Guide for NF2/NF3 RAID and NF4 PataRAID users:
As I mentioned above, it is not possible to get Vista x86/x64 installed onto an nForce2/3 Sata/PataRAID or nForce4 PataRAID system by booting off the Vista DVD, because
a) none of the currently available Vista nForce IDE drivers is supporting the S-ATA or P-ATA Controllers of these NF chipsets and
b) Vista Setup doesn't accept any Windows XP (32/64bit) drivers, when booting off DVD.
Nevertheless it is possible to get Vista (x86 and x64 except NF2) installed onto an NF2 or NF3 Sata/PataRAID and onto an NF4 PataRAID array, but the way is complicated and needs some preconditions.
There are at least 2 different methods:A. Image transfer method for NF2-4 PataRAID and SataRAID arrays
(detected by nForcers HQ Forum member vanden)
B. XP > Vista installation method for NF2-3 SataRAID users
- You will need an extra hdd outside the RAID array. This hdd has to be connected to an nForce P-ATA or S-ATA Controller.
- The first partitions (physically drive C, if set as bootable) of the RAID array and the non-RAID hdd have to be available for a Vista installation.
- Additionally you should prepare (=download and unzip) a driverpack with Windows XP (32/64bit) LEGACY mode nForce IDE drivers, which do fully support your nForce Sata/PataRAID devices.
For NF2-4 users, who want to install Vista x86, I recommend to download this special 32bit XP nForce IDE driverpack, which is usable for all NF2-4 SataRAID and PataRAID systems.
NF3/4 users, who are going to install Vista x64, may download this 64bit XP nForce driverpack.
Both packages just contain the needed LEGACY mode IDE drivers and an installer.
- Furthermore you will need a backup tool like Acronis TrueImage or Symantec Ghost.
Since you now have 2 MBR's within your system, it is recommended either to unplug the non-RAID hdd (if you don't need it) or to do a low level format of it.
- Set the non-RAID hdd as first bootable hdd within the mainboard BIOS (option "HARD DISK BOOT PRIORITY").
- Boot off the Vista DVD and install the OS onto the first partition (physically drive C) of the non-RAID extra hdd.
- Once Vista is up, run the installer of the suitable 32/64bit driverpack you have prepared. You have to execute the SETUP.EXE in XP compatibility mode (right click > "Properties" > "Compatibility") and to force the installation.
Notice: Users with an nForce ParaRAID array should hit the "Yes" button, when the installer will ask, if they want to get the "IDE s/w" driver installed (IDE s/w = nForce PATA driver).
Important: Before you are going to reboot, you should check the Device Manager, if all NVIDIA nForce SATA/PATA and RAID devices have been properly installed (no yellow marks and no "Unknown Device") and using the same nForce IDE driver version. If needed, load the suitable XP driver manually from within the Device Manager by using the "Have Disk" method. After a reboot the fresh installed Vista partition is ready for a transfer onto the RAID array.
- Run the backup tool like Acronis TrueImage or Symantec Ghost and let it
a) create an image of your Vista partition (from the current drive C) and
b) "restore" the backuped Vista partition on the first drive of the RAID array (should be previously formatted with the NTFS file system).
- Reboot the computer, enter the mainboard BIOS and set the RAID array onto the first position of the "HARD DISK BOOT PRIORITY" settings (the RAID array should been set as bootable within the nVRAID utility too!).
- After the reboot you will have Vista x86/x64 running on your Pata/SataRAID array.
(at first layed down by nForcersHQ member stu222)
Warning: Don't let Vista Windows Update install any nForce S-ATA or RAID drivers (you will certainly get a BSOD by doing that). If your computer has a permanent internet connection, unplug it during the Vista installation and disable the automatic update function before you reconnect it. Upgrade from XP to Vista x86 for users with an nForce2 or nForce3 SataRaid system
- In each case you will need a running Windows XP (for the later install of Vista x86) or Windows XP x64 (for the later install of Vista x64) within your nForce SataRaid array.
- Additionally you will need a free partition (minimal size=25 GB) within the RAID array.
- For the later Vista installation you have to prepare the same version of the XP (32/64bit) nForce IDE drivers, which you have used to get XP (32/64bit) installed.
For NF2-4 users, who want to install Vista x86, I recommend to download these 32bit XP nForce LEGACY drivers v6.99, which are usable for all NF2-4 RAID systems.
NF3/4 users, who are going to install Vista x64, may download this 64bit XP nForce LEGACY driverpack v6.99.
- Create a bootable Windows XP CD (if you want to get at least Vista x86 installed) or a Windows XP x64 CD (necessary for a later Vista x64 installation) with integrated LEGACY mode nForce IDE drivers v.6.99 by using a tool like nLite. Use the suitable (32/64bit) unzipped LEGACY driver package you have previously downloaded.
- Install the just prepared OS (XP 32/64bit) onto an empty, NTFS formattet partition within your nForce RAID array. When XP 32/64bit is up, it's not necessary to install any software or additional driver.
- From within the running XP 32/64bit partition insert the Vista DVD (x86 or x64) and choose "Custom Install".
- Important: Although Vista Setup will show you already all existing RAID partitions, you have to hit the "Load Driver" button and to load all compatible drivers/devices from your prepared LEGACY mode nForce IDE driver package (32bit for Vista x86, 64bit for Vista x64).
- Install Vista x86/x64 onto an empty, NTFS formatted RAID partition (if you want a real "clean" install).
- The rest of the installation will run automaticly.
- At the end you will have a running Vista x86/x64 onto your NF2-3 SataRAID array. If you don't want to use XP (32/64bit) anymore, you can delete it and will get another free partition within your RAID array.
Alternatively it is obviously possible to upgrade
an existing Windows XP partition to Vista x86 within an existing nForce2/3 SataRaid system. In this case users don't need to load extern drivers, but the XP partition has to be installed from scratch by using the official nForce3 SataRaid drivers of the chipset driver package 5.10 or 5.11.Annex II
MediaShield/Raidtool installation guide:
The easiest way to get the Raidtool installed is by running the SETUP.EXE of the associated nForce chipset driver package, but by doing this all nForce IDE drivers of the package will be installed too (and maybe replace the better and currently working ones).
In these cases you have to use an other way to get full access to the MediaShield/RAID software (NVIDIA Control Panel) after having completed the Vista installation.
Here is the guide for the manually installation of the nForce Raidtool (on the basis of posts from nForcersHQ members TheMaxx32000 and Tweak_addict):
That should bring up the Nvidia Control Panel and the "Storage" item should be listed on the left window task list.Suggestions:
- Run Vista.
- Install the latest version of nTune.
- Search for the RAIDTOOL folder of the actual Vista x86/x64 nForce chipset driver package.
- Extract the content (all files) of the RAIDTOOL.CAB file into the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 folder.
- Search for the file "RegRaidSedona.bat" (formerly named "RegRaid.bat") within C:\Windows\System32, right click on it, choose "Run as Administrator" and run the BAT file to get the Raidtool Services registered.
- Search for the file "nvCplUI.exe" (formerly named "nvRaidman.exe") within the same folder and run it.
1. It is a good idea to create a shortcut to the NVCPLUI.EXE (formerly NVRAIDMAN.EXE) onto the Desktop or into the Startmenu. This way you will get an easy access to the NVIDIA MediaShield Control Panel.
2. Additionally you should put a shortcut to the NVRAIDSERVICE.EXE into the Startup folder, if you want a continuous monitoring of the Raid health.