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seeker
08-04-08, 10:21 AM
The used MB, which is in transit, should arrive in just a few days, but it only has partial accessories, which do not include the CD. Therefore, I've been going through the Asus download section to find anything that I shall need. One thing that I noticed was that there was only drivers for the Silicon Image raid controller, and not for the Nforce raid. Is the latter simply embedded or shall I need to find a driver for it? I intend to use both controllers, but I'm wondering if one is superior to the other? This would influence what I placed where.

I have no idea of which BIOS version that the MB has now, but looking at the options, the latest driver is a beta (1405) is dated 2007/03/20. The latest non-beta driver (1303) dated 2006/08/02. I understand that a BIOS update isn't necessarily a good thing, unless what you have is not doing the job, but just to be prepared, I'm wondering if anyone would have any advise on these. I'm not fond of the idea of using anything beta, but the choices are so old, it might be better to use it...Y/N?

ViN86
08-04-08, 10:22 AM
The used MB, which is in transit, should arrive in just a few days, but it only has partial accessories, which do not include the CD. Therefore, I've been going through the Asus download section to find anything that I shall need. One thing that I noticed was that there was only drivers for the Silicon Image raid controller, and not for the Nforce raid. Is the latter simply embedded or shall I need to find a driver for it? I intend to use both controllers, but I'm wondering if one is superior to the other? This would influence what I placed where.

I have no idea of which BIOS version that the MB has now, but looking at the options, the latest driver is a beta (1405) is dated 2007/03/20. The latest non-beta driver (1303) dated 2006/08/02. I understand that a BIOS update isn't necessarily a good thing, unless what you have is not doing the job, but just to be prepared, I'm wondering if anyone would have any advise on these. I'm not fond of the idea of using anything beta, but the choices are so old, it might be better to use it...Y/N?
im pretty sure (from what i remeber with my old NF4 board) that the nforce4 RAID is setup in the bios and no drivers are necessary.

(i think).

seeker
08-04-08, 10:29 AM
im pretty sure (from what i remeber with my old NF4 board) that the nforce4 RAID is setup in the bios and no drivers are necessary.

(i think).
If that is true, then I guess that the only way to update the nforce4 RAID is to update the BIOS. If that is true, then my latter question may be of greater relevance than I thought. I do remember that at least one of the updates pertained to improved recognition of storage devices. I guess that I will just have to wait and see what happens.

Quick420
08-04-08, 11:16 AM
Although I'm not using it,I have that very board and you actually make a raid disk with the floppy drive at boot.All the raid options are in the bios and the asus website is awesome as always for chipset drivers etc.:headexplode:

seeker
08-04-08, 11:38 AM
Although I'm not using it,I have that very board and you actually make a raid disk with the floppy drive at boot.All the raid options are in the bios and the asus website is awesome as always for chipset drivers etc.:headexplode:

Hmm, since you aren't using it, would you care to sell me the CD, or perhaps a copy of it? Looking at the Asus website, it appears that not everything on the CD is available for download.

Bman212121
08-04-08, 12:25 PM
What OS are you going to be running?

You can just grab the Nforce drivers out of the NForce package right from Nvidia.

http://www.nvidia.com/object/nforce_winvista32_15.01.html

Extract that file and under C:\Nvidia\winvista32\sataraid will be the driver for the board. If you are using Vista it might already have an Nforce driver that works with that board. If not there are a couple of hoops to jump through. If you are using XP it is the same method, and you just need to make a floppy for the drivers.

seeker
08-04-08, 12:45 PM
I guess that I should have thought to look there, but it appears that I wouldn't have found it anyway, because I use XPx64 and MCE. I went back to the main download wizard and found nothing that looked like a section for NForce. What are those hoops that you mentioned?

Bman212121
08-04-08, 03:05 PM
Here is the Xp-64bit driver download.

http://www.nvidia.com/object/nforce_nf4_winxp64_6.86.html

And MCE just uses the standard XP driver.

http://www.nvidia.com/object/nforce_nf4_win2k_6.86.html

The hoops I was talking about is for Vista or Server 2008. They contain the NVRaid driver, but it only supports newer chipsets. If you have one of the older Nforce boards with PATA and SATA raid on it, you need to find a specific driver to install to get it to work. I've given up with my nforce2 board as I can't seem to get that working.

Basically what you're going to do with those drivers is start the install to extract the files, and then cancel it when once the installation wizard comes up. That will leave the driver files you need under a folder on the hard drive.

The files will be located under C:\Nvidia\nforcewin2kxp\6.86\IDE\winxp for the 32bit one, and then something like C:\Nvidia\nforcewinxp64\ for the 64 bit driver.

What you need to do with the files is copy the contents of the winxp folder to a floppy drive. Make sure that all of the files are directly under the A: root and not in a folder, or the driver won't work. (The raidtool folder is fine, although you really don't need that for the installation.) IE: A:\txtsetup.oem, A:\nvraid.sys etc.

I assume you know how to setup the array and where to hit the F6 key to load the drivers correct?

seeker
08-04-08, 04:34 PM
I assume you know how to setup the array and where to hit the F6 key to load the drivers correct?
The only part that I'm not sure that I understand is all that you said before this. Thanks, I guess what was throwing me is that the drivers were not available where everybody goes for the video drivers. Since they have other software there, it seems that the Nforce drivers would be also.

seeker
08-04-08, 06:01 PM
I assume you know how to setup the array and where to hit the F6 key to load the drivers correct?
Thinking further about this, is there any way possible to install the F6 driver without doing a clean or repair install of the OSs?

Bman212121
08-04-08, 06:32 PM
The only part that I'm not sure that I understand is all that you said before this. Thanks, I guess what was throwing me is that the drivers were not available where everybody goes for the video drivers. Since they have other software there, it seems that the Nforce drivers would be also.

?? They are. If you are the the driver download page (http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us) change the very first option from "geforce" to "nForce" Then you're looking for the nforce4 series, nforce4 SLI X16 AMD, then your OS.


Thinking further about this, is there any way possible to install the F6 driver without doing a clean or repair install of the OSs?

You mean so you don't have to use a floppy to try to load the drivers? Or do you mean keep your current installs and put them onto the array?

seeker
08-04-08, 06:47 PM
You mean so you don't have to use a floppy to try to load the drivers? Or do you mean keep your current installs and put them onto the array?
I don't care if it is done with a floppy or whatever, if it could be done without reinstalling or repairing the OS. One of the reasons that I got this motherboard, is because that the Asus A8V-X that I'm now using requires VIA drivers, and when you uninstall them with that function on the install shield, as you would to update them, it not only uninstalls the drivers installed at desktop, but also the F6 driver, leaving the system totally unbootable. A repair install can be used to reinstall the F6 driver, but that has problems of it's own. The last time that I did this, I told it to not format the partition at all, yet it must have, because it wiped out a secondary partition on which I was storing software.

Bman212121
08-04-08, 06:52 PM
If you already have the drives in an array for the VIA controller then you'd have to do a complete reformat of the installations. The only way around that is if you had a spare drive that could hold all of the data and a program like Partition manager which can clone the whole setup. It would likely be easier to just reinstall from scratch because trying to switch chipsets can be a pain sometimes.

One more thing, the F6 driver you loaded is just a regular driver with a txtsetup.oem file that lets windows load it before windows is installed. You probably booted into windows and ran a program to update the raid driver. It is the same driver regardless of how you installed it, so if you removed it in windows it no longer has a way to see the drives. You never want to uninstall a raid driver, you just update it and let it overwrite the old one.

weeds
08-04-08, 08:09 PM
If you still want the Asus A8N32 cd, I made an iso and uploaded it.
http://hosted.filefront.com/weeds123/

seeker
08-05-08, 12:33 AM
If you still want the Asus A8N32 cd, I made an iso and uploaded it.
http://hosted.filefront.com/weeds123/
That was very good of you, but unfortunately I have a dialup connection and it is not possible for me to download a file of that size. Thanks anyway.

seeker
08-05-08, 10:21 AM
If you already have the drives in an array for the VIA controller then you'd have to do a complete reformat of the installations. The only way around that is if you had a spare drive that could hold all of the data and a program like Partition manager which can clone the whole setup. It would likely be easier to just reinstall from scratch because trying to switch chipsets can be a pain sometimes.

I really don't understand how I would use a spare drive, so I'm not inclined to attempt it. I got to thinking, is there any backup software that you know of that permits a person to install SATA/Raid drivers when recovering with their program? I have TI 10, Paragon, Retrospect Express, Nero 8 and Windows Backup, but I would consider buying another, if it had this ability.

One more thing, the F6 driver you loaded is just a regular driver with a txtsetup.oem file that lets windows load it before windows is installed. You probably booted into windows and ran a program to update the raid driver. It is the same driver regardless of how you installed it, so if you removed it in windows it no longer has a way to see the drives. You never want to uninstall a raid driver, you just update it and let it overwrite the old one.
This is a lesson that I had to learn the hard way.

seeker
08-05-08, 12:11 PM
The MB just arrived, and contrary to what I thought, it does have the manual and CDs with it. The way that the accessories were piled together in the photo, I thought that they weren't included. I guess that the only thing that I'm missing is the I/O shield. I found a source on eBay, which I will probably use, but I hate the idea of spending $14 for a simple piece of metal. I noticed that most of the used MBs that I found did not include the shield...I wonder why? Now if it only works. I'm getting ready to do a bench check, but that doesn't always find all problems. I'm hopeful though, because it really looks like new.

Bman212121
08-05-08, 06:53 PM
I really don't understand how I would use a spare drive, so I'm not inclined to attempt it. I got to thinking, is there any backup software that you know of that permits a person to install SATA/Raid drivers when recovering with their program? I have TI 10, Paragon, Retrospect Express, Nero 8 and Windows Backup, but I would consider buying another, if it had this ability.


Unfortunately I haven't ran across any.

The idea with the spare drive is that you would copy the entire raid to a regular hard drive, that way you don't need drivers to load up windows. Then you would copy it back to the new array in the new computer. Paragon could probably do it, but it might ending being more work than it's worth if it doesn't copy correctly.

seeker
08-05-08, 08:18 PM
Unfortunately I haven't ran across any.

The idea with the spare drive is that you would copy the entire raid to a regular hard drive, that way you don't need drivers to load up windows. Then you would copy it back to the new array in the new computer. Paragon could probably do it, but it might ending being more work than it's worth if it doesn't copy correctly.
The part that is not clear to me, is that even with the system copied onto a spare HD, it would not have the drivers for the new MB installed, because I know of no way to do that without the hardware for the driver also being present. So any copy made would not function once the hardware was installed. Perhaps I'm missing the point, but that is why I said that I wasn't inclined to try going that route.

Like many people, I have had to reinstall everything from scratch so many times that I have lost count, and these were usually due to some unexpected situation that popped up, and the first response to the realization was a moan and groan from deep within. When I really applied myself and did little but gulp my coffee and compute, it usually would take a couple of long days to get things back to where it was before the problem. But, with the way that I have been of late, that would be more like a couple of weeks. Therefore, what would be an annoyance for some, is something that I'd take what some might consider unnecessary steps to avoid. If there were a way to use a spare drive and make this happen, it would seem that this would also be true, since it is a raid 1 array, if I deleted the array so that the drives became singles, that would in essence be the same as using a spare...would it not? Of course, this would not matter if there were no way to install the drivers while the MB was not installed. Perhaps you can understand my confusion.

seeker
08-05-08, 08:39 PM
Another thought ran across my mind. People often use something like NLite to creat a slipstream copy of Windows for reinstalling things, I have never tried this because it seems that I would not be up to the challenge. Yet, if that can be done, why would it not also be possible to creat a slipstream of a backup image along with the new drivers?

Bman212121
08-05-08, 10:25 PM
The part that is not clear to me, is that even with the system copied onto a spare HD, it would not have the drivers for the new MB installed, because I know of no way to do that without the hardware for the driver also being present. So any copy made would not function once the hardware was installed. Perhaps I'm missing the point, but that is why I said that I wasn't inclined to try going that route.

Windows provides plenty of generic drivers that will load in sort of a fail safe type configuration. The only time you even need to load any drivers is when you are using a special type of drive controller that windows doesn't know how to work with. Windows will in fact move between any pc provided it doesn't have driver conflicts. What you do is install the proper drivers you need for the new computer BEFORE you remove the drives from the old pc. Put the drive into the new pc and windows will then load the new drivers so it can find the drive. Sometimes you just need to remove an older driver like a chipset driver that causes it to blue screen because it doesn't work right. That causes windows to grab a generic driver and a lot of times it will load up.

I deal with several models of computers at work, and we use the same base setup for all of them. It is very possible to put the same installation on a wide variety of hardware. At home I've reused the same XP image for my server across 4 or 5 different computers ranging from an AMD althon XP 1700+ to a AMD 3800+ X2 and have had it on a few different RAID controllers. It can be done as long as it has driver for the next array it's going to be on before you try to load that array the first time.

It is basically a trial and error type thing until you understand what is going on. It took me a few tries to get it to work, and I've had a few bumps along the way.

Like many people, I have had to reinstall everything from scratch so many times that I have lost count, and these were usually due to some unexpected situation that popped up, and the first response to the realization was a moan and groan from deep within. When I really applied myself and did little but gulp my coffee and compute, it usually would take a couple of long days to get things back to where it was before the problem. But, with the way that I have been of late, that would be more like a couple of weeks. Therefore, what would be an annoyance for some, is something that I'd take what some might consider unnecessary steps to avoid. If there were a way to use a spare drive and make this happen, it would seem that this would also be true, since it is a raid 1 array, if I deleted the array so that the drives became singles, that would in essence be the same as using a spare...would it not? Of course, this would not matter if there were no way to install the drivers while the MB was not installed. Perhaps you can understand my confusion.

The only answer I can give is try it. A raid 1 array might work simply because all of the data is still there. Most RAID controllers write special data into the MBR so it knows which drives are part of it's array. If you put that drive into another pc, it will just ignore that and try to load up whatever is on the drive. You shouldn't even have to remove the array because I think if you do it's going to wipe the drives. I've actually had a drive that was in an array, then threw it into another pc, formatted it with windows and used it for a while. I put it back onto the original RAID controller that made the array and it came up stating there was an error because it couldn't find the other drives that made up the array. :lol:

Sorry if I'm confusing you more; it's kind of a hard thing to explain how it all works.

Bman212121
08-05-08, 10:30 PM
Another thought ran across my mind. People often use something like NLite to creat a slipstream copy of Windows for reinstalling things, I have never tried this because it seems that I would not be up to the challenge. Yet, if that can be done, why would it not also be possible to creat a slipstream of a backup image along with the new drivers?

Actually Nlite is super easy. It's just a little wizard that prompts you with options and it breaks everything into categories so you only need to change the stuff you want. For loading raid drivers all you do is start the wizard and point to the folder which hold the drivers, and Nlite puts them into the new disc for you so you don't have to hit F6 to load the drivers. I've had to do that before because I stopped using floppy drives in computers a long time ago, so trying to load an OS onto a RAID array or a pc with the Intel Storage Matrix Controller they both need drivers so Windows can see the drive.

As for the backup image all you really need to do is load the drivers you'll need for the destination pc into windows before you make a backup image of it. A lot of times windows will sort it out when it boots after restoring the image.

weeds
08-05-08, 11:07 PM
The MB just arrived, and contrary to what I thought, it does have the manual and CDs with it. The way that the accessories were piled together in the photo, I thought that they weren't included. I guess that the only thing that I'm missing is the I/O shield. I found a source on eBay, which I will probably use, but I hate the idea of spending $14 for a simple piece of metal. I noticed that most of the used MBs that I found did not include the shield...I wonder why? Now if it only works. I'm getting ready to do a bench check, but that doesn't always find all problems. I'm hopeful though, because it really looks like new.

Asus has a online store for parts.
I/O Shield $6.50
http://estore.asus.com/shop/item.asp?itemid=233&catid=131

bob saget
08-06-08, 02:57 AM
im pretty sure (from what i remeber with my old NF4 board) that the nforce4 RAID is setup in the bios and no drivers are necessary.

(i think).

after i updated the bios on mine, vista still gave me messages that i dont have drivers. i just ignored them....

seeker
08-06-08, 04:56 AM
Going through the Asus store's parts list for my MB and digging through the manual, a couple of questions has arisen about running this in SLI. First off, they offer what they called a SLI Switch Card Mode, which is not on the items listed as accessories that came with the MB. The picture that they showed was very small, but it appeared somewhat like a card that lies flat between the x16 slots behind the x1 slots. Is this what they are referring to? More importantly, I found a couple of paragraphs in the manual that said that the video card slots were true x16, but right below that, it said that due to limitation on Nvidia graphics cards that they would only run at x8 when in SLI. This is the very reason that I chose this model of the Asus line, because the Premium board said that these slots would be x8 regardless. Since it appears that the SLI switch card can be set either for one or two cards, depending on how it is inserted, I'm wondering if there would really be enough advantage performance wise, to make it worth buy a pair of video cards, instead of using the single card that I already have? The answer to these is somewhat more urgent than usual for me, because I have already made an offer on a pair of video cards, and if I were to change my mind, I would want to do so very quickly. I hope that I have explained myself clearly, and that I can get a clear quick answer.