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Windows 7: Undo RAID 0 and move OS to one HD

16 Feb 2011   #1

Windows 7 64bit Ultimate
Undo RAID 0 and move OS to one HD

I have read of problems using RAID 0 for video editing and I have my OS Windows 7 Professional on two WD FAEX 1TB drives in RAID 0. I have decided I want to Put the OS on one of the drives and use the other for media storage. I want to do away with the RAID configuration. Do I need reformat both hard drives, change BIOS setting in ASUS P6T Deluxe v2 motherboard and do new reinstall of Windows Pro OS? My goal is to do video editing with Vegas Pro 9.0 Intel i7 920, 2.66Ghz, 12GB Corsair RAM, 6 X 2GB, 850W Corsair pwr supply, NVIDIA Quadro FX1800 video card and HT OMEGA Striker 7.1 sound card in Coolermaster 600 case. Working fine now. Would like to make changes without messing everything up. Help please.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2011   #2

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64

Hi edokie and welcome to Windows 7 Forums

Since the data in a RAID0 volume is split and interleaved between 2 or more HDDs, you will have to reinstall if you want to do what you are thinking. You are correct in saying that you need to change BIOS settings, however reformatting the drives is optional. The OS drive will be formatted during the installation process, and you can optionally format the other drive either at the same time or from within Windows itself.

However, have you considered using a smaller drive e.g. a 250GB one for your OS and still leaving the other drives in a RAID0 configuration for your data (you will, of course, need to erase their contents)? This will give you the best results, as I think the problem stems not from having your system set up as RAID0 but doing video editing on files that exist on the same disk as your OS and paging file. With audio, this is possible due to the lower data rate, but with video and its higher data rate it is very noticeable if there is a lot of paging activity.

Either way, you will need a clean reinstallation of the OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2011   #3
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello edokie, welcome to Seven Forums!

If you want to do away with the RAID, after you have copied out or made back-ups of the data you need to save to external media.

First power down the PC to disconnect all HDDs but one from the mobo and leave that connected to the #1 SATA port on the mobo and set it as the second boot device after the CD/DVD drive; then set the motherboard from RAID to AHCI in the BIOS.

Next boot the Windows 7 DVD and use Step One of this tutorial at the link below to do a wipe (secure erase) to the entire Hard Disk Drive, running this then using the outline in Step Two #2 to create/format and mark Active a single 100GB partition using diskpart will get you the best possible space to clean install Windows 7 to.

After the install, if you want to extend the Windows partition to the whole 1TB you can.

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

DISKPART : At PC Startup

Then when Windows 7 is booting good, power down the PC and reconnect the other HDD and restart Windows; have a look at this tutorial at the link below, you'll want to do the clean all listed in step #7 from an elevated command window to the other HDD to wipe it also.

Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command

Be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Feb 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64

Welcome Edoki.

I concur with Dwarf : since you will need to break the RAID array in the BIOS, in addition to setting the controller to either AHCI or IDE, you will have to reinstall the OS, the program files, and copy your data back from the external storage. In addition to Dwarf's suggestion about keeping the data on the existing RAID0 (you will miss the speed!), you might consider, budget allowing of course, to install a SSD and have the OS and program files on that. This will address your concerns, and also give you a very significant boost in terms of program loading and access.

If, however, you want to follow your original plan of action, then following BFK's posted advice is the best way to go about it.

Don't forget to backup all your data externally before starting!

Good luck,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

I would backup the data before doing anything, but for a learning purpose, I'd try running Sysprep and then making and image of the install. If it works, great. If not, oh well, you tried, and then you can do a clean install, knowing your data is safe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
I would backup the data before doing anything, but for a learning purpose, I'd try running Sysprep and then making and image of the install. If it works, great. If not, oh well, you tried, and then you can do a clean install, knowing your data is safe.
Great idea. This might work where imaging cannot.

Let us know how it works if you try it: Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
reinstallation not required

Here's how I did it (Windows 7, Intel ICH10r Raid 0 -> non raid)
1. make sure raid volume size is less than that of a single physical drive
- use "shrink volume" in disk manager
2. create image backup (windows backup is fine)
- quickest when done to a sata hard drive, I have an hot swap slot and just slide them in
3. remove the drives that make up the Raid 0 pair and set them aside
- just in case something goes very wrong, you can always go back by putting them back in
4. Leave Backup drive connected but Disconnect all other drives (just in case)
5. Put in new drive(s) to replace Raid 0 pair (one or more)
6. boot from recovery disk (or installation disk)
7. Recovery will find your latest image backup and suggest that you restore from it
- do that, windows will boot after the restore is complete
8. Shutdown and reconnect other drives
9. Boot up & readjust volume sizes, rename, associate drive letters as required
- note that primary boot drive volume size will be smaller than physical drive capacity if you followed step 1, if not you probably never got to this step
- use "extend volume" in disk manager
10. in my case search indexer re-indexed everything (took a while)
11. Backup once you're sure things look good

There can be some other quirks depending on your configuration (there were for me).

Bottom line: no need to reinstall unless you have other motivations to do so.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP


Great. Thanks for reporting back. This is valuable information for others searching for how to image RAID over to a single HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Undo RAID 0 and move OS to one HD

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