..so this new motherboard I purchased...
(waits for Megz to stop laughing)
** begin rant **
Murphy's Law is definitely at work when trying to set up a RAID 1 on this board. In addition to the motherboard, here's an undocumented list of extra hardware and software you may need:
1. USB floppy drive - In order to load the driver in XP, you need to have the driver on a floppy disk. (link provided for those of you who do not remember floppy diskettes). The motherboard manufacturer and Microsoft both advise this method of RAID driver setup. That being said, this particular motherboard does not have a floppy disk interface - so conventional floppy drives will not work.
2. PS/2 keyboard - After I managed to get windows setup to recognize my RAID drives, it proceeded to read from the usb floppy disk - and lock-out my usb keyboard. I could not tell Windows to start installing on C:. So...one more reboot later with a PS/2 keyboard and I was loading my Windows files.
3. nLite - ...or so I thought. Even with the floppy disk successfully reading, the install asks for "Windows setup disk 1"...quite odd. To get around this (and the issues stemming from points 1 and 2), you can slipstream the driver into the Windows XP setup CD using a (FREE!) program called nLite. I know, it's alien voodoo-magic...but at this point, I was considering eBay'ing for a sacrificial goat. I re-burned my XP setup CD, armed with the AMD AHCI RAID driver for 32-bit XP and booted Windows setup once more...
4. Microsoft Vista* - ...and after windows setup formatted my C:\ partition, XP bluescreens with "please remove any recently added drive interfaces or hard drives". It never even gets to complete the Windows XP setup.
* - I have not attempted Vista installation for this motherboard just yet...that is an entirely different hive of scum and villany.
The system does run fine with XP and no mirrored-drives. (I even overvolted my RAM to 1033 speed) Also, in their defense, many of the motherboard companies have extremely poor RAID documentation, this one is no exception. But I am not going to compromise - I'm going to have a terabyte mirror.
That is what kept me from Hard Alley last night - and that's the part that hurts the most.
** end rant **