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Windows 7: Boot from Mirrored Drive set?


13 Sep 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Boot from Mirrored Drive set?

I installed Windows 7 on a system with a pair of 1 TB drives "C:" and a 500 GB drive "D:". I am using mirror function built in to Windows 7. I don't like hdwe RAID, as I may not be able to replace a failed controller. Unexpectedly, part of Windows got on the small drive instead of the mirrored pair, and I can't boot without D:. Disk Mgt reports D: has System, Active, Primary Partition; while C: is Boot, Page File. MS support Indian says I need to reinstall Windows after disconnecting D:, and everything will be OK. (I tried, but Install wouldn't let me - I guess I need to format the disk, and I really don't want to). MS support didn't seem too knowledgeable so I'm not confident. I have questions remaining:
!. Can Windows 7 even boot from a Windows 7 mirrored drive? I've read on forums that OS needs to be on another drive, that is not part of the mirror, which would sort of render the mirror meaningless. I don't want to have to reinstall Windows after a failure - been there, done that. Booting from a non-mirrored partition on a physical drive otherwise mirrored wouldn't help. Maybe I just need a Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk?
2. Last comments notwithstanding, can I move the system from D: to a partition of C:, rename that partition D: and disconnect old D:? I was thinking of using MiniTool Partition Wizard, but first I need to break the mirror.




My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Sep 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello jrh0, welcome to Seven Forums!





As you say D: is "System, Active" there is one thing to try before you reinstall, you will need to mark C: as "System, Active", have a look at this tutorial at the link below for the info; be sure to post back with an update.


Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2010   #3

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks for your Response! "Mark Partition as Active" does not appear when I right-click on C: It's not that it's grayed out, it simply isn't on the list. Is "Active" incompatible with a mirrored or Dynamic drive? I guess I need to break the mirror and do as your link says. But after I do this, and System is installed on Active C:, will I be able to mirror C: again? Does Windows 7 allow System to exist on a mirrored drive? Incidentally, if I right click on a D: partition or on my USB H:, "Add Mirror..." is grayed out. Is only one mirrored pair allowed per machine?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


14 Sep 2010   #4

 
 

It is my understanding that the Vista / 7 bootmgr will not boot from inside a raid configuration. It is possible to create the 100 MB "System Reserved" partition on one of the raid disks to use as a boot partition. When the rest of the hard drive is formatted in the RAID configuration, the loss of 100 MB on both discs of the mirrored set is minimal while allowing the OS to exist inside the RAID. An alternative is to create the 100 MB "System Reserved" partition on a non-RAID disk and used as the boot partition.

In contrast, I also have two hard drives in my desktop. Windows 7 resides on a 60 GB hard drive and I weekly update an image and store it on a second hard drive of 160 GB. When the OS hard drive crashed, I simply replaced it and booted to the Windows 7 DVD (or you could use the "Repair CD") and restored the image to the bare hard drive. It was over in minutes, and the computer was back up and running. Couldn't have been easier or simpler.

I have used RAID with up to 5 hard drives at different times and find no advantage to raid over hard drive imaging. They both seem to share equally the risk of total data loss, the only difference being maintaining RAID seems to be a full time job.

Cheers!
Robert
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Thanks Robert for your help, I don't really have any experience to speak of using RAID.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2010   #6

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
Thanks Robert for your help, I don't really have any experience to speak of using RAID.
My pleasure.

Didn't you write a tut on "DiskPart"? I can't find it ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2010   #7
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by iseeuu View Post




Didn't you write a tut on "DiskPart"? I can't find it ...


This one, I've been meaning to cover diskpart more fully but there are so many different tutorials on different aspects of diskpart that it would be covering parts that have been covered elsewhere.

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2010   #8

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by iseeuu View Post




Didn't you write a tut on "DiskPart"? I can't find it ...


This one, I've been meaning to cover diskpart more fully but there are so many different tutorials on different aspects of diskpart that it would be covering parts that have been covered elsewhere.

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation
I want to use DiskPart to mark a partition "Active" and thought you wrote a tut on it already?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Boot from Mirrored Drive set?




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