This might seem like a stupid question, but the last rig I put together was an 800 MHz single core computer.

I decided to put together a fileserver based on the Asus p8z77-I deluxe motherboard. I went into the BIOS and selected RAID in SATA settings. But how do I create my RAID5 partition? The manual talks about a utility I can open with ctrll during POST but this has not proven fruitful.

Does anyone have a guide, idea or practical experience with this?
What about using software RAID instead? I am not going to dual boot.

Answer to comments: Amount of disks: 4 SATA drives

  • Just to tick the basics: you do have 3 or more HDD's in the machine? – tink Apr 10 '13 at 6:35
  • @tink: 2 HDDs are the minimum to do a RAID, not 3. – Peter Apr 10 '13 at 7:38
  • 3
    @Peter: RAID0, RAID1 - yes. RAID5? Nope, sorry, you're wrong. 3 or more. – tink Apr 10 '13 at 8:22

The Asus p8z77-I deluxe motherboard does not seem to come with hardware RAID. According to the manual for it it comes with software RAID though.

This means you can do three things:

  1. Purchase an actual hardware RAID controller.
    For Linux: Make sure you have a driver to support your card.
    For windows, press F6 when asked for drivers load the driver for the hardware RAID card.
  2. Software RAID. Set the BIOS to the regular AHCI mode.
    Boot a normal Linux installation CD and create a RAID 5 volume before installing. (mdadm --create /dev/md0 --level=5 --spare_devices=0 --raid-devices=4 /dev/sda /dev/sdb /dev/sdc /dev/sdd). Then install Linux normally on the newly created device.
  3. Set the BIOS to Fake RAID. This hard all the disadvantages of software RAID and the disadvantages of hardware RAID. (The link posted is for Ubuntu, but the same logic holds for all Linux installations).

These are the steps you should follow:

  1. Enable RAID in BIOS options.
  2. Access RAID utility.
  3. Create RAID.

The RAID utility appears just before BIOS post. You should see something like "Press to enter RAID utility" as well as HDD status and RAID status. In that step, you need to press CTRL-I to enter the RAID utility. Once insice, you will be able to create a RAID, modify a RAID (if already created), delete a RAID and restore HDD back to non-RAID.

The "Create new RAID" option will let you choose which HDDs to use (from 2 to all if you have more), the type of RAID (this depends on the number of HDDs you select) and the final size. Once you finish creating the RAID and reboot it should be viewable from the screen where you can access the RAID utility as OK (green) or KO (red) and the OS should be able to view it as well.

EDIT: For your specific board (might work with other UEFI boards as well):

  • Enter BIOS and go to Advanced Mode, new tabs should appear in the upper screen.
  • Go to Advanced tab > SATA Configuration, change SATA Mode Selection to RAID.
  • Save settings, reboot and press CTRL-I once rebooted to get to the RAID config.
  • The utility option odes not seem to appear in my case. I only get press del for BIOS. After that the machine boots. Am i missing some installation step? I literally only put the machine together and pressed the power button. – Martin Nielsen Apr 10 '13 at 8:51
  • I've updated the answer for your case, if you find you can't enter the RAID config, check if your board has a newer BIOS version. For what I have seen, some BIOS versions might not let you get to the RAID utility in some ASUS boards. – Peter Apr 10 '13 at 10:13

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