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Thread: 2 data drives mirrored in RAID1, how to add to a new system?

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    Question 2 data drives mirrored in RAID1, how to add to a new system?

    Hi gang

    I have my XP OS on one 500Gb drive, and 2x 250GB drives set as a RAID1 mirror for my music, pictures, etc. I want to format my OS drive and reinstall it. What I am wondering (and worrying about) is how do I then "add" my RAID data array to my fresh installation?

    When I made the array in the first place I had 2 empty drives so it wasn't a problem. But adding 2 drives full of (identical) data - what will happen? I've got a P5W DH Deluxe and am using the onboard RAID with Intel's Matrix Storage Manager.

    Basically, please tell me what's the foolproof way to add them to the new system! Will I be able to plug them in and Matrix Storage manage recognise they are a RAID1 array? Will it try to create a new array and then realise the data is identical so nothing gets changed? Or will they get formatted??!

    Please share any actual experiences, this data is far too valuable to take any risks with!

    Hope you can help (Hexus always does!)

    Cheers all

    DM

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    Re: 2 data drives mirrored in RAID1, how to add to a new system?

    The RAID array 'should' be OK. Its the OS disk with the chipset drivers that usually causes the issues.

    Just try it and see what happens. If you have a new rig then theres nothing to lose

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    Re: 2 data drives mirrored in RAID1, how to add to a new system?

    Quote Originally Posted by dancingmatt View Post
    .... this data is far too valuable to take any risks with!
    That says it all. Back it up first. If you have to, buy another hard drive to do it. And, if practical, back it up in at least two different places, and make sure at least one of them isn't connected to the PC you're working on.

    If it's to valuable to risk, don't risk it. Just don't.

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    Re: 2 data drives mirrored in RAID1, how to add to a new system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen View Post
    The RAID array 'should' be OK. Its the OS disk with the chipset drivers that usually causes the issues.

    Just try it and see what happens. If you have a new rig then theres nothing to lose
    Er, it's a reinstallation not a new rig, and I have 250GB of data to lose

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    Re: 2 data drives mirrored in RAID1, how to add to a new system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    That says it all. Back it up first. If you have to, buy another hard drive to do it. And, if practical, back it up in at least two different places, and make sure at least one of them isn't connected to the PC you're working on.

    If it's to valuable to risk, don't risk it. Just don't.
    I figure it should be straightforward, and not need to cost me £30 for a drive that afterwards I can't then fit in my PC. It must be "doable", I just don't know what to expect. (That said, I am thinking I might copy everything I can onto our laptop as a backup.)

    One idea I had was to unplug the 2 RAID drives for the installation (to the OS drive), then attach one of them, format the other, and then rebuild the mirror array onto the formatted drive. But I thought - maybe the RAID will mirror the empty drive onto the full one!

    Hypothetically speaking, if a drive is part of a working RAID1 array, and then it is removed and attached to a different PC, are all the files accessable? Are they saved in a special way, marked as part of a mirror, or is it just a normal drive? If it was part of a RAID0 array then all the data would be useless without the rest of the drives, but does RAID1 make it a "special" format at all?

    Thanks guys

    DM

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    Re: 2 data drives mirrored in RAID1, how to add to a new system?

    Matt - it *shouldn't* do anything with the array, as the array exists outside of Windows, but then you said that the data is too valuable to risk, so I'm with Saracen. Hard disks are cheap these days, surely £30 for a disk that you can keep as a spare is a lot less than your "too valuable to risk" data?

    At the end of the day, you have to weigh up the risks and decide yourself, but I know what I'd be doing. Also remember that RAID is not a substitute for backups - why not fit the extra drive purely for backup purposes?

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    Re: 2 data drives mirrored in RAID1, how to add to a new system?

    I can't re-emphasize what the others had said too much. If your data is valuable, £30 is nothing to back it up, compared with possible £300 upwards for a data recovery company to get it back if it does go wrong. If it isn't worth £30 - it isn't worth keeping - although the fact that you have put it in a RAID suggests that it is.

    What sort of RAID system is it? If it is a MOBO raid system, then the array should appear as just another drive - if it is a hardware controller, then you will have no problems.

    Again - to echo others, a RAID system is NOT a substitute for backup, so your investment in a back-up drive won't be wasted. (Install it in a USB caddy to be really flexible about it)
    Last edited by peterb; 06-06-2008 at 07:54 AM.
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