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Windows 7: Breaking mirrored drives and storage spaces to downgrade to Windows 7

16 May 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium
Breaking mirrored drives and storage spaces to downgrade to Windows 7


I am very stressed out because this problem has been making me mad for a few weeks now! I rely heavily on network storage and require it to be reliable and stable.

I currently have a home media server which has the following specs: Intel i3-3240 processor, 8GB DDR3 RAM, ASUS P8Z77-V LX2 motherboard, and a 128GB Crucial M4 SSD for the OS (currently Windows 8). There are 4 hard drives installed - 2 x 2TB (WD20EFRX) which are in a storage space/pool created in Windows 8, and 2 x 3TB (WD30EFRX) which are mirrored drives done through Disk Management (not storage spaces). So there is a total of 4TB striped (E:\ MEDIA) and 3TB mirrored (G:\ BACKUPS), total of 7TB usable storage.

Not too long ago I was getting random BSODs, and they all pointed to the iastor.sys driver so I removed that then everything was working fine. The home media server was running fine without any problems for over 2-4 weeks just as it should. Now even after having removed the Intel Rapid Storage drivers, I get system hangs and crashes where the screen is just frozen - mouse and keyboard don't work, no response at all. I rarely see a BSOD now, the system simply hangs. This happens when I am copying files over the network or using files over the network. I cannot figure out what it is! I have run tests on the RAM, updated drivers for the network card, SSD, updated everything, ran stability tests etc but they all ran fine and indicated no problems. The processor has never been overclocked even though it's available, I've tried loading default BIOS settings but still doesn't make a difference. The system just wants to hang!

This leaves me no choice but to assume that it's Windows 8, because my main desktop PC that I use has the exact same hardware with the exception that it's running Windows 7 Ultimate, the processor is an i5-3570k, and there is only a 1TB hard drive installed for mass storage (which doesn't get used much since I access most of my files from the home media server). Motherboard, RAM and OS SSD are the exact same.

What are my options? I would really like to downgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 7 since I find Windows 7 to be better in terms of reliability - I've never had Windows 7 problems (touch wood!). I am not too worried about having lots of file management features which they say Windows 8 has, because I am simply sharing two drives across the network, accessible to anyone who is connected (provided they have the username and password).

Can I downgrade to Windows 7 without breaking the storage space pool or the mirrored drive? I know that if I was to delete the storage space on the server, I would lose all my data. Also I know I can break the mirrored drives so I have two independent drives with the same data on them and possibly rejoin in Windows 7? (correct me if I'm wrong!). My final option I think would be to fork out 200+ so I can copy all my data onto two new 3TB hard drives, clean install Windows 7, then copy the data back over to the old drives or leave it on them and use the old drives as extra space. I would rather not spend the money but I'd rather make sure my data is safe. If any of the other options are viable please tell me so!

I would greatly appreciate any help with this. I do apologise if this has been asked before but I done lots of Google searching and couldn't find anything as specific as I would like... Thank you!

My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Breaking mirrored drives and storage spaces to downgrade to Windows 7

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