How to use a SSD as cache volume with Intel Rapid Storage Technology

In most situations after you (re)install Windows and the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (IRST) Driver the SSD cache volume will be found and used automatically as an Cache volume in a RAID 0 configuration.

What to do if you deleted the RAID volume or you bought a SSD card for a RAID 0 configuration?

First things first make BACKUPS of all your files. You may have to delete your volumes.

If you deleted the RAID volume IRST will not find the RAID config automatically. IRST can create them for you, so don’t try to create RAID volumes yourself in the Intel Rapid Storage Technology Option ROM settings. That doesn’t work!

Start with your BIOS settings. The SATA mode must be in RAID, make sure AHCI is not selected. In IRST Option ROM you should now see this:

Don’t create RAID Volumes here, continue installing Windows on the Non-RAID disk. After installing Windows install the IRST Driver. Restart and open IRST. You can now create the cache volume.

What if you can’t create the volume to select the SSD as cache disk?

You have to shrink the Volume where you installed Windows on in Disk Management with 200MB. After this the create cache volume becomes available and you create a RAID0 config with IRST. The end result should look like this:

Other resources: Up & Running has an good video on this