How To Install and Setup a Hard Disk Drive For Use With A Desktop Computer and a Via RAID Controller Card

This blog will teach you everything you need to know about Raid controller cards, and how to setup a new hard drive for use with a RAID controlled system.
This blog will teach you everything you need to know about Raid controller cards, and how to setup a new hard drive for use with a RAID controlled system.

Before installing your hard disk drive please shut down your computer and unplug all cables attached to the back of your computer. These include power and monitor cables, your keyboard and mouse.

This document will outline the steps required to successfully setup and configure a hard drive using a RAID configuration and a VIA Sata / Raid Host Controller Card.

Learning Objectives and Article Overview:

A Maxtor EIDE Hard Disk Drive to be Used in a RAID Setup
A Maxtor EIDE Hard Disk Drive to be Used in a RAID Setup

The following learning objectives are presented in this article:

  1. Understand how a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID) configuration can improve the performance of a computer system.
  2. Understand how to install a RAID controller card.
  3. Understand how to configure jumper settings on a hard drive and the differences between master and slave configurations.
  4. Learn what connections are needed to connect a hard disk drive to a RAID controller card.

Prepare The Installation:

Gather Your Tools and Hardware:

This installation requires you to have the following tools and hardware:

  1. Hard Disk Drive.
  2. Internal RAID Controller Card.
  3. Phillips screw driver.
  4. (4) Standard hard drive screws.

Hardware Installation Procedures:

Before installing your new hard disk drive there are a number of pre-installation steps you must complete before any parts are installed within the computer. Before the hard drive can be installed and used you will need to install a compatible controller card. A controller card is a separate expansion card that plugs in directly to a PCI slot on the computer’s motherboard. This will define the RAID configuration.

 
The Backside View of a Maxtor IDE Hard Disk Drive.
The Backside View of a Maxtor IDE Hard Disk Drive.

Preparing The Hard Disk Drive

Before installing your new hard disk drive there are a number of pre-installation steps you must complete before any parts are installed within the computer. Before the hard drive can be installed and used you will need to install a compatible controller card. A controller card is a separate expansion card that plugs in directly to a PCI slot on the computer’s motherboard. This will define the RAID configuration.

Choosing a Mounting Area on the Computer Case for Installing the Hard Disk Drive.
Choosing a Mounting Area on the Computer Case for Installing the Hard Disk Drive.

Choose A Mounting Area

The first step is to determine the appropriate area within your computer that hard drive should be mounted into.

Make a note of where the openings are needed by the hard drive to be mounted properly internally.

Mounting a New Hard Disk Drive Into an Open 5.25" Drive Bay
Mounting a New Hard Disk Drive Into an Open 5.25″ Drive Bay

Mounting The Hard Drive To The Chassis

Gently slide the hard drive into the open drive bay.

Securing a New Hard Drive Into an Empty Drive Bay
Securing a New Hard Drive Into an Empty Drive Bay

Securing The Hard Drive To The Chassis Step #1

If you have problems securing the drive to the metal chassis try gripping the screw with needle nose pliers and glide the screw into the hole. Once you have the screw in place tighten it slightly with an appropriate Phillips screwdriver.

Securing a New Hard Drive Into an Empty Drive Bay Step #2
Securing a New Hard Drive Into an Empty Drive Bay Step #2

Securing The Hard Drive To The Chassis Step #2

Generally there are four screws to secure the hard drive to the PC case. Secure the hard disk drive to the mounting holes with a Phillips screwdriver.

It is important to secure the drive to all four openings, but don’t over tighten the screws when the hard drive is ready to be mounted.

The Backside View of a Maxtor IDE Hard Disk Drive.
The Backside View of a Maxtor IDE Hard Disk Drive.

Attaching the Power Cable To The Hard Disk Drive

On the back of the hard disk drive there is one power connector used to give the drive its juice required to function with the rest of the computer.

This power connector is a Molex 4 Pin power connector and easily identifiable as there are usually two connectors per power supply unit on for powering on two hard drives.
Connecting The Data Interface Cable to the IDE Hard Disk Drive
Connecting The Data Interface Cable to the IDE Hard Disk Drive
It is easily identifiable as four large pins that must connect up with the power connector found on the power supply cable.
It is easily identifiable as four large pins that must connect up with the power connector found on the power supply cable.
Connecting a 4 Pin Molex Power Connector to the IDE Hard Disk Drive.
Connecting a 4 Pin Molex Power Connector to the IDE Hard Disk Drive.
Connecting a Hard Disk Drive Data Interface Cable to the Motherboard
Connecting a Hard Disk Drive Data Interface Cable to the Motherboard
Connecting a Hard Disk Drive Interface Cable to a RAID Controller Card Interface
Connecting a Hard Disk Drive Interface Cable to a RAID Controller Card Interface

Connecting The Data Interface Cable

On the back side of the hard disk drive there is a 40 pin male data interface connection. This connector conforms to the UDMA 100 transfer protocol.

This port is used to connect the hard disk ribbon cable to the internal port on the computer’s motherboard.

There is usually one pin missing in this area; the hard disk connector on the motherboard is also missing one pin.

Connecting The Power Cable to the Hard Disk Drive

This power lead comes directly from the power supply unit and provides power to the hard disk drive.

This 4 Pin Female BERG connector provides the power to the hard disk drive.

Connect the 4 ping BERG power connector to the 4 pin connector on the back of the hard disk drive.

It is important to connect the power connector in the correct orientation or you might damage the power connector and cause a short, which may lead to a smoke fire and damage to the hardware.

When connecting the power cable to the drive you don’t typically have to use a lot of force; if the power connector does not fit in easily then try turning the cable upside down and re-insert the power connector into the drive.

It is important to note that the power connector should fit properly in only one direction. If the connector does not fit in easily you might be inserting it upside down; reverse the direction of the power cable and try again.

Connecting The Data Interface Cable

Connect the 40 ping data interface cable to the 40 pin connector on the back of the hard disk drive.

It is important to orient the data cable properly as inserting the cable in the wrong direction will damage the connection pins on the drive.

A good rule of thumb when installing the interface cable is to remember that the red stripe on any hard drive ribbon cable represents pin 1 on the hard disk drive connector. Pin 1 is always closest to the right on the data connector.

This stripe needs to connect to the pin furthest to the right on the data connector on the back of the hard drive.

Connecting To The Controller Card

Connect the other end of the hard disk drive ribbon cable to the connector on the RAID controller card.

It is imperative that the hard drive ribbon cable is inserted into the correct direction as you may cause damage to the card if the cable is inserted backwards.

The red stripe on the ribbon cable must match pin # 1 which is to the closest left on the controller card.

That will complete the physical part of the hardware installation. You can now close up your computer’s panelling removed in the first step of the installation.

Start up your computer and the BIOS should recognize the hard drive automatically, and attempt to configure based on the RAID controller card’s settings.

Configuring Hardware Through The Basic Input Output System

Hard disk normally don’t requiring any special configuration through the BIOS. Assuming everything has been installed correctly the RAID controller card should automatically detect the hard drive and configure it accordingly. For this installation you don’t need to make any changes to the BIOS settings.

The BIOS chip located on the RAID controller card will handle any configurations required by the operating system to detect and use the hard drive. 

Configuring Hardware Through The Operating System

Assuming everything has been configured correctly after your computer restarts your operating system will detect the newly installed hardware.

Insert the drivers disc into the CD-ROM drive or click here to download the drivers.

Once the operating system is started you will see a Found New Hardware Wizard screen that will help you install the drivers required by the hardware.

On the first screen select the option No, not this time and left click the Next button.

Setting Up a IDE Hard Drive Using Software Raid and Windows XP - Step #1
Setting Up a IDE Hard Drive Using Software Raid and Windows XP – Step #1

On the next screen select the option Install from a list or specific location (Advanced) and left click the Next button.

Setting Up a IDE Hard Drive Using Software Raid and Windows XP - Step #2
Setting Up a IDE Hard Drive Using Software Raid and Windows XP – Step #2

On the next screen Select the option Search for the best driver in these locations.

Select the option Include this location in the search.

Left click the Browse button and select the location the driver files are located.

Setting Up a IDE Hard Drive Using Software Raid and Windows XP - Step #3
Setting Up a IDE Hard Drive Using Software Raid and Windows XP – Step #3

Windows will search the location specified on the previous screen for a driver file. If it finds a compatible driver Windows will automatically install the files to get the hardware working.

The driver installation procedure will take several minutes to complete.

Setting Up a IDE Hard Drive Using Software Raid and Windows XP - Step #3
Setting Up a IDE Hard Drive Using Software Raid and Windows XP – Step #3
Setting Up a IDE Hard Drive Using Software Raid and Windows XP - Step #4
Setting Up a IDE Hard Drive Using Software Raid and Windows XP – Step #4

After successful installation the following screen will be shown.

Setting Up a IDE Hard Drive Using Software Raid and Windows XP - Step #5
Setting Up a IDE Hard Drive Using Software Raid and Windows XP – Step #5

To complete installation you’ll need to restart the system, click Yes button to restart the system as shown,

Setting Up a IDE Hard Drive Using Software Raid and Windows XP - Step #6
Setting Up a IDE Hard Drive Using Software Raid and Windows XP – Step #6

If the driver is successfully installed you’ll find an entry for the card under SCSI and RAID Controllers in the Device Manager as shown below.

Windows Device Manager Will Show a Successful Installation Once The Computer Is Rebooted.
Windows Device Manager Will Show a Successful Installation Once The Computer Is Rebooted.

You’ll find the disk as disk 1 in the Disk Management as shown below.

n the above figure Disk 1 is an unpartitioned disk so the disk will not be listed under My Computer, you can make partitions, format these partitions according to your requirements here in the Disk Management.

You may need to run Disk Management in order to initialize the new RAID disk array.
You may need to run Disk Management in order to initialize the new RAID disk array.

 

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About Mike Casimir 147 Articles
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