Recently I have totally revised and unified my instructions and tips regarding the integration of the nForce RAID and S-ATA drivers. Instead of 2 different guides for 32bit and 64bit Operating Systems you will get all needed informations within one single guide usable for XP, XP x64, W2k3, W2k3 x64 and W2k.
You will find the actual pooled guide here.
If you have any questions or comments regarding the integration of nVRaid drivers into XP x64 or W2k3 x64, please post it into the linked thread.
Here is the old guide, which will not be updated anymore:
Windows XP x64 or Windows Server 2003 x64
Many users with a NVIDIA Raid system on their computer know about the problems, when they try to install Windows XP x64 or W2k3 x64:
Even if they have a floppy drive and integrate the newest nForce SataRaid or PataRaid drivers by the F6-method, they get bluescreens or endless reboots at the end of the installation. The reason for this strange behaviour is the fact, that the actual NVIDIA Raid drivers are still not correctly digitally signed with the consequence, that the XP installation routine does not trust them. During the second (GUIMODE) part of the installation the correct (but uncertified) NVIDIA drivers are replaced by wrong (not working) Microsoft PCI-IDE standard drivers.
The only chance to prevent these problems is to create an Unattended Install CD with integrated nVRaid drivers using a method to enforce the installation of the correct NVIDIA drivers.
After a lot of tests with nLite I have found 2 different methods to enforce the installation of the correct x64 nForce Raid and nForce S-ATA drivers und to prevent endless reboots at the end of the XP setup:
1. Method by directly enhancement of the x64 NVIDIA drivers (OemInfFiles-Method)
2. Method by suppression or removal of other interfering drivers (Driver-Suppression/Removal-Method)
New and very easy method with nLite
The actual versions of nLite (v. 1.0 or higher) offer the safest and easiest way to integrate the nVRaid drivers.
- fully automaticly method (without creating new directories or editing SIF or OEM files)
- without restriction of any kind during the use of nLite
Here is the way to do:
Attention: The following guide is only useful for users with an nForce Raid array!
Description of the Driver-Integration-Method
by using nLite(valid for v. 1.0.1 or higher)
You only will succeed with the integration of the nForce SataRaid drivers, if you have
- an up-to-date mainboard BIOS (actual nVRaid drivers may need a Raid Bios v. 4.84 or higher)
- a stable system (proper RAM modules and stable BIOS settings, no overclocking!)
- an original or perfectly created Windows XP x64 or Windows Server 2003 x64 CD
- a proper working IDE-connected CD or DVD drive
- an enabled ACPI power management (within BIOS, don't disabe it by nLite settings).
- You can see the nVRaid BIOS version of your system on the second boot screen. If you can't get a Raid BIOS version v. 4.84 or higher unless having flashed the latest mainboard BIOS, you might get problems with the integration of the latest nForce SataRaid drivers. In this case you should take the old 64-bit nForce chipset driver package 6.56, which is not native 64-bit and usable with an older RAID BIOS.
- It is a good idea to unplug all unnecessary extern hardware devices during the install of the OS with integrated nVRaid drivers.
- If you have any hard disk drive outside your RAID array or a plugged-in USB stick, you may get the problem, that the MS Setup routine tries to install the master boot record (MBR) onto that non-RAID device, although you have set the RAID array as first bootable hard disk drive within BIOS. The only possibility to prevent this is to unplug these non-RAID devices during the installation of the OS. After the successful installation they can be reconnected without any problems.
Integration of the actual WHQL certified 64-bit nForce SataRaid drivers
The above mentioned and approved methods to integrate the nForce SataRaid drivers into a bootable XP x64 or W2k3 x64 CD were primarily documented by me in July 2005. Meanwhile NVIDIA has released a lot of new 64-bit nForce chipset driver packages with WHQL certified nForce Sata and Raid drivers. You can find them within the SATARAID and SATA_IDE subfolders. The problem was, that users with an nForce SataRaid system obviously could not use them during the installation (to avoid BSOD's or endless reboot loops at the end of the OS installation). They had to take the not digitally signed LEGACY drivers.
After a lot of new tests with the current version of nLite I figured out, that I got the newest WHQL certified 64-bit nForce SataRaid drivers installed onto an nForce SataRaid system, when I used a special combination of the nForce SataRaid driver integration:
- Integration of the SATARAID subfolder (from the suitable 64-bit nForce chipset driver package) as TEXTMODE driver and additionally
- Integration of the SATA_IDE subfolder (from the same nForce chipset driver package) as PnP driver!
Advantages of the WHQL driver integration method:
- A running Windows XP x64 is optimally prepared for a later upgrade with Vista, when it has WHQL certified SataRaid drivers from scratch (The WHQL stamp is a must for Vista x64, the Setup routine looks for the drivers which were installed first of all during the XP x64 installation).
- By using this new method you will get the MS IDE drivers installed instead of the NVIDIA P-ATA (=IDE s/w) ones (A lot of nForce users have reported about troubles with the NVIDIA P-ATA driver). Remark: If you don't want the MS IDE drivers, you can easily replace them by the NVIDIA IDE driver after the end of the OS installation.
1. nVRaid Driver Choice and Preparation:
Although nLite allows the correct integration of the actual nForce SataRaid drivers and prevents the installation of the wrong MS IDE standard drivers, the biggest problem is the creation of the optimal nVRaid driver prepackaging. The choice of the best driver version and combination depends on the system (Chipset details and Raid BIOS version). NVIDIA has complicated all this, because they often change the composition of their driver packages and even the names of the files for not understandable reasons. Nevertheless I found solutions, which should enable nearly everyone to get XP x64 or W2k3 x64 installed onto their nForce SataRaid system.
A. Preparation for the WHQL driver integration method:
- Normal option for mainboards with an nForce4, nForce4xx, nForce5xx or nForce6xx chipset:
The preparation is very easy, because all you need is the actual 64bit nForce chipset driver package, which NVIDIA has designed for the specific nForce chipset of your motherboard. If you don't know the exact name of the chipset, look into your mainboard manual or google for it. Then go here, search for the nForce chipset driver package suitable for your chipset, choose the 64bit OS you want to install, download the driver package and unpack it by using a tool like WinRar or 7-zip.
That is all you need for the later nForce SataRaid driver integration.
Warning: Users, who want to integrate the nForce4 chipset drivers v. 6.69 into Windows 2003 x64, should pay attention, that they get the correct driver package named "nForce4_amd_6.69_winserver200364_english_whql.exe". NVIDIA additionally offers a package named "nForce4_amd_6.69_winserver2003_64_english_whql.exe", which is not usable for W2k3 x64, because it doesn't contain any 64bit drivers.
- Brandnew alternative option for mainboards with an nForce4 (SataRaid and PataRaid), nForce4xx or nForce5xx chipset:
Users, who want to install XP x64 or W2k3 x64 with the newest 64bit WHQL signed nForce S-ATA and Raid drivers v.6.99 dated 05/15/2007, can take the SATARAID drivers from here and the SATA_IDE drivers from here.
Unpack both packages and store them somewhere. You will need them both for the later driver integration. The extracted "SATA_RAID F6 driver disk 64Bit" folder contains the SATARAID textmode drivers (has a TXTSETUP.OEM file), whereas the "SATA DRIVER 64Bit" folder is similar to the "SATA_IDE" folder (contains just the nForce S-ATA driver as PnP driver).
- Brandnew:Get the newest 64bit nForce IDE drivers even with nForce3 chipset mainboards:
It is possible to get the newest 64bit nForce SataRaid drivers v.6.99 even with an "old" nForce 3 chipset mainboard, if you take the actual 64bit nForce Unified Remix package 11.16 built by nForcersHQ forum member squall_leonhart69r (for a detailed description of Squall's Remix package and a download link to the whole package look here). Squall's latest nForce chipset driver Package contains the customized brandnew 64it nForce SataRaid drivers v.6.99 dated 05/15/2007 (identical with the above mentioned WHQL signed drivers), but with customized INF files to make them usable with nForce3 chipsets. To reduce the size of the package and to make the preparation of the nForce IDE drivers (as LEGACY folder) easier for you, I have extracted Squall's package, revised and repacked just the LEGACY mode 64it nForce IDE drivers and uploaded them to RapidShare. You can download this special package here.
- If you have an nForce3 or nForce4 SataRaid system and get problems with the integration of WHQL certified drivers (endless reboots at the end of the installation, even after booting in safe mode), you should take one of the available x64 NVIDIA nForce chipset driver packages v. 6.67. For the integration into an XP x64 CD you should take the one you get here, whereas users, who want to create a W2k3 x64 CD, should take the one, which is specially designed for W2k3 x64 (you may download it here). Just unzip the suitable package. Fortunately NVIDIA has established within both packages a subfolder named LEGACY. This subfolder contains all necessary files for a successful integration, no other files or IDE subfolders are needed.
- Users with an nVRaid BIOS version lower than 4.84 may have to take the old and not natively 64-bit nForce package 6.56 (downloadable here). Just unzip the package.
- Users with an nForce3 mainboard, who get problems with the 6.99 and 6.67 drivers, should take the nForce chipset package v. 6.25, which you can download here. Just unzip the package for the later driver integration.
Unzip the package by using a tool like WinRar or 7-zip and store the LEGACY folder somewhere.
- Open nLite and do what you want, but you must choose the button "Integrate Drivers".
- During the "Integrate Drivers" part of nLite you have to integrate the suitable nForce SataRaid drivers as textmode drivers (depending on the driver integration method you are going to use).
- If you are using the new WHQL driver integration method, you have to integrate the SATARAID subfolder of your prepared nForce chipset driver package as textmode driver and additionally the SATA_IDE subfolder of the same package as PnP driver. You will find them within the IDE\WinXP directory of the package.
Don't be astonished if nLite gives a message, that it is already done. nLite v. 1.2 adds the content of the SATA_IDE subfolder automaticly, if you present the SATARAID subfolder of a complete nForce chipset driver package. This is not an error, but a new feature of nLite to make it easier for you!
- Users, who are using the traditional LEGACY driver integration method, have to integrate the LEGACY subfolder of their prepared driver package (see above). They should not integrate any other IDE subfolder (neither SATARAID nor SATA_IDE).
Attention: nLite v. 1.2 adds automaticly the content of the SATA_IDE subfolder as PnP driver, if you integrate the LEGACY subfolder of a complete chipset driver package. You should prevent this by copying the LEGACY subfolder to a place outside the chipset driver package prior to the integration (so nLite will not find the SATA_IDE subfolder). Alternatively you can delete the wrongly integrated PnP driver within nLite's "Driver Integration" section before you start the nLite processing.
If you are going to use one of the the old packages 6.56 and 6.25, you have to integrate just the content of the IDE\WinXP directory (these packages don't have any subfolders).
- During the integration of the textmode drivers you have to take all nForce Sata/Raid Controller drivers nLite shows within a popup window as "required". To make it easier for you, nLite has already enabled both needed drivers.
- Since nLite v. 1.0 RC7 you have the choice between a single driver or a multiple driver folder integration. You should integrate the nForce SataRaid drivers with the single driver option. Only this way you can be sure, that nLite integrates the correct driver subfolder which you have prepared earlier.
- Then you can integrate the other nForce drivers (SMBus, Ethernet etc.) as "normal" PnP drivers. In most cases you can take them out of the same NVIDIA chipset package you have used for the integration of the SataRaid drivers. Users with an nForce3 system may search for better or newer drivers (inclusive GART) than those NVIDIA offers within their 6.25 package.
- Tip: If you want to integrate any graphic adapter driver, take a WHQL-certified version.
- Create the ISO file by nLite und burn it as a bootable Image with a burning software as Nero (just choose "Recorder" > "Burn Image" and point to your just created ISO file).
Tips for the Installation of the OS:
- Make sure, that your BIOS settings are ok. You only will be able to install the OS by booting off your nLited CD, when the CD-ROM device with your nLited CD is set as first bootable device.
- Before you begin with the installation of the OS by using your nLited CD, make sure, that there is no floppy within your floppy drive, no USB stick within any USB port and no Memory Card within your Card Reader.
- Don't hit F6 and don't insert a driver floppy, if you install an OS by using a CD with integrated nForce SataRaid drivers!
This post has been edited by Fernando 1: 29 November 2007 - 05:51 AM