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RAID0 on P50 - how?

2016-05-20, 7:20 AM

The other day I received 2 Lenovo P50's, each with 2x512GB NVMe drives. The machines were ordered with RAID0, but came preinstalled with Windows 7 and without and RAID configuration.

 

I have promptly updated the BIOS to the latest version and upgraded the OS to Windows 10 Pro using Microsoft's upgrade tool, and went ahead to create the RAID0 array in BIOS.

 

Now the the problem: Windows 10 installation does not recognize the RAID0 array. When I come to the stage where I have to select where to install Windows 10, it simply says: "We couldn't find any drives." I have an option of loading a driver, but through my extensive googling I couldn't find one.

 

The array itself displays as healthy in BIOS, and if I delete it completely, I can install Windows 10 with no issues on an individual SSD drive.

 

I've spoent about an hour on the phone with Lenovo support yesterday, and after being transferred about 7 times, having to explain my issue and give my SN and details every time, I've given up on them.

 

Any help?

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Re: RAID0 on P50 - how?

2016-05-20, 12:49 PM

You cannot directly change the disk configuration for the Windows 10 upgrade. The best way to perform the upgrade is to first upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7. Then break the array and reinstantiate it. Then perform a clean install of Windows 10 to the RAID array. All of the activation data should still be present on the drives.


P53 XEON 2276 BIOS 1.22 OLED UHD 4K Multi-touch display, 96GB RAM, RTX5000, RAID 1, 1TB x 2 Samsung PM981, 1TB PM981, WWAN
P70 XEON 1505, BIOS 2.32, 4k Display, 64GB, M3000M NVIDIA GPU, RAID1 1TB Samsung PM981 PCIe-NVMe SSD x 2, 2x Samsung 850 Pro 1TB SSD. EM7455 WWAN
P1. BIOS 1.25,Xeon Processor, 4k UHD IPS multi-touch display, 32GB, PM981 1TB x 2, RAID1

I am not an employee nor an agent of Lenovo.
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Re: RAID0 on P50 - how?

2016-05-20, 12:56 PM

 

I should state that I don't actually have an operating system installed on the PC right now. So I'm not trying to upgrade, but rather perform a clean install of Windows 10 from a USB drive. Problem is that W10 doesn't recognize it.

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Re: RAID0 on P50 - how?

2016-05-20, 14:04 PM

Boot into the BIOS. Move the RAID array to the first device in the boot order. Make certain that the SSDs are below that entry. Windows 10 should now find the array.


P53 XEON 2276 BIOS 1.22 OLED UHD 4K Multi-touch display, 96GB RAM, RTX5000, RAID 1, 1TB x 2 Samsung PM981, 1TB PM981, WWAN
P70 XEON 1505, BIOS 2.32, 4k Display, 64GB, M3000M NVIDIA GPU, RAID1 1TB Samsung PM981 PCIe-NVMe SSD x 2, 2x Samsung 850 Pro 1TB SSD. EM7455 WWAN
P1. BIOS 1.25,Xeon Processor, 4k UHD IPS multi-touch display, 32GB, PM981 1TB x 2, RAID1

I am not an employee nor an agent of Lenovo.
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Re: RAID0 on P50 - how?

2016-05-20, 17:30 PM

I did like you said. Moved the RAID0 array to the first spot in boot order, then saved and restarted. When Lenovo logo showed up I hit F12 to get into boot menu and selected the USB drive with Windows 10.

 

Long story short, "We couldn't find any drives. To get a storage drive, click Load driver." :smileysad:

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Re: RAID0 on P50 - how?

2016-05-20, 18:09 PM

The reason why you can't see your RAID array in the Windows 10 installation menu is because you need to select the RSTe driver from within the Windows 10 installation setup screens.

 

The RSTe driver can be found here (http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/products/Laptops-and-netbooks/ThinkPad-P-Series-laptops/ThinkPad-P50/downloads/DS112725). 

 

Let me know if you have any additional questions. 

 

 

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  • Message 7 of 22

Re: RAID0 on P50 - how?

2016-05-21, 1:15 AM

NVMe RAID on P50 was achieved by Intel RST technology.

 

Windows 10 has NVMe driver built in (if it was not RAID).  Thus you may install Windows 10 on the NVMe drive if it's not in RAID mode.

 

Once you configure the NVMe drives in RAID mode, Windows 10 cannot see the NVMe drives anymore.  OS can see Intel RST only.  Unfortunately, Windows 10 does not have Intel RST driver built in.  Thus it doesn't see any drive available.

 

All you need to do is to download the Intel RST driver to a USB thumb drive.  Then during Windows installation, tell the OS that you'll install a custom driver and point it to the USB thumb drive.

 

Lenovo download location:

http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/products/Laptops-and-netbooks/ThinkPad-P-Series-laptops/ThinkPad-P50/downloads/DS112725

 

Intel download location:

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/25165/Intel-Rapid-Storage-Technology-Intel-RST-RAID-Driver

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  • Message 8 of 22

Re: RAID0 on P50 - how?

2016-05-21, 14:48 PM

The last two recommendations did it, I've downloaded the latest (v14.8.7.1051) RST drivers from win-raid.com and the installation went trouble-free from that point on. The RAID array is showing up as healhy in the Intel RST manager.

 

There is, however, a different issue which I didn't expect. I only see a marginal performance improvement in CrystalDiskMark. Without RAID0 I got 2450 read and ~2100 write. Now with RAID0 I am getting 2650 read and 2700 write. I expected the drive performance to increase if not by 100%, then at least about 75%.

 

As I've mentioned, I do have all the latest Intel RST and chipset drivers. Could this have something to do with block size?

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  • Message 9 of 22

Re: RAID0 on P50 - how?

2016-05-21, 14:59 PM

I've just rerun the benchmarks in CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD Benchmark.

 

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  • Message 10 of 22

Re: RAID0 on P50 - how?

2016-05-21, 15:11 PM

Check in the Device Manager for the array in Properties that you have the box in the Policies tab checked to use "Write Caching on the device"

 

Also, delete the APS program from the installed programs via the Control Panel.


P53 XEON 2276 BIOS 1.22 OLED UHD 4K Multi-touch display, 96GB RAM, RTX5000, RAID 1, 1TB x 2 Samsung PM981, 1TB PM981, WWAN
P70 XEON 1505, BIOS 2.32, 4k Display, 64GB, M3000M NVIDIA GPU, RAID1 1TB Samsung PM981 PCIe-NVMe SSD x 2, 2x Samsung 850 Pro 1TB SSD. EM7455 WWAN
P1. BIOS 1.25,Xeon Processor, 4k UHD IPS multi-touch display, 32GB, PM981 1TB x 2, RAID1

I am not an employee nor an agent of Lenovo.
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