Configure RAID prompt (only one drive)?

tempgal

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Hi --

My boss has a new Gateway LX6810 and he depends on me to set it up for him. The unit was an "open box" from Best Buy, so it may have been partially configured.

The part that I am unfamiliar with is the RAID configuration. At each reboot, the PC wants to "configure Media Storage" and a series of RAID prompts appears. I've read the manual but am not understanding what options I should select. The unit has only one 640GB hard drive. As I considered proceeding, I allowed the default striping instead of spanning and the default 64, after which a warning followed indicating that all previous data would be destroyed. At that point, I cancelled.

It seems pointless to reduce the amount of storage available for the sake of increased speed, especially given the extent of boss's knowledge. Does he need a RAID configuration at all? If not, how do I stop the repeated reminders to configure? If RAID is in fact highly desirable, what are the easiest options that I should choose.

Thanks for your assistance.
 

richj44

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RAID isn't what I'd call "highly desirable". It has it's uses (typically to increase the speed of hard drive reads & writes, or to increase the reliability of data storage) but if you and your boss don't know what it's there for, you can do without it. Besides, RAID requires a minimum of two hard disks. If he has a single drive he doesn't need (and can't use) RAID.

It sounds like the RAID options got enabled by mistake. You should be able to enter setup and disable RAID entirely, which is what I'd suggest. Depending on the device which handles RAID you may have to go into BIOS setup to disable it, or it may have a separate configuration menu of it's own.Look for a prompt at the "configure media options" and see if you can't find one to disable RAID entirely.

Hope this helps. If you have questions about how to disable RAID we may need some more information in order to help you. Please post back with how it goes...
 

tempgal

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Thank you, Rich.

What you said is what I suspected based on continued research.

If I go into setup and disable RAID, is there any possibility that I will then have to reinstall Vista?

Thanks.
 

richj44

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Tempgal, I don't see how disabling RAID could possibly cause a problem in this case. If I understand the situation correctly, what you're disabling is the *option* to enable a RAID array, not an existing RAID array itself. If your drives were actually set up for RAID 1 and you disabled/removed it, yes, you'd lose everything.

I would feel better if you could post exactly what that series of RAID prompts says to make sure I'm not misinterpreting anything though.

But unless you've misstated the situation or I've badly misunderstood you, disabling RAID will have no effect at all. If there is no existing RAID array (which requires multiple drives) you won't change a thing on the hard drive when you disable RAID.

If you have a way to backup the drive (or at least any critical data) prior to doing this, it's always a good idea to do so. Anytime you mess with changing drive controller settings there is some degree of risk involved and I can't state 100% nothing will happen.


 

aford10

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+1, exactly

If you only have 1 HD, there is no raid array set up. What you are seeing is the bios option to configure the array. You simply need to go into the BIOS and disable the raid array option. You won't lose any data.
 

tempgal

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Hi --

Wanted to get back to those who took the time to answer.

Boss brought his computer into work again yesterday so I went looking for the RAID setup so that I could disable it.

I did not find the option to enable or disable RAID.

After the computer booted, once again I looked at what "wanted" to be configured. The prompt is from Nvidia and it is the option to configure multimedia storage. The only drive present is listed as a RAID drive. I backed out without making changes.

The good news is that upon using msconfig to check the startup entries, I saw that there was an Nvidia reminder to configure RAID. I unchecked that and the problem seems to be solved.

It sure seems like a strange setup to me. As you all know, I don't know much about RAID but even if the PC did have one or two additional ESATA drives, which it can accommodate, I can't imagine why one would want to use RAID across removable drives for multimedia purposes.

Should anyone else encounter what seems to be this unusual setup, the computer is a Gateway LX6810. I'm sure Gateway must have their reasons.

Thanks again.

 

aford10

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Were you seeing this prompt inside windows?

That sounds like the NVidia Mediashield. It's a graphics program that has options to configure RAID as well. It's more of an annoyance than anything. I thought you were seeing that upon boot in a DOS like screen.

Thanks for the update though. Glad you got it fixed.
 

labfan

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Hello everyone and yes i have this exact Gateway model desktop which i received last week with the exact same problem.When first booting up a black screen comes on listing the BIOS driver version number along with the factory installed Hard Drive showing it`s capacity and listing it as a RAID with it`s total capacity,then at the bottom of the screen this appears."PRESS F9 TO ENTER RAID SETUP UTILITY".after a short time this screen disapears and Windows Vista 64 bit loads with no problem.After the welcome screen appears and programs load a popup appears in the bottom right of the taskbar stating the following."BEFORE FORMATTING YOUR NEW DISKS YOUR SYSTEM HAS 1 NEW DISK AVAILABLE.BEFORE FORMATTING NVIDIA MEDIA SHIELD CAN HELP YOU CONFIGURE THEM TO BEST MEET YOUR STORAGE NEEDS.I called Gateway support about this and wasn`t able to come to a satisfactory fix but they did decide to send me the so called Reinstall disks with all the programs and drivers.I am still waiting for them though.I also went into msconfig and turned off the NVIDIA RAID popup in the startup program list and it no longer appears in the taskbar upon botting up but the black screen i mentioned first still appears every time i turn on the desktop.Also,went into the BIOS settings by hitting F2 AT STARTUP and also did not find a way to turn off RAID there either,it appears there is no way to turn it off,the support person i spoke with at Gateway thought this was odd also,so they decided i should reinstall everything when i get the disks their sending me.I do like the new machine though and am for sure keeping it whether this gets fixed or not,i`ll just have to live with the bootup screen i guess.Hope you have better luck then i do,i`d call Gateway support though as them hearing about this same problem from more then just me will probably get it resolved quicker.Good Luck too you!!
 

tempgal

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Labfan --

You did much better with Gateway Tech Support than I did.

In years past, Gateway had a superb reputation which, with good reason, was lost. This particular computer had such excellent specs that it seemed worth taking a chance on. However, I found their response to a tech support inquiry posed within hours of taking delivery to be so poor as to recommend against any additional purchases of their product.

Below is a cut and paste of that response:

Thank you for contacting Gateway. I’ll be happy to assist you. Your concern is already out of scope of our technical support, however, we do offer a phone-based support options for it. You may call Answers By Gateway at (800) 229-1103 at a rate of $2.95 per minute (billed to a credit card). However, calling cards are also available in 30 minute, 90 minute, or 1 Year unlimited usage. For questions regarding billing issues with Answers by Gateway, please call (877) 352-2716, if you used the 800 number above. If you used the 900 number to contact Answers by Gateway, please call (701) 355-3910.


Respectfully,
Gateway Online Technical Support
 

labfan

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No,No, You should have gotten 1 year of free phone tech support with the purchase of your Gateway desktop,at least i did.I purchased my computer from Frys.com and it came with 1 year of phone tech support.Here`s the toll free number i used.1-866-539-3901--whatever you do,try to stay away from chat support especially TIM GWAE162.He wanted me to turn off everything that auto starts at bootup and didn`t have a clue as to the problem.I had much better luck when i called them although they didn`t solve the problem at least i`ll be receiving the re-install disks,at least i hope i will.How old is your computer?is it less then 1 year old?if so, i`d pursue the free phone tech support.Try that number and good luck! :hello:
 

tempgal

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As I mentioned in my first post, it is actually my boss's computer but he depends on me for everything related to computing.

The unit is now 2 weeks old. I had contacted Gateway before I found this forum.

Certainly there is/should be a year of tech support and I thank you for making the phone number handy. The situation was that Boss brought the unit to the office immediately upon picking it up at Best Buy because he wanted me to check it out. There was a wait for tech support, it was quitting time on Friday, and it was necessary that someone be at the computer when contact was made. Boss wanted to go home with his new machine so I had no choice other than email unless he wanted to bring the computer back to the office again.

He can probably live with the RAID prompt at bootup because he is used to seeing a RAID reference in the boot sequence of his office computer (which really does have a RAID configuration). However, the Nvidia prompt that appears after boot was confusing and I didn't want him to go making any changes that might necessitate reinstallation of everything. Thanks to LogMeIn, I was able to uncheck that prompt from the startup sequence.

I still feel that the Gateway response was shabby.
 

aford10

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@Labfan

If you use that restore disc, you will lose all of your data, and it WON'T fix your problem. That restore disc will simply reapply all of the original windows settings (which includes NVidia mediashield).

It will have no effect on the raid bios (black screen) that is showing upon start up. That has to be disabled in the PC's motherboard bios. After the raid bios shows on your screen, you should have another option after that to enter setup. That setup option is the PC's motherboard bios setup. You can disable the raid option there, then the raid bios will no longer show at startup.

The NVidia mediashield inside windows is a software progarm to help users configure raid arrays. It is not a vital program and can be uninstalled in the control panel. Blocking it in msconfig will suppress it from starting, but it's better to uninstall it.

 

labfan

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Yes,you are correct about this.To enter the setup you have to hit F9 which takes me to the BIOS settings.There are no options though to turn off RAID for the 1 HD that came with the desktop.I have gone into every area on this screen without any luck.Where would it be?,also,you don`t think the disks there sending me will solve the problem?,Thnx
 

aford10

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No, the discs will only reapply the same windows settings you currently have. It will have no effect on the bios.

It's hard to tell exactly where the raid option is in your bios because every bios is different. It could be a locked down bios with no option to change it as well. The option should be under something like I/O peripherals.
 

labfan

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Well after reading your last post i think i found where it should be.After hitting F9 to enter the BIOS settings i found an entry labeled"INTERGRATED PERIPHERALS" I entered this screen and found an entry labeled "Onboard SATA Mode-RAID MODE" Only problem is it`s greyed out with no option to change it.Would this be what you thought that it`s probably locked down?,Thnx.
 

labfan

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The setting for Onboard SATA Controller is factory set for ENABLED which causes the Onboard SATA MODE - RAID MODE to be greyed out.iF I DISABLE the Onboard SATA Controller the Onboard SATA MODE-RAID MODE disappears.It appears that Gateway doesn`t want anyone to turn off RAID at all,or doesn`t give me the option to.Thnx again for the info,would you think this is correct?
 

aford10

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If you disable the onboard sata controller, what happens upon boot? Does it boot off your SATA hd?

It could just need flashed. That's the problem with buying retail PC's. They really limit the options.
 

labfan

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I haven`t disabled it as i`m not familiar enough with this procedure,will it cause any problems like not loading my OS if i disable it?What exactly will happen if i disable the SATA Controller?,Thnx again!!
 

aford10

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It won't hurt anything. If it's your mobo's controller, it will stop when trying to load windows. You will just need to restart, get back in the bios, and re-enable it. If it's your raid controller, then it should bypass it and boot straight into windows. Either way, it won't hurt anything. I can't tell you 100% certain which it is without seeing it.
 

labfan

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I went in and disabled the controller,rebooted and got nothing but a black screen,no OS at all.Went back in and enabled and i`m back to where i was before.I`m guessing that Gateway wants it set up this way for a reason.I appreciate all you help but i think i`ll just leave it the way it is.Thnx again!
 

epv

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What are, or where can I find, compatible BIOS to flash onto a Gateway LX6810-01.

I am trying to install a clean OS, minus all their OEM noise, and am getting a prompt saying that I need to install CD/DVD device drivers. Which is silly as it is reading that prompt... from the DVD drive. I found a KB article on it where can be found here. The suggested procedure is to disable AHCI on the SATA controller. The default BIOS does not have that option. Additional research suggested that having raid turned on would enable AHCI by default. As mentioned earlier in this article turning raid off is disabled in the default BIOS.
 

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