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Windows 7: Installing SSD on an existing RAID system?

09 Dec 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Installing SSD on an existing RAID system?

Hi,

I'm currently using Windows 7 Professional and have 4 internal HD's set up in RAID.

Current Setup:
2 - 500GB drives in RAID 0
2 - 500GB drives in RAID 1

I use the RAID 1 drives for backup purposes only.

I have 3 partitions on Raid 0, named as follows: A:,B:,C:
I have the OS (Windows 7) installed on C: partition and use the other two partitions on RAID 0 for data.

Future Setup:
I have just bought the Intel X-25 120GB SSD and would like to do a clean OS install on the SSD and still keep my RAID 0 and RAID 1 setup for other data.

Here's my question:
1. How can I install the OS on SSD without disrupting any data on the RAID 0 and RAID 1 HD's?

I would like to be able to install the OS on SSD and still have access to the data on my previous C: drive on RAID 0 (including the OS data). I want to delete the OS data on the RAID 0 HD from within Windows(on SDD) if that makes. Will that be possible?

I'm afraid of losing my RAID drives/data. I have read that I should unplug the RAID drives before I install Windows on SDD and then re-plug them again. Is there a particular order I should do that in? Will the BIOS recognize the old set up if I unplug/re-plug the old drives?

Please advise.

OR Please suggest the best way to install Windows on the single SSD without losing the existing RAID 0 & RAID 1 setup and data. If you could please provide the "Steps" to accomplish this, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Dec 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

I would back up all of your data externally because RAID is problematic with Windows 7 installs.

May I ask what advantages you hope to gain by using RAID when the SSD will provide you with best possible performance, while Windows 7 built-in drive imaging makes redundancy redundant.

The reason you're advised to unplug RAID during install to SSD is because Windows 7 will configure a Dual Boot with your old Windows 7 otherwise.

So my advice is unplug RAID0 which contains Windows 7 now, plug in the SSD, initialize it in Disk Mgmt, install Windows 7, then power down to plug back in the RAID0 to see if it will run. If not just use the data drives separately for storage with likely the same performance.

You then can either delete the Windows 7 partition using Diskpart "Delete Partition Override" command, or take ownership of the OS files you don't want and delete them: Take Ownership Shortcut
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Dec 2010   #3

Win7 32bit Professional
 
 

Hi all, I want to do something similar, with 32 bit Windows 7, currently on a RAID0 [2 x 400gbhdds]....
I read your reply gregrocker, but am not sure about something you said...most likely because of my lack of knowledge...and would appreciate if you would take the time to expand.
If I unplug the RAID setup, which contains my OS, how do I initialise the SSD?
Or do I plug the SSD in first, while the RAID setup is still operating, initialise the SSD, power down, unplug the RAID hdds and install Win 7 on the SSD? And then reinstate the RAID setup and delete Win 7 partition as you described.
And...when I restart with two OS installed, what am I likely to be confronted with on startup?
I appreciate your time and help in advance. thank you. Aussie Greg
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Dec 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

Hey Aussie Greg -

There are mixed reports on keeping RAID0 when adding an new SSD to install Windows 7, as it is mobo-specific.

I would back up my data externally regardless of what I do.

If you plug in the SSD to initialize in Disk Mgmt then install Windows 7, it will configure a Dual Boot with the extant Windows 7 on RAID. This might be safest since there are reports RAID could not be retrieved after it is unplugged during install.

However I would not run RAID on Windows 7 since it offers little performance advantage and complete data loss if one HD fails, making it preferable to separate the HD's to use as Data or Storage. In this case you can wipe the HD's first using Diskpart from DVD Repair console Command Line of from Windows 7 elevated Command Line after install:
Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command
DISKPART : At PC Startup
User Folders - Change Default Location

If you want to keep RAID you can keep it plugged in during install and we will help you afteward to remove the Dual Boot and delete Windows 7 on the RAID, or you can try unplugging the RAID during SSD install to see if it will re-RAID when you plug it back in.

A lot of trouble for little performance gain and no redundancy with RAID.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Dec 2010   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Hi,

I did something similar recently, although I did build the RAID0 storage only after installing Windows 7 to an SSD. I agree with GregRocker, backup all your data prior to adding the SSD.

In terms of performance, I disagree. The RAID0 array still delivers exceptional performance compared to a single platter - see post #560 here Show us your hard drive performance

As GregRocker points out, RAID0 has no redundancy, regardless of which OS you are using. You could try RAID5 to offset the lack of redundancy if that is critical to you.

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Dec 2010   #6

Win7 32bit Professional
 
 

Hello Golden and Gregrocker.
Thanks for taking the time to reply. So I have few things to read up on!
I have the luxury of having this computer to play my Games on [almost exclusively] so don't have a lot of data to back up [which is also partly why I set up RAID0...no big loss if it crashed].
I think I will take your advice and do away with the RAID configuration after setting up the SSD. Because even with a 60Gb SSD there is still room to install the OS and my main game and store saved games on another HDD.
If I then restart with only one of the RAID0 hdds plugged in [to avoid twin OS conflict], will Disk Manager recognise it and will I then be able to wipe it....or is this OFF TOPIC [I apologise if so]
Hope you have had/are having a good Christmas. AussieGreg
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Dec 2010   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

Yes, after install to the SSD plug back in either or both HD's, then open an elevated Command Prompt, use Diskpart "Clean All' to wipe HD. If this poses any problem, use the DVD or Repair CD Command Line:
Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command
DISKPART : At PC Startup

The best arrangement for smaller SSD's is to place your OS and Programs on the SSD, then move your User folders to one of the other HD's: Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command
DISKPART : At PC Startup

This keeps your system partition backup image lean so if Windows 7 becomes irreparable you can easily reimage SSD from the stored image and your files will be waiting and current in their own partition "vault" - which also should be backed up regularly. Backup User and System Files
Backup User and System Files
System Image Recovery
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Dec 2010   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Aussie Greg View Post
If I then restart with only one of the RAID0 hdds plugged in [to avoid twin OS conflict], will Disk Manager recognise it and will I then be able to wipe it....or is this OFF TOPIC [I apologise if so]
Yes - it will recognise it, but you will have to format it, using either Greg's method, or in Manager.

What game are you installing by the way? I have an OCZ Vertex2 60GB SSD, but I chose to install my Steam and BFBC2 to my RAID0 drive. I probably could have put it on the SSD anyway, but if it fits on your SSD, then do it that way.

Here is a link for you to "tune" up your SSD once its up and running:
Guide * Windows 7 Ultimate Tweaks & Utilities *
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Dec 2010   #9

Win7 32bit Professional
 
 

I mainly play Company Of heroes....yeah I know it's a bit old, but so am I and my reflexes aren't brilliant so I prefer RTS rather than FPS games, plus I build and 'play' with my computers for something to do and because I love technology
Anyway, many thanks to both of you for your time, I really dig how so many people are willing to share their knowledge. I've got this forum in my Favourites.
Thanks again AussieGreg
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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