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My (6 year old) motherboard has 4 PATA socket, 2 SATA socket, and one socket labelled "SATA RAID1". Since I (sadly) have 4 PATA devices (including dvd-r), 2 SATA hard drives, and have just bought another SATA SSD drive, can I plug it into the "SATA RAID1" socket?

If not, what to do? Buy an additional SATA controller?

EDIT More info: I'm running XP Pro, and intend to replace one of the PATA drives (200Gb) which I'm currently booting off, with the SSD (60Gb)

EDIT 2: Further info, originally in a self-answer:

I plugged it in, but Windows didn't see it (even in Computer Management). In BIOS, the drive doesn't show up under the main list of IDE and SATA drives. It does show up in a special "SATA RAID" section, so I know it's physically detected, but what I'm trying to do doesn't seem possible.

The motherboard is an ASUS M2V.

(Final resolution: after installing Marvell's SATA driver, it suddenly showed up in Windows, even without rebooting, and all is well.).

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Probably yes: tomshardware.com/forum/262454-32-raid-port-drive –  Steve Bennett May 22 '12 at 7:20
    
Final answer: yes, and you can even boot off it. Woot. –  Steve Bennett May 24 '12 at 12:41

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

With current Intel chipsets that have included RAID, I normally expect drives to be in AHCI mode even with RAID enabled until the drive is manually added to a RAID volume. I'm not certain how your motherboard/controller manages it.

In the event that it actually won't let you use a drive on a 'RAID' port as a normal AHCI drive, you should try installing the SATA drivers provided by ASUS here. It could be a 'FakeRaid' port, which would require the OS to have the appropriate drivers before RAID works.

And yes, single drive RAID is possible. Not normally done, since it provides absolutely no advantages over AHCI, but if your motherboard demands drives on that port to be in a RAID array, it is possible.

Possibly relevant is this:

He wanted to install an OS on the RAID drive.

Advice given:

So I do see a Marvell module. It is possible you would need to configure a single disk as a "stripe of one disk" or something similar, then do an F6 install of a RAID driver, to get it to work.

Now, when I look in the e2736 M2V user manual, it says:

"Do not install the operating system with the device connected to the Marvell® 88SE6121 Serial ATA connector."

So that is not an encouraging sign. It implies Asus doesn't think it will work.

As Bill said, give it a try, but there are no guarantees it will work. It all depends on things like the RAID setup in the BIOS, the Marvell driver and what it is capable of, and so on.

Final result:

I have installed Windows via the SATA ports connected to the VIA southbridge, with no problems. (also had to swap the HD, the 160 Gbyte had some problems, now have an 250gbyte SATA)
After that I installed the marvell drivers (drive still connected to the southbridge SATA).
After all this I connected the SATA driver to the Marvell connector (the internal one) and it tried to reboot: Windows logo showed up but somehow the SBOD (the well known bleu screen) showed up.
My conclusion is: Booting from the Marvell connected harddrive is possible, as long you have the proper SATA drivers for it.
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Interesting - and encouraging. I also came across this: vip.asus.com/forum/… Several people had pretty bad experiences with the Marvell SATA driver, and ended up resorting to the default Vista driver. Is this the same driver you're talking about? –  Steve Bennett May 22 '12 at 8:33
    
The driver I'm talking about has a different version number on the site (sometimes they display different numbers when installed). It's also for XP, which can make a big difference in reliability - an XP driver can be completely different from a Vista driver in terms of reliability. –  Bob May 22 '12 at 8:44
    
Crazy, I just installed the driver, and the hard drive suddenly showed up in XP - without rebooting. However it's currently showing with a red "do not enter" sign over it, it's called "Unknown 55.90 GB Not Initialized" and the space is "unallocated". –  Steve Bennett May 22 '12 at 8:44
    
(OIC - all as normal, it's been a while since I've done this.) –  Steve Bennett May 22 '12 at 8:45
    
Huh - try rebooting :P If it's a new drive, being unallocated isn't too odd. –  Bob May 22 '12 at 8:45

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