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Windows 7: Raid 0 Array

10 Aug 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 
Raid 0 Array

When I bought my PC 7 years ago, I asked the techs to create a Raid 0 array with my 2 200GB WD drives. Recently, I have been reading the comments here and on other forums to stay away from Raid arrays as they are more problems then they are worth.

What I want to know is what is the best way, and procedure to accomplish this, to remove this Raid 0 array and use my 2 200GB SATA drives as separate drives with the OS on one and data on the other. I will probably partition the OS one as I do not need 200GB for Windows 7.

Am I correct in assuming that once this RAID 0 array is broken, I will lose everything and will have to do a clean install of Windows 7 plus all my apps?

thanks

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Aug 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by beastmaster View Post
When I bought my PC 7 years ago, I asked the techs to create a Raid 0 array with my 2 200GB WD drives. Recently, I have been reading the comments here and on other forums to stay away from Raid arrays as they are more problems then they are worth.

What I want to know is what is the best way, and procedure to accomplish this, to remove this Raid 0 array and use my 2 200GB SATA drives as separate drives with the OS on one and data on the other. I will probably partition the OS one as I do not need 200GB for Windows 7.

Am I correct in assuming that once this RAID 0 array is broken, I will lose everything and will have to do a clean install of Windows 7 plus all my apps?

thanks
Backup all of your data, make sure that you have backed up all of your data. Remove the array configuration, get out your Windows DVD, reinstall the OS, patches, and all applications, copy your data back from your backup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Aug 2011   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Yes, a Raid array can give you problems and it increases the risk of loosing everything. But if it worked for 7 years, I would guess it will be OK for a bit more time.

But if you decide to go without it, I suggest to use the second HDD for images so that you have a good backup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Aug 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Yes, a Raid array can give you problems and it increases the risk of loosing everything. But if it worked for 7 years, I would guess it will be OK for a bit more time.

But if you decide to go without it, I suggest to use the second HDD for images so that you have a good backup.
Thanks, I will be storing all my backup images on the second drive for sure.

When I boot up, I see a screen that allows you to configure or view the array. I believe I have to press CTRL + I or something like that to get into it. Do I remove the array there or change a setting in the BIOS or both?

Also, can someone recommend a good external USB hard drive under $100.00? I do not want any preinstalled software like there is on the WD My Book Essentials.

One further question, if I use Windows 7 backup image as I usually do and backup my "C" drive to an external source before I remove the array, can I just restore that image to one of the drives after the array is gone?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Aug 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

I can't answer about the raid image as I have never used raid, but I would seriously doubt it.

As far as the external hard drive, the best way is to make your own. There is a thread on making your own hard drive that can give you some good ideas. I have several, but like this one best. The advantage is you can use it however you want and change out drives whenever you choose.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2011   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

1. I think you just need to remove the array.

2. Here is a website where you can find external disks at good prices: Storage Devices Deals - Deals2buy.com You should also check the last entries of this thread: http://www.sevenforums.com/chillout-...deals-day.html

3. I do not think you can restore an array image to a single disk - but you can always try.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

You would definitely need to break the array, which means losing everything on the drives. You'd want to have everything backed up first. Then, you'd disable RAID, setting the drives up as standard drives, and then do a fresh install as normal.

That's the issue with RAID0. If you lose a drive, all the data on all drives is lost. Had it been a mirrored array, you could technically pull one drive out and still boot, bu that would defeat the purpose of running any type of array in the first place.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

Also, with the external drives, don't worry about the programs they put on them. A reformat will usually get rid of them. Most of them are a waste anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by essenbe View Post
Also, with the external drives, don't worry about the programs they put on them. A reformat will usually get rid of them. Most of them are a waste anyway.
Been reading horror stories about WD MyBook Smartware software. I will not be getting anything from WD until that stuff is totally removed. I do not require any software on the external drive as I already have all necessary software and what I would need Windows 7 has. I just want to plug the drive into a USB port, be able to see it under Windows Explorer and use it like any USB device, by copying and moving files from one drive to another. I would create a partition on it and store my System Image backups made from Windows 7 Backup, on it. I am looking into the Enclosures now and going to check with my brother to see what sizes of hard drives he may have laying around. If I have to buy an internal drive I will check those out as well. It appears to be much cheaper to build your own rather then buying one of those external units like WD MyBook, etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2011   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

It is and much more flexible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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