Need advice for rebuilding my MP

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by porthosmac, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. porthosmac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    #1
    Current Mac Pro :
    octo 2.93
    12 gb
    4 X 1tb HD RAID 0 data
    1X SSD intel G2 80 GB boot (10 gb for XP SP3)
    Mac os 10.6 (which is not as stable as I expected)

    I want to switch to Win 7 64 ultimate. Mostly for games but also for VPN (work).

    I just heard about the new Trim firmware for the SSD (Win only)

    I am considering to install Win on the SSD (dedicated) and modifiing the RAID as follows: 2X 1 TB boot (raid 0) and 2X 1 TB data (raid 1)
    What do you think?
    Thanks
     
  2. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #3
    I'm not quite understanding you on the RAID. Are you establishing the array under Windows or OS X?

    Please understand, that Windows and OS X don't use the same partition systems, so an array created under one won't be available in the other OS. Nor can you use BC to install windows on an OS X based array. For that situation, you'd need a separate drive for Windows.

    However, if you want a Windows only setup, it's possible. Though keeping a small OS X installation is a good idea to check for firmware updates. And the stability issue will likely be addressed by one of the updates to come. Perhaps in 10.6.2. If it's 10.6.5.... or later, then maybe relegating OS X to minimal use would be of use to you, and just launch Windows by default (rEFiT might help make this easier, and look nicer as well).
     
  4. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #4
    If you want to switch OS X to the RAID array and run Seven off the SSD thats definitely doable. You need to install Windows first before you do the array.
     
  5. porthosmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 31, 2009
    #5
    Thanks for your reply Nanofrog.


    I do most of my work on mac os X so I want to keep it on the HDD (RAID).
    Win will be installed only on the SSD. OS X on raid.
     
  6. porthosmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 31, 2009
    #6
    @ gugucom

    How do I proceed? SSD is partitioned mac/xp
    I have to kill the raid, reinstall os X on it and bootcamp the ssd for 7?
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #7
    Easy enough.

    1. Set up the array/s.
    2. Install OS X to the boot array (clean, clone, backups; your choice if you have the pre-requisites).
    3. Install Windows on the SSD (no Boot Camp partition required, but you will need the disk for the drivers and software to remap the eject function to the keyboard).
     
  8. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #8

    I would clone OS X on the RAID. Make a Winclone image of your XP also on the array or on any internal or external HFS+ HDD. Use disk utility booting from your RAID to partition the SSD in HFS+ with GUID option. Then use Bootcamp utility to make the SSD Windows only. Then temporarily disconnect the RAID. Boot the Windows install disk to format or partition the SSD in NTFS and shut down. Re connect and boot the OS X array and use Winclone to put your XP image back on the SSD. Finished
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #9
    I didn't think the array would need to be disconnected in an '09. :confused:

    Windows should just ignore it, and as you have the ability to select the Win OS drive anyway, even if it shows a drive letter for the array. Not sure what the issue would be (OS X GUID shouldn't affect a totally separate drive).
     
  10. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #10
    Well, you can try with the array connected. It depends of the install disk finding the bootcamp partition. I have never tried on a MP4,1 to run Windows install with RAID connected because I use a RAID card for my OS X array. I would be interested to find out how it goes.

    I actually forgot one point. If you want to make optimum use of the fast SSD you need to set the driver for the four HDD device to AHCI driver.
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #11
    The card's a bit different, as you're booting OS X off of it. It shouldn't be a problem for a card in a non-boot setting, or when the drives are attached to the logic board (ICH10R in the case of the '09 models).
     
  12. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #12
    As I said I never tried with ICH10R but I know that there was an issue with ESB2 in the 2006, 2007 and 2008 models.
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #13
    Hmm.. I don't recall an issue with the ESB2 or with RAID cards that were posted on. CalDigit had the ability to connect the logic board to the card to retain BC, and with the Areca I tried, you could attach a drive as a Pass Through, and setup a Windows boot disk that way.

    I've not tested with an '09 at all, so the lack of issues with the ICH10R is a presumption, as I've not noticed any hardware issues. It's possible, that's why I prefer to test if at all possible. :p
     
  14. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #14
    Tesselator was one of the users who reported that his MP1,1 with ESB2 would not allow a Windows installation when a SW RAID was connected to it. The Windows install disk would simply not recognize all other SATA ports and treat them as if they were external ports. With Raid cards I do not think that such an issue is known, at least I have not encountered it with my Highpoint or Areca cards.
     
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #15
    On the '06 - '08, you had to load the AHCI drivers during the Windows installation process to "reveal" the ports on the logic board IIRC, in the same manner you install the RAID card drivers, then hit "Refresh" to avoid getting an error on a drive that just showed up. The difficulty lies in the fact the added steps aren't common knowledge, but not that difficult in actual proceedure. Keep in mind, my experimentation with this has been limited to Vista and Win7 as of late. I've given up on XP, as I had to have 64bit that would work. :rolleyes: A newer OS was also quite appealing, as the transition would have to be made anyway. :p

    It's still a PITA. When you were working with the '06, what threw me, was the need to deal with the ISO standards issue (the whole ; bit). That would be even worse to deal with, and I'd expect cause many to give up.

    Posting that has saved others some serious aggravation I'd think. :D
     
  16. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #16
    I do not think that the AHCI driver has something to do with the issue that Windows rejects SATA ports as external. I have not made any experiments but I believe that it is simply a reaction to the presence of a SW Raid array.
     
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #17
    I'm thinking the way the firmware's written is the issue. Without the AHCI drivers, the system defaults to the IDE channel as the boot location under Windows, which typically only has the single optical drive on those systems.

    They had to solve it with the '09 models, as they eliminated the IDE port.

    We need a Software Test Dummy. ;) :p
     
  18. goMac macrumors 603

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    #18
    I would wait for 10.6.2 or revert back to 10.5.

    I've been working on Windows 7 for the last few months, it's extremely similar to Vista, and I'd use 10.5 over it.

    In addition, I have had stability issues with Windows 7.

    (For reference, I'm a software engineer so I do a lot of stuff involving software compatibility. Windows 7 displays the exact same bugs with our software that Vista displayed.)

    (Of course you're welcome to dual boot, I'm just saying, Windows 7 is pretty much Vista with a new task bar. Don't expect a miracle there.)
     
  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #19
    What systems have you tested it on, and which version of Win7 (even RC or RTM)?

    The biggest PITA I've encountered with the 64bit version (RTM), has been with IE8. The last update to it has improved, but it's not quite where it should be in terms of stability (random crashes, but at least it doesn't cause a BSOD). I guess that's an improvement... :p
     
  20. goMac macrumors 603

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    #20
    Two Mac Pros, a Macbook Pro, and a Quad Core 2. RTM, I have MSDNAA at home and MSDN proper at work. I don't think I tried any of the betas. I've had BSOD's on my Macs though, and currently Windows 7 won't boot in Vmware (2 or 3), it's just BSOD'ing on boot, where Vista worked fine.

    It's pretty much the exact same thing as Vista. The only difference is that most new software was made Vista compatible, so now that most people have software that is up to date for Vista, people think Windows 7 is great, when really it's just a rehash of Vista.

    Our software company ignored any reported bugs for Vista for our software (a mistake IMO) because we assumed Microsoft would fix them in 7. 7 hasn't changed anything and our bugs our still there, and now we have to fix them anyway.
     
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #21
    Ah. I've not had the ability to test it on Apple hardware. I keep thinking the drivers may be part of the issue (the BSOD on boot might fall into this).

    For Nehalem (i7-920, non Apple), the version of the Intel Matrix Storage Manager matters (8.9.1023 causes failed restarts for example).

    It definitely needs loads of testing. Mine's been more limited to RAID functionality, not as much on software applications (the one's tested are various utilities, such as backup packages). It's actually more stable than Vista, which wasn't horrible. But it did take new drivers from the card maker (still Beta, but they work) to do so however.
     
  22. porthosmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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