AHCI and RAID on HP Compaq EliteDesk/EliteOne 800 Business PCs - PDF

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Technical white paper AHCI and RAID on HP Compaq EliteDesk/EliteOne 800 Business PCs Table of contents Introduction... 3 Basic AHCI and RAID definitions... 3 Benefits of AHCI... 4 BIOS / Software / Hardware
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Technical white paper AHCI and RAID on HP Compaq EliteDesk/EliteOne 800 Business PCs Table of contents Introduction... 3 Basic AHCI and RAID definitions... 3 Benefits of AHCI... 4 BIOS / Software / Hardware Considerations... 4 BIOS interface... 4 Software drivers... 5 Hardware... 6 Limitations... 6 Basic RAID Types... 6 RAID 0 with two hard drives (striped)... 7 RAID 1 with two hard drives (Mirroring)... 8 RAID 5 with three hard drives... 9 Intel Matrix RAID Technology... 9 Configurations Recommended configurations Other supported configurations Unsupported configurations Configuring RAID on non-factory preinstalled configurations Enabling RAID through F10 System BIOS Accessing RAID Option ROM Configuring RAID Volume using the Option ROM on legacy systems Configuring RAID Volume using the Option ROM on Windows 8/64-bit systems s for operating system installation Intel Rapid Storage Technology software installation Using Intel Rapid Storage console interface to configure RAID RAID migrations using Intel Rapid Storage Console Configuring Intel Rapid Storage Console for notifications Installation Degradation Click here to verify the latest version of this document 2 Introduction This white paper covers the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) and Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) drive technologies that are provided on the HP Compaq EliteDesk/EliteOne 800 Business PC products. This white paper provides a basic overview of AHCI and RAID technology, factory configurations, other supported RAID configurations, and basic instructions on how to migrate non-raid to RAID configurations in the field. HP also provides a Smart IV Hard Drive technical white paper for Smart IV Technology on HP Business Desktop Hard Drives on The HP Compaq Elite 800 also supports disk caching, which is described in a separate white paper Configuring HP EliteDesk/EliteOne 800 Systems for Intel Smart Response Technology available on AHCI is a hardware mechanism that allows software to communicate with Serial ATA (SATA) devices. It is enumerated as a PCI device and it transfers data between system memory and SATA devices. HP EliteDesk/EliteOne 800-series Business PC products provide support for AHCI in single and multiple drive configurations. RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) employs two or more drives in combination for fault tolerance and performance. Initially used with servers, desktop PCs are increasingly using RAID by adding a RAID controller and extra IDE or SCSI disks. HP EliteDesk/EliteOne 800-series Business PCs take advantage of Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) technology and the integration of RAID support into select Intel chipsets. Both the EliteDesk and EliteOne 800 business PCs use the Q87 Express chipset. Basic AHCI and RAID definitions Table 1. Basic AHCI and RAID definitions Acronym or term AHCI ATA BIOS Chipset HDD ICH IDE INF Migration NCQ OS Option ROM PCH PCI PCIe Description Advanced Host Controller Interface, a specification for hardware and software, is a register interface for SATA, intended to add higher speed, NCQ and other features. Advanced Technology Attachment. Basic Input/Output System, also known as system ROM. Term used to define a collection of integrated components required to make a PC function. Hard disk drive The Input/Output Controller Hub. This component includes the mass storage controller. ICH is part of the Intel Q45 Chipset Integrated Drive Electronics Information file (.inf) used by Microsoft operating systems that support the Plug & Play feature. When installing a driver, this file provides the operating system needed, information about driver filenames, driver components, and supported hardware. Term used to describe the movement of data from one configuration or usage model to another. Native Command Queuing. Operating system Piece or software module inside the System BIOS which provides extended support for a particular piece of hardware. The RAID Option ROM provides boot support for RAID volumes as well as a user interface for managing and configuring the system's RAID volumes. Platform Controller Hub. This component includes the mass storage controller. PCH is part of the Intel Q87 chipset Peripheral Components Interface. PCI express. A serial version of PCI. 3 Table 1. Basic AHCI and RAID definitions Acronym or term PnP RAID ROM SATA Strip Stripe UEFI Description Plug and Play Redundant Array of Independent Disks. Read Only Memory. Serial ATA Set of data on a single hard drive in a RAID 0 volume. Group of all strips going horizontally across all the hard drive members of a RAID volume. Unified Extensible Firmware Interface. Specification defining firmware (BIOS and/or option ROM) that initializes hardware subsystems before the OS boot process. Benefits of AHCI AHCI provides several benefits: Elimination of master/slave handling Native Command Queuing (NCQ) Hot-plugging AHCI mode eliminates the master/slave topology for cabling SATA hard drives. Hardware and software that emulate IDE still have some limitations with the master/slave topology that came from the Parallel ATA (PATA) mass storage implementation. With AHCI mode, there is no need to worry about cabling considerations, other than the boot drive should be on the lowest numbered SATA port (dark blue connector). SATA ports are independent of each other and are not tied together by master/slave relationship. Native Command Queuing (NCQ) is technology that allows a SATA device to internally optimize the order of command execution for increased performance. Commands sent to a NCQ-capable SATA device are placed in an internal queue where they can be dynamically and intelligently re-ordered and tracked. Hot-plugging is the ability to insert a SATA device into a running system and have the operating system recognize the device. AHCI is required for esata hot-plug functionality. Refer to the Using esata on HP Compaq Business PCs white paper for more information about esata hot-plugging. BIOS / Software / Hardware Considerations BIOS interface SATA Emulation Mode SATA emulation mode can be set in F10 Setup by selecting Storage Storage Options SATA Emulation. SATA emulation mode is set to AHCI by default. This is a change from previous HP Compaq dc7xxx Business PCs, which had a default SATA emulation mode of IDE (legacy). RAID SATA emulation mode includes AHCI functionality. Customers purchasing a RAID system do not need to make any changes in F10 Setup. BIOS Support for _GTF in ACPI Mode The system BIOS supports the Get Task File (_GTF) ACPI control method while in AHCI mode. However, a Registry key is required to enable the port(s). 4 Software drivers AHCI driver In addition to setting the SATA emulation mode of AHCI or RAID in F10 Setup (See the BIOS interface section for more information), an AHCI driver is required for AHCI support. The Windows 7 image that ships with the HP EliteDesk/EliteOne 800-series Business PC has the Intel AHCI driver (iastor.sys) pre-loaded. The system can be freely switched between IDE to AHCI. In order to reuse a hard drive from a RAID configuration in AHCI mode, it is necessary to remove RAID metadata from the drive. This can be accomplished using low level system format or Option ROM interface. For customers who do not use the pre-installed HP image, there are several scenarios for using AHCI: New operating system installation A fresh installation of Windows 7 or Windows 8, while in AHCI mode, is the most straightforward way of installing the AHCI driver. Windows 7 or Windows 8 have native AHCI support, so either the native AHCI driver will be used or the Intel AHCI driver can be added. An existing Windows 7 or Windows 8 image using the native AHCI driver can be updated to use the Intel AHCI driver (iastora.sys). The driver can be downloaded from hp.com. Enhancing existing Windows 7 images from IDE mode or native AHCI mode. Windows 7 has a native AHCI driver. If Windows 7 was installed while in IDE mode, a registry change will allow users to gracefully switch to AHCI mode using the Microsoft driver. See the Microsoft Knowledge Base Article at Corporate IT may be able to update an existing Window 7 image that was created in IDE mode to use the Intel AHCI driver. The process requires inserting the Intel AHCI drivers into the image in a pre-installation environment using the appropriate OS Tools. Required software to insert the Intel AHCI driver: Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) CD Windows OPK (OEM Preinstallation Kit) CD PKGMGR.EXE (Package Manager) The OPK CD is not available for general download. It must be obtained through a Microsoft authorized distributor. PKGMGR.EXE is a tool that installs, uninstalls, configures, and updates features and packages for Windows 7 or Windows 8. For more information and instructions on OPK or PKGMGR.EXE, go to The process is as follows: 1. Boot into WinPE. 2. Run PKGMGR.EXE from OPK. A sample command line is as follows: pkgmgr.exe /o: c:\;c:\windows /n: c:\addahci\hp-ahci.xml where C:\AddAHCI\HP-AHCI.xml contains the following: ?xml version= 1.0 ? unattend xmlns= urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v3 xmlns:wcm= http:// schemas.microsoft.com/wmiconfig/2002/state settings pass= offlineservicing component name= microsoft-windows-pnpcustomizationsnonwinpe processorarchitecture= x86 publickeytoken= 31bf3856ad364e35 language= neutral versionscope= nonsxs DriverPaths PathAndCredentials wcm:keyvalue= 1 5 Path C:\AddAHCI /Path /PathAndCredentials /DriverPaths /component /settings /unattend 3. Reboot the computer. 4. Enter F10 Setup and change SATA Emulation mode to AHCI. 5. Reboot the computer into the OS. An existing Windows 7 or Windows 8 image using the native AHCI driver can be updated to use the Intel AHCI driver (iastor.sys). The driver can be downloaded from hp.com. Be careful when moving an image to computer with a different chipset. The Device ID of the AHCI controller must match what is in the INF or the AHCI driver will fail and the computer will not boot. Hardware The HP EliteDesk/EliteOne 800series Business PCs uses Intel chipsets that support an AHCI-capable Host Bus Adapter (HBA). This HBA supports ATA and ATAPI devices in both PIO and DMA modes with NCQ as long as the device supports NCQ. All hard drives shipped with the HP EliteDesk/EliteOne 800-series Business PCs are NCQ capable. Limitations NCQ functionality requires both HBA and hard drive to support it. Non-NCQ capable hard drives will not see any performance benefits even though the HBA is NCQ capable. Hot-plugging is not possible in an operating system without an AHCI driver that supports hot-plugging, such as DOS, Windows 9x, Windows NT4.0, and older versions of Linux. Changing AHCI to IDE Mode through the HP Replicated Setup Utility: Multiple AHCI systems can be reverted back to IDE mode using the HP Replicated Setup Utility. This utility allows for system BIOS settings to be replicated and distributed throughout an enterprise. The procedures and information about how to obtain the Replicated Setup Utility are described in the HP white paper UEFI BIOS Tools for HP Business Desktops available at Basic RAID Types This section provides a brief explanation of the supported RAID configurations for HP EliteDesk/EliteOne 800-series Business PCs. 6 RAID 0 with two hard drives (striped) HP supports RAID 0, but we do not recommend it for business PC users. Lack of redundancy causes less than half the reliability of a single hard drive system since the Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) of RAID 0 is equal to the MTBF of an individual drive, divided by the number of drives. Table 2. RAID 0 with two hard drives (striped). Figure 1. Performance RAID 0 with two HDDs First disk Second disk A B C D Data Segment 1 Data Segment 2 Data Segment 3 Data Segment 4 Data Segment 5 Data Segment 6 Data Segment 7 Data Segment 8 Data Segment 9 Data Segment 10 Data Segment 11 Data Segment 12 Data Segment 13 Data Segment 14 Data Segment 15 Data Segment 16 A C E G B D F H HDD 1 HDD 2 In table 2, each Data Segment n represents a group of data, known as a strip. In this case, each row represents a stripe. RAID 0 represented in the table above shows how information is segmented, made into chunks or strips, and stored across the stripes of the hard drive members of this RAID volume. To illustrate the concept of RAID 0 and striping, Figure 1 shows how a sequence of data ABCD... is stored in a RAID 0 mode. In this example, each letter represents a segment or strip. The graphic shows how the various pieces of the information go to different hard drives. If any segment of RAID 0 fails, all information from all members is lost. At a higher reliability cost with faster performance, the HP Compaq EliteDesk/EliteOne 800-series Business PC Convertible Minitower also allows for RAID 0 with three hard drives. RAID 0 with two or three hard drives is a supported configuration. RAID 0 with three hard drives is shown in Figure 2. Figure 2. Performance RAID 0 with three HDDs. A B C D A D G J B E H K C F I L HDD 1 HDD 2 HDD 3 7 RAID 1 with two hard drives (Mirroring) Because it is a very cost-effective way to increase system storage reliability and a great value proposition, RAID 1 is the only RAID configuration that HP pre-configures for HP EliteDesk/EliteOne 800-series Business PCs. RAID 1 provides high availability with minimal performance impact, as well as greater reliability compared to a single hard drive configuration. RAID 1 has redundancy and hence is a true RAID. It more than doubles reliability because the MTBF of RAID 1 is equal to the MTBF of an individual drive multiplied by the number of drives (2). In other words, the probability of one hard drive failure on a given day is the square root of that same probability. Hypothetically, if the chance for a single hard drive failure is 1:2000, then the chance that both hard drives failing in RAID 1 is 1:4,000,000. Mirroring, segmentation, and striping have no real meaning in RAID 1. In the table and graphic, the data is arranged in rows for representation of different pieces of data. Table 3. RAID 1 with two hard drives (mirrored). First disk Second disk Figure 3. Reliability RAID 1 with two HDDs A B C D Data Segment 1 Data Segment 1 Data Segment 2 Data Segment 2 Data Segment 3 Data Segment 3 Data Segment 4 Data Segment 4 Data Segment 5 Data Segment 5 Data Segment 6 Data Segment 6 Data Segment 7 Data Segment 7 Data Segment 8 Data Segment 8 A B C D A B C D HDD 1 HDD 2 In Table 3, each Data Segment n represents a group of data, known as a strip. In this case, each row represents a stripe. This table shows how information is duplicated in both hard drives. The size of the strips is mostly irrelevant and not a configurable option. To illustrate the concept of RAID 1 and mirroring, Figure 3 shows how a sequence of data ABCD... is stored in a RAID 1 volume. In this example, each letter represents a data segment. The graphic shows how the various pieces are replicated for both of the hard drives; hence, if any one member of the RAID 1 volume fails, the information is kept in the surviving members. After a hard drive failure, the user interface sends a notification so the failed hard drive can be replaced. No user information is lost in this scenario. 8 RAID 5 with three hard drives RAID 5 has been used in servers for many years and is one of the most common types of RAID. RAID 5 uses striping with parity data in distributed blocks across all member disks. Therefore, the mass storage controller can simultaneously write new information to two hard drives and parity information to the third hard drive, so if one hard drive fails, the RAID controller can rebuild all the information after the volume degradation occurred. Hence, RAID 5 with three hard drives has similar performance to RAID 0 with two hard drives, and the reliability of RAID 1 with a minimum of three hard drives. Table 4. RAID 5 with three hard drives (parity). First disk Second disk Third disk Data Segment 1 Data Segment 2 Parity for 1 and 2 Data Segment 3 Parity for 3 and 4 Data Segment 4 Parity for 5 and 6 Data Segment 5 Data Segment 6 Data Segment 7 Data Segment 8 Parity for 7 and 8 Data Segment 9 Parity for 9 and 10 Data Segment 10 Parity for 11 and 12 Data Segment 11 Data Segment 12 Data Segment 13 Data Segment 14 Parity for 13 and 14 Data Segment 15 Parity for 15 and 16 Data Segment 16 Parity for 17 and 18 Data Segment 17 Data Segment 18 Figure 4. RAID 5 with three HDDs. A B C D E F A C PE-F B PC-D E PA-B D F HDD 1 HDD 2 HDD 3 Intel Matrix RAID Technology This technology provides protection against data loss from a hard drive failure and faster access to digital photo, video, and music files by supporting NCQ as well as RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10. As shown in Figure 5, Matrix RAID enables two RAID levels to be combined for data loss protection plus performance. 9 Figure 5. Matrix RAID combining reliability and performance with the same two hard drives. A B A A C D B B E F C C G H D D HDD 1 HDD 2 2 HDDs on RAID 0 RAID 1 partition (mirroring for reliability) HDD 1 HDD 2 2 HDDs on RAID 1 A B E A B F G H RAID 0 partition (striped for performance) HDD 1 HDD 2 Using Intel Matrix RAID Technology, you can configure an HP EliteDesk/EliteOne 800-series Business PC Convertible Minitower with two RAID volumes using three hard drives (Figure 6) - a RAID 0 volume for ultimate performance, and a second volume as RAID 5 with reliability and performance improvements. Figure 6. Matrix RAID combining reliability and performance with the same three hard drives A C PE-F B PC-D E PA-B D F HDD 1 HDD 2 HDD 3 A B C D E F G H I HDD 1 HDD 2 HDD 3 3 HDDs on RAID 5 3 HDDs on RAID 0 RAID 5 partition A C PE-F A D G B PC-D E B E H RAID 0 partition PA-B D F C F I HDD 1 HDD 2 HDD 3 10 Configurations Recommended configurations HP recommends factory configurations of the preinstalled RAID offerings for HP EliteDesk/Elite 800-series Business PCs. The preinstalled RAID offering is a RAID 1 volume of two identical SATA hard drives. HP EliteDesk/EliteOne 800-series Business PCs are based on Intel chipsets that provide a combined hardware and software RAID solution. The Intel mass storage controller allows all drives to operate in IDE or RAID SATA modes. Each mode of the controller means a different PCI controller, with different device ID, class code, and driver support. CAUTION The PCI Device ID of the mass storage controller changes after changing SATA emulation mode in the BIOS. Changing the BIOS from AHCI mode to RAID mode is the equivalent of connecting the hard drives to a new add-on RAID storage controller. The installed operating system on the hard drive is unaware of this new mass storage controller. If the operating system does not have the RAID drivers enumerated and PnP for the RAID controller, the operating system will fail to boot (blue screens) when Windows 7 or Windows 8 attempts to boot. Table 5. RAID drives. Mode Purpose Minimum drives required RAID 0 Striped for Performance. 2 RAID 1 Mirrored for Protection. 2 RAID 5 Parity for Accuracy. 3 RAID Mirrored and Striped. 4 (Not supported on HP EliteDesk/EliteOne 800-series business PCs) Intel s Rapid Technology 4 logical drives on 2 physical disks, to emulate RAID 0 and 1 2 The following notes are important for RAID configurations: RAID 1 is the only RAID configuration that HP EliteDesk/EliteOne 800-series Business PC products offer as factory configuration option. All pre-configured systems: Are complete RAID systems Have both drives installed Have the necessary Option ROM configuration Are pre-loaded and pre-installed with all required Intel software Include a preinstalled operating system that is mirrored mode out of the box We also recommend keeping the default options in the RAID Option ROM and in the Windows RAID application. Options like chunk size for changing the size stripe size have more history in their defaults settings. 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