Optimal GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R SATA port connection and BIOS setup

tkblingx2

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Hi,
I just put together my first machine with a GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R motherboard and was hoping someone could give me the optimal setup for my SATA connections.
The following are the parts that I have that I am trying to connect via SATA:

Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

HDDs
2x Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
(Would like a RAID1 setup with Win7 OS Primary drive with these)
2x Western Digital Caviar Black WD1501FASS 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
(For media/storage/etc, no RAID)

Optical Drives
Pioneer Black Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Writer SATA BDR-205BKS - OEM
(will use this one primary)
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support

Front Panel
1x eSATA port
Memory Card Reader (will purchase in future, probably only need USB headers but incase I need a SATA port for it)

With the above setup I would like to know which drive I should plug into which SATA ports on the mobo. Also the proper BIOS setup for the SATA ports would be greatly appreciated as well.

I have read that the front panel eSATA should go into the GSATA2_8 or GSATA2_9 port so I can 'hot swap' drives without worry about the system not reading them etc so that is what I am currently planning on.
The rest though is a mystery to me.
Ive read that even though the mobo has SATA3 (GSATA3_6/7) ports the SATA2 (SATA2_0/1/2/3/4/5) ports controller by the ICH10R chip performs better (even for my SATA 3 1TB HDDs), if so I'm guessing all 4 of my HDDs should go into the SATA2 ports is some order? And the optical drives I have no clue :p sooo any help would be deeply appreciated!

This is my first post here so if I am missing any info thats need please let me know and I will update it ASAP.

Thanks for looking through this and hope I can get someone to help! :)
 

bilbat

Splendid
Bad news, unfortunately - 'Blacks' don't RAID... Need RE3's, (which are, in essence, the same drive, with the firmware's DRC (deep recovery [/u]c[/u]ycling) turned off. There was, for a short time, a 'patch' available, which disabled this - I don't know if WD's marketing guys figured out this was a mistake (in terms of extra $$), or if it wasn't dependable; but, I do know that WD have pretty thoroughly 'scrubbed it off' the web, and, even if you can find a source for it, scuttlebutt says it can wreck a new drive, or its firmware, if applied... If you got 'em from someone reputable, they're likely to let you return 'em for credit on a pair of RE's - the current price differential at NewEgg is $45-$50, between CB's and RE's...

You definitely want 'em all four on the ICH (SATA2_0 through SATA2_5), and I'd put 'em on in the 'order of use' (though the order really doesn't matter...) - the two for RAID1 & booting on ports 0 & 1; the other pair on 2 & 3.

You will need to put in drivers during install - I can point you at 'em, and give some procedure, once you're 'sorted out' and ready to go - sorry to be the 'bearer of bad tidings' [:lectrocrew:7]
 

tkblingx2

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Ahh i see. Well i guess I'll chance it for now with a non-RAID setup for my C drive. Later on I will most likely reinstall the OS anyways.
Thanks for the info.

As for the drivers are they for the HDDs? If so please do let me know where I can download these and what step exactly should i install them?

Thanks again :)
 
Non-RAID = WD1002FAEX ; {lacking TLER} "Probably" with some dedicated RAID Controllers. Running it off your MOBO is another issue.

Since you are mixing SATA III (Primary) with SATA II (Data), I'd be interested seeing your RAID + DATA work. Your MOBO has been shown to have problems with SATA II RAID configurations. However, SATA III is Marvell vs Intel SATA II, to make things more squirrelly there have been several posts to "stay away" from Marvell RAID.

Refer to your MOBO manual for setup. You shouldn't need to D/L drivers for your HDD.

footnote: I read where some people got "creative" and found a way to enable TLER on their WD drives, but since it involves flashing I wouldn't recommend it unless you KNOW you can RMA the drives if it fails.
 

foscooter

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The drivers you would need will be for any RAID set up you do.

The ICH10R drivers are part of Windows 7 install, but not the Marvell SATA III drivers, with or without RAID.

If you use your SATA III drives in the SATA III ports, with or without RAID, you may need the "F6 Third party drivers" during Win7 install.

BTW: Intel does has an updated driver for the ICH10R chipset, but you can download it, and install it after your initial OS install/setup.
 

tkblingx2

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I decided that RAID1 for my OS drive is important enough for me, so I purchased two RE3s
Western Digital RE3 WD1002FBYS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Ill probably end up keeping the 1TB blacks for extra storage/for another machine.

So once the drives come (hopefully on Friday) I will have the two RE3s in the SATA2_0 and 1 ports, the Two 1.5TB Blacks in SATA2_2 and 3, and if I decided to add an extra drive into the SATA3_6 or 7 ports.

For the two Optical Drives Im guessing 4 and 5 will do?

And Finally the front panel eSATA in the GSATA2_8.

Does that seem like the best setup? And if so what BIOS setting should I use for the SATA ports.

Thanks again!
 

bilbat

Splendid
OK - put the RE3's on SATA2_0 & SATA2_1; the other WD's on SATA2_2 & SATA2_3; the DVD and any front panel eSATA connector on GSATA2_8 & GSATA2_9;

In the BIOS, on the "Integrated Peripherals" page -

Set

"eXtreme Hard Drive (XHD)" to "Enabled"...
"ICH SATA Control Mode" should get set to RAID(XHD) by the previous setting...
"SATA Port0-3 Native Mode" to "Enabled"...
"eSATA Controller" to "Enabled if you actually intend to ever use the rear-panel eSATA ports; else, "Disabled"...
"eSATA Ctrl Mode" to "AHCI" if enabled above; else, doesn't matter if "Disabled"...
"GSATA 6_7/IDE Controller" to "Disabled"...
"GSATA 6_7/IDE Ctrl Mode" doesn't matter, it's disabled...
"GSATA 8_9/IDE Controller" to "Enabled"...
"GSATA 8_9/IDE Ctrl Mode" to "AHCI"

<F10> to save, exit, and reboot...

When it reboots, you should be presented with the <CTRL + I> option illustrated in figure two on page 87; you will need to follow the 'Create RAID volume' procedure starting there, and continuing on to 89; at step 3 on 88, you will want to select a volume name, select RAID1(Mirror) in "RAID Level:"; pick your pair of RE3's below; and then 'create volume'... Once you reboot, you will then see, after the main POST, your RAID will be 'discovered' and checked by the RAID BIOS - that means you're ready to go!

Most of the files you need are here, at Intel... My brain may just be 'stuttering' [:bilbat:6] , but I don't remember seeing what OS you're planning. Also, are you planning on doing it 'the easy way', using a floppy, or going to try a USB stick for the driver install? If I know, I can 'personalize' a bit - and (lazy as I am) write up fewer 'alternative' procedures...







 

tkblingx2

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awesome, thanks again for your help. :)
For the OS i will be running win7 ultimate 64 bit.

Also for the two optical drives im guessing the SATA2_4 and 5 will be the best bet? And use the GSATA3 ports for any extra drives I might add in the future.

For installing drivers I'm planning on downloading the latest ones from the net onto a 8GB USB drive.
 

bilbat

Splendid
If you're going to use a USB, the first thing to do is make sure it's formatted to FAT-32 file system, and the second is to check in the BIOS, on the "Integrated Peripherals" page, that the "USB Storage Function" item is "Enabled" - should be, by default, but check...

As for placement, does your case have a front panel eSATA connector?
 


Just a "thought" and "my opinion" - for the money I would get a 128 GB SSD ; it runs circles around your drives. Instead, what is "Important" clearly is the "DATA" therefore, place your OS + Apps [SSD] and Data [RAID 1]. This is exactly what I did for my office rigs (128 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD RAID 1) and my newer gaming rig (256 GB SSD + 2 TB HDD RAID 1). Honestly, once you've had SSD there's no going back (Start-ups in 15 sec, Office in 2-3 sec, click + snap). In addition, NO MORE defrag!

"IF" for some reason my SSD dies, so what - I ghost a clean image of the (OS + Apps) and I'm up and running faster than you could ever rebuild a RAID...
 

bilbat

Splendid
How do you like it so far? I'm very interested, as I'm very seriously considering a UD9, and out of the handful of cases that will work with it, the HAF looked, to me at least, to be the pretty much 'ultimate' selection. I like CM's to begin with - have done a couple Cosmos now - I'm happy as a clam with mine, and the guy who got the machine I spec'd the other for is ecstatic with his machine! Have to ask - does it look like it would be a big deal to pull out the board at the back of the top pair of 'hot-plug' bays? I'd kind of want to yank it, and put in a rack that fits three 3½" drives into two 5¼" bays...

I'd do it this way:

Put the pair of DVDs on GSATA2_8 & GSATA2_9;
Put the FP eSATA on SATA2_5; so far as I know, any SATA port connected to an ICH in RAID mode, if it's not used in the RAID, is automatically put into AHCI mode, which will give you 'hot-plug' on the FP port...

What you want to do is D/L "STOR_all64_f6flpy_9.6.0.1014_PV.zip" and "STOR_allOS_9.6.0.1014_PV.exe" form the Intel pointer I posted; unzip the zip file, and put the contents onto your USB (some people have indicated problems 'navigating' to directories in the installer, so I'd keep 'em in the 'root' directory/folder)...

Also, D/L this file, and put it an empty directory somewhere (not on your desktop - it'll 'make a mess'...), then double-click on it - it should extract to a folder/directory named GSATA. Inside this folder, you'll see another, named 'Floppy64' - copy the contents of that one onto your USB stick as well... If you've already done the <CTRL+F1> thing, and successfully created your RAID, you're ready to install the OS. When you get to this screen:

click on 'Load Driver', navigate to the USB stick, and select 'Intel ICH8R/ICH9R/ICH10R/DO/PCH SATA RAID Controller' for the first install; let it proceed, go back, and do the same thing again, this time selecting 'GIGABYTE GB836X Controller', and when it's done, you're ready to select your RAID partition, and proceed with the install!
 


NO!!!! STOP!!!! {eXtreme Hard Drive (XHD)" to "Enabled"...} => DISABLED!!! The OP wants RAID 1 NOT RAID 0!
 
The {short version} SATA II RAID ~WD1002FBYS

1. Load "Optimized Settings"
2. Integrated Peripherals / ICH SATA Control Mode => "RAID (XHD)"
3. Save & Exit
4. Ctrl + I --> RAID Configuration {read Chapter 5 step by step}

You can "tweak" later.
 

bilbat

Splendid
Ahh - so the first entry on the "Integrated Peripherals" page, "eXtreme Hard Drive (XHD)", does not simply 'set' the second, "ICH SATA Control Mode" to 'RAID', like the older BIOS? I simply assumed that, as there are only three possibilities for the second entry - 'IDE', 'AHCI', and 'RAID(XHD)', that the first entry simply 'forced' the second, as you could only select the XHD anyway... Struck me odd that they seemed redundant... Haven't had a client yet with enough $$$ to have configured a 1366 RAID, yet :cry:, and the manual simply says
Enter the system BIOS Setup program, set eXtreme Hard Drive (X.H.D) under the Integrated Peripherals menu to Enabled to enable RAID for the Intel SATA controllers.
If I'm understanding this right, enabling the first RAID "eXtreme Hard Drive (XHD)" item, then, prevents you from selecting RAID1 in the option ROM's RAID BIOS? Or does it do away with the 'normal' <CTRL+F1> prompt entirely?

...anyhow... ...thanks for the pointer!

I gotta admit, I never even look at any of the GB utility stuff, as I'd generally rather pee on an electric fence than run any GB software - the XHD utility-thingy looks like it should do RAID1 by clicking on the 'Manual' button - but - it says GIGABYTE at the top - that's enough to scare me away!

Having had a glance, it also strikes me as a 'chicken and egg' problem - if you have to install the XHD utility to initialize your RAID - HITH do you install the OS on a RAID?? I just pray this doesn't mean that GB's been 'twiddling' around' in the Intel option ROM code!
 

bilbat

Splendid
Umm, 'Enabled' just turns on interrupt sharing; systems ME and earlier had to have 'dedicated' disk controller interrupts... The reason for the 0-3 thing is that, if an ICH is not in AHCI or RAID mode, it is two physical controllers - one does 0-3 (and I think only those will work on ME & earlier - they're the 'equivalent' of a pair of old IDE controllers, two channels each, which was the max for a board, without special driver support...) - the second does ports 4 & 5. If you have no reason to use AHCI (or RAID), there is a smidgen's advantage when running a pair of drives, to putting 'em on channel 0 and channel 4 - you can take advantage of simutaneous streaming to the two physical controllers... When in AHCI or RAID, the ICH is 'transformed' into a single physical controller with six ports...
 
...So if I'm using, as I do, SSD SATA_0 + RAID (SATA_2-3) ; I assume that it is better 'Disabled'?

...How about for the OP running RAID 1 on SATA_0-1?

All running WIN 7; seems a little redundant if running {ICH SATA Control Mode => "RAID (XHD)" } which is why I 'Disable' and the manual simply doesn't say one way or the other so it seemed to reinforce the 'Disable'.

To quote the Manual, "{Disabled ~ set if you wish to install OS that does not support Native mode. Enabled ~ if you wish to install OS that support Native mode.} Question, does it conflict 'ICH SATA Control Mode => "RAID (XHD)' ??
 

bilbat

Splendid
It doesn't apply in anything but IDE mode - again, once you 'toggle' the ICH into either RAID or AHCI, that 4 port/2 port 'split' is gone... From "Intel
® I/O Controller Hub 10 (ICH10) Family Datasheet
":
5.16 SATA Host Controller (D31:F2, F5)

The SATA function in the ICH10 has three modes of operation to support different operating system conditions. In the case of Native IDE enabled operating systems, the ICH10 utilizes two controllers to enable all six ports of the bus. The first controller (Device 31: Function 2) supports ports 0–3 and the second controller (Device 31:
Function 5) supports ports 4 and 5. When using a legacy operating system, only one controller (Device 31: Function 2) is available that supports ports 0 - 3. In AHCI or RAID mode, only one controller (Device 31: Function 2) is used enabling all six ports.
...and there's a piece about the 'functional equivalency', in IDE mode, to a couple of older IDE (two drives to a cable) controllers:
The ICH10 SATA controllers interact with an attached mass storage device through a register interface that is equivalent to that presented by a traditional IDE host adapter. The host software follows existing standards and conventions when accessing the register interface and follows standard command protocol conventions.
 

tkblingx2

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So confused now haha >.<
So should XHD be disabled then in the BIOS?

And for the case I'm loving it so far, installation of everything was very simple and theres ample room even for the Radeon HD 5870 that I put in it (6 monitors with one card is awesome).
I do wish the back side of the motherboard area had just a little bit more room (width) for easy cable management. For some cables bunches get pretty thick and i have to kinda force the case cover on for that side of the case. Nothing a little extra cable management wont fix though :)
Also they werent kidding when they said HAF. I love how well this thing is ventalated. The CM fans that come with this are practically silent also. One thing i was worried about was the front fan having the red LED which I wasnt a fan of but when power up is not bright at all which Im happy about :)
 

bilbat

Splendid
Ahhh - don't mind our 'babbling' - it's just 'tech talk'. I would proceed as directed, except:
"eXtreme Hard Drive (XHD)" to "Enabled"...
"ICH SATA Control Mode" should get set to RAID(XHD) by the previous setting...
Do that this way:
"eXtreme Hard Drive (XHD)" to "Disabled"...
"ICH SATA Control Mode" to "RAID(XHD)" - and, if there's a plain "RAID" (no XHD at the end, select that...

Then proceed as directed, with the reboot, and <CTRL+I> 'entry' into the RAID BIOS to configure your RAID...

I'm semi-conducting (! [:bilbat:9] )a garage sale (actually is advertised for tomorrow, but folks started showing up Wed while I was moving and cleaning up the 'junque'), so I'm a little slow - will try to remember to do a refresh every 40 min or so, in case you post with questions - if you run into anything anomalous in the process - post back!

When I have some more time, I want to converse further about the case, too [:jaydeejohn:3]
 

tkblingx2

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Awesome thanks for the help!
I should be getting my drives today and as long as they are not DOA I will try to start setting them up tonight.

If I run into any issues I will be sure to update the thread.
As for the drivers the only two I will need to install before fully installing win7 should be the intel ICH10R and gigabyte GB836X drivers right?

I wont get home till around 7pm PDT so no updates till after then :)

Also feel free to ask away about the case!
 

bilbat

Splendid
Yep - you've got it... The ICH's handle your RAID, put any remaining 'single drives' connected into AHCI mode, and, should you eventually go that route, handle TRIM pass-through for SSDs, which is vital to their 'long-term survival'. The GB driver does the AHCI for the aux (jMicron) controllers...
 
Once you Ctrl-I and set-up the RAID even if you disabled the {Integrated Peripherals / ICH SATA Control Mode => "RAID (XHD)" } the RAID still would be paired, but the Intel software controller wouldn't function. *Don't do it, on one of my RMA I tried it for the hell of it and the RAID still worked. Set: {eXtreme Hard Drive (XHD)" to "Disabled"...} is indeed correct.

@bilbat ~ I need to research the Native vs. Legacy.
 

tkblingx2

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So I was able to set up the BIOS and raid1 but once I tried to install the Intel drivers before installing win7 I ended up getting a bsod :( I wasn't able to get the error code or try a repro since I had to leave unfortunately. Win7 did find both drivers Intel/gigabyte successfully.

I'm hoping ill have time later to try again so when I to i will update this thread.

Thanks for the help :)
 

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