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Windows 7: Help with RAID

22 Nov 2009   #1
kishan

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 RTM
 
 
Help with RAID

Hi,

I currently have a 500GB Seagate Hard disk, with 2 partitions - "C:" [50 GB] for windows and "D:" [~415 GB] for everything else.

I have only about 100 GB of free space left on that drive, so I'm going to get a 750GB or 1TB hard disk soon. I want to combine the second partition of the old drive with the new drive. I did some research and found out that RAID was my solution.

My motherboard supports RAID 0, 1 and 0+1. How do I set up a RAID array without losing the data on my old disk (especially the second partition)??

I'm willing to reinstall windows if needed, but it would be better if I don't have to. I'm also willing to reformat the first partition, but I cannot lose the data on the second one (and I have nothing to backup all the files to)

Any help would be appreciated. I'm looking for a step-by-step tutorial.

Regards


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
22 Nov 2009   #2
Dave76

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Welcome to Seven Forums.

Good job filling in the system specs.

What exactly are you trying to do, what do you want to end up with?

It's not clear why you think RAID is your answer.
What do you mean 'combine the second partition of the old drive with the new drive'?

First, if you get a 750GB or 1TB HD and try to set it to RAID with a 500GB hard drive, your new HD will be limited to 500GB, the rest of the GBs will be un-usable.

You will have to backup everything on your old HD, delete it completely to set it up in RAID, including the OS.
If you don't have an additional HD either internal or external, you will loose your data.

From what you have mentioned, you should keep your current HD as it is now, get another HD, use it either internally or external for a backup and data storage drive.

Backup and Restore plan will protect you from loosing all your personal data. You will be able to restore your OS in 15 minutes or less if you have a fatal error, and not have to re-install all of your programs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2009   #3
kishan

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 RTM
 
 

Thanks for your reply.

Forget what I said about combining the D: drive, etc. All I want to do is to have more disk space, but I want all that space in one "drive", i.e., combine 2 physical hard disks to make them act as one.

Like I said, I have 100GB of free space, and I'll need more soon. I discovered that you can combine hard disks with RAID, and assumed that would be my solution.

So is there ANY way to combine 2 hard disks into one without losing any data? I heard about dynamic volumes, and that they are bad in many ways. Is that true?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 Nov 2009   #4
kishan

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 RTM
 
 

*BUMP*
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2009   #5
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

I would use one those drives as a backup - instead of RAID.

Avoid Dynamic drives.

Backup with a free imaging app. that is fast and gives good compression - Macrium is ideal.
You can always copy back individual files from the image - no need to restore the whole thing.

That should help manage space. Use the smaller drive as the backup drive.

http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp





Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kishan View Post
Hi,

I currently have a 500GB Seagate Hard disk, with 2 partitions - "C:" [50 GB] for windows and "D:" [~415 GB] for everything else.

I have only about 100 GB of free space left on that drive, so I'm going to get a 750GB or 1TB hard disk soon. I want to combine the second partition of the old drive with the new drive. I did some research and found out that RAID was my solution.

My motherboard supports RAID 0, 1 and 0+1. How do I set up a RAID array without losing the data on my old disk (especially the second partition)??

I'm willing to reinstall windows if needed, but it would be better if I don't have to. I'm also willing to reformat the first partition, but I cannot lose the data on the second one (and I have nothing to backup all the files to)

Any help would be appreciated. I'm looking for a step-by-step tutorial.

Regards
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2009   #6
Dave76

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
I would use one those drives as a backup - instead of RAID.

Avoid Dynamic drives.

Backup with a free imaging app. that is fast and gives good compression - Macrium is ideal.
You can always copy back individual files from the image - no need to restore the whole thing.

That should help manage space. Use the smaller drive as the backup drive.

Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
kishan,

Once you clarified what you wanted this is exactly what I was going to suggest.
Macrium Reflect is an excellent free program.

I think you will be better off not using RAID or dynamic volumes.
What will be more useful for you is to use the new HD for additional space and storing your backups.

You will be able to access the new HD the same as your D: drive, you won't even know it's a separate HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2009   #7
kishan

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 RTM
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dave76 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
I would use one those drives as a backup - instead of RAID.

Avoid Dynamic drives.

Backup with a free imaging app. that is fast and gives good compression - Macrium is ideal.
You can always copy back individual files from the image - no need to restore the whole thing.

That should help manage space. Use the smaller drive as the backup drive.

Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
kishan,

Once you clarified what you wanted this is exactly what I was going to suggest.
Macrium Reflect is an excellent free program.

I think you will be better off not using RAID or dynamic volumes.
What will be more useful for you is to use the new HD for additional space and storing your backups.

You will be able to access the new HD the same as your D: drive, you won't even know it's a separate HD.
Thanks for your opinions guys. I'll do as you say and use the 500GB drive as a backup drive. I'm using Acronis True Image to backup files. Do you think I can compress 1.5 TB into 500 GB with True Image, perhaps by setting the compression level to max?

And I think I'll get a 1.5 TB or 2 TB disk and use it as the main storage disk. Is there any particular model that you would recommend?

Thanks again
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2009   #8
Dave76

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Your backup files will be the size of your data, compression will reduce that by 10-30%.

Video or music files won't compress much if any.

Everyone has their opinion on HD brands, you will be safe with any major brand.
I am using Seagate and Western Digital and have had no problems.

Get the highest Cache size you can. The newer ones (3.5 inch desktop) are 32mb, this will increase the HD performance.
RPM 7200 is preferable.

Let us know if you have any questions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2009   #9
kishan

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 RTM
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dave76 View Post
Your backup files will be the size of your data, compression will reduce that by 10-30%.

Video or music files won't compress much if any.

Everyone has their opinion on HD brands, you will be safe with any major brand.
I am using Seagate and Western Digital and have had no problems.

Get the highest Cache size you can. The newer ones (3.5 inch desktop) are 32mb, this will increase the HD performance.
RPM 7200 is preferable.

Let us know if you have any questions.
Thanks Dave. No more questions for now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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