Vista Upgrade, Raid Controller problem.

  robevanz 16:51 18 Feb 2008

I have a PC running Windows XP Home which is installed on a 160gig Pata HDD which is nearly full. I recently installed a 2nd HDD, a Sata, 320gig. During installation I was unexpectedly presented with having to 'configure the array' using 'Fast track utility 376', so it is now configured as a 'stripe'. Now, on booting up, a
new message appears briefly concerning pressing a key for the Fast Track controller after a pause, booting continues as normal.

I have run the Vista Upgrade Advisor as I intend installing Vista Home Premium on the Sata HDD, to dual boot with XP. The Vista Upgrade Advisor says that a driver will not work with Vista, namely this 'Fast Track Utility 376' by Promise Technology, a Raid Controller. I've been to Promise Technology's site but cannot find the driver listed so can't get an update. I tried contacting them but got no reply.
My question is, do I need to use this blasted Raid Controller at all? If not, can I safely disable it? If so, how do I go about it in the BIOS?
Alternatively, if I disregard all this and go ahead with the Vista installation, what will be the repercussions of the driver not working as the Upgrade Advisor said?

Will I be able to install Vista to the Sata disk? It's frustrating to be stumped at this stage and any help would be most welcome!
The motherboard details: Soltek SL-75FRN2 socket A
nVIDEA nFORCE Ultra 400.

Please, keep it simple, I have looked at Raid Controller problems in the search here but couldn't find a solution specific to this problem.

  crosstrainer 16:58 18 Feb 2008

Able to enter your BIOS (Usually by pressing the DEL key on bootup) and if your RAID controller is onboard rather than a seperate card, there will be an item dedicated to RAID, you can disable it, but may have to reformat your new SATA drive prior to installing Vista.

However, if this RAID controller IS onboard, Vista will still find it upon installation and it may end up in device manager with a yellow exclamation mark nest to it (Unknown device or driver not installed. You may find a Vista BIOS upgrade here:
click here

  Totally-braindead 17:02 18 Feb 2008

From what I could see it seems to be that the Soltek website is gone and stopped in 2005 and if thats right then you might not get a RAID driver for it unless you can get one from Promise, I looked on Promises website and couldn't see it either so I think your only chance would be if one of the driver website has it.

  crosstrainer 17:09 18 Feb 2008

Or an add in card? If it's an add in you can remove it from your system, although I'm not sure about the re-cabling not having seen the machine.

Promise used to make add on RAID cards....

  robevanz 12:46 19 Feb 2008

Thanks both of you for such swift responses!
Crosstrainer; I've been all through the BIOS settings and there's nothing about the raid controller there. I really don't want to mess about looking for a board or changing cabling so I suppose I'm lumbered with it.I had great hopes of the driver page you found but there is no live download link to get it!! I told the website.
Totally Braindead; I will look elsewhere for a driver, maybe I'll strike lucky.
I'm now inclined to go ahead with installing Vista. If the worst that can happen is a yellow exclamation mark I can live with that. My fear has been that the Sata drive might not work at all due to this driver being 'wrong'.
I'm putting the project on hold for a week as I'll be away but I'll return to say how it went if that's going to be of any interest?
Thanks again!

  crosstrainer 12:49 19 Feb 2008

BIOS has no mention of it, then it is indeed a slot in card (PCI) you may well have issues if you proceed with the installation, as your hard drives are connected to the RAID card.

I would backup everything you want to keep before you try, If windows cannot find a driver for this card (and I doubt it will) you may have to consider removing it and re-cabling your hdd(s)

This will depend on the connections on your mobo.

  Totally-braindead 12:54 19 Feb 2008

Just to confirm if you don't install RAID it will still work as its not an essential driver but obviously you won't get the RAID to work.

Slightly off track but I am a bit concerned about the spec of your PC. What I mean is you might find it terribly slow under Vista and since the website for Soltek no longer seems to be there anymore the only Vista drivers you will have for your motherboard are the ones on the Vista disk and I have concerns about this. They might work perfectly but the Vista advisor told me everything was fine until I installed Vista and then some bits weren't quite right and I needed to download Vista drivers. Anyway I'm back on XP now anyway.

Obviously until you try it you cannot be sure but be aware that you might have problems.

  Totally-braindead 12:55 19 Feb 2008

Just read crosstrainers post and now am not sure all will work without a driver for this.

  crosstrainer 13:02 19 Feb 2008

I think the only way ahead (and you are quite right, the machine is no longer supported, and I'm afraid will run like glue) Is to remove that RAID card, and cable the hdd(s) into IDE / SATA connectors. Hardware wise, that should allow an install, but as you say, it's gonna be slow.

  robevanz 13:15 19 Feb 2008

Thanks for your concern, I'll bear all that in mind.
I tried installing Vista as the only OS on this PC when it only had the 160gig pata HDD and it was indeed slow. Since then (apart from the sata HDD)I've put more Ram's 2 gigs now and I have to get a better graphics card if I go ahead.

I also returned to XP after a miserable 2 weeks.
It's my own silly fault that I used the Vista licence key on that first installation so it's committed now to this machine.However, if this proves to be yet more troublesome then I'll just have to write the cost off.
Ho hum.
BTW, is this Soltek MObo so rubbish? I don't know much about them in general but it was fitted in 2005 by a local computer repair shop and I suspect it's a rip off.

  robevanz 13:18 19 Feb 2008

I am sure there isn't a Raid card in a PCI slot. Can that be so? I connected the sata disk to the proper sata connector on the mobo.
Sorry, I didn't see that last until after I posted.

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