Solved – Slow startup on ICH8R / Asus P5B-E / SATA RAID Disks

Since I swapped out four 250Gb SATA drives for two 750Gb drives the startup time has been delayed by a matter of minutes as the ICH8R Raid Controller sat thinking about detecting the new drives. Changing the BIOS setting from RAID to IDE removed the problem completely, but alas no RAID.

I recently came across a known bug on the ICH8R Chipset where the controller would stall for 1.5 minutes if SMART was disabled on the drives. It turned out that the disks SMART status was set to Auto and this was enough to cause the delay. It is not obvious when the disks are in RAID configuration though as there is no setting for SMART. However if you change the Controller to IDE and set the SMART status of the drives to Yes then go back to RAID, this solved the problem in my case. Below are the details of my particular resolution.

BE WARNED – Changing the configuration of your RAID system could result in a total loss of data. If you are not confident doing this ask someone who is.

Configuration

Asus P5B-E Motherboard
2 x Samsung 750Gb SATA Drives

  1. Turn on Workstation and enter the BIOS by pressing Delete
  2. On the first page of settings choose IDE Configuration
  3. Change Configure SATA as from RAID to IDE
  4. Press escape to go back to the first screen
  5. A bunch of SATA entries will be displayed with Not Detected as the value
  6. Enter each of the disks and ensure that Smart Monitoring is set to Enabled
  7. Go back to IDE Configuration as in Step 2
  8. Change Configure SATA as from IDE to RAID
  9. Press F10 to exit and save changes then choose OK to confirm

Your BIOS may be slightly different, but this should be enough to give you an idea if this is your problem too.

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