Tutorial MondayWindows

How to: Install Windows on an AMDRAID array.

21st May 2018 — by That IT Guy0


While the new Ryzen processors are great and mark a comeback from AMD to the high end CPU market, the chipsets have left a bit to be desired from day one. While most issues have been fixed by now, AMD, in a weird move, decided to outsource the creation of their on-board “fake raid” or “firmware raid”. As far as I can tell, it’s been 2 different third-party companies that have worked on AMDRaid (one doing the initial release and another fixing it up afterwards).

Unlike with Intel RST, Windows does not automatically detect an AMDRaid array when installing. In this guide I will show you how to install Windows on an AMDRaid array.

Note 1: This guide assumes you do not currently have Windows installed in any shape or form. If you do, back up your important files and anything you want to keep from the drives you’ll be using for the RAID array as this process will erase ALL data from them.

Note 2: This guide applies to AMD Chipsets B350, X370 and X399. I do not know if these steps will work with newer chipsets as I have no means to test this.

Note 3: While in this guide I will only talk about Windows 10, with the exception of X399 chipsets (AMD Threadripper), these steps should work as well for Windows 7 and 8 for 1st & 2nd gen Ryzen cpus, 7th Gen AMD A-Series cpus with the following chipsets; A320, B350, X370 & X470. You’ll need to go to the AMD website and download the correct SATA RAID (chipset) drivers for your OS of choice (the link I’ll provide further on is exclusively for Windows 10).Furthermore, NVMe is only available on Windows 10 while conventional SATA drives will be detected by Windows 7, 8 & 10 installers.

Note 4: No x86 (32bit) version of this exists due to the requirements behind AMDRaid.

Note 5: There is a non-UEFI version (Legacy) of AMDRaid (RaidXpert) which can be accessed by setting options under CSM in the bios to Legacy. I do not recommend this as it’s slower, and will potentially cause issues in the future if you want to dual-boot with another OS. That said, with the exception of Step 5 (the steps to create a RAID array are different in non-UEFI mode), the rest should be the same. For more information on creating an array in non-UEFI mode, read the documentation here but basically, under the CSM option in the bios, set all to Legacy mode followed by restarting. You’ll now see a new prompt indicating you press “ctrl + x” to enter the raid menu, from here you can create non-uefi raid arrays.

Without further wait, follow these steps to install Windows on your AMDRaid array.

  1. Download the SATA/NVMe drivers from here (or here if the AMD website is down / file has moved). Within this package, you’ll find a folder called WTx64, copy this folder to either the Windows USB or a another USB pendrive (if the latter, ensure both are plugged in when starting the Windows installation).
  2. Start your PC and go in to the BIOS settings. (If you have Windows already installed in AHCI mode and you can’t do this, go to **1 at the end of this article).
  3. While each motherboard brand will do their BIOS layout differently, the same terms should apply. If the BIOS is started in an “Easy” or “EZ” mode, go to the “Advanced” mode.
  4. You’ll need to find an option (normally in BOOT related options) called CSM (Compatibility Support Module) and disable it (If you have Display issues after this, set it back to Enabled but set all options under it to UEFI only, not Legacy). Find the SATA Configuration option and change from “AHCI” or any other to “RAID” followed by saving, rebooting and entering the BIOS again.
  5. You’ll now need to find a new option called “AMD RaidXpert2” or similar and enter it. Here you’ll need to create a new RAID array.- If you need information on what kind of RAID array suits you best, please read my other article “RAID Systems – What are they and why on earth do we care?“. Once decided, create the array. If you need help doing this, refer to point 5.5.2 on the official RaidXpert2 documentation here (or if the AMD site is down / file is removed, click here) and search (Ctrl+F) for 5.5.2 (alternatively, depending on the browser, you can just click on 5.5.2 on the index and it’ll take you there).
  6. Save your settings, restart and boot from your Windows 10 DVD or USB drive. Once you get to the part where you select a drive, you’ll notice no drives show up (don’t panic, this is normal).
  7. Click Select the Driver to install followed by Browse.
  8. Navigate to the directory containing the AMDRaid drivers we downloaded and put in to the USB device earlier and click OK.
  9. Select the first AMDRaid Bottom Device (rcbottom.inf) driver in the list and click Next (at the Load Driver Warning message click OK).
  10. Click Select the Driver to install followed by Browse.
  11. Navigate to the directory containing the AMDRaid drivers we downloaded and put in to the USB device earlier and click OK.
  12. Select the first AMDRaid Bottom Device (rcraid.inf) driver in the list and click Next (at the Load Driver Warning message click OK).
  13. Click Select the Driver to install followed by Browse.
  14. Navigate to the directory containing the AMDRaid drivers we downloaded and put in to the USB device earlier and click OK.
  15. Select the first AMDRaid Bottom Device (rccfg.inf) driver in the list and click Next (at the Load Driver Warning message click OK).
  16. You will now see the resulting drive of your RAID array. Select it and click next.
  17. Continue the Windows installation as normal.

That’s it, if all went well, you now have Windows 10 installed on your RAID array. Go now to the AMD website and download the drivers specific to your chipset.

**1: If you have Windows 10 installed in UEFI mode with Quick start options enabled on the BIOS, you won’t be able to access BIOS settings the traditional way (pressing a key when booting up). Instead you’ll need to:

  • Navigate to Settings
  • Select Update & Security
  • Select Recovery from the left menu
  • Click Restart Now
  • Click Troubleshoot
  • Click Advanced Options
  • Select UEFI Firmware Settings
  • Click Restart (your system will then restart and automatically take you to the bios settings).


Want the video version of this tutorial? Click here! (coming soon).

Tutorial MondayWindows

How to go back to a previous version of Windows from Windows 10

28th September 2015 — by That IT Guy0


Following on with the Windows 10 tutorials, I’ve made a (surprising quick) video tutorial on how to revert to your previous version of Windows (7, 8 or 8.1) from Windows 10. Since no more steps are needed aside from what’s explained in the video, I will simply post a transcript of the video beneath it.

How to go back to a previous version of Windows from Windows 10

As a side note that I did not take in to account as was asked after I had done the video, you do not need to worry about reinstalling drivers for your hardware as long as it’s the same hardware you had before you upgraded to Windows 10 since they are part of the backup used to revert to the state your computer was before the upgrade.

How to go back to a previous version of Windows from Windows 10

Video transcript

Hello Everyone, this is That IT Guy and following the series of Windows 10 articles, today I’m going to show you how to revert to your previous version of Windows if you want or need to.

Before we start remember to back up everything as while in theory we will not need to, it’s always important to back up everything before an operating system change.

The first thing we’ll need to do is click on start followed by settings. Once there we can click on Update & Security where we can click on recovery. Remember this option will only be there if you updated to Windows 10 from a previous Windows version no longer than 30 days ago.

Once in Recovery you’ll see an option that says “Go back to Windows 7” or 8 if that’s what you had. For the purpose of this video, I upgraded from Windows 7 to 10 but the process is exactly the same for either. Note that when I say Windows 8, I also mean Windows 8.1

Once we click on Get Started we’ll be greeted with a screen that contains a quick survey, we can choose whichever option we feel is right and choose to Tell Microsoft more. When we’re ready, we can click on Next.

The process will then start and will automatically restart the computer. For the purpose of this tutorial, the video has been altered to go faster but the process can take anything from 10 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how much you have done in Windows 10 such as installing programs or creating files. While files will be kept, programs you have installed will be gone as the process is reverting our computer to how it was before we updated.

Once the process has finished we will be greeted with a quick sense of nostalgia by seeing our desktop before we upgraded to Windows 10. While personally I think Microsoft has done and continues to do an excellent job with Windows 10, I do understand it will not be for every user just yet due to incompatibilities with either hardware or, specially, specific software that users require on a daily basis. I’d be very interesting to know what your reasons for reverting to your previous version of Windows are so please do leave a comment. That’s all from me, as always you can keep up to date by subscribing here and on the website, That IT guy out.

Software TuesdayTutorial MondayWindows

How to upgrade to Windows 10 – A step by step Walkthrough

8th September 2015 — by That IT Guy0

If you haven’t yet, I strongly recommend you read the “Should I Upgrade to Windows 10” before you read this article.

Once you’ve read the previous WIndows 10 article and are sure you want to go ahead and upgrade your current system to Windows 10 and take advantage of the “free” offer, the next logical step is “How to upgrade to Windows 10”.

While the process is provably the easiest update from one Windows version to another ever made by Microsoft, it still poses several questions that you may not even know you had if you just blindly press “next” on every step of the process and cross your fingers for it to go well. Having this in mind, the following article (and video!) is a series of things we should take in to account when upgrading and the actual step by step walk-through video on how to upgrade to Windows 10. If you have any questions about Windows 10 itself, I recommend you read the previous article “Should I Upgrade to Windows 10” in which I talk about the pros and cons on upgrading to Windows 10 and, of course, what to expect from the change.

How to upgrade to Windows 10 - A step by step Walkthrough

Steps to take before we start

There’s two steps that we should really take before upgrading, one is 100% needed and the other is a recommendation that will simply make your life easier.

1: spring cleanup

One of the options we’ll get during the upgrade process is whether we want to keep our current programs or start fresh. If you choose the latter then you can ignore this step and go right to step 2. If you choose to keep your current programs and settings you should really cleanup before you start the upgrade process. Over time we can accumulate a ton of files and programs we don’t need or no longer use. During the upgrade process, Windows 10 will check compatibility with all your currently installed programs and will stop to let you know if some are not compatible at which point you’ll have to go through another couple of menus deciding what’s what and what you want to do with it. By uninstalling the programs we no longer use or simply don’t want we don’t just simply speed up the process but prevent potential issues down the line. In order to make this easier we can simply go to control panel and the “Programs and Features” option and uninstall programs from there or we can use Revo Uninstaller (which I’ve uploaded to the downloads section for your convenience).

Once this is done we want to make sure all temporary files left on our computer are deleted, for this we can use CCleaner (but please, just use the standard function, do not use the Registry Cleaner, that’s just asking for trouble) in which you can choose what you’ll like to delete (anything from temp files which is an obvious yes, to outdated cached files, browser cookies, etc). I’ve also uploaded this to the downloads section for your convenience.

2: Backup your files

It’s provably the most used phrase (after “have you tried turning it off and on again?”) by every IT guy out there and in 99% of cases, the person on the receiving end of that phrase does not listen. If you do not have a secondary drive (be it within your PC or external), buy one. Hard drive are one of the first things to go wrong in a PC over time and once it does, if you’re lucky, it’ll give you signs like for example, a ticking noise coming from it which will allow you to save your files to another drive. Unfortunately in many cases (in my experience, at least 50%) drives will completely stop working from one day to next with no obvious warning before hand. At this point there are a few things we can try to salvage data but the fact is you shouldn’t have to go through that stress and time-wasting if you’d just kept your backups up to date.

If you’re too lazy to do it manually or simply worry you’ll forget, there’s automated applications out there which you can schedule to do it for you on certain days at certain hours but this also implies that your PC will be on at those times so these applications are only mostly used in offices with a central backup destination server and not so much at home. The point is, nothing replaces a good old manual backup, getting used to doing it, even if you have a redundancy based RAID system in place (remember, this do not protect you from software failure or human error).

The Upgrade to Windows 10

Assuming you’ve followed the previous steps both here and the ones mentioned in the first article on our Windows 10 upgrade series, you are now ready to perform the actual upgrade. Before you continue however, you will need the Windows 10 Media Creation Toolkit which, as with all needed and recommended software, I’ve uploaded to the downloads section.

Download “Windows 10 Media Creation Toolkit (32Bit)” – Downloaded 2985 times – 7 MB

I’ve taken the time to do the upgrade to Windows 10 myself on a test machine and record the whole process while doing a voiceover explaining how you should proceed on each step of the way. Before you start, have in mind that while the video has been edited to fast forward through the “waiting with your arms crossed” parts down to a mere 5 minutes, the actual process can take up to 5 hours depending on your computer, your connection speed and the amount of software and files you have on your computer even after cleaning it by following the previous steps. So, make sure you choose to do this knowing full well that you’ll be there for the next few hours.

At this point your computer has now been fully upgraded to Windows 10 and activated. You should now go back to the first part of this 2-part article and scroll down to the hardware and software section where you’ll find instructions on how to acquire Windows 10 drivers for your computer if you haven’t done so yet.

Have any remaining questions or issues on How to upgrade to Windows 10 or with the upgrade process itself? Drop me a comment underneath and I will do my best to answer and/or help.

Software TuesdayTutorial MondayWindows

Should I Upgrade to Windows 10?

7th September 2015 — by That IT Guy0


Windows 10 has now been on the market for over a month. It has received several patches since and millions now have it installed. That’s all well and good but your question remains, “Should I Upgrade to Windows 10?” The answer is not as simple as Yes or No but hopefully, by the end of this article it will be for you. I will be explaining who should upgrade to WIndows 10 plus things to consider if you’re at work or home, older hardware and software and general daily use.

Should I Upgrade to Windows 10?

The first thing (and a very important one at that) to have in mind is that, despite some confusion, Windows 10 is free. Yes, free. What are the conditions of this deal?

  • Windows 10 is free for anyone that acquires is within the first year since release. This does not mean at the end of the year you’ll get a message that says you now have to pay, it literally means that if you get it before the first year is over, it’s free, for life.
  • Windows 10 is free as long as you have a licence for Windows 7, 8 or 8.1. Most prebuilt computers such as those from HP, Dell, Packard Bell, Acer, etc have a stick on the side (Desktops) or underneath (Laptops) with your Windows license. You will not need this to upgrade as long as your current Windows Install is already activated. If you bought a custom-built PC and you can’t find the sticker anywhere, check inside the DVD box you received from where you bought it. If you have neither, ask them. In any case, as mentioned, if your Windows shows as “Activated”, you’re good to go.

Windows Activated

  • Windows 10 is free both to upgrade current installs or to install fresh installs but, the device must have been upgraded once for activation before any sort of fresh installs through a bootable USB or DVD.
  • Once Windows 10 is activated. You can reinstall as many times as you like and it will automatically reactivate as long as no major components on your PC are changed (for example, a replacement motherboard and, potentially, processor (and even RAM) constitutes a new device at which point a new license will be required. Replacing something like a hard drive will not affect auto-activation with the new install.

If I don’t like Windows 10, can I go back?

One of the most common questions I’ve been asked is (due to the fiasco that was the Windows 8 interface) “If I don’t like it, can I go back?”. The answer is YES, and it’s also surprisingly easy. Microsoft has built-in a process that requires just a few clicks to roll back to your previously installed version of Windows (which is kept in the “windows.old” folder, so don’t delete that if you think at some point you’d like to go back). I will be publishing a tutorial on how to go back to your previous version of WIndows if you don’t like Windows 10 next Monday.

When I tested this functionality, it successfully took files and installed programs with it so by the time my test computer was back on Windows 7, it had everything and it was ready to go. Of course, as with any big PC operation, it would be careless to attempt this process without first making a backup of all your important files (you never know).

So, it doesn’t look like it was meant for tablets anymore?

Amazingly (and thankfully), no! I would find it hard to imagine that Windows 8 will be fondly remembered by many people. While its engine is considerably faster than Windows 7, the awful “Metro” interface that seemed that belonged on your tablet rather than your PC made everyday use a clumsy and slower process than the traditional interface that allows you to use your keyboard and mouse efficiently. Windows 10 avoids all this by returning to the classic interface that we all know and love from Windows 7, or rather, a very similar one of course (it’s not going to be exactly the same). That said, when we click start and our little start menu pops up from the start button, a slight metro-like column has been added to the right of it. Personally I don’t mind it, but users can make it smaller, large or even fully disable it if they wish. I do not find it intrusive but everyone has their own taste and thankfully Microsoft has accounted for that this time round.

Windows 10 Start Menu

What’s all this Cortana I’ve been hearing about?

Assistants are already helping you out on phones such as Google Now on Android and Siri on Apple. Microsoft intends to provide a similar experience on Desktops and Laptops with Cortana in Windows 10.

It will not allow you to control your PC by using your voice however. We can open up Cortana by clicking on the search section of the Taskbar and from there we can make web queries thanks to the universal search functionality that searches through your PC and the internet. You can also do other things like schedule appointments in your calendar, dictate notes and reminders, control your media (though this will only work with Windows Media Player and not other software such as VideoLan Player (or VLC) or audio players such as Winamp or iTunes. What is pretty interesting is that Microsoft is releasing a version of Cortana for your Android or iPhone devices so no matter what you’re using at any given time, you can still sync up your data.

What about the nonsense account requirement?

Unlike with Windows 8, Microsoft will not require you to have a Microsoft account (such as Hotmail, Live, Outlook, etc). On Windows 10 you can choose to create and use a standard Windows Account such as what we’ve done with every other Windows, ever, using whatever email address you want. That said, if you want the Microsoft-embedded features that work with OneDrive you’ll still need to sign up, so again we see Microsoft giving the power of choice back to the users.

Anything else that’s new and interesting?

An interesting feature Windows 10 adds (though by no means new, it’s existed in what I call “The people’s choice of Linux”, Ubuntu for years now) is Virtual Dekstops. With this feature you can use the Task View mode to create multiple workspaces on your PC and switch between them as if you where using several screens. This is specially useful for people like me that are used to using 2-3 screens and feel a bit lost on a Laptop due to having many windows open. You can also arrange Windows on your desktop using the “Snap Assist Feature” so that they take equivalent space around your usable work area.

I use my PC for games, should I upgrade to Windows 10?

Short answer, YES. Windows 10 comes with DirectX 12 and while no games or applications use DX12 yet, they will soon enough and the improvements are, if what they say and show is true, astronomical. Microsoft is also adding features to enhance the experience on Windows 10 such as the ability to stream games from your Xbox One (yawn) to your PC (which admittedly is very useful if someone else is watching the TV and you have no access to it), a new gameplay recording system called “PC Game DVR” and more to come.

Will my games work on Windows 10?

Aside from that, Microsoft has a list on their website on games that have been tested and their results in Windows 10 (including emulators for those retro-gamers out there) that you can view here. If your favourite game isn’t on the list, don’t panic. A quick google search of “Game Name Windows 10” will most likely show that someone has already tried it and will let you know if it’ll work straight up or if there’s a fix in the case it doesn’t. Alternatively, if you’re in to your classic old games, but simply can’t get them to run on modern systems (let alone Windows 10) Good Old Games ( is a website that makes these games fully compatible and DRM-free (software copyright protection) with the newest operating system, in this case, WIndows 10.

My PC is old and/or I have old software I need

One of the main concerns I’ve been asked about is about users upgrading their old PCs to Windows 10 with the fear that their hardware will not be compatible. Thankfully this is something we can find out about relatively easy. The first thing we need to do is find out if, in the case of our computer being made by HP, Acer, Dell, and the likes, they are releasing drivers for Windows 10. We can do this by going to the relevant manufacturer website, going to driver downloads (generally found within the support tabs), finding our model through the search box and seeing if drivers are available. Chances are that they are not and this is because unless the computer is relatively new, they will want you to upgrade your computer and not provide drivers in order to make you think you have no other choice. Thankfully however, these companies simply put computers together, they don’t manufacture the components. So, what we need to do is find out what motherboard we have as that contains the main chipset, processor (for integrated graphic drivers), audio, and data management drivers (for stability and speed). We can do this by downloading HWiNFO from the Downloads section and opening it.

What Chipset and GPU do I have?Within it we will find what Motherboard and Graphics card we have. For Graphics cards, you have a 90% chance of there being a Windows 10 driver available so that’s fine. For motherboards, it’s slightly more complex, thankfully the guys at MaximumPC have composed a continuously updated list of motherboards that have seen Windows 10 driver releases for them from which you find yours. Just go down to the manufacturer and look for your model. If it’s there you’re good to go, simply go to the manufacturer’s website, be it MSI, ASRock, Gigabyte, ASUS, ECS, etc and go to their downloads section, search for your motherboard model, choose Windows 10 as the operating system and download away.

For laptops it’s different as motherboards are a complete different picture and really we should be focusing on what chipset we have, also indicated under Motherboard in the HWiNFO application. Now that we have the information we need, we just need to go to their websites. So, if you have an Intel Chipset, you can install an auto-updater from Intel here. If you have an AMD Chipset you can do the very same here which, incidentally will also update your Graphics card if you have an AMD or ATI graphics card as it’s part of the same company. If you have an NVIDIA Graphics card you can do the same here.

Is my software compatible with Windows 10

In terms of having a program that you need to use constantly and fearing whether it will work fine in Windows 10, the only thing you can do is go to the program’s website and seeing if the developer has released a patch or a new version all together that’s compatible on Windows 10. However do not be fooled with payed-for software as while they may advertise their new version as Windows 10 compatible, there’s a huge chance yours is too if it worked fine on Windows 7 or 8.

Should I wait till the bugs are fixed?

Like any new Operating System, Windows 10 has its bugs but have in mind that if you have Windows 7 or 8 currently, you do only have 11 months left to upgrade for free. While this may now sound like a long time, it’s something that we could simply put in the back of our heads and then forget about it. The fact is that Windows 10 has had an extensive beta period that’s been tested by thousands of users in the Microsoft Insiders program which means most of the issues have been ironed out and therefore Windows 10 is quite stable at the moment (and I agree with this statement based on the fact that I’ve been using it on my daily pc for the last 4 weeks).

That said, there’s nothing wrong with waiting for a few weeks or even months if that will give make you feel safer. Just remember not to wait too long!

once you’re ready to proceed with the upgrade, click here for a full step by step walkt-though on how to upgrade to windows 10

PerformanceTutorial Monday

How to configure RAID Systems – A complete walkthrough

31st August 2015 — by That IT Guy0

If you haven’t done so yet,
I recommend you read “RAID systems – What are they and why on earth do we care” first!

Is my computer RAID compatible?

The first thing we need to check is if our computer has the ability of using Firmware RAID. The reason why I specify Firmware RAID is because every computer with Windows 7 or older (or certain Linux distros) and 2 or more hard drives is able to do Software RAID as it does not depend on specific hardware. Hardware RAID implies you already have a dedicated RAID PCI/PCI-E card and you know how to use it (and even if you didn’t, it’d be pointless to try and make a guide since every RAID card is different. If after the following you still have doubts about compatibility I recommend you read your motherboard’s manual in order to find out if it does have the capability for RAID.

What follows is a list of compatible chipsets (that covers the last 5-6 years) from Intel, AMD and VIA (remember, this is chipsets, not motherboards. All common modern day motherboards use a chipset manufactured by one of these 3 companies). that come with RAID functionality.

Intel Chipset

H87 – H97
X79 – X99
Z68 – Z77 – Z87 – Z97

Essentially, all chipsets except Hx1 y Bx5 have integrated Firmware RAID. For older models please check your manual

AMD Chipset

A58 – A78
A85X – A88X
970 – 990X – 990FX

Essentially, all chipsets except AM1 have integrated Firmware RAID. For older models please check your manual

VIA Chipset

VX(CX)700 – VX800(UT) – VX820(UT) – VX900 – VX900M
VT6410 – VT6420 – VT6421 – VT6421/A
VT8237 – VT8237R – VT8237R Plus – VT8237S – VT8237A – VT8251

Due to the nature of VIA systems, pretty much all chipsets have integrated Firmware RAID. For older models please check your manual

Unsure of what chipset you have?

If your first thought is “this list is useless to me as I have no idea what chipset I have”, do not panic. You will not have to sacrifice a goat in some ritualistic fashion in order to find out, I have a simple solution! (and frankly, considerably less messy). HWiNFO will detect what chipset you have, you can download it right here!

Once installed, you’ll be able to identify your chipset (and see if it’s on the previously detailed list).

What chipset do I have?

How do I enable RAID on my PC?

As mentioned in the previous article, there’s 3 types of RAID. Due to the fact that “Hardware RAID” (a dedicated PCI/PCI-E card) has hundreds of models and variations I will not go in to it since each one has their own installation and configuration process and in some cases it is not even possible to use the resulting RAID array as an operating system boot drive. Because of this, in this guide I will only show you how to configure and use “Firmware RAID” and “Software RAID”.

Firmware RAID:

Now that we’ve determined that our motherboard is based around a RAID compatible chipset we can move forward with the configuration. Due to the fact that most, if not all chipsets mentioned (except VIA chipsets) have a UEFI bios rather than a classic bios, I will be using UEFI screenshots to show you where to go. That said, the terms tend to be the same so if your compatible chipset is not UEFI enabled, you can configure RAID through classic bios by simply looking for the mentioned terms.

The first thing we need to do (which is VERY important) is save all data within the hard drives (or SSDs) elsewhere as drives that become part of a RAID array are wiped clean once the process is complete. Once we’re finished we can safely move the files back in to the resulting drive. Furthermore, if we’re doing a RAID array where the operating system will live in, (for example, 2x SSDs in RAID 0 for an ultra fast experience) we will need to reinstall Windows on it afterwards (obviously, since all files are deleted).

I’ll be using an ASUS motherboard for this guide. Note that all UEFIs change a bit in design depending on the manufacturer but the terms used tend to be the same so don’t let yours looking different discourage you (yes, I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere). Of course if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment at the end of the article.

How to configure RAID Systems
How to configure RAID Systems

Step 1: Under the Advanced menu, configure the SATA to [RAID Mode] (by default it will normally be in IDE or AHCI modes).

Step 2: Under the Boot/CSM section, set [Boot from Storage Device] from [Legacy OpROM First] to [UEFI Driver First], then press the “F10” key to save and exit.

How to configure RAID Systems
How to configure RAID Systems

Step 3: Upon the next POST, re-enter the BIOS again, then you will see the following differences in BIOS options: For X79 series (for example, Rampage IV), you will find the [Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology] menu under the Advanced menu, which did not show up before.

Step 3a: For Z77 series (Maximus V), just press the right key from the [Tool] tab and you will reveal additional UEFI options.

How to configure RAID Systems
How to configure RAID Systems

Step 4: Now we choose the type of RAID we want.

Step 5: and we select the settings. Generally speaking we want the biggest possible “Strip Size” and we can, if we want to, leave some of the available space out of the RAID Array to use as a traditional partition later on (though that doesn’t make much sense).

How to configure RAID Systems
How to configure RAID Systems

Step 6: …or delete them if we’ve made a mistake.

Step 7: After everything is done, save changes and exit. Your computer will now restart. If you’ve configured a RAID array that includes the drive where Windows lives you can now proceed and reinstall Windows as you would in a normal hard drive scenario. If you’ve only setup RAID on storage drives, you can now start Windows and you’ll see the resulting logical drive appear as a new drive in Windows and you’re all done.

I have UEFI, I see the IRST OPTION but not the rest…

I have an Intel Chipset that’s mentioned in the compatible list, I have UEFI and I see the “Intel Rapid Storage Technology” (or IRST) option but I simply get the Enable or Disable options within it and thing else or I simply do not get any RAID creation options, just an option to enable it.

No problem, no need to panic. Many of modern motherboards place RAID configuration outside of the UEFI. arguably so it doesn’t depend on us installing an operating system in UEFI mode (which older operating systems do not support such as XP, Vista and in some cases, 7, in which case we would ignore Step 2 in the visual guide above).

If this is the case. We activate (or enable) “IRST” within the UEFI, save changes and reboot. Just after the first screen where we see the manufacturer logo or POST details if you do not have that enabled we will see a RAID Status screen which will enumerate all drives (but pay attention as this screen only lasts a second or two!) at which point we need to be pressing “ctrl+i” in order to enter the configuration screen.

IRST Configuration

By constantly pressing “ctrl+i” and entering the configuration menu, the first thing we will notice is that it’s not as pretty as the UEFI interface but rather, looks more like an old MS-DOS program. You could say that this makes it simpler and straight to the point. At the end of the screen it tells us what keys to use to navigate the menu and we will be able to create our RAID array from here and you’ll notice it’s basically the same options as mentioned in the steps above, just not as pretty.

Once we’ve finished configuring our new RAID array, we save and reboot. At this point if you’ve had to reinstall windows (due to the fact that you’re using your newly created RAID array as a boot device (where your operating system lives) we need to go back in the UEFI or bios and tell it to boot from our new RAID array (it will appear in the hard drive list just as if it was one big drive).

Software RAID:

In order to explain how to use Software RAID I’ll be using Windows 7 as the example. The process is pretty much the same on Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 due to the fact that while visibly these operating systems may be different, their control panel options, in regards to drive operations, do not change.

Even though I did mention it in the previous article where I explain what RAID is and the types that are available, I will mention again that Software RAID only applies to storage drives due to the fact that Windows is required to already be installed since we need to go to its control panel in order to set RAID up, therefore only secondary drives can be added to the RAID array.

Software RAID is a decent option if we want to have redundancy for our files (aside from the fact that we should always keep our files in a secondary drive so if Windows gets corrup beyond fixing and we need to reinstall we will not have to worry about loosing them) or more speed if we’re using these secondary drives as program or game installation locations, specially if our motherboard does not have a RAID compatible chipset.

We should have in mind that if Windows stops working due to corruption, dead drive or any other reason or we simply wish to reinstall and start fresh, we will not be able to access our RAID array and therefore, our files straight up. HOWEVER, once our fresh new install of windows is finished we can simply go to “Control Panel – System and Security – Administrative Tools – Computer Management – Disk Management” and it will automatically detect that we had a previous RAID array in Windows and reconfigure it for us without loosing any files.

As you can see in the video, I show you how to setup RAID 1 (Mirror, for data redundancy). You’ll also notice other options and it’s entirely up to you which one to use (you can read the previous article for reference on what RAID to choose). For this to work, you’ll need 2 or more drives that have no partition (if yours do, simply select the partition and delete it, remember to move your files elsewhere first of course).

It’s worth mentioning this converts the selected drives to Dynamic drives which means we will not able to install any operating system on them (in case you where thinking about installing a secondary system on them).

And that’s it! I hope you found this guide helpful and of course if you have any questions about it or simply can’t figure out how to do it on your computer, feel free to leave a comment below.