Migrating to RAID-1 from 2 existing drives

Posted on 2004-10-05
Last Modified: 2010-07-27
Hey folks,

I need some information regarding the feasibility of implementing a RAID-1 solution into my existing setup.  I have a couple of old Maxtor hdds in my current rig, one mainly as a system drive and one as a storage/installation drive, both of which are only 5400rpm drives.  I want to migrate to a RAID-1 configuration and set up 2 arrays, one for each drive, replacing them with some new Maxtor 200gb 7200rpm DiamondMax 9 drives.

Since these drives are cheap and have reasonable performance, and since I already have an onboard RAID/ATA controller, I was thinking that migrating to a RAID a config would be a simple way to go.  Going with RAID-1 also provides my need for a viable and inexpensive backup solution since if one drive should fail, there's practically no downtime while I get that drive replaced.  (I've heard numerous reports of DiamondMax 9 drives failing within the first few months of using them, but being fine after having them replaced.  Obviously long-term reliability is unknown since this line is fairly new.)

Anyway, would I be able to clone my existing drive images to the new drives and still be able to use them in a pair of drive arrays?  (I want to make this work, so please spare me from offering alternative setups.)  Thanks.
Question by:DpDevil16
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • +1
LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:Jared Luker
Jared Luker earned 50 total points
ID: 12230668
It sounds like all you need to do is get you OS set up on the new DaimondMax drives in a RAID 1 config, then plug your old drives into the system one at a time and copy the data that you want from the old drives to the new ones.

If you are talking about wanting to keep your OS exactly the way that it is now, then It's possible that you could use ghost or some other imaging program to dump your OS drive to an external drive.  Then after you are done setting up the RAID 1 in the RAID Controller setup, you should be able to just put the image back onto the new "virtual" drive.  If it's true hardware RAID, then the operating system should only see that there is one drive there and the controller does all the mirroring work.


Author Comment

ID: 12230767
Well since I have the hardware RAID controller, there's no sense in trying to use the OS's software RAID and eat up precious CPU cycles.  If I were to use hardware RAID, would the images work fine, or would I have problems since now the system drive will be running off a RAID controller and no longer the standard ATA controller?
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

samccarthy earned 75 total points
ID: 12230818
Yes, this is an easy thing to do.  If this is going on the existing system then I would just make sure the the RAID drivers are loaded before you do this.  Use Ghost, Drive Image, etc., to ghost the drive over to the first drive of Array 1.  Then do the same for the second drive, ghosting it over to the first drive of Array 2.  
 I have an Asus K8V-Se motherobard I've done this on.

Anyway, put the new drives in for the first array and when it comes up, go into the utility for that controller.  Create the array and use the first drive that you just dumped the image on as the source drive.  It will mirror that one to the other new one.  Array 1 in a mirror is complete.  Then, do the same for the second array.  You'll now have your 2 mirrored arrays.

The Eight Noble Truths of Backup and Recovery

How can IT departments tackle the challenges of a Big Data world? This white paper provides a roadmap to success and helps companies ensure that all their data is safe and secure, no matter if it resides on-premise with physical or virtual machines or in the cloud.


Author Comment

ID: 12230997
The procedure itself I'm pretty square on.  Actually, I just realized my onboard RAID controller is on my server and not my main rig, therefore requiring me to use an PCI RAID controller (which I have) if I wanted to set up my arrays.  Therefore wouldn't installing the card by itself prior to setting up the RAID be even easier in theory?  Perhaps running all 4 drives off the same PCI slot would be a major bottleneck, though.  :(
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Jared Luker
ID: 12231049
If you are going to use a card that the OS has not seen before, it probably won't work after you push the image back after making the array.

You can try loading the drivers for that particular RAID card before you image and cross your fingers.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 12231333
You can do RAID via the 'diskpart' utility within Windows (run => cmd => diskpart => enter)...


LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 12233126
Yes, you can setup the card prior to the array.  The system will load the driver and when you ghost the drives everything will be in place to work correctly.

Featured Post

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.

Question has a verified solution.

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

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
VNX5300 vs Unity 400F AFA - performance difference? 5 112
Disk provisioning with EMC Unity flash storage? 2 128
Image Copy of Hard Drive 15 60
SSD mSata 250GB 37 47
Lets start to have a small explanation what is VAAI(vStorage API for Array Integration ) and what are the benefits using it. VAAI is an API framework in VMware that enable some Storage tasks. It first presented in ESXi 4.1, but only after 5.x sup…
In this article we will learn how to backup a VMware farm using Nakivo Backup & Replication. In this tutorial we will install the software on a Windows 2012 R2 Server.
This tutorial will walk an individual through the process of installing the necessary services and then configuring a Windows Server 2012 system as an iSCSI target. To install the necessary roles, go to Server Manager, and select Add Roles and Featu…
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…

831 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