Note: I'm cross-posting this to a couple of topics where this post seems to fit.How I got my AMD nForce4 nvRAID working in Win7 with 2TB Advanced Format Drives
I am writing this post in the hopes it might help someone who is having the same problem I had last week. I had an nForce4 AMD SLI system that was working fine in RAID 1 with an earlier package from Fernando, but which stopped working when I tried to upgrade to newer 2TB Western Digital "Advanced Format" drives. I don't know why it didn't work, and I don't know why my solution ended up working, I just know that it did and so maybe it will work for others.History of the problem
I have an Asus A8N32-SLI mobo (nForce 4 AMD SLI) with BIOS version 1303 (the latest non-beta BIOS), 3 GB RAM, and a 7600GT graphics card. No overclocking. My nvRAID setup was working fine with two Caviar Black 250 GB drives in a mirrored RAID 1 array for a year or two. (I also have my Silicon Image eSATA controller active, running an external Thermaltake swappable drive bay, in case that matters.) I have a separate non-RAID C system drive and use the RAID for extra storage. Thanks to Fernando's amazing work, the system was running smoothly. I have Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, and was using the following Fernando package: Fernandos_Vista_64bit_NF4_RAID_WHQL_Driverpack_v5.7.zip.
When I attempted to replace them with 2TB Green drives (WD20EARS), however, the array Status was "Error" instead of "Healthy" in the "View Storage Configuration" screen of the nVidia Control Panel. On that same screen, the first drive read as "Healthy" and the second as "Error." No drive was visible in Disk Management. I figured this may have had something to do with the drives being the newer Western Digital Advanced Format Drive (AFD), or some kind of capacity limit in prior drivers. (The array built fine in the ROM setup and showed Healthy there.) I still don't know if this is part of the problem; mystery to me.
I confirmed both drives were working correctly when not in RAID mode. Then I attempted to upgrade to Fernando's newer package, the "NF4-7 Actual Driverpacks" v 7.2, filename:
This seemed to install successfully, but then NEITHER drive appeared in my nVidia Control Panel, and no array could be created. Device Manager showed that the "NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller" had a yellow flag and an error that it could not start the service, with an Code 10 or Code 13 error (can't remember which). I tried to install many times, many ways, in some cases going back to a ghosted C drive to start over, and this happened every time. This included:
- Uninstalling all nVidia drivers but the the Display driver and then installing the new ones
- Installing over the existing ones
- Doing all of the above and creating the array from blank unpartitioned drives
- Doing all of the above and creating the array from a drive full of data
- Installing Fernando's package, then using manual "Have Disk" driver install to apply the official nVidia driver for the SATA controller
None worked. So I was left choosing between two busted scenarios:
1) My drives are detected and nVidia Control Panel lets me build the array, but then the array status is "Error" and simply doesn't work.
2) My drives aren't even detected and the SATA controller is yellowed out in Device Manager.How I fixed it
After a lot of trial and error, I finally resolved this by following these steps:
1) Plug in the drives, of course, and make sure all the BIOS settings are kosher
2) Uninstall existing drivers (all non-display nVidia drivers), reboot
3) Install Fernando's "NF4-7 Actual Driverpacks" v 7.2, reboot
4) Unzip the official "15.23_nforce_winvista64_international_whql.exe" package which nVIDIA recommended on their own website (Which I found here
). Manually copy the official version 10.3.0.42 of "nvstor64.sys" from that package (located in the "IDE\WinVista64\sata_ide" folder) into Windows/system32/Drivers. Reboot. (I was able to just drag and drop--it's possible you might have to do this in Safe Mode or something if it gives you a problem.)
Then I just created the array in Windows and the disk mounted and it works. (I didn't create the array first in the ROM BIOS thingy--I skipped that and just did it in Windows--but I'm sure you could start by doing that without any problem either.) Remember if you then clone a full disk or partition to this new drive you may have to run the WD advanced-format alignment utility--read up on that separately on the Western Digital site. I didn't have to since I just created new partitions from scratch (which Win7 natively recognizes as Advanced Format) and copied everything over with RichCopy.
Anyway, now I have a kind of manual hybrid, with the NF4-7 Actual Driverpacks for everything else (with drivers for RAID listing as version 220.127.116.11) and the official nVIDIA release for just the "NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller" so that the version number of nvstor64.sys is 10.3.0.42.
Anyway, it's been working fine for a few days now. (The only problem I've spotted is that when copying or moving many gigs of data, the last couple of files sometimes copy/move twice and I get prompted to overwrite. I don't know why it's doing that or if it's related, and I generally just allow it to copy over under a new name [i.e. "filename (2).txt"] and it seems to work fine and just creates a weird duplicate. This may be a prior disk-consistency problem and I only mention it in case someone else experiences it, in which case it might indicate a flaw in the brilliant plan.)