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Windows 7: Covert single disk to RAID and vice versus


01 Feb 2012   #1

Windows 7 64bit
 
 
Covert single disk to RAID and vice versus

Hello,

Lets imagine three situations:
1)You have two hard drives in your PC. Drive A contains Windows installation and other files. Drive B is an empty drive. Your Motherboard supports RAID 1(additionally 0 and 5) and you want to setup hardware RAID 1.
Is it possible to switch HDD to RAID mode, enter RAID BIOS, create array using drive A, copy drive B content to drive A and run RAID 1 using two drives(drive A should rebuild array on next restart and copy mirror drive A on drive B)

2)You have two drives, drive A and drive B running in hardware RAID 1.
You need to format drive B, copy drive A's content oto drive B(which should be non-raid drive now) and install non-raid drive B on another PC.

3)You have three drive A, B, C.
Drive C contains Windows and other files. You need to setup RAID 1 using drive A and B and then copy Windows from drive C to newly created array consisting of drive A and B.

All three scenarios require no Windows re-installation.

Can anyone please post step by step tutorial for all three scenarios or point to already posted appropriate tutorials?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

01 Feb 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center 64 bit
 
 

Good luck with any of those scenarios. That isn't meant as a flame but more as a reality check. Some (expensive) dedicated RAID cards will rebuild an array etc but most motherboard onboard RAID setups will make you start from scratch if a drive fails. I'm no expert but my advice to you is to backup, make an image, before you try to do what you proposed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2012   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

Why do you want to RAID your Windows 7? We see nothing but problems with RAID here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


08 Feb 2012   #4

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
Good luck with any of those scenarios. That isn't meant as a flame but more as a reality check. Some (expensive) dedicated RAID cards will rebuild an array etc but most motherboard onboard RAID setups will make you start from scratch if a drive fails. I'm no expert but my advice to you is to backup, make an image, before you try to do what you proposed.
I have a tutorial to create array with two new HDDs, copy an image of the existing drive to it and then boot from RAID array, but that is seems to be the only scenario that is going to work.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Why do you want to RAID your Windows 7? We see nothing but problems with RAID here.
I am hearing controversial opinions about RAIDs these days and not really sure yet.
What I need to do is have a copy of my HDD in case my current HDD fails so I can boot from the mirror drive asap without rebuilding anything.

Is there any other option available except RAID 1?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2012   #5
Microsoft MVP

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center 64 bit
 
 

RAID 1 "should" do what you want. About the only thing it will protect you from is "a" hard drive failure. If your file system gets infected or mangled, it gets mangled on both drives simultaneously. The big thing is, "how easy is it to rebuild the array" when you replace the dud drive. You need to read up on your motherboards RAID capabilities. Even if it can do a rebuild on the fly your PC is probably going to take a performance hit while it does it. You may have to buy an off the shelf card to do what you want.
I think most people setup a stripped RAID 0 array thinking its going to boost performance only to be disappointed. In the short time I played around with it I spent more time rebuilding the array and re-installing windows than getting any productive use out of it. For me and a lot of other people it was more trouble than it was worth.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2012   #6

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
RAID 1 "should" do what you want. About the only thing it will protect you from is "a" hard drive failure. If your file system gets infected or mangled, it gets mangled on both drives simultaneously. The big thing is, "how easy is it to rebuild the array" when you replace the dud drive. You need to read up on your motherboards RAID capabilities. Even if it can do a rebuild on the fly your PC is probably going to take a performance hit while it does it. You may have to buy an off the shelf card to do what you want.
I think most people setup a stripped RAID 0 array thinking its going to boost performance only to be disappointed. In the short time I played around with it I spent more time rebuilding the array and re-installing windows than getting any productive use out of it. For me and a lot of other people it was more trouble than it was worth.
Hard drive failure is my main concern.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2012   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Make an image or a clone. That is much easier.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Feb 2012   #8

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Not when you need up to the hour data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Feb 2012   #9

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

I will probably go with Windows software RAID.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center 64 bit
 
 

Performance wise I would think that would be the worst of all options. Likely the easiest to setup though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Covert single disk to RAID and vice versus




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