GIGABYTE Z68Xp-UD4 (RAID-0) Installation With SSD Acceleration Issue [100% SOLVED!]

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Good day, and welcome to NetSector.com Studio Blog.  At this point we believe that you have tried everything in the book of Gigabyte and you’re still unable to get your computer to boot properly in order for you to configure  the system with a “Raid-0” configuration and enable (EZ Smart Response).  Nothing to worry about however, as we have come across the same Installation/Configuration problem before, and decided to help you get this right the first time without headaches.

I want to state first that we have tried following the instructions in the Gigabyte manual in regards to the (RAID/XHD) setup.  According to Gygabyte, everything went smoothly until it was time to enable the “EZ Smart Response System”.  EZSRS is basically a Jump-Start software which starts the  (Intel Rapid Storage) and configures the computer  for you automatically.  So having this in mind we realized that the (Intel Rapid Storage) interface was not able to detect neither the primary HDD “C/Drive” nor the “SSD Drive” which was needed to accelerate the system.  Also, the “Accelerate” button was not present in the Intel’s window as well.

This was somewhat confusing as Gigabyte Z68Xp-UD4 offers (2 GSata-6GB) connections for [Raid-1 & Raid-0] configuration, and since the (SSD and the HDD) needed to be on a [RAID-0] configuration, we connected both of them to the GSata (Grey Ports).  Again, Gigabyte did not mention anything about the “Physical Connections” for this type of configuration, so logically we went with the sure route… or was it the complete opposite?

Later through testing we discovered that the reason “Intel Rapid Storage” was not able to detect the HDD and the SSD.  You need to connect the HDD and the SSD to the regular (SATA3-6GB) not the GSATA.  So after doing this, we enabled the (RAID/XHD) option from the BIOS and proceeded to the “OS Installation”.  Here is where things get completely confusing and out of hand.

When  you enable RAID/XHD like stated in the book… the system “Automatically” enables the (Acceleration).  When this happens, your Primary-HDD will become “Disabled”. This will cause the windows disk to not be able to detect your Primary-HDD when loaded from CD during OS Installation.  Having all this in mind, I am going to give you a 100% cure to getting your system up and running quickly!! We have spent all the time figuring this out and testing so you don’t have to go through the trouble and change your plans for the “Hybrid RAID-0” system.  We have seen too many threads with no solution as this technology is so new that people simply just give up when it does not work and go the easy way, which is just buying a bigger SSD drive and  installing the OS on that without the “Intel-RS”.

Our Current Setup Is As Follows:

  1. Gigabyte Z68Xp-UD4 Main Board
  2. 60GB Corsair SATA3 Solid State Drive (SSD) as an Accelerator
  3. Asus GTX560 1GB GDDR5 GPU Unit
  4. VelociRaptor 300GB 10,000RPM HD as a Primary HDD
  5. Seagate 1TB  HDD as a Storage
  6. 850W Cooler master Power Supply
  7. Windows 7 Ultimate OS

You have to always keep in mind, that HDD-SSD Smart Storage System is ultimately faster and cheaper than getting a bigger SSD and installing the OS directly on the SSD.  This is a poor solution to the problem at hand.  So follow the bottom instructions carefully for a sweet system setup! Make sure all your equipment including the SSD and the HDDs are (SATA3) compliant.

  1. Connect your HDD and the SATA Accelerator Drive to the “Regular SATA3” inputs on the motherboard.  *DO NOT use the “GSata3” inputs for this scenario, or else you will set yourself up for failure down the line when the time comes for (Acceleration)
  2. Fire up the computer and hit “DELETE” to get into BIOS.
  3. Once in the BIOS make sure you “Reset the BIOS” to its original state first by loading the “Default Optimized Settings”.
  4. You can also try FLASHING the bios from the Q-Flash menu just to make sure everything is factory reset, in case you have played around and made changes to the system yourself.
  5. Once you reset your bios to Factory settings SAVE & EXIT.
  6. Your computer will reboot.  You need to get back in the BIOS again by pressing “DELETE”.
  7. Once you’re in the BIOS, enable the (RAID/XHD) from the “Integrated Hardware” section in your BIOS, then “SAVE& Exit” again. (Your system will reboot), don’t let it finish rebooting…
  8. Once your system goes through a reboot… while in the booting process, it is going to display the (RAID Configuration Screen) for few seconds before trying to boot up Windows OS.
  9. Press (Ctrl+I) to get into the RAID Configuration Menu.
  10. Once in the RAID Config. Menu, make sure you DISABLE “Acceleration.  SAVE & EXIT, your computer will reboot.
  11. When the system is rebooting, it will briefly show the RAID screen again.  If you have done everything correctly, your (SSD Drive & HDD Drive) should show AVAILABLE with green.  If you have not done this correctly, your HDD will show DISABLED!  You need to go back to the RAID Configuration menu in the BIOS and make sure you DISABLE Acceleration.
  12. Once you got this right, you want to BOOT from CD and install Windows on your Primary HDD. **Note: Make sure you format the SSD-Drive while in the OS Installation menu… there might be a saved boot record from previous installation efforts, that will completely throw off the setup process when you’re going through reboots. So format the drive and freshly install the windows on the Primary “C-Drive”.
  13. Once the installation is finished, you will be able to get into Windows.
  14. Put in the Gigabyte Chipset Drivers CD in the system, and commence to “Express Installation”.
  15. Once this finishes install the “EZ Smart Response” technology as well.
  16. Make sure you have your “Intel Rapid Storage” software installed as well.
  17. Reboot your system.
  18. Once back up, click on the “EZ Smart Response” icon in the Gigabyte folder in your Start Menu.
  19. Wait for the application to launch, and follow the steps provided to you in the wizard.
  20. If you have done everything right, you system will tell you that everything on the SSD Will be deleted, and your system will reboot 2 times to set up the RAID-0 Configuration and enable the Acceleration  for you.  This is awesome as you don’t have to do anything else besides finishing up the Main-Board Drivers installation and windows updates.

The DO-NOT DO List!

  1. Do NOT use the G-SATA Ports!
  2. Do NOT Enable Acceleration from BIOS/RAID Menu.
  3. Do NOT… and I will repeat this one more time… DO NOT update your BIOS under any circumstance! ONLY Use the drivers that came on the Motherboard’s CD.  This is pretty pathetic, but apparently the Newer BIOS update completely ruins the system.  It doesn’t matter if you have a fresh OS installation or completely updated OS on your computer.  You will crash the system when you update the bios on Gigabyte Z68Xp-UD4. We have tested this at least 5 times.
  4. DO NOT install the UPDATE Utilities and DO NOT perform an INF Update!
  5. DO NOT install the “Cyber Link Power Suite or the Director” This will crash the system as it updates your BIOS with a newer settings for VIRTU, and it will bring your system down COMPLETELY!! No questions asked, we have tested it.
  6. And lastly, DO NOT update the VIRTU Software even if you get prompted! This will also update your BIOS and Crash your system.

Once you do a clean and a stock installation on your computer, and enable the [RAID-0] Acceleration through “EZ Smart Response”, you then will be able to update your windows fully, and enjoy it.  Good Luck and if you get everything working, please check us out again with your new and Accelerated PC!

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Established in 2004 as an Intranet and Extranet Solutions Firm in Glendale California, Net Sectors has become one of the leading I.T. Solutions and Services Providers in United States, United Kingdom and Canada. In the early days, our motto was to simply provide I.T. Solutions and Services, which will ultimately guide the consumer to be able to quickly and effectively find solutions for all their I.T. problems. Since then, our motto has not been changed! We continually strive to create lasting impressions and positive experiences combined with excellent strategy, statistics and experience. We understand that first impression is the best impression; however the first impression is only the beginning of the process to establish a successful “Web-Presence”. Consumers are looking to spend their hard earned money smart, and we’re here to help them achieve that initiative. Our services are designed with one goal in mind… “Exceed Clients' Expectations”. We do not consider the project finished, until the client and our technical team are completely satisfied. This is the principle which brought us this far in the industry, and we are not backing down from it anytime soon.

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