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Windows 7: Windows Backup to restore drive after RAID

16 Jan 2011   #1
con3636

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 
Windows Backup to restore drive after RAID

When I installed windows 7 on my computer, I had forgotten to RAID my dual drives together. Can I do a windows backup onto an external hard drive, then raid my drives together, reinstall windows 7 and then do a restore? I wanna have everything exactly the same but with my drives raided together. Thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Jan 2011   #2
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello con3636, welcome to Seven Forums!



A lot of users are having serious issues running Windows 7 from a RAID setup and there is really nothing to be gained with such a configuration; if you're trying to get faster access times you'd have better success using a Solid State Drive (SSD) for a boot drive and having your data on a spinner.
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16 Jan 2011   #3
con3636

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

I am less worried about access times, I really want it just so that I can extend all of my folders and program files onto one logical drive, rather than putting some stuff on a separate one. Does windows 7 have that much trouble with it? because my mobo has a built in raid controller which makes my drives show up as one on all the installers etc.
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16 Jan 2011   #4
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

We sometime see as many as half-a-dozen RAID issues a week.


Haveing all your data one a single HDD/partition is just asking for trouble.
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17 Jan 2011   #5
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
We sometime see as many as half-a-dozen RAID issues a week.


Haveing all your data one a single HDD/partition is just asking for trouble.
Good advice
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17 Jan 2011   #6
thehappyman

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by con3636 View Post
When I installed windows 7 on my computer, I had forgotten to RAID my dual drives together. Can I do a windows backup onto an external hard drive, then raid my drives together, reinstall windows 7 and then do a restore? I wanna have everything exactly the same but with my drives raided together. Thanks
I could be wrong but I am almost certain that it WILL NOT work.

And just to relate my particular experiences with RAID, my last rig came with two WD 150 GB 10,000 rpm "raptors" in a Raid 0 configuration (giving me 300 GB) and I used it for an average 12 hours a day for over 3 years and never had a drive problem. I really enjoyed the RAID Array's speed, though admittedly if something goes wrong with either drive then you're in "trouble".

No match for an SSD though.

Good Luck
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15 Mar 2011   #7
TCG

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by con3636 View Post
When I installed windows 7 on my computer, I had forgotten to RAID my dual drives together. Can I do a windows backup onto an external hard drive, then raid my drives together, reinstall windows 7 and then do a restore? I wanna have everything exactly the same but with my drives raided together. Thanks
I'm not positive the built in windows backup will work for this as I've never tried it. I'm 100% positive that you can do this with an imaging tool like Acronis very easily.

  • Use Acronis to rip an image of your entire OS drive, including all partitions, to be saved externally
  • Then go to your controller utility / bios and configure your RAID 0.
  • Once your new stripe is set up, boot to Acronis again.
  • This time you'll run recovery and point to the image file you made previously.
  • Choose your newly created stripe as the target/destination.
  • Acronis will image everything back and expand partitions to utilize the full size of the stripe you made.

Theoretically this method "should" work with any type of imaging or disk cloning software out there so long as you can operate the software outside of the operating system. Acronis, Ghost, HDClone, etc.... are all bootable utilites that could accomplish this. In my opinion Acronis is the best and has proven to be very reliable for me over the past several years.

In terms of stability, it has been great for me. I run win7 Ultimate x64 with RAID 0 on my home and work computers without issue. There is definitely a noticeable performance gain. If I ever want to expand my stripe size I simply re-image with Acronis, create a new stripe with the new drives, and blast the image back. Works like a charm for me. Always keep in mind one drive failure in something like this will result in full data loss so ALWAYS maintain backups if this data is important to you.
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 Windows Backup to restore drive after RAID




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