I have an HP Envy Touchsmart laptop (15-j003c[) that has a 1 terabyte hard disk and an empty msata slot. The system came with Windows 8.1 installed (it has a touch screen) and so has UEFI instead of the 'normal' BIOS. I also have a 32 gigabyte msata ssd (Transcend) that I would like to add to the system as a disk cached for the hard disk drive.
If I pop open the cover of the laptop, add the msata drive, close it up and reboot - the system fails to boot. It says that it cannot find the boot drive and goes into an endless cycle of retrying.
Second try.... With the msata ssd still installed.... I power up taping the escape key in the manner prescribed by HP and got into UEFI. One of the options in UEFI shows the two drives (it sees both!) and offers to set up RAID on these drives.
At this point I became wary and declined. I'd rather not go through a re-install of the OS, applications, and my data if I can find a way to avoid it.
So that brings me to my question: Do I have to engage RAID for the two drives to get disk caching? On the surface it seems strange to require it. My understanding of RAID doesn't include a small SSD being used to cache a larger hard drive.
I am sorry you are having problems with the system but let me help you.
It is important to say that in order to have enabled the acceleration feature you must comply with the requirements at this link:
Since you have a laptop, most of the times Computer Manufacture set limitations on their units that we cannot over pass.
In regards to your question, it is necessary to have the chipset mode set as RAID but doing this, if the Operating System was installed in AHCI it will not boot once it has been changed. In the case you set it as RAID it will be necessary to install the Operating System.
Hi Kevin, thanks for your clear answer. It leads me to ask one more question relating to this, and I hope you may be able to answer it as well.
So... let's drop the question of RAID and Disk Caching and move on to a second question.... I would have expected that the system would have 'seen' the second disk drive when I added it to the system instead of failing to boot in such an ugly way. Is AHCI somehow limited to seeing one disk drive? Or is this one of the limitations that the computer manufacturers create? If it's the latter can you suggest how they create such a limitation?
This is a limitation. In order to set up a raid configuration the Chipset mode must be set as RAID otherwise it will not recognize the volume and will not even boot.