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    raid question

    Hi all.
    Quick raid question: I've been worrying about the security of my system with its single hard disk - is it possible to add another identical disk and make a raid 1 setup (thats the safe mirroring one isnt it?) without having to format the existing disk with the OS and all my stuff on it? (and if so, do I follow the standard procedure in the manual? I assembled the pc myself but RAIDs are foreign territory to me)

    Thanks

    (vista 64 home premium, asus p5q deluxe mobo, Seagate ST3500320AS 500gb HD)

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    Re: raid question

    1. No, generally you have to create the RAID array from scratch, you cannot create a RAID array and preserve the data on it. This is because the array appears as a single logical drive which happens to be comprised of 2 or more physical drives.

    2. RAID 1 is NOT a substitute for backing up. True it mitigates against a single disk failure, but it doesn't protect against a failure of the controller, or of the entire system, or (for example) corrupted data being written to the disk system - it will corrupt both disk file systems.

    However...

    You could, create (using repartitioning software, and if your disk has space, create two empty partitions and RAID those, then store data on that, but it would be a bit of a faff and messing with partition tables always carries some risk.

    Otherwise, if you really want to go the RAID route, create the array from two new disks, and then clone your existing disk to the newly created array. You could then keep the old drive (in say a USB caddy) as backup store

    But...

    RAID 1 is really suitable for servers where resilience and uptime is important (assuming you have a RAID system that supports hot swapping). Raid 1 is useful for many things, but a substitute for a proper backup strategy isn't one of them!
    Last edited by peterb; 29-05-2009 at 08:54 PM.
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    Re: raid question

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    1. No, generally you have to create the RAID array from scratch, you cannot create a RAID array and preserve the data on it. This is because the array appears as a single logical drive which happens to be comprised of 2 or more physical drives.
    bah, was worried it might be like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    2. RAID 1 is NOT a substitute for backing up. True it mitigates against a single disk failure, but it doesn't protect against a failure of the controller, or of the entire system, or (for example) corrupted data being written to the disk system - it will corrupt both disk file systems.

    However...

    You could, create (using repartitioning software, and if your disk has space, create two empty partitions and RAID those, then store data on that, but it would be a bit of a faff and messing with partition tables always carries some risk.

    Otherwise, if you really want to go the RAID route, create the array from two new disks, and then clone your existing disk to the newly created array. You could then keep the old drive (in say a USB caddy) as backup store

    But...

    RAID 1 is really suitable for servers where resilience and uptime is important (assuming you have a RAID system that supports hot swapping). Raid 1 is useful for many things, but a substitute for a proper backup strategy isn't one of them!
    that's cleared a lot of things up, thanks for the help!

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