How do you add RAID or mirror Technology?

Posted on 2003-02-20
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
A month or so ago I got an email or newsletter (or something) on how to implement RAID or mirroring technology. It has disappeared into the black hole which lurks around my PC. I think I'd like to add the protective features of RAID or mirroring to my PC, which is as follows:
1. Compaq Presario 5000 series, 1.0 GHz, Windows XP, 512 MB.
2. HDD #0 - 40 GB, NTFS, all as Drive C:. [No drive D:].
3. HDD #1 - 30 GB, NTFS, five equal partitions as drives:
   E:, F:, G:, H:, & I:.
4. I'd like to add a third HDD, 80 GB, and partition to match the first two HDDs, and then do the mirroring trick.

Question: Is this feasible, and what does it take to setup the third HDD to do this? What hardware/software is needed? Where can I get a good description or information on this subject? I'd say this question is easy for someone who has been down the road on this subject, but I'll give 100 points for a good comprehensive answer.
Question by:JimCaraway
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 14
  • 8
  • 5
  • +5

Expert Comment

ID: 7991667
Unfortunately, Windows XP pro does not allow for software mirroring of volumes.  The only way this can be accomplished is to use hardware mirroring.  One way is to purchase a Promise IDE RAID Controller card.  Then connect the hard drives, setup mirroring typically you should use similar sized hardrives (2-30GB hard drives to create one RAID 1 array (mirrored).  If you are going to mirror your Operating System is best to start from scratch.

Expert Comment

ID: 7994491
if you dont want to install a raid card load up windows 2000 server - it has an inbuilt software mirroring facility - although again you will need identical drives.

installation of a raid card AFTER loading up your operating system will lead to all the data being destroyed while the raid card 'initialises' the drives.

Hardware raid is the better solution as it is very flexible and allows the hot swapping of drives and automatically rebuilds drives with minimal down time - that is why many servers run hardware raid. Software raid hoggs processor time and doesnt allow hot swapping of drives but is quite cheap if your OS is windows 2000 server.

you need to work out whther you want hardware raid or software raid either option will cost money.

Author Comment

ID: 7995742
I just purchased a Silicone Image PCI IDE RAID Ultra ATA 133 100 card at eBay. If this card isn't useful I haven't lost much. It says it supports RAID function 1 mirroring, which is what I believe I need. I'm still looking for a document or paper which will enlighten me on this entire subject, because I'm not sure just what I need or want. I was looking for someone who has done this recently and could tutor me through the pitfalls. Look at my original question: I want to use an 80 GB HDD to keep a constant "copy" of my files on my existing two HDDs, but not necessarily the operating system files. I can always reinstall Windows XP. But would be nice if the OS was saved also so, if necessary, I could transfer everything back to a new HDD C: (sector to sector)if the old drive had failed. Might not the mirror drive be reconnected as the primary C: drive with all system files, registry, etc., working in case the current drive C: fails? Isn't that how RAID works?
Use Case: Protecting a Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

Microsoft Azure is rapidly becoming the norm in dynamic IT environments. This document describes the challenges that organizations face when protecting data in a hybrid cloud IT environment and presents a use case to demonstrate how Acronis Backup protects all data.


Expert Comment

ID: 7997817
- yes that is how raid works but raid 1 (mirroring) only requires two drives to work, the third drive you mention could not be used with raid 1. Mirroring would copy and synchronise ALL sectors of your primary drive (operating system and all) to your secondary drive, you must have two identical size/make/speed drives to be safe.

If your primary drive fails the raid card simply tells you it has failed and uses the second mirrored drive to keep you running, if the primary drive cannot be repaired you simply install an additional drive and the raid card restablishes the mirror on the 'new' drive.

I suggest you buy two identical drives install your raid card, configure your primary drive how you want it and then mirror to the second drive using your raid card.

The following link gives you the basics


Expert Comment

ID: 8023694
Your disk setup with 2 drives trying to be mirrord to a third would be tricky. at the hardware level you would have to combine the first two to be one 'disk' and then mirror that 'disk' to the other. I once did something this with a HP netserver running netware but that had a dedicated controller card, was expensive and isn't your O/S anyway)

If want you want to achieve is having copies made of your files on the first 2 disk whilst you work (and you say your not too bothered about synching the OS would be setup a scheduled task to run on the hour to 'robocopy' files from the first 2 disks disk to the other excluding the winnt and program files folders. (roboocopy is a winnt resourse kit file) I would do a robocopy /s every hour and a robocopy /mir once a day. You get files in synch every hour and you have the ability recover accidently deleted files from the other disk as they are only purged once a day.

Another alternative if you have a second PC would be to use a product like doubletake to send files from one PC to the other as they are modified.

Author Comment

ID: 8026740
I have an IDE RAID controller card, ATA/133, and an 80GB HDD, ATA data transfer of 133MB/sec. If I understand the CMD Medley ATA RAID Software correctly, one can create "mirrored sets" using logical drives as well as physical disk drives. That issue is the crux of my question (and problem.) If I cannot partition the new 80 GB HDD to match the logical drives on my two existing HDDs, and mirrot to them, then I'll have to do something else like your robocopy.

I cannot afford to experiment and possibly destroy my existing data (some 200,000 files); that's why I'm belaboring this point so long. I want to KNOW what I'm doing before I start!

Again, here is the configuration I want:
C: (40 GB physical drive #0) >> mirror to >> N: (40 GB Logical drive on physical drive #2)

E: (6 GB logical drive on physical drive #1) >> mirror to >> O: (6 GB Logical drive on physical drive #2)

F: (6 GB logical drive on physical drive #1) >> mirror to >> P: (6 GB Logical drive on physical drive #2)

G: (6 GB logical drive on physical drive #1) >> mirror to >> Q: (6 GB Logical drive on physical drive #2)

H: (6 GB logical drive on physical drive #1) >> mirror to >> R: (6 GB Logical drive on physical drive #2)

I: (6 GB logical drive on physical drive #1) >> mirror to >> S: (6 GB Logical drive on physical drive #2)

Whatever is leftover on physical drive #2, I'd assign as drive D: (a scratch drive). I'd end up with:
Physical drive #0 - C:
Physical drive #1 -     E:, F:, G:, H:, I:
Physical drive #2 - N:, O:, P:, Q:, R:, S:, D:

If this is not possible then it might be just as well to spend another hundred bucks for a second 80GB HDD and mirror the two physical 80's. Then comes the problem of transferring all data off two physical drives onto just one physical drive, including operating system files. I don't know how to do that either.

I'm increasing points to 300 (if it will let me) because this is a serious question for me and I realize the answer will take someone's time, and I want to make it worthwhile for you. If RAID is not the answer then please elaborate on  a timed backup system like what was mentioned above by sunhillcopper (robocopy?) Thanks very much.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 8027828
Basic Storage Versus Dynamic Storage in Windows XP


The information in this article applies to:
Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition
Microsoft Windows XP Professional

This article was previously published under Q314343

Microsoft Windows XP offers two types of disk storage: basic and dynamic.
Basic Disk Storage
Basic storage uses normal partition tables supported by MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me), Microsoft Windows NT, Microsoft Windows 2000, and Windows XP. A disk initialized for basic storage is called a basic disk. A basic disk contains basic volumes, such as primary partitions, extended partitions, and logical drives.

Additionally, basic volumes include multidisk volumes that are created by using Windows NT 4.0 or earlier, such as volume sets, stripe sets, mirror sets, and stripe sets with parity. Windows XP does not support these multidisk basic volumes. Any volume sets, stripe sets, mirror sets, or stripe sets with parity must be backed up and deleted or converted to dynamic disks before you install Windows XP Professional.
Dynamic Disk Storage
Dynamic storage is supported in Windows 2000 and Windows XP Professional. A disk initialized for dynamic storage is called a dynamic disk. A dynamic disk contains dynamic volumes, such as simple volumes, spanned volumes, striped volumes, mirrored volumes, and RAID-5 volumes.

NOTE: Dynamic disks are not supported on portable computers or on Windows XP Home Edition-based computers.

You cannot create mirrored volumes or RAID-5 volumes on Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, or Windows XP 64-Bit Edition-based computers. However, you can use a Windows XP Professional-based computer to create a mirrored or RAID-5 volume on remote computers that are running Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Advanced Server, or Windows 2000 Datacenter Server. You must have administrative privileges on the remote computer to do this.

Storage types are separate from the file system type. A basic or dynamic disk can contain any combination of FAT16, FAT32, or NTFS partitions or volumes.

A disk system can contain any combination of storage types. However, all volumes on the same disk must use the same storage type.
Convert a Basic Disk to a Dynamic Disk
Use the Disk Management snap-in in Windows XP to convert a basic disk to a dynamic disk. To do this, follow these steps:
Log on as Administrator or as a member of the Administrators group.
Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
Click Performance and Maintenance, click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Computer Management.
In the left pane, click Disk Management.
In the lower-right pane, right-click the basic disk that you want to convert, and then click Convert to Dynamic Disk.

NOTE:You must right-click the gray area that contains the disk title on the left side of the Details pane. For example, right-click Disk 0.
Select the check box that is next to the disk that you want to convert (if it is not already selected), and then click OK.
Click Details if you want to view the list of volumes in the disk.
Click Convert.
Click Yes when you are prompted to convert the disk, and then click OK.
WARNING: After you convert a basic disk to a dynamic disk, local access to the dynamic disk is limited to Windows 2000 and Windows XP Professional. Additionally, after you convert a basic disk to a dynamic disk, the dynamic volumes cannot be changed back to partitions. You must first delete all dynamic volumes on the disk and then convert the dynamic disk back to a basic disk. If you want to keep your data, you must first back up the data or move it to another volume.

Dynamic Storage Terms:
A volume is a storage unit made from free space on one or more disks. It can be formatted with a file system and assigned a drive letter. Volumes on dynamic disks can have any of the following layouts: simple, spanned, mirrored, striped, or RAID-5.
A simple volume uses free space from a single disk. It can be a single region on a disk or consist of multiple, concatenated regions. A simple volume can be extended within the same disk or onto additional disks. If a simple volume is extended across multiple disks, it becomes a spanned volume.
A spanned volume is created from free disk space that is linked together from multiple disks. You can extend a spanned volume onto a maximum of 32 disks. A spanned volume cannot be mirrored and is not fault-tolerant.
A striped volume is a volume whose data is interleaved across two or more physical disks. The data on this type of volume is allocated alternately and evenly to each of the physical disks. A striped volume cannot be mirrored or extended and is not fault-tolerant. Striping is also known as RAID-0.
A mirrored volume is a fault-tolerant volume whose data is duplicated on two physical disks. All of the data on one volume is copied to another disk to provide data redundancy. If one of the disks fails, the data can still be accessed from the remaining disk. A mirrored volume cannot be extended. Mirroring is also known as RAID-1.
A RAID-5 volume is a fault-tolerant volume whose data is striped across an array of three or more disks. Parity (a calculated value that can be used to reconstruct data after a failure) is also striped across the disk array. If a physical disk fails, the portion of the RAID-5 volume that was on that failed disk can be re-created from the remaining data and the parity. A RAID-5 volume cannot be mirrored or extended.
The system volume contains the hardware-specific files that are needed to load Windows (for example, Ntldr, Boot.ini, and Ntdetect.com). The system volume can be, but does not have to be, the same as the boot volume.
The boot volume contains the Windows operating system files that are located in the %Systemroot% and %Systemroot%\System32 folders. The boot volume can be, but does not have to be, the same as the system volume.
For additional information about how to convert basic and dynamic disks, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
309044 HOW TO: Convert to Basic and Dynamic Disks in Windows XP Professional

For additional information about how to create a mirrored volume, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
307880 HOW TO: Create a Mirrored Volume

For additional information about how to create a RAID-5 volume, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
309043 HOW TO: Create a RAID-5 Volume

Last Reviewed: 12/31/2002
Keywords: kbinfo kbsetup kbwinnetswept KB314343

COPYRIGHT NOTICE. Copyright 2002 Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, Washington 98052-6399 U.S.A. All rights reserved.

Expert Comment

ID: 8031408
Hi Jim,

If the data is important to you and you don't want to take chances then.

1, Get that 2nd 80Gb Disk. Use something like Ghost to create Ghost Partitons from the first 2 drives on to the 80GB Drive.

2, Replace the original 2 drives with the new 80Gb drive
Restore Ghost partions for the 80Gb Drive to the new drive (you can also take the opportunity to resise the partions to refect a larger drive)

3, Mirror the 2 x 80Gb Drives, and you still have the original drives as a backup in case it goes pear shapeded.

Author Comment

ID: 8043491
OK, after careful deliberation I've decided that my data is worth a new second 80 GB HDD, identical to my current "new" one. Therefore, my plan is to [1] copy my current two old HDDs data to one of the 80 GB drives (with partitions on the 80GB about the same as is on the two current old drives), and [2] RAID mirror to the second 80 GB HDD like sunhillcopper mentioned above. I have Norton Ghost from their SystemWorks 2002, I printed out the PDF user guide for Ghost, and it being typical Nortonese, I don't have the faintest idea of where to start. Also, I don't know if things have changed but in all other Windows 9X if you created a Primary DOS partition on a new HDD and then made a new Extended DOS partition, with logical drives, the Primary DOS partition always assigned itself to drive D:, regardless of whether there was another drive D:. Does Windows XP do this? My question now becomes:

1. How do I prepare my new 80 GB HDD to be partitioned similar to my current two old HDDs (do I have to do this myself, or does the transfer or copy program do this for me?), and
2. What is the best program to transfer all data, including operation systems, from my two old HDDs to the new 80GB HDD? I have Ghost, XXCOPY and RoboCopy. I do NOT want to have to reinstall Windows XP!

For 300 points I want a step-by-step cookbook list on the two steps listed. I am not a novice with PCs, having worked and built them since 1975 and the Altair, so instructions can assume I know the basics. I'm also familiar with XP's Computer and Disk Management tools. On second thought, let's make this 500 points because I'm very serious about this problem and I cannot afford to make a mistake. If you need to you can reach me at jcaraway1@austin.rr.com.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 8046704
Hi Jim,

Don't partition the new HD's to match your old partitions. What you want to do is put the 2 new HD's on the RAID card and install the RAID management software. When the array is set up, you can then copy your data to the RAID using Explorer from within WinXP.

So, step-by-step:
1) Put the RAID card in an open slot.
2) Connect one 80GB HD to Primary Master on the RAID card.
3) Connect the other 80GB HD to Secondary Master on the RAID card.
4) Boot your computer.
5) Install the driver and the software.
6) Reboot the computer.
7) Press F3 when given the option to enter the RAID BIOS setup.
8) Press F2 to form a set when asked what function you wish to perform.
9) Press F2 to create a RAID1 set.
10) Press 0 to add the Primary Master to the set.
11) Press 2 to add the Secondary Master to the set.
(0=Primary Master, 1=Primary Slave, 2=Secondary Master, 3=Secondary Slave)
12) "Do you want to copy from source to destination?" It doesn't matter. They're both blank anyway.
13) "Are you sure? (Y/N)" Of course you are.
14) Hit ESC to get out of there and reboot.

You now should have a new 80GB drive in WinXP. Partition it however you like in Disk Management, then format it. Copy your data from your old drive onto the new one.

If you can find one, you might want to get a match to your 30GB drive, hook them up as slaves, then mirror those 2 to create a new 30GB mirrored drive.

You might now be thinking, "If I can 'copy from source to destination' then why not just do that from my 30GB to the 80GB?" You can do that if you like and it will work. Unfortunately, you may loose the other 50GB of space. The documentation I can find doesn't give me specifics on this, but that behavior is common on high-end SCSI RAIDs so I can only assume that it also applies here.

Hope this helps,

Author Comment

ID: 8050184
pbarrette, I don't have my second 80GB HDD yet so I've been cautiouly experimenting. I installed the Silicone Image PCI IDE RAID Ultra ATA 133 card in a PCI slot, using the SIL680RAID XP driver. I put a small HDD on pri master. I also installled the CMD Medley RAID software. However, I cannot find the RAID BIOS setup. It never shows up to give me an opportunity to press "F3" or anything else. And, it doesn't show up in the ROM-BIOS setup either. Is this because I don't have two HDDs connected? Your scheme sounds logical: make a RAID set, then partition them and format each logical drive. Does RAID partition/format the second drive automatically, or can I expect to have to do that too? Excuse my ignorance; I've never done this before, and the literature isn't too enlightning.

Then you said a mouthfull: Copy the data from the old drive to the new drive! I don't expect any trouble with my data drives (E,F,G,H,I); however, I've reviewed the manuals for GHOST, ROBOCOPY and XXCOPY and I'm skeptial about copying a whole system drive with Windows XP installed on it (C:) over to another logical drive, and have it work again flawlessly. Have you done this before? And, what copy program did you use? Like I said, I don't want to reinstall Win XP! There are too many programs in the "Program Files" folder. Also, when I do get the new system drive installed, would I not have to rename the old C: HDD to something else (like, "Z") and rename the new one to C:? Else, how would the system know which drive to boot from? Questions, questions, questions. You have a good start. Let's keep it going.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 8050545
Hi Jim,

I don't have the card in question, but it should gave come with a manual. If not, there is one here:

I can only assume that either:
A) It went by too quickly, or
B) It doesn't give you the option because you don't have enough devices to form a RAID array.

When you connect both 80GB drives, then create the array, it will not neccessarily partition and format the drives. This depends on if you have already done this to the first 80GB drive in WinXP. If so, and you answer YES to the "copy from source to destination" question, then it will appear exactly the same when you reboot, but it will actually be a mirrored set.

If you have done nothing to the first 80gb, then you will need to partition and format using Disk Admin when you boot into WinXP.


When I said "Copy the data" I was referring to the data on your 30GB drive (HDD#1). I don't know if you can boot from the RAID or not, so my instructions did not assume that you were going to be mirroring the system drive as well.

To copy that data, you can just use the WinXP Explorer interface to copy the files from E:, F:, G:, H: and I: onto the 80GB mirrored set.

If you can boot from the RAID, and you decide you want to mirror your system drive, then you will want to place your 80GB HD's as slaves on the RAID controller. This is because many OS's prefer to be Master's.

If you go this route, keep your WinXP disks handy as you will likely be required to boot off the CD into "Recovery Console" so you can run FIXBOOT. This is because your system drive will be on a different IDE controller and WinXP may not boot.


So, with the instructions I gave, you would end up with:
HD0: Your 40GB which remains your System boot disk (C:).
 Connected to the same place it is now.
HD1: Your 30GB, which you can use for whatever you like.
 Connected to the same place it is now.
HD3: Your 80GB RAID mirror, which contains all the valuable data that used to be on HD1.
 1-80GB connected to Pri-Master on RAID controller.
 1-80GB connected to Sec-Master on RAID controller.


Expert Comment

ID: 8066096
Hello Jim,
Here is an excellent link for your problem.  Hope this helps with your complete delemma... I find it very useful.
Good Luck !

Expert Comment

ID: 8066102
The main root of that link allows you a vast search capability...

Author Comment

ID: 8081682
Hi everyone. Seems I have reached an impasse with my problem. I contacted Compaq and they recommended I Flash my BIOS, which I did but what I had was already the latest version. Contacted Silicon Image (RAID card) and here is what they said: (Quote)
At 12:45 PM 3/5/2003 -0800, you wrote:
Hi, Jim.  Asking around about the problem with the missing BIOS screen, it appears that it is logged as a known problem and our firmware engineers are working on it.  I don't have a schedule for a fix, but we seem to have logged the problem.

Please check http://www.siliconimage.com/home.asp under Product Support for any updates on the 680A firmware.


Michael Gong
Field Applications Engineer
Silicon Image, Inc.    (Unquote)

Their engineer later told me that when they got a "fix" my card could be Flashed for the update.

To prevent a potential disaster I partitioned and formatted my new 80GB HDD to "match" my currnt logical drives, and ROBOCOPIED all data to it. My data is now safe. I'll setup some kind of schedule to do this on a regular basis. Robocopy gave me some trouble at first, and I'd like to elaborate for the benefit of those following this project:
1. Robocopy runs in Windows, at the Command Prompt.
2. I closed everything in the Tray before I started.
3. I put Robocopy on a floppy disk and run from drive A:.
4. The single disk copy command syntax is:
   A:\>robocopy E: O: /MIR /XF goback*.* /XF change.log

where E: was my source drive, O: was the destination drive, /MIR means to mirror, /XF means to exclude this item (file). When I ran robocopy the first time it found a file "in use" and couldn't copy. Sso I XF'd it. The second time it found another file "in use"; so I XF'd that one too; thus, the exclusions. After I found all the holdups and excluded them it ran all drives without stopping, and I might add at lightning speed with the ATA-133 card and HDDs. You can create a batch file (I called mine BU.BAT) on the diskette in A: with robocopy.exe, and put a command line syntax like #4 above for each set of  source/destination drives. Then execute BU.BAT from the command line, like so: A:\>BU.
All you guys have been helpful, but no one really solved my problem, so what do I do with the 500 points? I'd like to split the points between pbarrette, sunhillcopper and CrazyOne, all of whom were most helpful in helping me develope a better understanding of the RAID technology. How do I do this? I split points some time ago, and as I recall the Webmaster had to do it. Or somebody like that. Thanks for all your help. email me if you have any ideas.

Expert Comment

ID: 8082347
You have yo place a request with the community support to reduce the points for this question and then post questions for others to gain the points...

Expert Comment

ID: 8087642
G'day Jim,

Use the robocopy /r:0 to prevent robocopy from constantly retrying open files (rather than having to exclude them)

LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 8088227
If you want to split points between the Experts then post a 0 point question in Community Support and tell them what you want to do. In your question provide them with the link to this question so they know which question you are referring to. :>)

Community Support

Author Comment

ID: 8089828
OK, let's shift directions. Rather than splitting points I'll rephrase the question to my more immediate needs. I just spent two very frustrating days with this "backup" problem and confirmed my worse fears; to wit, Windows doesn't take kindly to having two operating systems installed on the same PC. Furthermore, I found it is nearly impossible to delete one of the systems if the disks are all NTFS. (You can't delete Windows folders in Windows Explorer and you can't create a boot diskette and have it recognize NTFS drives to delete items using the Command prompt. Pooy!) I finally booted with a Windows Me startup disk and using FDISK I deleted the partitions on the new drive. Anyway, back to the beginning:

I partitioned and formatted my 80GB HDD into primary partition and logical drives, and used Robocopy to copy all my data files to the appropriate logical drives. Then, I used Ghost to "copy" all the files on my system drive C: to the 80GB primary partition. First problem, the new system would not boot (I disconnected the old C:), and second problem, Ghost deleted all the logical drives on my 80GB HDD. Then the circus acts started. When I installed the new HDD on my ATA-133 RAID card, it became Disk 0 and the primary partition (before I later deleted it) became C:. My original system drive became Disk 1 and drive D:. My data HDD became Disk 2. Chapert 2. I have no idea which drive booted in this sequence.

When I installed the new HDD on my IDE mother board secondary slot, it became Disk 2 and the primary partition (before I later deleted it) became D:. My original system drive stayed at Disk 0 and drive C:. My data HDD became Disk 1. Normal! So, which is the real (and original) C: system drive? I took a chance and FDISKed Disk 2 (or drive 3 in FDISK), and it worked.

I'll award the 500 points to anyone who can detail the steps to transfer (copy) the Windows current operating system on my 40 GB HDD C: over to a 40 GB partition on my new 80GB HDD (without reinstalling Windows XP from scratch), and partition the remaining space on the 80GB HDD for my data drives. And have the system boot as usual upon substitution of the new drive for the current one. Ghost did NOT work, and ruined what I already had; maybe the sequence was wrong. Please don't guess; if you've never done this or not sure of what you are doing please don't reply.

I'll accept the compromise.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 8090154
Hi Jim,

Ghost works, you just did it in the wrong order, or to the wrong partition.

The best way is to Ghost your partitions, then copy the data. If you do it the other way around, you risk the possibility of restoring the ghost image over the data you just put on the disk. Also, it is best to have the OS as the first partition.

The steps, in order, are:
1) System Disk (40gb) on Motherboard Primary Master.
2) Data Disk on Motherboard Primary Slave.
3) New Disk (80GB) on Motherboard Secondary Master.

4) Use Ghost to copy system partition on 40GB disk to a partition of your choice on 80GB disk.

5) Move the 80GB to Motherboard Primary Master.
6) Remove the 40GB from the system.

7) Create your required partitions on the 80GB using Disk Admin.
8) Copy the data files to the 80GB.

If you want to reclaim the 40GB disk, you should attach it to a controller and boot from a DOS boot floppy. From the floppy, you can use a utility like DELPART to remove the partitions:

Once the partitions have been removed, you can boot into Windows XP and do what you like with the 40GB partition.


The reason your 80GB became Disk0 when you put it on the RAID card is because the RAID made the assumption that it was going to be the boot device. Since you had an OS on the disk, it booted from the first IDE device with a valid OS.

You could use this to your advantage. Once you have your 80GB set up correctly, you could put it on the RAID controller as Pri-Master and your system should boot from there just fine. When you get the firmware update later, you can just install the 2nd 80GB and create the mirror.

Or, you could try using the software and drivers to create your mirror instead of waiting for the firmware.

Keep in mind that you shoule install the RAID controller drivers for XP before trying to boot from the RAID controller. You may not have to, but it's a good idea to do so.


Author Comment

ID: 8091753
1. You said: Keep in mind that you shoule install the RAID controller drivers for XP before trying to boot from the RAID controller. That was one of the first things I did.

2. You said: Or, you could try using the software and drivers to create your mirror instead of waiting for the firmware. Explain. I don't have software to do RAID through software.

3. You said: 4) Use Ghost to copy system partition on 40GB disk to a partition of your choice on 80GB disk. This is what I tried to do and it failed 3 ways; first, it created a partition the same exact size as the source (40GB and I wanted 45GB), second, it wouldn't boot (couldn't find operationg system; I forgot the exact error message), and third, it deleted all the other partitions on the destination disk. Ghost is difficult to follow; it allows mode=copy for disk to disk, and mode=pcopy for partition to partition. What I really want is disk to partition. I think  I typed the syntax as ghostpe.exe -clone,mode=pcopy, src=1:1,dst=3:1, sze3=F  (which told it to copy the first, and only, partition on my 40GB local drive, C: with Windows, to the first partition on drive 3, my new 80GB HDD, already partitioned. If it will not copy from a smaller drive to a larger drive then it's no good to me.

I need the exact syntax, assuming that my original system C: drive is 40GB and is drive #1 (of 1,2,3), and my new 80GB drive is drive #3 and I want 45GB in the first system partition. After that is done, IF it can be done, can I then finish the partitions on the drive #3 with disk management? If I can get past this step I think I can do the rest with rotocopy on the data logical drives. Also, I would think I'd need to copy the system files, make the new partitions and format them, disable the old C: drive, THEN,  try to boot with the new C: drive. Correct? Would Windows get upset that the data files (drives E,F,G,H,I) WERE NOT THERE?
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 8092285
Hi Jim,

1) Great. You don't have to worry about that then.

2) Your RAID controller should have come with RAID management software. Depending on the vendor, some of the software provided will allow you to create your mirror using the management software rather than using the RAID BIOS to do this.

I'm talking about the software that came with the RAID controller allowing you to create a hardware RAID mirror. Not to be confused with using OS software to create a software RAID mirror.

3) You should be able to run GHOSTPE.EXE interactively instead of using command-line switches. That should make it easier to decipher.

Otherwise, I think it was the SZE3=F that did you in. That's specifying that the 3rd destination partition is to remain unchanged in size. Since your source had no 3rd partition, it cloned the 1st partition as 40GB, which wiped the other partitions, then made sure the 3rd source partition (which didn't exist) didn't change the size of the 3rd destination partition.

Did that make sense?

Personally, I'd use the interactive mode, but if you want to do it via command-line, or ghostpe doesn't allow an interactive mode:

Assuming the 80GB is unpartitioned:
ghostpe.exe -clone,mode=copy,src=1,dst=3,sze1=46080M

This should clone the 40GB (which only has 1 partition) to a 45GB partition on the 80GB drive (45mb * 1024(mb/gb)=46080).

Then, once you have your 45GB partition on the 80GB drive, disconnect the 40GB drive and connect the 80GB drive in its place.

You should then be able to boot off the 80GB drive since it is an exact clone of the 40GB drive, including all the system files & etcetera.

Then, in Windows, you can partition the unallocated space on your 80GB drive and format the partitions.

Finally, you can copy your data from the 30GB drive (using robocopy or whatever you like) to the newly created partition(s) on the 80GB drive.


Basically, you clone off the 40GB drive, creating a 45GB partition on the 80GB drive. When you remove the 40GB drive and replace it with the 80GB drive, Windows won't know the difference, so it will boot happily, thinking that it's still the 40GB drive (that's just been increased to 45GB).


Author Comment

ID: 8095546
The saga continues. Ghost doesn't like me, that's for sure. OK, I followed your instructions:

1. Assuming the 80GB is unpartitioned: (it was)
ghostpe.exe -clone,mode=copy,src=1,dst=3,sze1=46080M
(PS, in interactive mode it would NOT let me set the size of the partition on drive 3.) It INSISTED on the same size as the src=1, or 37.3 GB. OK, I can live with that. I'd better live with it, because when it ran, I ended up with a Primary partition of 38162 MB, and unallociated space of 40000MB, or 39.06MB in Disk Manager. I switched the drive to Primary Master, and the original Primary master/slave cable to Secondary master/slave, and Presto!, she booted very nicely. Then you said:
Then, in Windows, you can partition the unallocated space on your 80GB drive and format the partitions.

Trouble in paradise again. In disk manager I right-clicked on the unallociated area and told it to create an extended partition using all the space. It tried and gave me a long error report:

"The disk configuration operation did not complete. Check the System Event Log for more information on the error. Verify the status of your storage devices before retrying. If that does not solved the problem, close Disk management console, then restart Disk Management or restart the computer." OK

The new 80GB HDD shows these properties:
Disk: Disk 0
Type: Basic
Status: Online
Partition style: Master boot Record (MBR)
Capacity: 78162 MB
Unallociated space 40000 MB
Reserved space: 0 MB.

Windows-OS (C:)   38162MB.

After all this, I tried using diskpart from the command line. Same results. I CANNOT partition the remainder of my 80GB HDD. Should I start over by deleting all data off the HDD, partition it in Disk Management to what I want, and THEN use Ghost to copy drive 0 (C:) to the primary 45GB partition? I think I've already done this several days ago. I partitioned the new HDD like I wanted it, robocopied the data to the new logical drives in the extended partition, and then Ghosted C: to the primary partition. As I mentioned above:

"I partitioned and formatted my 80GB HDD into primary partition and logical drives, and used Robocopy to copy all my data files to the appropriate logical drives. Then, I used Ghost to "copy" all the files on my system drive C: to the 80GB primary partition. First problem, the new system would not boot (I disconnected the old C:), and second problem, Ghost deleted all the logical drives on my 80GB HDD." I'm back where I started. Could the problem be that we should be using "mode=pcopy" in Ghost, with src=1:1,dst=3:1,sze=55P (which is supposed to be 55%)? And, start with a pre-partitioned (primary, extended) disk? I'm tired of spending hours on this, and I'd deathly afraid I'm going to make a mistake and trash a drive I cannot afford to loose. I try to be very deliberate!!! (Do you want to continue this in email?)

How now, Brown Cow?
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 8096175
You know I found using the cloning utility that comes as part of the disk vendors free disk utility that works off of a bootable floppy tends to do a better job of handling partitions than Ghost does.

I have used the WD LifeGuard utility a few times to set up a new disk. And it offers to do full disk cloning including creating the needed partitions and asks if you want to resize the partitions on the fly. LifeGuard is very slow so I only use it on disks that the source disk is partitioned.


IBM and Hitachi




Western Digital

Author Comment

ID: 8100154
CrazyOne: downloaded the file from Maxtor (my two new 80GB HDDs are Maxtor). Tried to copy a "partition to partition" option and it recognizes its own but not my old HDDs (WD and Quantum.)I can't believe this! Don't tell me that there is NO way to copy an existing Primary Partition with Windows XP OS installed on it completely (every single byte!) over to another partition on another larger HDD and be able to use the rest of the destination HDD. Is it possible to, say, use robocopy to copy "most" of the files on the partition to another partition, and then re-install Win XP to that new drive to refresh the hidden files?

So, I'm sitting here with two 80GB HDDs installed, one has my data backup, but the other is useless. Maybe Silicone Images will come through and let me eventually make a RAID set. Symantec Ghost is worse than useless. I've run out of ideas (except what I'd like to say to Bill Gates.)
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 8100655
Hmm weird. When I used the WD one it didn't seem to have any problems recognizing other drives I have cloned from. Odd
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 8103866
Hi Jim,

Ghost works. I don't know why you're having problems with it.

When you do an interactive disk-to-disk clone, you will be shown a "Destination Drive Details" box which displays the layout for the destination drive. It is here where you change your destination partition size to be 45GB.

What version of Ghost are you using?


Author Comment

ID: 8108269
Finally, the saga ends (I hope)! I found salvation at this link:
Future Systems Solutions, and a delightful program called CASPER XP. Casper? Get lost, Ghost! I've used the FSS copy program, DRIVE2DRIVE, before with FAT32 but it doesn't work with NTFS. Casper XP does. I found that the order things are done is essential for success. Also, on my machine, after the system drive was cloned I had to do some chores like run their FIXMBR and PATCHBOOT to make the new drive boot. (I have a COMPAQ, you know.) I'm surprised that you techies hadn't heard of Casper XP. It was the answer!

I'm closing the question. FSS send me very specific steps on how to do what I did, about 4 pages worth and too numerous to list here. If anyone  wants the info I'll send it as I received it; drop me an email at jcaraway1@austin.rr.com.

Thanks again, guys, for your efforts.

Author Comment

ID: 8113945
Sorry for the error; the link to Future Systems Solutions is:
without the comma at the end.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 8115834
Well I downloaded it an used it today. I must say it is neat that it can do this while Windows is running. However I found it to be slower then Ghost and it had trouble backing up some files that weren't even in use at the time. All in all not a bad cloner. However I am going to stick with ghost. I can do everything from start to finish in under 30 mins. Casper took about 50 mins. I know the time issue is a bit nit picking but I don't keep my backup disk in the machine to begin with so since I have to shutdown to connect the disk might as well boot the the Ghost floppy and be done with it in pretty quick fashion. :>)
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 8115931
Hi CO, all,

I prefer Ghost as well. It's infinitely configurable, and when you've finished your clone, you don't have to muck about with the recovery console to get things booting.


I'm sorry the options posted didn't work for you. Ghost usually handles cloning and resizing with ease. You are correct, though, when you state that it's all about the order.


Author Comment

ID: 8116056
My final word, which made my day. Contacted Compaq (again), and this knowledgable soul told me to enter ROM-BIOS, select "English" for language (for something to do), and then exit with the "Save defaults and Exit" command. I did, and would you believe it? The IDE RAID card BIOS came up and allowed me to create a RAID set with my two 80GB HDDs. Now, with my friend, Casper, I'll do what I wanted to do all along. Isn't that something? You guys may have not give me the "key" but your input opend doors and was instrumental to my success here. Thanks to all again.

I'm going to try and distribute the points as I mentioned.
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

pbarrette earned 800 total points
ID: 8116773
Hi Jim,

All I can say is.. Wow! The hell you say. English.

Leave it to Compaq to have the screwiest BIOS's I've ever seen. And leave it to them again to give the best support I've ever seen.

Glad you've got it working,

Author Comment

ID: 8137132
I posted a request at Community Support to split the points at 200 each. Thanks.

Expert Comment

ID: 8137556
Per request - points reduced for split.
Jim - Please accept a comment by pbarrette as the answer. 100 points were taken from your account for this.

sunhillcopper- Collect your points by posting a comment here:

CrazyOne- yours are here:

EE Moderator
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 8140174
Hi Jim,

Thank you. I'm glad your problem has been resolved and I'm sorry that we weren't able to help you better.


Author Comment

ID: 8140509
pb, Oh, I think I got my money's worth, 14 pages of dialog on the merits of RAID. I'm slowly learning the ins and outs of its operation. At this point I don't think it likes Norton's Speed Disk (Optimizer). After I run SD, RAID had to rebuild the second HDD, then it turned around and rebuilt the first HDD of the set, and now I think its running with the drive 2 (Sec. Master) as the first drive of the set, and drive 0 (Pri. Master) as the second drive of the set. Which I don't care, as long as my data is mirrored and protected. The manual I have doesn't say much about this; wish there was a real comprehensive reference on this subject in general. I know I have an 1-1/2" notebook filled (full) of stuff on my experiences here. You did good! Thanks. Jim.

Featured Post

Secure Your WordPress Site: 5 Essential Approaches

WordPress is the web's most popular CMS, but its dominance also makes it a target for attackers. Our eBook will show you how to:

Prevent costly exploits of core and plugin vulnerabilities
Repel automated attacks
Lock down your dashboard, secure your code, and protect your users

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

This article is an update and follow-up of my previous article:   Storage 101: common concepts in the IT enterprise storage This time, I expand on more frequently used storage concepts.
A look at what happened in the Verizon cloud breach.
This video teaches viewers how to encrypt an external drive that requires a password to read and edit the drive. All tasks are done in Disk Utility. Plug in the external drive you wish to encrypt: Make sure all previous data on the drive has been …
This Micro Tutorial will teach you how to reformat your flash drive. Sometimes your flash drive may have issues carrying files so this will completely restore it to manufacturing settings. Make sure to backup all files before reformatting. This w…
Suggested Courses

764 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question