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Windows 7: RAID - deleted RAID array, Windows 7 ok but I have questions

19 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit
RAID - deleted RAID array, Windows 7 ok but I have questions

Hi all,
My RAID 1 (I think? I have two equal drives that are mirrored) array was causing me a lot of pain. It kept freezing up my system and having me to had to rebuild the RAID too often. After a number of tests and browsing info online, I've decided that the RAID was the culprit of the freezing and BSODs that came once in a while.

Before deleting the RAID array, I went and used the Seagate (my HDDs) .iso file and used their diagnostic tool to check the drives. I did a long test of one of the HDD (Device 1) and it passed. I deduced that this was at least a good drive. I didn't do a long test for the other HDD (Device 0). But with both, after a short test, both passed.

I then went into the RAID manager (DOS-looking screen before Windows starts) and then 'reverted' Device 1 to non-raid. Then decided to choose 'delete RAID setup' for the Device 0. All good so far. I rebooted and Windows actually started fine. This is where I'm at right now as I type this. No freezing so far!!!

What I wanted to know is how do I find out which HDD Windows is booting off from? Is there a command line I can use in command prompt window in DOS mode to find out this info? It'd be great to know that I'm not on Device 0 since I haven't done a Seagate diagnostic long test on that one.

Also, I'd ideally want to have the second (Device 0) HDD formatted so that I can leave it in my tower and use it as an external HDD with Syncback. This is the closest thing I can have to RAID and I'm perfectly happy if I can get that setup since I'm done school and don't do any heavy software and intense workload on my system that I'm risking a lot to lose. Is this even possible? Windows lists both disk drives in the device manager but only one drive (C under 'My Computer'.

So far no freezing!!! Before when RAID 0 was still on my system, I'd be frozen three times by now.

If anyone has any feedback about this, I'd much appreciate it.
My system stats:

- Windows Home Premium, full retail 64 bit
- age of system is approximately 8 months
- haven't formatted system since new install
- Gigabyte motherboard

My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Apr 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

You can do into Disk Management and it will tell you which drive is used for booting. It will say it is active.

I am confused as to one part. You say you want to leave the second drive in your computer, but use it as an external. You can use one as your main drive, and use the other for backup...however a good backup process involves a drive that isn't readily available all the time. That being said, something like SyncToy from Microsoft will allow you to choose folders and on a schedule or manually, copy them to the second drive. I use this on my wife's laptop to keep her photos backed up to our server.

RAID has no place on a desktop system, so you are better off without it. But to get started, just go into Disk Management to see how your drives are configured now. Post a screenshot if need be.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit


Thanks for the tips.
I know I wasn't too clear on some parts. In regards to the "leave the second drive in my computer but use it as external..." I meant use it as backup. I do have another physically external drive that I plug in with USB as a second backup. But I wanted this backup drive inside my computer for immediate kind of backup as well, if that makes sense.

Just out of curiosity.. you mentioned that RAID has no place on a desktop. If it gives problems with desktops, what do people usually use it for? Mostly for servers? It did cause me a lot of grief, so that is the advice I'd give to anyone else with RAID on their desktops. Don't do it!!!

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Apr 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

It is mostly for servers and multi-user workstations. RAID0 promised all kinds of performance, but never delivered in real world usage. RAID1 is great for what it does, but it is not a backup, and it can have some performance hits. RAID5 rocks, but it is overkill for a desktop. It's an awesome setup for a server, especially when you add plenty of discs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit

This is good to know. I was afraid I was losing out on something when I deleted the RAID array but it's good to know that it wasn't a good idea in the first place.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

You aren't missing a thing. In fact, you are gaining, because you have the second drive to use now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

RAID 1 (mirroring) is very useful in a desktop if you know how to use it. I've got 2 2TB drives mirrored that have many hours of family videos, photo's, documents where if one drive goes bad I don't lose anything. True, it isn't backup as the power supply could take out both drives but as I've run a computer store for 18 years and have only seen 2 systems where this has happened I'm not that concerned about it. Where I live our power is pretty stable. I've also have a RAID 1 on my business "server" which has lost 3 drives over 12 years but I've always been able to pop in a new drive and rebuild the array. And, I am using another Raid 1 on my home business system. I'm using a Nvidia, Intel, and AMD raid solution on the three and the Intel Raid 1 is by far the best as far as rebuilding an array goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 RAID - deleted RAID array, Windows 7 ok but I have questions

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