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According to this article about the Asus P8Z68 motherboard, to use the Intel SSD Caching, I need to enable RAID mode before installing Windows 7. What if it's already installed? Is there not a way to enable RAID mode when it's already set up as AHCI, then use the caching feature?

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possible duplicate of How to install RAID drivers on already installed Windows 7? –  techie007 Mar 3 '12 at 20:45
    
That looks like a different (albeit possibly related) question to me. –  Christi Mar 3 '12 at 21:46
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As @techie007 posted, this question is quite similar, and the result is an exact duplicate. For reference... (this site)

With the motherboard set to RAID mode, put in the Windows 7 DVD and boot into the Recovery Environment. Go to the Command Prompt, type REGEDIT and press Enter. Expand and select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, select File->Load Hive..., select x:\WINDOWS\System32\config\SYSTEM. Name it whatever.

Next, go down to the imported hive, then you'll see ControlSet xxx. Expand to Services, then iaStorV. On the right hand side for each ControlSet, change the Start value from 3 to 0. When you are done, select the top of the hive you imported, select File->Unload Hive..., and I can then boot to Windows

After booting into Windows, I went to Intel's RST website to download the new version of their software. Once I installed that and rebooted, I could follow Intel's RST Instructions for enabling the SSD cache for the Hard Disk Drive, even though another SSD was the boot drive

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In my experience, Intel Smart Response Technology is very sensitive to the exact order in which you do things.

First of all, remember that SRT can only cache a Windows boot drive, so you can't have an SSD Boot drive and then SRT cache another drive in your system.

Even then, you have set your ICH SATA ports into RAID mode in the BIOS. Then you have to install Windows 7, then install the intel drivers, then SRT. Then and only then can you add the SSD.

At this point, if you are lucky, you will see a new "Accelerate" tab on RST application and you can set up SSD caching. If you add it at any time before the other steps have been completed, SRT can get confused and and the Accelerate tab stays hidden.

If not then you may have to start the whole process from scratch to try and get it to work.

I have not seen anyone be able to detail a procedure that would allow me to take an OS installed on an AHCI or IDE mode drive and convert it into a RAID mode drive that boots and enables the SRT Accelerate tab, even the guide that david successfully followed didn't work for me. I spent ages looking for one, and trying various things myself and in the end came to the conclusion that the only way to get SRT SSD Caching to work was to follow the motherboard manual instructions to the letter.

I'm glad that david managed to get it to work, and I hope that you manage to too, if not and you have to re-install from scratch, follow the instructions precisely and you should be able to get it to work.

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