Question Problems with Raid0 on Asus ROG Maximus iv Extreme

Aug 11, 2020
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So I recently got (for free, someone was throwing it away!) an:

Origin tower computer with
  • Asus ROG Maximus iv Extreme MB
  • Core i7
  • 8GB Corsair RAM
  • 1 x 500GB SSD
  • 2 x 500GB 7200RPM HDD's
  • Dual SLI Nvidia GeForce GTX 590 graphics cards
  • Water cooling.
So I fully formatted the HDD's and quick formatted the SSD and installed Windows 10 on it (it had Windows 7). The computer ran super well until I got the smart idea of running the two HDD's in Raid0.

  1. I flashed the latest BIOS from ASUS to the MB through their quick USB to MB method and set everything to auto except to ignore the CPU fan (since that's not connected and makes the startup always ask to enter BIOS to fix).
  2. I made the change in the BIOS from AHCI to Raid
  3. Did CTRL-I at startup to get into the Raid configuration, got the two HDD's configured into Raid0,
  4. Then started Windows (had to reinstall since it didn't want to boot from SSD with the change in the BIOS from AHCI to RAID).
  5. I then installed the latest Intel RST drivers and manager and such.
  6. Created a new volume on the Raided drives called "Raid Volume".
  7. Put all the user folders I could (e.g. "Downloads", "Documents", "Pictures", etc.) onto the Raid Volume including OneDrive.
  8. Then went about installing all the apps and drivers I needed for the computer.
But now that I did all that it seems to be running much worse and there are weird things happening on the Raid Volume.
  • Things are choppy, mouse and keyboard inputs don't always work (mouse freezes).
  • Videos play with notable freezing even with all the video drivers in place.
  • Files transfer like roller-coasters (fast, slow, stop, fast, slow, stop).
  • Files mysteriously disappear out of the Raid Volume.
  • Some files and folders won't open, and then I can't seem to be able to move them or delete them.
  • I'll reboot and some stuff starts working fine again, but then doesn't.
  • I can't get the audio driver to install correctly (and apparently other ASUS drivers) so no sound.
  • OneDrive just said I removed 716 files and if I wanted to get rid of them or restore them.
So far there has been no error codes except one time I started the computer it said it was repairing drive D: (the Raid Drive.)

Am I doing something wrong here? Shouldn't Raid0 improve things, not make the computer so sluggish just trying to do some light browsing or even typing or moving the mouse? Should I try something else before giving up and going back to AHCI (non-raided)?
 
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Aug 11, 2020
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Check health of your raided drives. If one of them goes bad, all your data on raid 0 is lost.
Better to avoid raid 0 altogether. If you decide to use it anyway, then have also a good backup solution.
I was aware of the loss of data if one goes bad. I mainly want to have a place to put all my OneDrive files on one computer. Two 500GB drives pretty much makes the 1TB that I can store on OneDrive. So technically they'd be backed up on OneDrive.

But on the other hand these are older drives from 2012. (Although looking through the Windows 7 update history and other files, it looks like the computer was only used for 2 years then stored). So maybe I should un-Raid them.

How do I check the health of the drives? I fully formatted them without any error messages or anything.
 
Aug 11, 2020
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Check health of your raided drives.
I figured out how to check the drives. Or at least, as if they were one drive (as Windows sees them). And there was an error so I let Windows repair it, or should I say them? After that I checked them, it, again and didn't get any errors. But just to be sure I fully formatted the volume for the first time after making it a Raid volume.

As I format it I've been able to do some other things like get the sound driver to install properly, among other things. Things are snappy again. We'll see if they remain that way once the volume is formated and the drives are active again. I'll be checking for errors periodically. If it keeps getting errors I'm going to just un-raid it and use just one of the HDD's.
 
Aug 11, 2020
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So after un-Raiding the drives, I formatted both (this time just quick format) and just went with one. But after downloading some 300GB of OneDrive files it started doing the same thing. Things started freezing up, lots of files just disappeared, etc., etc.

So I just started putting everything over onto the other drive and turned off the computer and removed the bad drive. So far so good!

Maybe I'll try Raid again if I ever buy some new hard drives. I might try Raid10 since I have a ton of drive bays all over this computer case.
 
Aug 11, 2020
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RAID<anything> won't help if one of the drives is faulty.

And even when/if you get new drives....avoid the RAID thing. Serves little or no purpose in the consumer space.
The idea was to make a 1TB volume out of two 500GB drives so I could put my folders on one volume (I hate having part on one drive and another part on another.)

But just as well, if I'm going to buy drives I can always just buy a 1TB drive.

I also wanted a bit faster volume for cheap (two FREE 7200RPM drives in RAID0). But 5400RPM non-RAID speeds would work too for me.
 
Aug 11, 2020
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So I started having the same errors with one of the HDD's even un-raided. So I think it's safe to say that it's a bad drive. I took it out and have been using only the SSD and other HDD and so far I haven't had the same problems as before.

However I do have some sort of problem with the computer suddenly freezing. Sometimes the screen turns off and there's no response. Other times the screen stays on and there's no response.

I ran sfc /scannow and it detected errors and fixed them. This is after a fresh install of Windows and drivers. So with that I'm suspecting the SDD may have problems of it's own. Either that or some driver isn't compatible or I have some other hardware problem, or so I'm guessing.
 
Aug 11, 2020
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Check health of the drive. Use HDtune health. Post screenshot.
(upload to imgur.com and post link)

Check health of SSD with SSD manufacturer tool.
Thanks for the tips! I'll have to look those up after I finish what I just got myself into.

For now I went ahead and threw in a USB with a bootable Windows installer and erased all the volumes off the SSD, made a new volume, which Windows installer automatically repartitioned, and then formatted each partition that was formattable.

Right now I'm intalling Windows again. I think what I'll do is just do general updates but install drivers one by one and let it run a while, first without drivers, and then with each driver, to see if any of that's a problem. But I'll probably try the SSD manufacture tool before trying the drivers.

I also have a 2TB WD Blue HDD ordered and a Crucial MX500 SSD that I can use in this computer if needed (I have several other computers I'm fixing up so if I don't need the new SSD here I can use it elsewhere for sure.)
 
Aug 11, 2020
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Check health of the drive. Use HDtune health. Post screenshot.
(upload to imgur.com and post link)

Check health of SSD with SSD manufacturer tool.
So I downloaded Samsung Magician. The SSD is a Samsung 840 PRO series. The Drive Details says it's in Good condition and that 4.1TB have been written to it. It's currently running at 26°C and has 30GB of 476GB.

I tried the Diagnostic Scan but it says that this drive doesn't allow that function.

So far I've downloaded the audio drivers for the motherboard so I can hook this up to my optical sound bar. I haven't installed any other optional drivers yet.

Another thing that could have been the culprit of it freezing up, maybe, is lack of water in the cooling system. I've never had a water cooling system before. But I noticed the reservoir was low. So I hope I did this correctly:
  1. I lengthened the fan wires as much as I could on the radiator. One fan I just took off since I couldn't get the cord long enough.
  2. Then I unbolted the radiator and set it on a stool just below the pump.
  3. I added some water, moved the radiator around by flipping it upside down and putting the bulk of the radiator down low with the inlet/outlet higher, but still lower than the pump and reservoir.
  4. More air came out and so I added more water until I couldn't seem to be able to get any more air out,
  5. PS. I did this with the computer running, fans, pump and all.
So far no crashes/freezing up yet. I'll let it run like this a all night and see.
 
Aug 11, 2020
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Well it froze again. But this time I had a test video playing. The sound kept going but the screen went blank. So I guess it's not driver related, unless it's one of the drivers that automatically download or the audio driver.

Anyhow, I took out one of the graphics cards with the SLI bridge and am going to see if that improves anything.
 
Aug 11, 2020
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Ok. I probably should do something else with my life other than just work on an old computer.

But anyhow, after taking off the graphics card I realized it was caked full of dust. I took off the other one and noticed that it too was caked full of dust. So I went and took them apart and got most of the dust out with a toothbrush and put them back on. I did notice before that when the computer would freeze up the graphics cards' fans would be ramped up. So hopefully this has fixed the problem. But we will see.
 
Aug 11, 2020
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So it crashed again. Actually froze while playing a video again after playing YouTube videos all day. I downloaded SpeedFan and noticed that one of the GPU's runs as much as 20°C hotter than the other three GPU's. I fired it back up and with a 720P video (from HDD) with house thermostat set to 18°C (65°F) the one GPU runs at around 85°C while the others run around 65°C-70°C. At idle (no videos playing) it idles at 44°C whereas the others between 36° to 39°C.

85° in a cool house on dual graphics cards only playing a 720P mp4 video seems kind of hot still...

I checked to see if any cables were blocking the air flow out of the end of the either graphics cards but couldn't seem to find any problem. Maybe it needs the thermal compound replaced? Maybe I pushed the dirt down in instead of out? I thought I did a good job cleaning it though.

Anyhow, I hope this is the only reason for the crashing. Like I said, it ran nearly all day yesterday and only crashed once, unlike when it would crash from time to time before I cleaned the dust out of both of the graphics cards
 

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