Rapid Storage Technology
Intel® RST, RAID
2006 Discussions

Enable Intel Rapid Storage Technology Premium w/ Optane Support (RAID) - what about non-raid disks?



This answer might be out here, so if it is, I apologize, I've been looking, but not sure how to ask the question to find the answers without looking through 1x1 to find it.

I have a Z370 motherboard which supports Optane. I am putting in some Optane for use on a secondary storage device - HDD, non-raid (to help speed it up). The BIOS has two options: AHCI or Intel Rapid Storage Technology Premium w/ Optane Support (RAID). From what I have read, I will have to enable the RST w/Optane (RAID) option which I have always avoided RAID options since I don't use RAID in my desktop/workstation setups, so that in the event of any issues, I can take disks out of one machine and move them to another, take images of whole disks, etc... Again, more reading has suggested that the RST Premium/RST updated software options with RAID also handle AHCI functions, but I am not sure to what degree that applies. Let me break it down a bit more:

Z370 system, RST Premium enabled in BIOS, 32GB Optane, 1x 500GB NVMe Boot drive, 2x 8TB HDD, 1x 512GB SSD. I intend to use the Optane on one of the 8TB drives. I am not using RAID on any of the disks and had/have no intention to. I wanted Optane to speed up operations on one of the 8TB disks that I do most of my work, but was hoping that ALL of the disks, even though the BIOS/Intel Controller is configured for RAID, can be removed and placed into another machine as I see the need (as a data drive, not to boot to) without needing compatible RAID solutions on the destination system (i.e. port to Linux for imaging, port to another Windows machine for reading data files, fixing problems, etc).

That's kind of a hodge-podge there of info and might leave some scratching their heads as what it is that I am doing with my equipment (and argument for another time)... What I am trying to find out, is... FINALLY the QUESTIONS ---

Question 1) If I enable the IRST Premium (RAID) option, just for the sole purpose of using Optane on 1x 8TB HDD, have I pigeon holed, or rather, restricted these disks (512NVMe, 512SSD, 2x8TB HDD) to only be 'easily' viewable/usable on the Z370 system I have them installed on with IRST (RAID), OR could it be like when I use AHCI in a system, that even though I am configured for IRST Premium (RAID) I can still port these disks around to other systems in non-RAID configurations (AHCI) - - I know I can't boot to these disks on another system, and don't want to, just want to attach them as a secondary or data drive as needed for whatever crazy reason I wish to?

Question 2) If, like AHCI, I can move the disks around - do I have to handle the 8TB assigned to the Optane specially? In otherwords, in my Z370 system, 8TB x Optane together are happy. If I take JUST the 8TB out of the Z370 system and place JUST the 8TB (without the Optane) into another non-RAID system configured for AHCI, will I be able to read/write to that drive there (and/or use it, minus the Optane boost of course) and with/without IRST (any version/flavor premium, non premium, no RST, Yes RST - hoping you get the idea)?

Example: System 1) Z370, IRST Premium (RAID), no disks configured AS RAID --- 1x NVMe boot device, 1x 8TB HDD with Optane enable boost, 1x 8TB HDD and 1x512GB SSD non-Optane boosted

System 2) AHCI/HBA Avago adapter (non-raid mode, firmware flashed for HBA only), or AHCI onboard interfaces, or M.2/NVMe slots...

With regards to question 1 and 2:

* take my 1x 8TB Optane boosted disk out of System 1 (just the 8TB alone, leaving the Optane behind in System 1 and hook it up/use it on System 2 as is (not reformatting, want access to the data as it was pulled from System 1?

* take my 1x 8TB, 1x 512GB SSD, or 1x 512GB NVMe out of system 1 and transfer it to system 2 and hook it up for use on system 2 without reformatting, want access to the data as it was pulled from System 1?



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3 Replies
Super User Retired Employee

Here are responses to your questions. Question numbers are not quite going to match, however, because you asked multiple question in one and, where it makes sense, I am answering multiple questions in one...

  1. If you are going to make the switch from AHCI to RAID mode, you should do so before you install your O/S. If your O/S is already installed, it is difficult to switch back without reinstalling the O/S. Now, I have seen reports here in the Communities from people who say they have found a way to avoid having to do this, but I don't know the trick for doing so.
  2. With the exception of your system drive, any drive that is not part of a RAID array of any kind is operated as a normal AHCI drive and thus can be removed and taken to other (AHCI or RAID) systems without issue and without having to repartition or reformat the drive.
  3. Once it has been enabled, the Optane module and the 8TB drive that you are accelerating it with become a set. This set,
    1. Will be visible in Windows as a single drive (a single RAID array).
    2. In theory, can be moved to another computer -- but only as a set and only if its BIOS and chipset also supports Optane and RAID is enabled.
    3. I believe that the 8TB drive in the set can only be moved to an AHCI system if you first completely disable the Optane caching (i.e. break the set).

Hope this helps,



Hi Scott,

Thanks for the info and taking the time. With regards to response 1) yes, I know about that rule. But I read the Optane installation instructions - during install it will actually ask you for permission to switch you from AHCI to Intel RST Premium w/ Optane Support (RAID), reboot, do an update in Safe Mode, then reboot once more. That goes against the 'thou shalt not switch modes without installing OS again' edicts... That's where I suppose some of my confusion stems from - if you can in fact switch without issues - AND - according to what I 'think' I read, Intel RST Premium is RAID when it needs to be and AHCI for anything NOT assigned/configured as RAID (that last part was my interpretation).

"This window shows that the installer has discovered the system SATA controller is configured in 'AHCI' mode. This screen notifies the user that it will be automatically switching the SATA controller to RST Premium Mode. Click Next to continue."

from: https://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/memory-and-storage/optane-memory/intel-optane-memory-user-installation.pdf https://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/memory-and-storage/optane-memory/intel-optane-memory-user-inst

Item 2. Thank you, so sounds like anything in Intel RST Premium RAID mode, so long as it is NOT in a RAID set in the RST, then I can move it freely and allow them to live a life of religious fulfillment in any system of their choosing.

Item 3. Thank you again - this does answer the question of how those two behave - so sounds like the HDD, SSD, SSHD and Optane become a RAID set/volume and so makes sense they must be moved together to a system with like configurations (m.2 PCIe, Intel RST Premium w/ Optane (RAID) ).


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Hi DB,



I think all your concerns have been answered, however just to confirm, the Intel® Optane™ Memory installation requires the system to be configured as Intel RST Premium with Intel Optane. This is required only for the Intel® Optane™ Memory module. If your OS is installed in AHCI mode, during the installation it will change to RAID mode in order for the module to work properly.



I haven't tested this but theoretically you can manually set the BIOS setting back to AHCI mode but this will cause the Intel® Optane™ to not work properly, but if you previously disable the module and remove it from your system, then going back to AHCI mode should not have any effect in your system, but as I mentioned this is something I haven't tested. Our recommendation is to always have your OS in RAID mode so that you don't have issues setting up the Intel® Optane™ Memory.



I hope you find this information useful. I cannot guarantee it will work as you want because it is a scenario not validated, but you can give it a try and see how it behaves.



If there is anything else I can help you with, just let me know.



Have a nice day.





Diego V.
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