Friday, February 22, 2008

Setting Raid on HP Pavilion a6115 Desktop PC win XP

Recently friend of mine purchased computer HP Pavilion a6115. This was his enter into dual core processing world, since his last machine was quiet old. He also decided to use 2 500 GB HDD in RAID 1 array.

He got nice and shiny hp box. He soon realized, that Vista OS is just not what he hoped for, so he opted for more familiar and faster Windows XP System. It turned out, that HP does not support XP out of the box, so we had to do it other way. Even Motherboard mentioned as Asus P5LP-LE was not found on Asus web page.
So few trials and errors were needed to sucessfully set RAID and install Win XP.
Well let's start from beginning...

Strangely, but that's how things work even today, for setting windows on RAID array you should use Floppy with dedicated drivers.
Pavilion does not have such drive, which is not surprising... Second thing as mentioned before, XP drivers are not directly available from HP support pages.

But, after going trough computer specification:, it is clear that you need to use Intel drivers for Onboard RAID controller: ICH7-DH - 945G chipset. In order to install win xp to RAID array, you have to get 32-bit Floppy Configuration Utility for Intel® Matrix Storage Manager. Download available here This program from Intel creates floppy with drivers to install during win xp installation (F6 option). But since there is no floppy available, I will show you little trick...
First of all you need software that will emulate floppy drive:
After running and setting this program, you should see Floppy drive icon in Windows XP under My Computer.
When "floppy drive" is available, run Intel floppy configuration utility. It will automatically create all files etc.
After this is done, next step is to add these drivers into installation CD for WIn XP. (Remember, we don't have Floppy drive nor Floppy available :-)
One of the easiest ways to add drivers to installation disc is to use program nLite.
This is very powerful tool to manage WinXP installation cd - you can add various data, remove unnecessary software etc.
To proceed, Win XP installation disc is needed. Please check for detailed information how to integrate drivers into installation. When finished, you must create new Bootable ISO image and burn it on blank CD-R.
You can now install windows XP on Pavillion a6115 with RAID enabled.

All software used is freely available from WWW, except Win XP.

Good luck!


Amaya said...

Great work.

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