MediaShield User`s Guide

MediaShield User`s Guide

ForceWare Software

MediaShield User’s

Guide

Version 5.0

NVIDIA Corporation

May 1, 2006

NVIDIA Applications MediaShield User’s Guide Version 5.0

Published by

NVIDIA Corporation

2701 San Tomas Expressway

Santa Clara, CA 95050

Notice

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This publication supersedes and replaces all information previously supplied. NVIDIA Corporation products are not authorized for use as critical components in life support devices or systems without express written approval of

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Trademarks

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Design, the STB Logo, the StarBox Logo, NVIDIA nForce, GeForce, NVIDIA Quadro, NVDVD, NVIDIA Personal

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Intel, Indeo, and Pentium are registered trademarks of Intel Corporation. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT,

Direct3D, DirectDraw, and DirectX are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. OpenGL is a registered trademark of Silicon Graphics Inc.

Other company and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective owners with which they are associated.

Copyright

© 2004–2006 by NVIDIA Corporation. All rights reserved.

Drivers for Windows

®

MediaShield User’s Guide Version 5.0

1.About NVIDIA® MediaShield™

System Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Hardware Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Operating System Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

RAID Arrays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

RAID 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

RAID 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

RAID 0+1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

RAID 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

JBOD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Summary of RAID Configurations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

NVIDIA MediaShield Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Additional RAID Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Features and Benefits Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

2.Configuring the BIOS

Enabling RAID in the System BIOS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Creating a RAID Array Using the RAID BIOS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

3.Creating RAID Arrays

Creating a Bootable Array . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

Creating a Non-Bootable Array . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

4.Installing and Using the NVIDIA MediaShield Software

Installing the NVIDIA MediaShield Software Under Windows. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26

Using the MediaShield Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27

Accessing the Storage Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27

Using the Storage Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28

5.Using Disk Alert

About Disk Alert . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35

Disk Alert Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

Example of All Good Drives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

Example of a Degraded Array . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37

Example of a Failed Drive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38

6.MediaShield RAID Frequently Asked Questions

Basic RAID Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40

RAID ROM Setup Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41

Rebuilding Arrays Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41

Dedicated Disk Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42

Array Migrating Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42

MediaShield Application Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43

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NVIDIA Applications MediaShield User’s Guide Version 5.0

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BOUT

NVIDIA

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EDIA

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HIELD

NVIDIA brings Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) technology—which is used by the world’s leading businesses—to the common PC desktop. This technology uses multiple drives to either increase total disk space or to offer data protection.

RAID techniques were first published in 1988 by a multivendor consortium—the RAID

Advisory Board. RAID techniques were divided into different categories or levels.

Originally, RAID levels focused on improving resiliency or data availability. As additional RAID levels were defined, one was introduced for improving performance. For all levels, RAID techniques optimize storage solutions by using multiple disks grouped together and treating them as a single storage resource.

This chapter describes NVIDIA MediaShield in the following sections:

“System Requirements” on page 2 .

“RAID Arrays” on page 3 describes the RAID levels supported by NVIDIA

MediaShield.

“NVIDIA MediaShield Features” on page 5 describes additional features offered by

NVIDIA MediaShield.

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About NVIDIA® MediaShield™

2

System Requirements

Hardware Support

NVIDIA MediaShield supports the following NVIDIA

®

nForce

versions:

• NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI

• NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI

• NVIDIA nForce 570

• NVIDIA nForce 550

• NVIDIA nForce 430

• NVIDIA nForce 410

• NVIDIA nForce4

• NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra

• NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra Intel Edition

• NVIDIA nForce4 SLI

• NVIDIA nForce4 SLI Intel Edition

• NVIDIA nForce4 SLI X16

• NVIDIA nForce4 SLI XE Intel Edition

• NVIDIA nForce4 Professional IO-4

• NVIDIA nForce4 Professional Pro

• NVIDIA nForce4 Professional Pro SLI

• NVIDIA nForce3 Pro250

• NVIDIA nForce3 250Gb

• NVIDIA nForce3 Ultra

• NVIDIA nForce3 250

• NVIDIA nForce3 150

• NVIDIA nForce2 MCP2S

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About NVIDIA® MediaShield™

Operating System Support

NVIDIA MediaShield supports the following operating systems:

• Windows

®

XP Home Edition

• Windows XP Professional Edition

• Windows Server 2003

Software

This document describes MediaShield accessible through the NVIDIA Control Panel—

Storage interface, available with NVIDIA ForceWare Release 90 drivers..

RAID Arrays

This section describes the following types of RAID arrays that MediaShield supports:

Note: Not all nForce platforms provide support for all the RAID levels listed.

RAID 0

In a RAID 0 array, the controller ʺstripesʺ data across multiple drives in the RAID subsystem. RAID 0 breaks up a large file into smaller blocks and then performs disk reads and writes across multiple drives in parallel. The size of each block is determined by the stripe size parameter, which you set during the creation of the RAID 0 set. Performance of applications running with a RAID 0 can vary greatly depending on the stripe size configured when creating the array. The default stripe size is 64K, but 32K or 16K may be more efficient if the application issues many smaller I/O operations. Some amount of trial and error may be appropriate to find the optimum stripe size.

RAID 0 is ideal for applications that require high bandwidth but do not require fault tolerance. RAID 0 has the best performance and capacity of any RAID level, but the lowest availability (no fault tolerance). If one drive fails, the entire array fails because part of the data is missing with no way to recover it other than restoring from a backup.

RAID 1

In a RAID 1 array, every read and write is carried out in parallel across two disk drives.

The mirrored—or backup—copy of the data can reside on the same disk or on a second redundant drive in the array. RAID 1 provides a hot-standby copy of data if the active volume or drive is corrupted or becomes unavailable due to a hardware failure. RAID 1

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About NVIDIA® MediaShield™

RAID 0+1

techniques can be applied for high-availability solutions, or as a form of automatic backup that eliminates tedious manual backups to more expensive and less reliable media.

RAID 1 provides complete data redundancy, but at the cost of doubling the required data storage capacity, resulting in 50% capacity utilization. Performance is roughly the same as for a single drive, although in some instances the dual write may be somewhat slower.

RAID 0 drives can be mirrored using RAID 1 techniques, resulting in a RAID 0+1 solution for improved performance plus resiliency

The controller combines the performance of data striping (RAID 0) and the fault tolerance of disk mirroring (RAID 1). Data is striped across multiple drives and duplicated on another set of drives.

RAID 5

RAID 5

1

stripes both data and parity information across three or more drives. It writes data and parity blocks across all the drives in the array. Fault tolerance is maintained by ensuring that the parity information for any given block of data is placed on a different drive from those used to store the data itself

JBOD

JBOD stands for “Just a Bunch of Disks”. Each drive is accessed as if it were on a standard

SCSI host bus adapter. This is useful when a single drive configuration is needed, but it offers no speed improvement or fault tolerance

4

1. RAID 5 is supported on select boards only. Please check with your motherboard manufacturer to determine whether RAID 5 is supported for the type and model of your motherboard.

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Summary of RAID Configurations

Table 1.1

RAID Configuration Summary

Array Uses

RAID 0

Non-critical data requiring high performance.

RAID 1

Small databases or any other small capacity environment requiring fault tolerance.

RAID

0+1

Critical data requiring high performance.

Advantages Drawbacks

High data throughput. No fault tolerance.

100% data redundancy.

Allows spare disks

Requires two drives for the storage space of one drive.

RAID 5

Critical data and reasonable level of performance.

JBOD

Combining odd size drives into one big drive.

Optimized for both

100% data redundancy and performance.

Allows spare disks.

Fault tolerance and better utilization of disk space.

Combines and uses the capacity of odd size drives.

Requires two drives for the storage space of one drive—the same as

RAID level 1.

Decreased write performance due to parity calculations.

Requires at least three drives.

Decreases performance because of the difficulty in using drives concurrently or to optimize drives for different uses.

# Hard

Disks

Fault

Tolerance

multiple None

2

4+

3+

Yes

Yes

Yes multiple No

NVIDIA MediaShield Features

Additional RAID Features

NVIDIA MediaShield offers the following additional features:

• Free Disk and Dedicated Spare Disk

A Free Disk or Dedicated Disk can be automatically used in case one drive of a faulttolerant array fails. NVIDIA MediaShield defines a fault-tolerant array as either RAID

1, RAID 0+1, or RAID 5. A free disk can be used by any available fault-tolerant array, while a dedicated disk can be used only by the array to which it is assigned.

• Bootable RAID

This allows you to install the operating system onto the RAID volume.

• Migrating

Migrating is the ability to convert from one RAID mode to another RAID mode. This allows the user to upgrade their current disk or array for better performance, higher security, and increased capacity. More importantly, this is accomplished without

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About NVIDIA® MediaShield™ having to go through multiple steps. The migrating feature gives the user an upgradeable option to manage storage easily.

Features and Benefits Summary

Features

Spare Drive and Dedicated Drive

Support

Bootable RAID

Migrating

Disk Failure Identification

Benefits

• Allows the user to dedicate a "spare" disk as a hot standby in the event of a array failure.

• Offers additional protection in case of a failure in a mirrored array.

• Supports the use of a RAID drive for loading the operating system at power up for optimal performance

• Allows the user to upgrade for more performance, security, and capacity.

• Allows the user to change the current state of a disk/ array to another array with a one step process called

"migrating", without losing any data during the configuration change.

• Notifies the user when a disk fails and indicates which one to replace

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ONFIGURING THE

BIOS

This chapter provides instructions for two basic BIOS configuration tasks:

Enabling RAID in the System BIOS

This task is required to create a RAID array or to add disks to an existing array.

Creating a RAID Array Using the RAID BIOS

This task is required when you are creating a bootable RAID array, but can also be used to create non-bootable RAID arrays.

You perform these tasks in the process of creating arrays as described in the chapter

“Creating RAID Arrays” on page 17 .

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Configuring the BIOS

Enabling RAID in the System BIOS

1 Start your computer, then press Delete to enter the BIOS setup.

The BIOS CMOS Setup Utility window appears.

Phoenix - Award BIOS CMOS Setup Utility

Standard CMOS Features

Advanced BIOS Features

Advanced Chipset Features

Integrated Peripherals

Power Management Setup

PnP / PCI Configurations

Load Fail-Safe Defaults

Load Optimized Defaults

Set Supervisor Password

Set User Password

Save & Exit Setup

Exit Without Saving

Esc : Quit

F10: Save & Exit Setup

: Select Item

Figure 2.1

BIOS CMOS Setup Utility Main Window

2 Use the arrow keys to select Integrated Peripherals (see

BIOS CMOS Setup Utility

Main Window

), then press Enter.

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Configuring the BIOS

The Integrated Peripherals window appears.

Phoenix - Award BIOS CMOS Setup Utility

Integrated Peripherals

RAID Config

OnChip IDE Channel0

Primary Master PIO

Primary Slave PIO

Primary Master UDMA

Primary Slave UDMA

OnChip IDE Channel1

Secondary Master PIO

Secondary Slave PIO

Secondary Master UDMA

Secondary Slave UDMA

IDE Prefetch Mode

Init Display First

OnChip USB

USB Keyboard Support

USB Mouse Support

Serial - ATA

SATA Spread Spectrum

AC97 Audio

[Press Enter]

[Enabled]

[Auto]

[Auto]

[Auto]

[Auto]

[Enabled]

[Auto]

[Auto]

[Auto]

[Auto]

[Enabled]

[PCI Slot]

[V1.1 - V2.0]

[Disabled]

[Disabled]

[Enabled]

[Disabled]

[Auto]

Item Help

Menu Level

:Move Enter:Select +/-/PU/PD:Value F10:Save ESC:Exit F1:General Help

F5: Previous Values F6: Fail-Safe Defaults F7: Optimized Defaults

Figure 2.2

Integrated Peripherals Window

3 Use the arrow keys to select the RAID Config (see

Integrated Peripherals Window

), then press Enter.

The RAID Config window appears.

RAID Enable

SATA 1 Primary

SATA 1 Secondary

SATA 2 Primary

SATA 2 Secondary

SATA 3 Primary

SATA 3 Secondary

Phoenix - Award BIOS CMOS Setup Utility

RAID Config

[Enable]

RAID [Enabled]

RAID [Enabled]

RAID [Enabled]

RAID [Enabled]

RAID [Disabled]

RAID [Disabled]

Item Help

Menu Level

NVIDIA Corporation

:Move Enter:Select +/-/PU/PD:Value F10:Save ESC:Exit F1:General Help

F5: Previous Values F6: Fail-Safe Defaults F7: Optimized Defaults

Figure 2.3

RAID Config Window

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Configuring the BIOS

4 From the RAID Config window, globally enable RAID, then enable the SATA ports with disks that you want to use for RAID.

If RAID is enabled globally but not enabled on the individual SATA port, disks on that port can only be used for non-RAID applications.

In the example in RAID Config Window , four SATA ports are enabled, so the non-

bootable RAID array can include up to four SATA disks. If there is a disk connected to

ʺSATA 3 Primary” or “SATA 3 Secondaryʺ, it can not be used for RAID.

5 Press F10 to save the configuration and exit.

The PC reboots.

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Configuring the BIOS

Creating a RAID Array Using the RAID BIOS

The NVIDIA RAID BIOS setup lets you choose the RAID type and which hard drives you want to make part of the array.

Entering the RAID BIOS Setup

1 After rebooting the system, wait until you see the RAID software prompting you to press F10.

The RAID prompt appears as part of the system POST and boot process prior to loading of the OS. You have a few seconds to press F10 before the screen disappears.

2 Press F10.

The NVIDIA MediaShield Utility—Define a New Array screen appears ( Figure 2.4

).

RAID Mode

: Mirroring

Media Shield Utility

-

Define a New Array

-

Striping Block: Optimal

Free Disks

Loc Disk Model Name

1.0.M

1.1.M

ST380023AS

ST380023AS

[ ] Add

Array Disks

Loc Disk Model Name

[ ] Del

[F6] Back [F7] Finish [TAB] Navigate [ ] Select [ENTER] Popup

Figure 2.4

NVIDIA MediaShield Utility

By default, RAID Mode is set to Mirroring and Striping Block is set to Optimal.

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Configuring the BIOS

Understanding the Define a New Array Window

Use the Define a New Array window to

• Select the RAID Mode

• Set up the Striping Block

• Specify which disks to use for the RAID Array

The SATA ports are called channels and they are associated with adapters. The first digit in the Location field defines the adapter that the port is associated with. The 2nd digit defines the channel. (The ʺMʺ field, which used to specify Master or Slave, is obsolete.)

1.0.M

(Obsolete)

Channel

Adapter

Figure 2.5

Loc Column Information

In

Loc Column Information

, 1.0. means the hard drive is attached to Adapter 1,

Channel 0.

The location, disk model and capacity fields should allow you to identify disks. It may be useful to try attaching a SATA hard drive to the ports provided with your platform and determine which location IDs are associated with SATA ports on your motherboard.

Using the Define a New Array Screen

If necessary, press the tab key to move from field to field until the appropriate field is highlighted.

• Selecting the RAID Mode

By default, this is set to Mirroring. To change to a different RAID mode, press the down arrow key until the mode that you want appears in the RAID Mode box—either

Mirroring, Striping, Spanning, Stripe Mirroring or RAID 5.

Note: Not all RAID levels are supported on all platforms.

• Selecting the Striping Block Size

Striping block size is given in kilobytes, and affects how data is arranged on the disk. It is recommended to leave this value at the default Optimal, which is 64KB, but the values can be between 4 KB and 128 KB (4, 8, 16, 32, 64, and 128 KB)

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Configuring the BIOS

Assigning the Disks

The disks that you enabled from the RAID Config BIOS setup page appear in the Free

Disks block. These are the drives that are available for use as RAID array disks.

To designate a free disk to be used as a RAID array disk,

1

Tab to the Free Disks section.

The first disk in the list is selected

2

Move it from the Free Disks block to the Array Disks block by pressing the rightarrow key (Æ).

The first disk in the list is moved, and the next disk in the list is selected and ready to be moved.

3

Continue pressing the right-arrow key (Æ) until all the disks that you want to use as

RAID array disks appear in the Array Disks block.

MediaShield Utility—Array Disks Assigned illustrates the Define a New Array screen

after two disks have been assigned as RAID1 array disks.

RAID Mode

: Mirroring

MediaShield Utility

-

Define a New Array

-

Striping Block: Optimal

Free Disks

Loc Disk Model Name

[ ] Add

Array Disks

Loc Disk Model Name

1.0.M

1.1.M

ST380023AS

ST380023AS

[ ] Del

[F6] Back [F7] Finish [TAB] Navigate [ ] Select [ENTER] Popup

Figure 2.6

MediaShield Utility—Array Disks Assigned

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Configuring the BIOS

Completing the RAID BIOS Setup

1 After assigning your RAID array disks, press F7.

The Clear disk array prompt appears.

RAID Mode

: Mirroring

MediaShield Utility

-

Define a New Array

-

Striping Block:

Optimal

Free Disks

Loc

Disk Model Name

Array Disks

Loc

Disk Model Name

Clear disk data?

1.1.M

ST380023AS

ST380023AS

[ ] Del

[F6] Back [F7] Finish [TAB] Navigate [ ] Select [ENTER] Popup

Figure 2.7

Clear Disk Data Prompt

2 Press Y to clear the disk data.

The Array List screen appears, where you can review the RAID arrays that you have set up.

MediaShield Utility

-

Array List -

Boot Id Status Vendor Array Model Name

Yes 2 Healthy NVIDIA MIRROR 74.53G

14

[Ctrl-X] Exit [ ] Select [B] Set Boot [N] New Array [ENTER] Detail

Figure 2.8

Array List Window

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Configuring the BIOS

3 Use the arrow keys to select the array that you want to set up, then press B to specify the array as bootable.

4 Press Enter to view and verify details.

The Array Detail screen appears.

Array 2 : NVIDIA MIRROR 74.56G

-

Array Detail -

RAID Mode: Mirroring

Striping Width : 1 Striping Block 32K

Adapt Channel M/S Index Disk Model Name Capacity

1 0 Master 0 ST380023AS 74.56GB

1 1 Master 1 ST380023AS 74.56GB

[R] Rebuild [D] Delete [C] Clear Disk [Enter] Return

Figure 2.9

Array Detail Screen

The Array Detail screen shows various information about the array that you selected, such as Striping Block used, RAID Mode, Striping Width, Disk Model Name, and disk capacity.

5 If you want to mark this disk as empty and wipe out all its contents, press C.

6 At the prompt, press Y to wipe out all the data, otherwise press N.

7 Press Enter again to go back to the previous screen and then press F10 to exit the RAID setup.

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Configuring the BIOS

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REATING

RAID A

RRAYS

This chapter provides instructions on creating bootable and non-bootable RAID arrays.

Creating a Bootable Array

You can configure a RAID array and then install the operating system over it.

Creating a Non-Bootable Array

This is the standard method of using non-bootable disks in a RAID array.

Creating a Bootable Array

Step 1: Enable RAID in the system BIOS

See

“Enabling RAID in the System BIOS” on page 8 for detailed instructions.

Step 2: Create a RAID array using the RAID BIOS

See

“Creating a RAID Array Using the RAID BIOS” on page 11

for detailed instructions.

Step 3: Install the RAID Drivers

If your Windows installation CD includes NVIDIA RAID drivers, then the drivers will be installed when you install Windows and you can skip this section.

If your Windows installation CD does not include RAID drivers (or you are trying to install a new version of Windows), then you will need an NVIDIA RAID driver F6 install floppy. Check to see if one came with your system. If not, you can create one by downloading the appropriate driver package and following the steps in this section.

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1 Create an F6 install floppy by using the ʺ-xʺ option, then copy all files in ʺ…\IDE\

WinXP\sataraidʺ to a floppy disk.

2 After you complete the RAID BIOS setup, boot from the Windows CD.

The Windows Setup program starts.

3 Press F6 and wait a few moments for the Windows Setup screen to appear.

Windows Setup

Setup could not determine the type of one or more mass storage devices installed in your system, or you have chosen to manually specify an adapter.

Currently, Setup will load support for the following mass storage device(s):

<none>

* To specify additional SCSI adapters, CD-ROM drives, or special

disk controllers for use with Windows, including those for

which you have a device support disk from a mass storage device

manufacturer, press S.

* If you do not have any device support disks from a mass storage

device manufacturer, or do not want to specify additional

mass storage devices for use with Windows, press ENTER.

S=Specify Additional Devices ENTER=Continue F3=Exit

Figure 3.1

Windows Setup—Specify Devices

4 Specify the NVIDIA drivers.

a Insert the floppy that has the RAID driver, press S, then press Enter.

The following Windows Setup screen appears:

Windows Setup

You have chosen to configure a SCSI Adapter for use with Windows, using a device support disk provided by an adapter manufacturer.

Select the SCSI Adapter you want from the following list, or press ESC to return to the previous screen.

NVIDIA RAID CLASS DRIVER (required)

NVIDIA NForce Storage Controller (required)

Enter=Select F3=Exit

Figure 3.2

Windows Setup—Select SCSI Adapter

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b Select “NVIDIA RAID CLASS DRIVER (required)” and then press Enter.

c Press S again at the Specify Devices screen, then press Enter.

d Select “NVIDIA NForce Storage Controller (required)” and then press Enter.

The following Windows Setup screen appears listing both drivers:.

Windows Setup

Setup will load support for the following mass storage device:

NVIDIA RAID CLASS DRIVER

NVIDIA NForce Storage Controller

* To specify additional SCSI adapters, CD-ROM drives, or special

disk controllers for use with Windows, including those for

which you have a device support disk from a mass storage device

manufacturer, press S.

* If you do not have any device support disks from a mass storage

device manufacturer, or do not want to specify additional

mass storage devices for use with Windows, press ENTER.

S=Specify Additional Devices ENTER=Continue F3=Exit

Figure 3.3

Windows Setup—NVIDIA drivers listed

5 Press Enter to continue with Windows XP Installation.

Be sure to leave the floppy disk inserted in the floppy drive until the blue screen portion of Windows XP installation is completed, then take out the floppy.

6 Follow the instructions on how to install Windows XP.

After Windows XP is completely installed, it is recommended that you install the

ForceWare software in order to access the MediaShield Storage interface. See

“Installing the NVIDIA MediaShield Software Under Windows” on page 26

.

Note: Each time you add a new hard drive to a RAID array, the RAID driver will have to be installed under Windows once for that hard drive. After that, the driver will not have to be installed.

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Creating a Non-Bootable Array

Step 1: Enable RAID in the system BIOS

See

“Enabling RAID in the System BIOS” on page 8 for detailed instructions.

Step 2: Create the RAID Array

There are two methods you can use to create a RAID array:

Using the RAID BIOS

See “Creating a RAID Array Using the RAID BIOS” on page 11 for detailed instructions.

Using the MediaShield software

1 Open the NVIDIA Control Panel, then from the Select a Category page, click Storage.

2 From the Storage page, click Create array to start the Create Array Wizard, then follow the instructions.

You can press F1 to access online help that walks you through the array creation process.

Step 3: Initialize the RAID Array

After creating the array, reboot the PC and then initialize the newly created array under

Windows as follows:

1 Launch Computer Management by clicking Start Æ Control Panel, then open the

Administrative Tools folder and double click on Computer Management.

2 Click Disk Management (under the Storage section).

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The Initialize and Convert Disk Wizards appears.

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Figure 3.4

Initialize and Convert Disk Wizard

3 Click Next.

The Select Disks to Initialize window appears.

Figure 3.5

Select Disks to Initialize Page

The disks listed depend on how many arrays you have configured

4 Click Next.

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The Select Disks to Convert window appears.

Figure 3.6

Select Disks to Convert Page

5 Check the disk in the list if you want to make the array a dynamic disk, then click Next.

The Completing the Initialize and Convert Disk Wizard window appears.

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Figure 3.7

Completing the Initialize and Convert Disk Wizard Page

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6 Click Finish.

The Computer Management window appears.

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Figure 3.8

Computer Management Window

The actual disks listed will depend on your system. In the

Computer Management

Window example, there is a 111 GB unallocated partition (which is the total combined

storage of two 60 GB HD). You must format the unallocated disk space in order to use it.

7 Format the unallocated disk space.

Right click “Unallocated space”, select “New Partition…” and follow the Wizard instructions.

After the drive has been formatted, it is ready for use. See

“Installing and Using the

NVIDIA MediaShield Software” on page 25

for instructions on performing other storage management tasks.

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The MediaShield RAID software ships with an application called MediaShield, which you access from the NVIDIA Control Panel . This chapter describes the MediaShield software in the following sections:

“Installing the NVIDIA MediaShield Software Under Windows” on page 26

“Using the MediaShield Software” on page 27

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Installing the NVIDIA MediaShield Software Under Windows

This section describes how to run the setup application and install the RAID software.

1 Start the nForce Setup program to open the NVIDIA Windows nForce Drivers page.

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Figure 4.1

nForce Driver Installation Window

2 Select the modules that you want to install.

Make sure that the “NVIDIA IDE Driver” is selected.

You must install the NVIDIA IDE driver in order to enable NVIDIA MediaShield. If you do not install the NVIDIA IDE driver, NVIDIA MediaShield will not be enabled.

3 Click Next and then follow the instructions.

4 After the installation is completed, be sure to reboot the PC.

5 After the reboot, initialize the newly created array as described in the next section.

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Using the MediaShield Software

Accessing the Storage Page

To access the NVIDIA Control Panel Storage page:

1 Right-click the desktop and then click NVIDIA Control Panel from the pop-up menu.

The NVIDIA Control Panel–Select a Category page appears.

Other icons may be present, such as Display, 3D Settings, and Video & Television.

2 Click Storage.

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The Storage page appears.

Using the Storage Page

From the Storage page, you can accomplish the following tasks:

Create an Array

Delete an Array

Rebuild an Array

Synchronize an Array

Designate a Spare Disk

Remove a Spare

Migrate an Array

View Storage Information

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Create an Array

This option is available only if there are free disks that are RAID-enabled.

Click Create array to start the Create Array Wizard and then follow the instructions.

You can press F1 to access the online help that walks you through the Wizard with stepby-step instructions.

Delete an Array

This option is available only if RAID arrays have been created.

Click Delete array to start the Delete Array Wizard and then follow instructions.

You can press F1 to access the online help that walks you through the Wizard with stepby-step instructions.

Rebuild an Array

About Rebuilding

Rebuilding is the process of restoring data to a hard drive from other drives in the array.

For example, if you have a three disk RAID 5 array and one of the drives fails, you will need to replace the failed drive with a new one, and rebuild the array to re-generate the lost data on the newly added drive.

Rebuilding applies only to fault-tolerant arrays such as RAID 1, RAID 0+1, or RAID 5

Arrays.

Instructions

Click Rebuild array to start the Rebuild Create Array Wizard and then follow the instructions.

You can press F1 to access the online help that walks you through the Wizard with stepby-step instructions.

The rebuilding process takes some time to complete, and occurs in the background so as not to affect the performance of the system.

Synchronize an Array

Synchronizing an array will force a rebuild of redundancy or parity. The operation applies to any fault-tolerant array such as RAID 1, 0+1 and RAID 5.

Click Synchronize array to start the Synchronize Array Wizard and then follow instructions.

You can press F1 to access the online help that walks you through the Wizard with stepby-step instructions.

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Designate a Spare Disk

About Spare Disks

You can designate a hard drive to be used as a spare drive for a RAID 1, RAID 0+1 or

RAID 5 array. The spare drive can take over for a failed disk. MediaShield RAID supports two types of spare drives:

Free Disk

A free disk is a disk that is not part of any RAID array, but can be used by any available

RAID 1, RAID 0+1, or RAID 5 array that requires another disk when one of its disks crashes or becomes unusable. The process is automatic and requires no user interaction.

Example: A system may have four hard disks where one disk is used to boot the OS, two hard drives are set up in a mirrored array, and a fourth hard disk is set up as a free disk. If one of the mirrored array drives fails, the free disk will be assigned automatically to the mirrored array to replace the failed disk.

Dedicated Disk

A dedicated free disk is a disk that is assigned to a RAID 1, RAID 0+1, or RAID 5 array.

The dedicated disk is used by that array only when needed - for example, during a system crash where a RAID mirrored drive is broken. The dedicated disk can be used only by the array that it is assigned to and not by any other array, unlike a free disk which can be used by any available RAID 1, RAID 0+1, or RAID 5 array.

To mark a disk as dedicated (reserve it for use by a specific array), you must have at least one free disk and you must also have at least two RAID 1, RAID 0+1, or RAID 5 arrays created.

Requirements for Designating a Spare Disk

The Designate Spare option on the Storage page appears only if all the following conditions are met.

• There must be at least two fault tolerant arrays already created.

(Some OEMS allow a designated spare to be created when only one fault tolerant array exists.)

• There must be at least one free disk with capacity equal to or greater than the smallest disk in the given fault tolerant array.

For example, if a mirror array is created with disk capacities of 40 GB and 80 GB, there should be at least one free disk available of capacity equal to or greater than 40GB to be used as a spare disk for that array.

Instructions

Click Designate spare to start the Designate Spare Wizard and then follow instructions.

You can press F1 to access the online help that walks you through the Wizard with stepby-step instructions.

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Remove a Spare

The Remove spare option appears only if you have a a RAID array with a spare disk allocated to it.

Click Remove spare to start the Remove Spare Wizard and then follow the instructions.

You can press F1 to access the online help that walks you through the Wizard with stepby-step instructions.

Migrate an Array

In a traditional RAID environment, when a user wants to change the current state of a disk or a current array to a new RAID configuration, the process of reconfiguring the new array involves multiple steps. The user must back up the data, delete the array, re-boot the

PC, and then reconfigure the new array.

MediaShield RAID allows the end user to change the current state of the disk or array to another with a one-step process called ʺMigratingʺ. This section describes the NVIDIA

Migrating process and explains how to use Migrating to convert from one RAID array type to another.

General Migrating Requirements

• The new array capacity must be equal to or greater than the previous array.

For example, it is possible to migrate from a RAID 1 array to a RAID 0 array as long as the RAID 0 array is the same size as (or larger than) the RAID 1 array.

• The number of disks in the new array cannot be less than the number of disks in the original array.

• You cannot migrate

To or from a JBOD (Spanning) array

From RAID 1 to RAID 1

From RAID 0+1 to RAID 1

From RAID 5 to 1

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Specific Migrating Requirements

The following table lists the disk requirements for a new RAID array for various migrating combinations.

Table 4.1

RAID Array Disk Requirements for Migrating

From To New Array Disk Requirements i

RAID 0

RAID 1

RAID

0+1

RAID 5

RAID 0

m > n

Number of disks in the new array must be greater than the original array.

RAID 1

m=2, n=1

RAID 1 array must include two disks, converted from a one disk RAID 0 array.

RAID 0+1

m >= 2 x n

RAID 5

Number of RAID 0+1 disks must be equal to or greater than twice the number of RAID 0 disks.

m >= n + 1

RAID 0

RAID 1

No additional restrictions.

** Not a valid combination **

RAID 0+1

No additional restrictions.

RAID 5

RAID 0

m >= 3

m >= n

Number of RAID 0 disks must be equal to or greater than the number of

RAID 0+1 disks.

** Not a valid combination **

RAID 1

RAID 0+1

m >= n + 2; where m must be an even number of disks.

The new array must include at least two more disks than the original array, and can include any even number of disks beyond that.

RAID 5

m >= n

RAID 0

RAID 1

m >= n

** Not a valid combination **

RAID 0+1

m >= 2 x (n - 1); where m is an even number of disks.

RAID 5

m >= n i. m = quantity of disks in the new array. n = quantity of disks in the original array.

Instructions

Click Migrate array to start the Migrate Array Wizard and then follow instructions.

You can press F1 to access the online help that walks you through the Wizard with stepby-step instructions.

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View Storage Information

• You can use the Storage page to view the following storage information about the hard drives in your system:

Which RAID arrays are set up

The process state of each array

Which drives are configured for each RAID array in your system

Which drives are designated as free disks

Information about each drive, such as size and model

• You can also launch various Wizards–such as the Create Array Wizard, Delete Array, and Migrate Array Wizard–from the list of links in the Related tasks section of the side menu.

Instructions

Click View Storage Configuration to open the associated page.

Figure 4.2

View Storage Configuration Page

The View Storage Configuration page provides the following information:

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Name: Indicates the RAID array type and drive model information

Status: Indicates the process state of the array.

For example, ʺHealthyʺ, ʺRebuildingʺ, ʺInitializingʺ, ʺSynchronizingʺ, or ʺUpgradingʺ

Capacity: Indicates the size of each hard drive.

For example, ʺ110.00 GBʺ

Channel: Indicates the adapter and channel (SATA port) information for each hard drive.

For example, ʺ1.0.ʺ means the hard drive is attached to Adapter 1, Channel 0.

Partitions: Indicates any partitions created on the selected array.

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About Disk Alert

The RAID manager application includes a disk alert feature that provides a graphical indication of the status of the hard disks in the system.

When the RAID manager application detects a failure condition of an attached drive, a pop-up box appears in the clock area of the Windows system tray. Click the pop-up box to view the manufacturer-provided bitmap image of the system motherboard. The image shows the hard drive connector ports and provides a visual indication of the location and status of the drives as follows:

Red rectangle: A red rectangle will flash around the port connector that is attached to the failed drive.

Green rectangle: Ports that have a drive attached, and are in a healthy state, are indicated with a green rectangle around the port connector.

Yellow rectangle: Ports that have a drive attached, are members of a failed RAID array, but are not the cause of the failure have a yellow rectangle around the port connector.

Unconnected ports have no visual indication.

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Disk Alert Examples

Figure 5.1

through

Figure 5.3

illustrate how the Disk Alert feature is implemented on an

NVIDIA reference board. The actual picture in your system will depend on the motherboard.

Example of All Good Drives

Figure 5.1

shows four green connections indicating four active SATA ports—all SATA

ports are OK.

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Figure 5.1

Disk Alert Example—All SATA Drive Connections OK

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Example of a Degraded Array

Figure 5.2

shows a yellow SATA port indicating that an array has been degraded as well

as a single black SATA port indicating that there is no longer a SATA hard drive connected to that port.

SATA drive connected to this port is part of a degraded array.

No SATA drive connected to this port.

Figure 5.2

Disk Alert Example—Degraded and Missing SATA Connection

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Example of a Failed Drive

Figure 5.3

shows a red SATA port indicating that a drive failure (or a RAID error) has

occurred.

Failed SATA drive connected to this port.

Figure 5.3

Disk Alert Example—Failed SATA Drive

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UESTIONS

The FAQ in this chapter are organized by the following categories:

Basic RAID Questions

RAID ROM Setup Questions

Rebuilding Arrays Questions

Dedicated Disk Questions

Array Migrating Questions

MediaShield Application Questions

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Basic RAID Questions

• What is RAID?

RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks, and refers to the grouping of 2 or more disk drives that the system views as a single drive. Different groupings have difference advantages that include better performance and data fault tolerance.

See “About NVIDIA® MediaShield™” on page 1 for detailed descriptions of the

different types of RAID arrays.

• What type of RAID array is right for me?

In general, for better throughput of non-critical data, use RAID 0; for fault tolerance, use RAID1 or RAID 5, and for better throughput as well as fault tolerance use RAID

0+1.

See “About NVIDIA® MediaShield™” on page 1 for detailed descriptions of the

different types of RAID arrays.

• What is the difference between a bootable and a non-bootable RAID array?

A system with a non-bootable RAID array includes a separate hard disk that contains the OS and is not part of the RAID array.

See “Creating a Non-Bootable Array” on page 20

for more information.

In a bootable RAID array, the OS is installed on the RAID array disks.

See “Creating a Bootable Array” on page 17 for more information.

• I just configured a RAID 1 array—why is the array size one-half the total cumulative size of the drives?

RAID 1 uses one-half the total disk space for data redundancy.

See “RAID 1” on page 3 for more information on RAID1 arrays.

• What is the optimal hard drive configuration for RAID 1 (mirror)?

In a mirrored array, a mirror is created using the maximum drive size of the smaller of the two drives. Ideal configuration is achieved using drives of identical size.

• How do I configure a multiple array system?

Up to eight different RAID arrays can be configured and active at the same time. You need to configure each array separately in the RAID BIOS as well as initialize the arrays in Windows.

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• Why is the cumulative size of a RAID 0 (Stripe) or RAID 0+1 (Stripe-Mirror) not equal to the sum of the drives?

The drive size is controlled by stripe blocks.

For RAID 0: Array size = (smallest drive size) x (number of disks in the array)

For RAID 0+1: Array size is = ((smallest drive size) x (number of disks in the array)) / 2

• Why can I not get into Windows after adding a non-bootable array?

Possible cause would be adding the boot drive to the array and then clearing the array.

RAID ROM Setup Questions

• Why can I not get into the RAID ROM Setup?

You must enable RAID functionality in the system BIOS as explained in

“Enabling

RAID in the System BIOS” on page 8 .

• Why do my hard drives not appear in the RAID ROM Setup?

From the RAID Config window, you must enable RAID and then enable the disks that you want to use as RAID disks. See

“Enabling RAID in the System BIOS” on page 8 for

more information.

• What is the Optimal Striping Block Size in the RAID ROM Setup?

The default optimal striping block size is 64KB. NVIDIA recommends using the optimal block size.

• What does BBS stand for in the RAID ROM [F10] setup?

BBS stands for BIOS Boot Specification. This indicates that the boot device is defined in the BIOS.

• What does “Clear Disk” mean in the RAID ROM Setup?

Clear Disk clears the MBR (Master Boot Record). This is needed to prevent invalid data from appearing in the MBR space on any of the drives included in the array. Not doing so could render the system unstable.

Rebuilding Arrays Questions

• How long does the RAID rebuilding process take?

In the rebuilding process, all data is copied from one hard drive to another and then the data is synchronized between the two hard drives. Because the rebuilding process occurs in the background in a way that does not affect system performance, the process can take some time and the time it takes depends on the size of the drive, system performance and other factors.

See “Rebuild an Array” on page 29 for more information.

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Dedicated Disk Questions

• Can I assign a dedicated disk to a striped array/JBOD or use a free disk with striped array/JBOD?

No, free disks and dedicated disks can be only used with a mirrored array, stripedmirror array, or a RAID 5 array.

• Once a dedicated disk has been assigned to a RAID 1, RAID 0+1, or RAID 5 array, can

I remove it?

Yes, a dedicated disk can be removed from a RAID 1, RAID 0+1, or a RAID 5 array.

Array Migrating Questions

• Is it possible to migrate a single bootable drive to a two-disk stripe array?

That is, if I have a single drive in the system that is not RAID enabled, then decide to add a second drive to the system, will I then be able to migrate the single bootable drive to a two-disk stripe array?

If ʺRAID Enableʺ in the BIOS RAID Config screen is not enabled when the OS is installed, it is not possible to convert the SATA boot drive into a multi-disk bootable

RAID array.

Therefore, if you want to retain the capability to migrate a single SATA boot drive into a multi-disk RAID array at a future time, you must perform the OS install onto a single disk stripe array. You can do this by following the instructions in

“Creating a Bootable

Array” on page 17

and selecting ʺRAID Modeʺ striping and then adding just your single boot disk. Then install the OS using the F6 install mechanism as described in

Step 3: Install the RAID Drivers .

Later, when you want to migrate the single disk into a multi-disk RAID array, follow the instructions in

“Migrate an Array” on page 31 .

• Can I delete an array while it is being migrated?

Yes, but doing so will erase all the data stored on the soon to be migrated array.

• Can I migrate a bootable RAID array?

Yes, you can migrate to and from any supported RAID configuration.

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MediaShield Application Questions

• What functions can be performed using the MediaShield application?

The following tasks can be performed:

View information about RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 and JBOD (as well as any supported configuration if you have more than one RAID array active)

View Free Disks

Assign a dedicated disk to RAID 1, RAID 0+1 and RAID 5

Remove a dedicated disk from a RAID 1, RAID 0+1 or RAID 5 array

Rebuild a RAID 1, RAID 0+1 or RAID 5 array

View the status of the rebuilding process

Create a RAID Array

Delete a RAID Array

Migrate a RAID Array

Synchronize an Array

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