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Jan Kalin
May 28th 04, 06:00 PM
Hello,

I have a GA-7DPXDW-P MB and was wondering if is it possible to "upgrade"
the RAID on this MB to enable full RAID 0+1 configuration. I have 4 120GB
disks that I'd like to mirror and stripe, giving me fast 240GB of mirrored
disk.

I have been searching round the net and found something that might be of
help. On http://www.anycities.com/user/treiber/ there's a link to "20276
2.00.0.28 Full Raid" Promise ROM. I presume this is what I need, but I am
not sure how to actually burn the changed ROM.

I understand German, so I will read through the
http://lumberjacker.kettenfett.com/ (from where the link originates) and
hope to find more information there, but
I was wondering it anyone here has preformed this operation on this board.
Any hints, tips, pointers to information or a review of the procedure will
be very much appreciated.

Cheers, Jan

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jpsga
May 29th 04, 01:14 AM
Well Jan .. your MB was strange to me so I had to look it up. What a nice
board.

Since the PDC20276 will not give you what want, please consider the
HighPoint RocketRAID 133
It will handle RAID 0+1.

The mother board manual indicated that you can boot from this add-on board.

As I am sure you know, setting up the controller is done at boot time. After
the BIOS looks at your VGA BIOS it finds and executes the RAID BIOS. You
enter and set-up the 1+0. Some how you must partition and format the drives.
That is o/s dependent.
The HighPoint manual is good.
JPS


"Jan Kalin" > wrote in message
...
> Hello,
>
> I have a GA-7DPXDW-P MB and was wondering if is it possible to "upgrade"
> the RAID on this MB to enable full RAID 0+1 configuration. I have 4 120GB
> disks that I'd like to mirror and stripe, giving me fast 240GB of mirrored
> disk.
>
> I have been searching round the net and found something that might be of
> help. On http://www.anycities.com/user/treiber/ there's a link to "20276
> 2.00.0.28 Full Raid" Promise ROM. I presume this is what I need, but I am
> not sure how to actually burn the changed ROM.
>
> I understand German, so I will read through the
> http://lumberjacker.kettenfett.com/ (from where the link originates) and
> hope to find more information there, but
> I was wondering it anyone here has preformed this operation on this board.
> Any hints, tips, pointers to information or a review of the procedure will
> be very much appreciated.
>
> Cheers, Jan
>
> --
> /"\ Jan Kalin (male, preferred languages: Slovene, English)
> \ / http://charm.zag.si/eng/, email: "name dot surname AT zag dot si"
> X ASCII ribbon campaign against HTML in mail and postings.
> / \ I'm a .signature virus. Copy me to help me spread.

Nikolaos Tampakis
May 29th 04, 03:50 AM
Jan Kalin wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I have a GA-7DPXDW-P MB and was wondering if is it possible to "upgrade"
> the RAID on this MB to enable full RAID 0+1 configuration. I have 4 120GB
> disks that I'd like to mirror and stripe, giving me fast 240GB of mirrored
> disk.
>
> I have been searching round the net and found something that might be of
> help. On http://www.anycities.com/user/treiber/ there's a link to "20276
> 2.00.0.28 Full Raid" Promise ROM. I presume this is what I need, but I am
> not sure how to actually burn the changed ROM.
>
> I understand German, so I will read through the
> http://lumberjacker.kettenfett.com/ (from where the link originates) and
> hope to find more information there, but
> I was wondering it anyone here has preformed this operation on this board.
> Any hints, tips, pointers to information or a review of the procedure will
> be very much appreciated.
>
> Cheers, Jan
>

The RAID controller's firmware is merged as a module into the main
motherboard BIOS. Assuming it's an award BIOS there are utilities to
manipulate its structure/modules (cbrom, modbin - basically you need
cbrom here).
Using cbrom, you would release the existing RAID module from the
motherboard's BIOS file and then inject the full RAID Promise ROM file.
There could be two modules in the motherboard BIOS though - one for
simple ATA operation and one for RAID operation. You should replace the
RAID one obviously.
Assuming the Promise ROM is correct for the 20276 chip that's all you
need do BIOS-wise.
(in the case of ATA100 Promise RAID, the available ROMs from fasttrak
controllers were for the PDC20267 chip which promise used on their PCI
RAID controllers, and this had a different ID from the PDC20265R chip
which was given to motherboard makers for onboard implementations - this
required a slightly hacked Promise ROM. I think however that the
PDC20276 is common to both motherboards and Promise ATA133 PCI RAID
cards so this should be straighforward).
Make sure you install correct drivers for the new ROM version too, if
required.

http://www.stormpages.com/crazyape/downloads.html

This deals with the older PDC20265R bus has some useful stuff.

Regards
Nikos

Jan Kalin
May 29th 04, 01:37 PM
In article <[email protected]_s02>, jpsga wrote:
>Well Jan .. your MB was strange to me so I had to look it up. What a nice
>board.

I agree :) Dual processors rock! I'd much rather have two slower
processors than one fast one - the system is responsive even during heavy
calculations.

>Since the PDC20276 will not give you what want, please consider the
>HighPoint RocketRAID 133
>It will handle RAID 0+1.

Yes, I did some more research and found out that the whole thing is
actually my fault for not having thoroughly read the board documentation.
It says that RAID 0 and RAID 1 are supported, but says nothing about RAID
0+1. Additionally the controler itself doesn't support 0+1, so no ammout
of BIOS hackery will enable that.

Thank you for the suggestion, but I have decided to go with Promise
Fasttrak TX2000 controler that I can pick up from a store on Monday,
whilst I'd have to order and wait for the HighPoint controller. The
reviews for TX2000 seem very good and coupled with 4 Maxtor DiamondMax
Plus 9 ATA133 and a 66MHz bus I should get 266MB/s transfer speeds.

>The mother board manual indicated that you can boot from this add-on board.

Actually I'll keep the system disk as it is and leave it as a separate
non-RAID disk. I don't keep anything important on the system disk and have
a habit of wiping and reinstalling OS periodically (to make up for the
deficient uninstalls of various programs that I test). So I prefer having
a "standalone" smallish system disk that I can wipe at any time and
separate disks for data.

>As I am sure you know, setting up the controller is done at boot time. After
>the BIOS looks at your VGA BIOS it finds and executes the RAID BIOS. You
>enter and set-up the 1+0. Some how you must partition and format the drives.
>That is o/s dependent.

I can get to the RAID BIOS interface and set up the array, but the "lite"
version of the controler allows only one array containing only two drives.
The other pair is then used as two separate drives. I haven't yet
installed drivers for NT, because I want to get the low-level part right
before offering the new drives to NT.

Anyway, thanks for suggestions.

Cheers, Jan

--
/"\ Jan Kalin (male, preferred languages: Slovene, English)
\ / http://charm.zag.si/eng/, email: "name dot surname AT zag dot si"
X ASCII ribbon campaign against HTML in mail and postings.
/ \ I'm a .signature virus. Copy me to help me spread.

jpsga
May 30th 04, 01:17 AM
Good luck on your adventure. I envy you those Diamond Max 9's. Would like to
know what speeds you get and how you measured same
Jim

"Jan Kalin" > wrote in message
...
> In article <[email protected]_s02>, jpsga wrote:
> >Well Jan .. your MB was strange to me so I had to look it up. What a nice
> >board.
>
> I agree :) Dual processors rock! I'd much rather have two slower
> processors than one fast one - the system is responsive even during heavy
> calculations.
>
> >Since the PDC20276 will not give you what want, please consider the
> >HighPoint RocketRAID 133
> >It will handle RAID 0+1.
>
> Yes, I did some more research and found out that the whole thing is
> actually my fault for not having thoroughly read the board documentation.
> It says that RAID 0 and RAID 1 are supported, but says nothing about RAID
> 0+1. Additionally the controler itself doesn't support 0+1, so no ammout
> of BIOS hackery will enable that.
>
> Thank you for the suggestion, but I have decided to go with Promise
> Fasttrak TX2000 controler that I can pick up from a store on Monday,
> whilst I'd have to order and wait for the HighPoint controller. The
> reviews for TX2000 seem very good and coupled with 4 Maxtor DiamondMax
> Plus 9 ATA133 and a 66MHz bus I should get 266MB/s transfer speeds.
>
> >The mother board manual indicated that you can boot from this add-on
board.
>
> Actually I'll keep the system disk as it is and leave it as a separate
> non-RAID disk. I don't keep anything important on the system disk and have
> a habit of wiping and reinstalling OS periodically (to make up for the
> deficient uninstalls of various programs that I test). So I prefer having
> a "standalone" smallish system disk that I can wipe at any time and
> separate disks for data.
>
> >As I am sure you know, setting up the controller is done at boot time.
After
> >the BIOS looks at your VGA BIOS it finds and executes the RAID BIOS.
You
> >enter and set-up the 1+0. Some how you must partition and format the
drives.
> >That is o/s dependent.
>
> I can get to the RAID BIOS interface and set up the array, but the "lite"
> version of the controler allows only one array containing only two drives.
> The other pair is then used as two separate drives. I haven't yet
> installed drivers for NT, because I want to get the low-level part right
> before offering the new drives to NT.
>
> Anyway, thanks for suggestions.
>
> Cheers, Jan
>
> --
> /"\ Jan Kalin (male, preferred languages: Slovene, English)
> \ / http://charm.zag.si/eng/, email: "name dot surname AT zag dot si"
> X ASCII ribbon campaign against HTML in mail and postings.
> / \ I'm a .signature virus. Copy me to help me spread.

Jan Kalin
May 30th 04, 12:31 PM
In article <M[email protected]_s01>, jpsga wrote:
>Good luck on your adventure. I envy you those Diamond Max 9's. Would like to

Thanks. I have to confess that this is a company computer - I wouldn't
spend so much money on my home computer, especially since I use VNC to
control my work computer from home, so cmputing power is always there.

>know what speeds you get and how you measured same
>Jim

I will report back.

Cheers, Jan

>
>"Jan Kalin" > wrote in message
...
>> In article <[email protected]_s02>, jpsga wrote:
>> >Well Jan .. your MB was strange to me so I had to look it up. What a nice
>> >board.
>>
>> I agree :) Dual processors rock! I'd much rather have two slower
>> processors than one fast one - the system is responsive even during heavy
>> calculations.
>>
>> >Since the PDC20276 will not give you what want, please consider the
>> >HighPoint RocketRAID 133
>> >It will handle RAID 0+1.
>>
>> Yes, I did some more research and found out that the whole thing is
>> actually my fault for not having thoroughly read the board documentation.
>> It says that RAID 0 and RAID 1 are supported, but says nothing about RAID
>> 0+1. Additionally the controler itself doesn't support 0+1, so no ammout
>> of BIOS hackery will enable that.
>>
>> Thank you for the suggestion, but I have decided to go with Promise
>> Fasttrak TX2000 controler that I can pick up from a store on Monday,
>> whilst I'd have to order and wait for the HighPoint controller. The
>> reviews for TX2000 seem very good and coupled with 4 Maxtor DiamondMax
>> Plus 9 ATA133 and a 66MHz bus I should get 266MB/s transfer speeds.
>>
>> >The mother board manual indicated that you can boot from this add-on
>board.
>>
>> Actually I'll keep the system disk as it is and leave it as a separate
>> non-RAID disk. I don't keep anything important on the system disk and have
>> a habit of wiping and reinstalling OS periodically (to make up for the
>> deficient uninstalls of various programs that I test). So I prefer having
>> a "standalone" smallish system disk that I can wipe at any time and
>> separate disks for data.
>>
>> >As I am sure you know, setting up the controller is done at boot time.
>After
>> >the BIOS looks at your VGA BIOS it finds and executes the RAID BIOS.
>You
>> >enter and set-up the 1+0. Some how you must partition and format the
>drives.
>> >That is o/s dependent.
>>
>> I can get to the RAID BIOS interface and set up the array, but the "lite"
>> version of the controler allows only one array containing only two drives.
>> The other pair is then used as two separate drives. I haven't yet
>> installed drivers for NT, because I want to get the low-level part right
>> before offering the new drives to NT.
>>
>> Anyway, thanks for suggestions.
>>
>> Cheers, Jan
>>
>> --
>> /"\ Jan Kalin (male, preferred languages: Slovene, English)
>> \ / http://charm.zag.si/eng/, email: "name dot surname AT zag dot si"
>> X ASCII ribbon campaign against HTML in mail and postings.
>> / \ I'm a .signature virus. Copy me to help me spread.
>
>


--
/"\ Jan Kalin (male, preferred languages: Slovene, English)
\ / http://charm.zag.si/eng/, email: "name dot surname AT zag dot si"
X ASCII ribbon campaign against HTML in mail and postings.
/ \ I'm a .signature virus. Copy me to help me spread.

Jan Kalin
May 30th 04, 12:34 PM
In article >, Nikolaos Tampakis wrote:
>Jan Kalin wrote:
>> Hello,
>>
>> I have a GA-7DPXDW-P MB and was wondering if is it possible to "upgrade"
>> the RAID on this MB to enable full RAID 0+1 configuration. I have 4 120GB
>> disks that I'd like to mirror and stripe, giving me fast 240GB of mirrored
>> disk.
>>
>> I have been searching round the net and found something that might be of
>> help. On http://www.anycities.com/user/treiber/ there's a link to "20276
>> 2.00.0.28 Full Raid" Promise ROM. I presume this is what I need, but I am
>> not sure how to actually burn the changed ROM.
>>
>> I understand German, so I will read through the
>> http://lumberjacker.kettenfett.com/ (from where the link originates) and
>> hope to find more information there, but
>> I was wondering it anyone here has preformed this operation on this board.
>> Any hints, tips, pointers to information or a review of the procedure will
>> be very much appreciated.
>>
>> Cheers, Jan
>>
>
>The RAID controller's firmware is merged as a module into the main
>motherboard BIOS. Assuming it's an award BIOS there are utilities to
>manipulate its structure/modules (cbrom, modbin - basically you need
>cbrom here).
>Using cbrom, you would release the existing RAID module from the
>motherboard's BIOS file and then inject the full RAID Promise ROM file.
>There could be two modules in the motherboard BIOS though - one for
>simple ATA operation and one for RAID operation. You should replace the
>RAID one obviously.
>Assuming the Promise ROM is correct for the 20276 chip that's all you
>need do BIOS-wise.
>(in the case of ATA100 Promise RAID, the available ROMs from fasttrak
>controllers were for the PDC20267 chip which promise used on their PCI
>RAID controllers, and this had a different ID from the PDC20265R chip
>which was given to motherboard makers for onboard implementations - this
>required a slightly hacked Promise ROM. I think however that the
>PDC20276 is common to both motherboards and Promise ATA133 PCI RAID
>cards so this should be straighforward).
>Make sure you install correct drivers for the new ROM version too, if
>required.
>
>http://www.stormpages.com/crazyape/downloads.html
>
>This deals with the older PDC20265R bus has some useful stuff.

Thank you for the information. In the end I've decided not to mess around
with BIOS - I cannot afford to muck up the computer as I have rather a lot
of work and don't want to risk too much downtime. I'll be getting a
Promise TX2000 controller that does RAID 0+1 without any trickery.

Cheers, Jan

--
/"\ Jan Kalin (male, preferred languages: Slovene, English)
\ / http://charm.zag.si/eng/, email: "name dot surname AT zag dot si"
X ASCII ribbon campaign against HTML in mail and postings.
/ \ I'm a .signature virus. Copy me to help me spread.

Jan Kalin
June 1st 04, 09:04 PM
In alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.gigabyte, you wrote:
>Good luck on your adventure. I envy you those Diamond Max 9's. Would like to
>know what speeds you get and how you measured same
>Jim

The FastTrak TX2000 controller is now in, disks arranged in a 2x2 array
(240GB of mirrored and striped disks), NT driver installed and things are
looking good.

The system consists of:
GigaByte GA-7DPDXDW-P
dual Athlon MP 1800 CPUs
1GB RAM
4x Maxtor DiamondMax 9 120GB (user)
1x IBM Deskstar 20GB (system + backup)
1x IBM Deskstar 80GB (removable)
Matrox G400 Dualhead with 2x Iiyama Vision Master Pro 450 17"
Windows NT4+SP6

I just checked speed with "Drive!", obtained from
http://www.xponik.spb.ru/drive/index.html (the actual file is
ftp://xponik.spb.ru/pub/hdd/Drive_10.zip). The speeds I get are:

Avg. Linear Read Speed: 69.9 MB/s
Min. Linear Read Speed: 34.2 MB/s
Max. Linear Read Speed: 103.0 MB/s
Avg. Access Time: 11.9 ms
Max. Cache Read Speed: 132.1 MB/s

It took 45 seconds to make a copy of a 635MB AVI file - 14 MB/s read and
write on the same disk.

Theoretically I should get 266 MB/s. Seeing 132.1 MB/s (approx. half of
266) as the top cache read speed (i.e., just shuffling data across the
bus) makes me wonder if I have a bus issue. The RAID controler *is* in a
64bit, 66MHz slot, but I don't have bus mastering turned on (I had a bad
experience once when the data on disks got trashed and I cannot afford to
do so with the work computer).

Cheers, Jan

--
/"\ Jan Kalin (male, preferred languages: Slovene, English)
\ / http://charm.zag.si/eng/, email: "name dot surname AT zag dot si"
X ASCII ribbon campaign against HTML in mail and postings.
/ \ I'm a .signature virus. Copy me to help me spread.

jpsga
June 2nd 04, 05:10 AM
Ya know, something looks wrong.
I assume the drives are 6Y120P0

Average is 69.9 ?? Gee, that's (Max+Min)/2. This is a strait line average
and we shouldn't have a strait line from 103 to 34.2.

Min Read speed 34.2MB/s. That's is the Min for a single drive with no RAID.

Max Speed 103.0 MB/s That what I get on a 32bit bus.

Are you happy with the test software? The Cossacks would not let me get the
..ZIP file, so I couldn't look at it.

Maybe we are both wrong about the advantages of PCI X. I am going to look
into it.
Jim


"Jan Kalin" > wrote in message
...
> In alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.gigabyte, you wrote:
> >Good luck on your adventure. I envy you those Diamond Max 9's. Would like
to
> >know what speeds you get and how you measured same
> >Jim
>
> The FastTrak TX2000 controller is now in, disks arranged in a 2x2 array
> (240GB of mirrored and striped disks), NT driver installed and things are
> looking good.
>
> The system consists of:
> GigaByte GA-7DPDXDW-P
> dual Athlon MP 1800 CPUs
> 1GB RAM
> 4x Maxtor DiamondMax 9 120GB (user)
> 1x IBM Deskstar 20GB (system + backup)
> 1x IBM Deskstar 80GB (removable)
> Matrox G400 Dualhead with 2x Iiyama Vision Master Pro 450 17"
> Windows NT4+SP6
>
> I just checked speed with "Drive!", obtained from
> http://www.xponik.spb.ru/drive/index.html (the actual file is
> ftp://xponik.spb.ru/pub/hdd/Drive_10.zip). The speeds I get are:
>
> Avg. Linear Read Speed: 69.9 MB/s
> Min. Linear Read Speed: 34.2 MB/s
> Max. Linear Read Speed: 103.0 MB/s
> Avg. Access Time: 11.9 ms
> Max. Cache Read Speed: 132.1 MB/s
>
> It took 45 seconds to make a copy of a 635MB AVI file - 14 MB/s read and
> write on the same disk.
>
> Theoretically I should get 266 MB/s. Seeing 132.1 MB/s (approx. half of
> 266) as the top cache read speed (i.e., just shuffling data across the
> bus) makes me wonder if I have a bus issue. The RAID controler *is* in a
> 64bit, 66MHz slot, but I don't have bus mastering turned on (I had a bad
> experience once when the data on disks got trashed and I cannot afford to
> do so with the work computer).
>
> Cheers, Jan
>
> --
> /"\ Jan Kalin (male, preferred languages: Slovene, English)
> \ / http://charm.zag.si/eng/, email: "name dot surname AT zag dot si"
> X ASCII ribbon campaign against HTML in mail and postings.
> / \ I'm a .signature virus. Copy me to help me spread.