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Help Needed for Raid Setup


Mar 6, 2007
I am awaiting the delivery of a new computer I just ordered. I purchased it with just one single SATA II hard drive containing the OS. It's the Windows XP 2005 Media Center OS. When it arrives I want to install 2 more duplicate hard drives in a RAID 0 configuration. I have never set up hard drives in a RAID striping so I have a few questions.
The motherboard is an ASUS P5N-E Sli. I understand that it has a built in RAID controller. I want to set up the RAID in a hardware configuration with that controller and not a software configuration.

1. Will this OS allow me to do that or do I need Windows XP Pro?
2. Do I need to format the hard drives before I set up the RAID?
3. The hard drives are Seagate SATA II so I was planning to format them with the Seagate utility wizard, is this best?
4. I am assuming that I will set up the RAID by adjusting settings in the BIOS and using a floopy with the controller drivers on it, is that all there is? Do I have to do anything in Windows XP to recognize or set up the RAID?
5. This MB has an external e-SATA port. If I attach an external SATA II hard drive to that port will it deliver the same speed and performance as having the equivalent hard drive installed internally (unlike a USB or Firewire port)?

Thanks from a newbie


Nov 9, 2005
OS doesn't matter, long as there is a driver for the RAID controller available. You should be fine.

You won't have to format the drives before you setup the RAID, but you're going to format it after creation.

I've never used the Seagate wizard, but it should work fine. Seems like all the tools these days have a good selection of file systems and parameters for you to play with.

Yes, you will most probably set the RAID from the BIOS and use a bootable floppy/disc to configure your formatting options. All Windows will want is to prompt you for the proper RAID controller driver during Windows installation.

I don't know about the external SATA. I've actually never even seen an external enclosure with a SATA port. Course I can't say I have looked very hard, I'm fairly partial to my Acomdata USB/Firewire combo enclosures.

Three drives sounds like fun, if you run any benchmarks please let us know how it goes.

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