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X570 Aorus Master - 5min boot after setting SATA to RAID

RzB

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X570 Aorus Master - 5min boot after setting SATA to RAID
« on: December 29, 2019, 06:24:30 pm »
Hi - I have built a new system from scratch.

Motherboard   X570 Aorus Master Rev 1.0 Bios F11
CPU              AMD Ryzen9 3900X
GPU              GByte GEforce GTX180
Memory      2x 16G Corsair Vengence DDR4 3600C18
PSU              Corsair CP-9020074-UK HX1000i
Case              Corsair 750D Airflow Case
CPU Cooler   Noctua NH-D15 SE-AM4
System Drive   1TB Cors MP600 PCIe v4 NVMe M.2
Fast Drive   2TB  Cors MP600 PCIe v4 NVMe M.2
HDDs      2x 6TB Toshiba X300
Windows 10 Home

I have built the system, installed Windows 10 on the 1T M.2 drive. The other drives have been formatted and and everything is working very nicely. I upgraded the BIOS from F4 to F11 but have changed no settings in the BIOS.

I want to run the two 6T drives as a Raid 1 mirrored pair. So I followed the instructions in the manual to set this up. I go to Settings > IO Ports and set SATA Configuration > Sata mode to RAID - then Save and Restart.

However when I restart, the system hangs with the BIOS Flash screen up for 5 minutes. It does not respond to any keyboard activity, DEL, F12, END. After 5 minutes it boots normally into Windows or the BIOS if DEL has been pressed.

During the the 5 minute hang the Code showing on the Motherboard is A2 (Detect and install all currently connected IDE device).

I did  a little further investigation - I did the next steps in the user manual - Disable CSM > Restart, then into RaidXtert2. As you can see from this screenshot here..

Screenshot in RaidXpert2

it can only see one of the 6T drives. Both drives work fine in Windows 10.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Roy

RzB

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Re: X570 Aorus Master - 5min boot after setting SATA to RAID
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2019, 06:48:02 pm »
OK - I have made progress...

I removed the Toshiba drives and replaced them with a couple of 1.5T WD Drives. Boot up and set SATA to RAID - no 5min boot up time!

I scrabbled around with the RaidXpert2 interface in the BIOS (not the nicest UI) and hey presto I created a RAID 1 array. Interestingly it seems that by default the two drives get set up as Non-RAID Arrays. I found that I was unable to create an array until I had deleted these.

Anyway - after installing the AMD Raid Drivers in Windows 10 I was able to see the array in Computer Management and hey presto I now have an array - that's with the WD Drives - so what's going on with the Toshiba drives?

Now a little digression... //////

 - At one point, whilst fiddling with all this, I bumped into a bizzarre, hugely frustrating problem that I managed to fix - it might be helpful to someone else in a similar position...

When I installed the RaidXpert2 on Windows 10 I found I was unable to sign in. When you first open RaidXpert2 it comes up with a sign in box with a user name and password of admin. You have to update these fields with a new user name and password and then you hit submit. This I did and - nothing happened. Just sits there - no error code, no clue as to why... ugghhh... Googled and there are reports of this problem - with all sorts of ways round it (none of which worked for me) going back years. Very, very frustrating.

I finally got to the bottom of it - well I think so anyway. When I was doing this I had the BIOS SATA setting set to AHCI not RAID. Once I had set it to RAID I was able to hit the Submit button and move forward. 

Digression end ////

Anyway, back to my possible Toshiba problem - I removed the WD Drives and put the Toshiba drives back. Sure enough the 5 minute boot up time reappeared. But there was an improvement in that the BIOS RaidXpert2 could see both drives as 6T. After further fiddling with the RaidXpert2 UI, I managed to get a 6T Raid 1 drive set up (Yippee), but still with a 5min bootup (Booo). Now formatted and operational in Windows.

I decided to set Ultra Fast boot up (BTW - Where is the difference between Normal, Fast and Ultra Fast defined?). I restarted the machine - no change - still took 5 mins. However on the second (maybe third, not sure) it booted properly - how on earth? No idea...

Anyway - I now have a 6T Raid 1 drive - working properly - and a fast boot up. As an ex blue chip software developer/manager, actually in the storage systems area - this software is not good. :-(

Roy

shadowsports

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Re: X570 Aorus Master - 5min boot after setting SATA to RAID
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2019, 04:17:14 pm »
Hi Roy,
Read both of your posts.  You appear to have a good grasp of storage technologies.

Increased boot times.  Possible causes:

BIOS revision
BIOS settings
FW on drives
Disk formatting
Drivers loaded in OS

As you have discovered, changing the controller operate mode isn't always straight forward.  It's become more complex now that RAID Management is part of the BIOS and not its own utility.  There are Pros and Cons.

RAID Array and Member Disks:
When RAID is enabled, disks are still seen and allowed to run "standalone" until they are added as member disks to an array.  This step has to be perfomed (regardless of the RAID level being used) in order for metedata to be written to the disk members.  It's then possible to select a standalone boot device, make an existing array bootable or allow a data array to exisit amongst other disks/arrays (bootable or not).

Other places you can run into trouble:
Depending on BIOS setings, disk formatting and how the OS was installed, the system may struggle if it is asked to change from  UEFI to Legacy boot.  I suspect this is likely the reson your Toshiba's caused the 5 min boot delay.  The WD's were new and no prior configuration for them existed.

The system eventually corrected itself. 

Normal, Fast, Ultra Fast Boot:
Easiest way to define these settings.  In a nutshell. 

Limits the number checks performed by BIOS at POST
Decreses or excludes detection of devices or peripherals, thereby decreasing the time for the OS to load.
Z390 AORUS PRO (F10) \850w, 9900K, 32GB GSkill TriZ RGB - 16-18-18-38, RTX 2080 FTW3 Ultra, 960 Pro_m.2, W10 1909
Z370-HD3P (F5) \750w, 8350K, 8GB LPX 3200 - 16-18-18-38, GTX 970 FTW SC, Intel SSD, 2TB RAID1, W10 1909
Z97X-UD5H \850w, 4790K, 16GB Vengeance, GTX 970 FTW SC, RAID0

RzB

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Re: X570 Aorus Master - 5min boot after setting SATA to RAID
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2020, 11:28:06 am »
Shadowspots - thanks for your response.

All is working OK now - well I think it is!

Interestingly the WD drives were many years old - they had been used in a RAID array on an Intel chip setup. The Toshiba drives were brand new - I had installed them, created simple arrays with GPT and tested that they worked.

Re Fast Boot - Yes - I understand that it's going to be doing less checking and device detection etc. What I would like to know is exactly what it is not doing.  Then I can make an informed decision on whether to run with it or not. I haven't been able to find the details anywhere.

Many thanks for your help.,
Roy

shadowsports

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Re: X570 Aorus Master - 5min boot after setting SATA to RAID
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2020, 03:03:11 pm »
Shadowspots - thanks for your response.

Re Fast Boot - Yes - I understand that it's going to be doing less checking and device detection etc. What I would like to know is exactly what it is not doing.  Then I can make an informed decision on whether to run with it or not. I haven't been able to find the details anywhere.

Many thanks for your help.,
Roy

Roy,
If you review your manual, I believe it covers which devices can be included/excluded when Fast or Ultra Fast Boot is enabled.  It probably doesn't include the level of granularity you are seeking, but it should provide some guidance.
Z390 AORUS PRO (F10) \850w, 9900K, 32GB GSkill TriZ RGB - 16-18-18-38, RTX 2080 FTW3 Ultra, 960 Pro_m.2, W10 1909
Z370-HD3P (F5) \750w, 8350K, 8GB LPX 3200 - 16-18-18-38, GTX 970 FTW SC, Intel SSD, 2TB RAID1, W10 1909
Z97X-UD5H \850w, 4790K, 16GB Vengeance, GTX 970 FTW SC, RAID0

RzB

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Re: X570 Aorus Master - 5min boot after setting SATA to RAID
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2020, 04:50:22 pm »
No - there is not much in the User's Manual - Under Fast Boot it says...

"Enables or disables Fast Boot to shorten the OS boot process. Ultra Fast provides the fastest bootup speed. (Default: Disabled)" - very helpful :-(

There are a number of references to Fast Boot such as in SATA Support, NVMe Support, VGA Support etc.. where the manual says "This item is configurable only when Fast Boot is set to Enabled or Ultra Fast". Not sure if I'm supposed to glean something from that.

In fact I don't understand these entries at all - take the SATA Support for example.

Sata Support Screenshot form Manual

I seriously need an ELI5 on this, because I have no idea when/why this would be used, or why it would only be configurabe when Boot mode is set to Fast or Ultra Fast, etc! Or perhaps it is telling me that this is set to "All SATA Devices" (not the default), if I set Fast/Ultra Fast boot up? Confused, very confused...

Many thanks,
Roy

Fred155

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Re: X570 Aorus Master - 5min boot after setting SATA to RAID
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2020, 10:59:46 am »
I know this is a little off topic, so I apologise upfront, but...

There's often very little advantage to using the RAID capabilities built into motherboards:
  • It often ties you to a vendor, and sometimes even to a specific motherboard, making it difficult or even impossible to recover the array in the event of a motherboard failure.
  • They often much less flexible than full software or dedicated hardware soluitions
  • They typically aren't smart enough to handle unplanned shutdowns
  • Often not in wide use, as compared to other storage solutions

if you have a full backup (raid is not a backup), then you might be fine with all of this, but I'm not aware of any "well known technology sites" that actually recommend onboard raid solutions.

If you're not already committed, I'd suggest looking at alternative options.

I run 4x 10tb wd red pros, running btrfs raid10, meaning I can take the drives to any machine I like and access the array using any practically any linux distro from a usb stick.

It also means that because the raid management is built into the filesystem, I can convert to other raid levels on the fly, along with the copy-on-write and instant snapshots.

shadowsports

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Re: X570 Aorus Master - 5min boot after setting SATA to RAID
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2020, 03:20:26 pm »
Some good points Fred,
RAID is not an excuse for not implementing and making regular back ups of your OS or data.

RAID is really only protection from downtime, unless RAID 0 which only offers performance. 

RAID10 is great except for the overhead.  I run RAID 5 with 3 disks and a hot spare, but I back up this data twice so 3 copies in all.   
Z390 AORUS PRO (F10) \850w, 9900K, 32GB GSkill TriZ RGB - 16-18-18-38, RTX 2080 FTW3 Ultra, 960 Pro_m.2, W10 1909
Z370-HD3P (F5) \750w, 8350K, 8GB LPX 3200 - 16-18-18-38, GTX 970 FTW SC, Intel SSD, 2TB RAID1, W10 1909
Z97X-UD5H \850w, 4790K, 16GB Vengeance, GTX 970 FTW SC, RAID0