Is it possible: P5Q (ICH10R) with SSD (1disk) AND RAID10 (4disks)?

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Hi everyone,

Sadly it's been some years since my last visit to the forums, time really flies... Anyway, reading my Asus P5Q manual and searching the internet I've found mixed answers to the following questions:

I currently have a 4 disk (WD 500GB x 4) RAID10 setup using my ASUS P5Q motherboard that has the ICH10R controller. I'm using Windows XP Pro and my disks are partitioned to two (boot drive C=500GB and storage drive D=500GB). I believe the P5Q motherboard supports a maximum of 6 SATA disks(?), but I'm not sure if it supports them only as one 6 disk RAID setup or for example a 4 disk RAID setup AND a separate SSD boot disk as well.

I'd now like to add an SSD disk (180GB or 256GB) as my C-drive and leave the current 4 disk RAID10 setup as my secondary (non-bootable) storage. First of all, is it even possible to add a 5th SATA disk when I already have the 4 disk RAID10 setup? Does the P5Q motherboard support having a separate boot hard disk and a secondary RAID setup (=booting from a SATA drive while still having the RAID10 setup) or does the RAID disk always have to be the boot disk?

My plan is to add the 5th SSD disk as my boot drive (if my motherboard supports this?!), and use Acronis Backup & Recover 10 to clone the current boot partition C from the RAID setup to the new SSD boot partition C and then make the RAID setup's C-drive non-bootable. My second question is that can this be done simply as described by just making the old bootable system C-drive in the RAID setup non-bootable, or do I have to delete & format the whole old bootable C-drive in the RAID setup first before adding the new SSD disk and making it the new (only) bootable system disk C? Obviously the new SSD disk would have to be the C-drive while the old RAID setup partitions would have to be D and E, but I'm not sure how to proceed so that I don't mess the partition letters up and end up having a non-bootable system.

Sorry for the complicated presentation of my questions, but hopefully someone can help me! Any tips and help are appreciated.

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My Gigabyte motherboard has 6 onboard sata with the same controller (SB710), but 2 of them can be configured differently from from the other 4. So if I enable ahci, I can set the other 2 to ide mode if I wanted. That's nice..

My other system has an ICH9R, but only 4 ports and they're all either ide, ahci, or raid. When I first went to check out the matrix raid there I only had one disk connected and I don't think I could get into the configuration utility, it just gave me the one drive as you'd expect from ide or ahci mode. Maybe single or unconfigured disks are always treated that way and all you'd need to do is set the boot order in the bios and install an OS on the ssd.

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Yes, it'll work fine.

Thanks for the replies. What would be the easiest way to make the old HDD RAID-setup non-bootable and leave its current partitions as is, but make the the new D and E drives (instead of the current C and D)? What would be the order in which it would be easiest to do the upgrade? Can I just clone the current RAID's bootable C-drive on the new SSD (using Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 or Trueimage 2011) after making the old RAID non-bootable somehow, or would the drive letters be messed up, since the RAID is now C and D?

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