID1, how should I connect them?
    3) If instead of RAID1, I want instead to install another HDD with XP on it so that I have dual boot system, how should I connect them?

    Thanks for all your help and suggestions.
  8. Hi again, sumdumgaiGA!

    Good thing that you have the SSD connected to the other controller. I don't think that the speed difference will be noticeable even if you put it in the Intel SATA ports. Since all the ports on your mobo are SATA III (6 Gb/s) and you're not incorporating the SSD in any RAID configuration, the ASMedia controller will do the job as well.
    How is it performing now, though? Have you done any benchmark tests? ( http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-1926483/ssd-diagnostic-tools.html )
    However, I believe that you should swap the HDD connected to SATA6G_1 and put it next to the SSD (which preferably should be connected to SATA6G_E1) and put the data drive in SATA6G_E2. While moving the CDDVD drive 2 to the Intel ports, next to the CDDVD drive 1. This way you could enable RAID on the Intel controller and configure a healthy RAID 1 array, without it affecting the data HDD or the SSD.
    I hope I wasn't too confusing, but it's probably best to consult your motherboard manufacturer's customer support.

    Unfortunately, I don't have access to a similar motherboard (to yours) at the moment, to test my suggestion. So if anybody else from the community can give you a better advice on the storage configuration, I encourage them to do so.

    Hope I was helpful, though. Keep me posted. :)
    SuperSoph_WD
  9. SuperSoph_WD said:
    Hi again, sumdumgaiGA!

    Good thing that you have the SSD connected to the other controller. I don't think that the speed difference will be noticeable even if you put it in the Intel SATA ports. Since all the ports on your mobo are SATA III (6 Gb/s) and you're not incorporating the SSD in any RAID configuration, the ASMedia controller will do the job as well.
    How is it performing now, though? Have you done any benchmark tests? ( http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-1926483/ssd-diagnostic-tools.html )
    However, I believe that you should swap the HDD connected to SATA6G_1 and put it next to the SSD (which preferably should be connected to SATA6G_E1) and put the data drive in SATA6G_E2. While moving the CDDVD drive 2 to the Intel ports, next to the CDDVD drive 1. This way you could enable RAID on the Intel controller and configure a healthy RAID 1 array, without it affecting the data HDD or the SSD.
    I hope I wasn't too confusing, but it's probably best to consult your motherboard manufacturer's customer support.

    Unfortunately, I don't have access to a similar motherboard (to yours) at the moment, to test my suggestion. So if anybody else from the community can give you a better advice on the storage configuration, I encourage them to do so.

    Hope I was helpful, though. Keep me posted. :)
    SuperSoph_WD


    Thanks for the advice. Just curious as to why I was lucky to have the SSD on separate controller? Also, I thought I'd put the CDDVD's both on the ASMedia controller since I don't use them that often. Is that okay?
  10. Best answer
    Hey there again!

    Well, even though AHCI is included in the RAID drivers, which would allow you to use the SSD and have the HDDs in a mirrored array, you might still encounter some issues with the TRIM enabling. You can still give this a try, though.
    However, if you put both CDDVDs in the ASMedia controller, you won't be able to have that third HDD in AHCI or IDE and it will need to be configured as a RAID drive which would jeopardize the data on it. Another issue you might encounter is the inability of your system to recognize it as a standalone drive (outside the RAID 1 configuration). You can change the mode settings of the SATA controller, but you can't manage each SATA port on that controller separately, especially if you have RAID enabled. That's why mobo manufacturers' put more than one SATA controllers in the newer models.

    SuperSoph_WD
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