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Windows 7: Setting RAID 0, Any way to back up my whole system?

08 Sep 2011   #1
Rainess

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Setting RAID 0, Any way to back up my whole system?

I'm getting a second HDD, I want to start using Raid 0 so my question is; how can i backup my whole system (setting, files, programs..etc) then restore it after setting raid?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Sep 2011   #2
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Hi Rainess,

Unfortunately what you are proposing is very tricky to do for several reasons. If you do a search through the forum posts on RAIDO you will find several which have met with very little success - if you search back far enough, you will even find my original post about exactly what you are proposing. The fact is that installing an OS to a RAID0 just doesn't seem to be very succesful.

In theory you could image your existing setup using something like Macrium Reflect, then install your 2nd hard disk, configure the RAID controller, then restore your image back to the new RAID0. Unfortuantely, however, you are going to run into problems : one of them that I am aware of is that the REGISTRY will require a reference to the fact that your system is now a RAID, but your image you are restoring doesn't have that reference. There is probably some registry fix/hack for that, but I have never attempted it - I have seen others try it with very limited success.

A more robust solution is do a clean install of everything onto the new RAID, but even that doesn't seem very successful for most - I really don't know why. For this reason, many people here will advise you against using a RAID as an installation disk. Of course, a RAID0 is also a risky undertaking, since if a single disk should fail, then the entire RAID fails - you will lose everything on those disks.

Since you are looking for speed increase, and if you can afford it, I recommend considering a SSD as your OS disk, with the other disks as data/backup disks. This is the tried and tested solution that has worked for many here, and an SSD far outperforms any RAID0 I have worked with, and I have worked with some very quick RAID0 arrays.

Let us know what you decide.

Good luck,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2011   #3
Rainess

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

mmmm, I wasn't expecting it to be that much tricky and risky and yeah SSD seems to be much more advanced and brilliant I guess i'll halt everything now and start saving (again!) damn I'm afraid I've wasted money buying a second HDD
Anyway Thanks Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Sep 2011   #4
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Hi,

An SSD is definately the way to go for an OS. You can still create a RAID0 with your 2 HDD's later on, after installing your OS etc. to the SSD, but just be aware of the implications should one of these disks fail. A good backup policy is a must.

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2011   #5
Sub Styler

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

When creating a RAID0 array you should use identical drives, preferrably of the same age. I had no problem at all installing win7 on my RAID0 array but i'm using the popular ICH10R southbridge which is fully supported by windows 7 without the need to import drivers from USB storage. In XP I did this by slipstreaming the drivers into my install.

Migrating an install from a single drive to an array as Golden said is feutile!

If an SSD is too expensive (they certainly are for me although the speed of the 3rd Gen SSD's is very impressive)

Could you stretch to buy another of the HDD's you just ordered? This will let you create a new array and start from scratch, plus you will still have your current drive and install with all your files intact!

NOTE: I would remove your current drive before installing and setting up the drives for the array to prevent confusion and possibly destroying your data. It can then be re-attached later and easily distinguished from the created array in the bios boot selection menu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2011   #6
Rainess

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sub Styler View Post
Could you stretch to buy another of the HDD's you just ordered? This will let you create a new array and start from scratch, plus you will still have your current drive and install with all your files intact
That's exactly what i was thinking of but again buying a third HDD means more money spent while on the other side I can save up for an SSD which is significantly faster and more secure(the most i care about).

I'm not in a rush atm, I can wait.

Again, you were really helpful guys.
Many Thanks
Take care.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Setting RAID 0, Any way to back up my whole system?




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