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Asus G701VI unlocked BIOS G701VIAS304 Disable Raid to install Linux, overclocking
#1
Hi everybody.

I needed to install Linux on my Asus G701VI Laptop and the main problem was that there are no Linux drivers for the Rapid Storage Controller when set in Raid mode and cannot "see" the disk during installation.
G701 has default Raid 0 on 2 NVMe devices. Strange thing, I bought a laptop with only one NVMe disk, just to avoid having raid enabled, but still the Raid was enabled. I thought that breaking the Raid would do the job.

There was no such option in the stock Bios (v301 at the time, v304 now) and Asus support only replied that they do not support Linux (quite unacceptable) although I told them that being able to use those NVMe disks without a raid was my right and had nothing to do with Linux support.

Since I could not find an unlocked bios, I had to unlock it myself and start experimenting.

So, to cut a long story short, to disable Raid you need to go to SataController menu and DISABLE Sata Controller.
NVMe devices are not affected and can be seen by any OS distro as seperate NVMe disks.
Storage controller's setting have only the option "Raid" and I didn't find any setting to change Raid 0 to any other Raid configuration that the chipset supports. Just out of curiosity...

During the process I also unlocked every option seemed to me interesting, including all over-clocking options, actual values, multipliers, voltages etc. In case anyone thinks that there could be other interesting options, please contact and I could search if they exist and can be unlocked.

Modded v304 version can be found here:
https://github.com/ElDudorino/Asus-G701VI-Bios

To perform these tasks I used Windows 10 installed in a USB disk. I suggest every interested to do the same.
You cannot rely on a native windows installation when you pick on its storage controller.

bios-mods.com was the best and only source I used to do this mod.
Thanks a lot dudes.

   
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#2
Hi!
Why you disable SATA Controller? Strange. I think that if you need to disable RAID option, then just disable it in bios setup menu (of course if your bios already unlocked): Advanced -> SATA Configuration -> Software Feature Mask Configuration -> RAID 0 set to Disabled
Also you can set RAID 5 to Disabled.
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#3
(09-08-2017, 04:22 AM)feluchi Wrote: Hi!
Why you disable SATA Controller? Strange. I think that if you need to disable RAID option, then just disable it in bios setup menu (of course if your bios already unlocked): Advanced -> SATA Configuration -> Software Feature Mask Configuration -> RAID 0  set to Disabled
Also you can set RAID 5 to Disabled.


Why? Because after several days of experimentation that was the only solution.
I didn't find the option you describe but I will check again in case I missed it when unlocking. But as far I am concerned, I unlocked all "Advanced" menu.
There is a SATA Configuration sub menu but the only available value is "Raid" and didn't find any value that would change the raid from 0 to anything else.

Is this an option that you know it exists on these roms or you have seen it in another product?
Do you own a G701?
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#4
Well sir, you were partly right...

Actually the submenu you mentioned does exists. I had completely forgotten about it since I modded version 301 and I still couldn't break the Raid through its options. So on version 304 I only unlocked the wanted setting.


Just to be sure, I unlocked this submenu again and did some experimentation.

   
   
   



As you can see, the only value that SataModeSelection that can accept is "Raid". There were no other options available.
I tried to keep SATA controler enabled as you suggested and try to break the Raid by disabling all Raid Modes.

Unfortunately, it did not work. When I tried to boot into my native Linux installation, although GRUB loaded as normal, the disk could not be recognized.
I have to mention that my disk is encrypted. Changing the controllers setting could change the disks UID and as a result GRUB cannot find a device to decrypt. I also tried to boot with a live distro, but again with no success.

I am going to upload the new version than includes all Sata setting, in case someone else could do some experimentation.
For the time being, I guarantee that disabling the SATA controller will do the job to break the Raid and your disks will be recognizable by any OS distro. Besides, G701 has no place to put a Sata device, just 4 NVMe.
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#5
(09-09-2017, 07:23 AM)cnsnlg Wrote: Well sir, you were partly right...

Actually the submenu you mentioned does exists. I had completely forgotten about it since I modded version 301 and I still couldn't break the Raid through its options. So on version 304 I only unlocked the wanted setting.


Just to be sure, I unlocked this submenu again and did some experimentation.







As you can see, the only value that SataModeSelection that can accept is "Raid". There were no other options available.
I tried to keep SATA controler enabled as you suggested and try to break the Raid by disabling all Raid Modes.

Unfortunately, it did not work. When I tried to boot into my native Linux installation, although GRUB loaded as normal, the disk could not be recognized.
I have to mention that my disk is encrypted. Changing the controllers setting could change the disks UID and as a result GRUB cannot find a device to decrypt. I also tried to boot with a live distro, but again with no success.

I am going to upload the new version than includes all Sata setting, in case someone else could do some experimentation.
For the time being, I guarantee that disabling the SATA controller will do the job to break the Raid and your disks will be recognizable by any OS distro. Besides, G701 has no place to put a Sata device, just 4 NVMe.
Hi there, this is my first time on this site! I'm really interested in buying an Asus G701VI-XS72K (or XS78K), but I will need to use Ubuntu for research. I didn't quite follow your post. I was wdonering, if I buy one of these, what steps exactly will I have to do to get Ubuntu working? How hard is it? (I'm afraid to touch the bios since I have never done that before and don't want to void the warranty.) Please help if you can Smile
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#6
There are reports that newer 701 models BIOS cannot be reprogrammed unless using a programmer, but I have not tried it my self.
Anyway, the aforementioned raid controller should be working with Linux Kernel 4.16 and you don't have to hack the bios.
Latest UBUNTU at this time (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BionicBeaver/ReleaseNotes) is still using 4.15.
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#7
(06-26-2018, 04:00 PM)cnsnlg Wrote: There are reports that newer 701 models BIOS cannot be reprogrammed unless using a programmer, but I have not tried it my self.
Anyway, the aforementioned raid controller should be working with Linux Kernel 4.16 and you don't have to hack the bios.
Latest UBUNTU at this time (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BionicBeaver/ReleaseNotes) is still using 4.15.

Hi there, would you please explain how did you unlocked menus? ^_^ I'm kinda fighting with my bios for months and cant get it right... actually went up using amitse/setup from other laptop bioses  Angel
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#8
thank you. good job!
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