Friday, April 09, 2010

Remove POST delays in boot of computer formally using RAID-0

Yes, I'm still going on about the Dell Dimension 9200 that I'm in the process of rejuvenating.
Right now, principally after replacing the failed graphics card, it's working well and dual booting Windows Vista and Ubuntu Karmic.
However, whereas the original machine had two 250 GB HDDs arranged in a RAID-0 array, I had removed RAID completely and now have two separate HDDs.
A big problem, though, was that the Intel Matrix Storage Manager intervened during the POST operations to invite you to Press Ctrl-I in order to play around with the RAID setup. This actually added about 35 seconds to the boot time.
As I no longer used RAID and didn't intend to in the future, it was time to get rid of this.
To do this you must enter the BIOS and go to SATA Operation. Here you must change from the default RAID ON to RAID Autodetect/ATA.
On this page you will see warnings that this change may cause the computer to become unbootable.
When I tried to boot, sure enough, Vista wouldn't go. It suggested that I should try a Repair Computer using the install DVD but this did nothing for me.
Strangely, Ubuntu booted as normal from the Grub menu without any problem whatsoever.
However, the good news is that I reached the Grub menu in less than 5 seconds compared to about 45 seconds with RAID ON so that's a huge improvement.
I do understand however, that AHCI will no longer be available to me in this arrangement so I'll wait to see how significant this is.
For Vista, I had to re-install.
But, this machine, which was almost being written of just two weeks ago, is now really starting to look very nifty.

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