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Z77 Extreme4 + Linux Mint + RAID 10 questions

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I've been running Linux Mint on my laptop for a few years now and I love it.
My wife also fell in love with Linux recently after trying my laptop out and had me install Mint on her machine.

We've an "old" Windows desktop I built several years ago in our living room hooked up to our flat screen and use it as sort of an HTPC. (No cable or satellite subscription whatsoever).
It's currently got two 1TB drives installed but both are now at about 75% capacity.

I just purchased 4 more identical drives, (not SSD as I'm not keen on the price per GB + reliability just yet), and I want to configure RAID 10 and install Mint to replace Windows.

The motherboard is a Z77 Extreme4.
I've never setup a RAID array and have a few questions regarding which SATA ports to use as the manual is a bit confusing.
Can I use all six drives in the array via the six left-most SATA ports (four black + two grey)?Am I stuck with using just the black ports or just the grey ports or can they be mixed/matched?

Currently, I'm using the SATA3_A1-A2 ports and, if I'm reading the manual correctly, these two ports don't support RAID.

If you have any experience with this board and RAID I'd love to read your thoughts and appreciate any help you can provide.

Image of ports in question: https://imgur.com/B5VHrmE

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First I think SSDs are way more reliable than mechanical drives. Just the size isn't a good price when compared.

Anyways I pulled up the ASRock manual http://asrock.pc.cdn.bitgravity.com/Manual/RAID/Z77 Extreme4/English.pdf . Page 13 explains how to setup the raid via Raid BIOS, which is the only way I ever knew how to do it besides inside windows in software mode. The actual manual is confusing to what ports a which but I looks like you have 3 sets. 2x SATA 6 Gb/s from the CPU (Grey), 2x SATA 6Gb/s from the ASMedia ASM1061 (Grey) and 4x SATA 3 Gb/s from the chipset (Black).

If you do setup raid from the Raid BIOS, you will need drivers from windows to recognize the raid from installation. For Linux, I have never setup raid as the primary OS. I do not know. Considering Linux Mint is barebones, I doubt it includes the drivers. ASRock only lists Windows drivers for everything...

Easiest thing to do is grab a single drive for the OS and setup the raid for storage. Than you wont need to have drivers on hand for OS install. I think Ubuntu will auto download the drivers as it installs. Never had to put in a disk for it.

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