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Mirror different drives

Posted on 2004-10-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I just bought a 250GB WD drive. Can I mirror it with my current Maxtor 200GB drive. It does not matter if I loose 50GB on the WD drive. Is it possible to do? Or can I Mirror 200GB of this drive and create a pratition of 50GB as another logical drive?
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Question by:PawloA
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10 Comments
 
LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 12439607
Operating System and version?  Are you using Norton Ghost or Partition Magic or which?  This is quite a good link, IMHO, about partitioning strategies.
http://partition.radified.com/
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12439613
Yes, however, it depends on what kind of Mirror.  Windows XP Pro cannot apparently do a Mirror.  2000 Should be able to, if I remember correctly.  If you use a hardware RAID controller, then you can mirror it there and you'll have an extra 50 GB you can use on a seperate drive letter that wouldn't be mirrored.
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Author Comment

by:PawloA
ID: 12439970
Oh Sorry. I have WinXP on a P4P800-E Motherboard that supports RAID. There are two ports for the raid. Do I put one drive on each or do I put one as primary and the other as secondary? Don't have any partitioning software except what comes with windoes.
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12440015
Check your motherboard documentation - essentially, you'll connect one drive to each controller (I believe - again check the documentation) and then when the system boots, you'll see a prompt to enter the RAID configuration (or you should).  Enter the config and from there you'll configure it to mirror the drives.  In addition, one drive will have 50 GB "unallocated".  This should be seen as a seperate physical 50 GB hard drive by Windows.  When you look at disk management in windows, you should see one 200 GB hard drive and one 50 GB hard drive.  Windows won't have a clue the 200 is mirrored because that's handled by hardware.  

Is your C: drive the 200 GB drive or is that seperate?  What is your C: drive connected to now (the RAID controller?)
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by:PawloA
ID: 12442376
My First physical 200GB drive consists of logical drives C:(80GB),D:(40GB),E:(40GB),F:(40GB) and is currectly on IDE-0 Master. My new 250GB drive is not connected or partitioned yet. I should be able to Mirror the C:,D,E:, and F:, with 50GB spare on the 250GB. Am I right? I assume that mirroring the drive refers to the pysical drive sizes and not the logical drive as you can have multiple logical drives?
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12446512
I've not done what you have done here, so I'm answering based on my understanding of the technology and what I believe you're asking:

If you move the drive to the RAID controller, your system likely won't boot.  This is because the ARC path (path Windows reads to determine where windows is on your computer) will be wrong.  I'll post related links below.  You can edit this, but I'm not sure how your computer will interpret your controller.  Once you get that figured out, I would THINK that if you mirrored the drive on the controller, it wouldn't matter what partitions are there - it's a hardware level mirror, meaning that it's looking at the setup disk and copying the ones and zeros to the new disk, "mirroring" it.  Meaning that it would automatically mirror ALL your drive letters.  Windows would still only see one set of letters though (this is normal).  The biggest problem is the ARC path and getting Windows booted.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q155222/
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/102873/EN-US/

There's a chance your RAID controller will be seen as a SCSI adapter, which might mean a significant change to the path name.

I might suggest a reinstall of windows might be the best way of doing things - I've seen a number of people claim reinstalling XP on top of itself can work but I'd be wary.  If this were me, I'd probably backup C: and reinstall it after configuring the RAID
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Expert Comment

by:Godxilla2001
ID: 12450249
If your talking about a Raid setup the hard drives have to be identical. The exact same. They have to be the same make model and size.  
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Lee W, MVP earned 2000 total points
ID: 12450274
Godxilla - that's not true.  They don't have be to identical in any way.  Other than the same type of interface - SCSI, IDE, SATA.  I've used different sizes, different brands and mixed them.  It's not an issue.  Your largest raid container will only be restricted to the smallest common unit.  In this case, a 200 GB and 250 GB Mirrored set will work if the 200 GB is mirrored to the 250.  The 250 could not be mirroed to the 200.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:Godxilla2001
ID: 12452277
Leew,
my exerience with Raid setup is mostly if not all on servers where we always use the exact same drives and sizez. I have done a bit of reading and indeed you are correct that you can mix match the sizes and models. I guess it is recogmended thats why I like this site you learn something everyday one it...take care good luck PawLoa....

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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12452784
I wasn't always the RAID expert - but we had several external storage arrays with RAID and whenever one went down, Dell sent a new disk.  Usually, a different brand.  Then I put 3x36 GB drives with a 3x18 GB drives and made one RAID 5 out of all 6, and then another RAID 5 out of the remaining space on 3 of them
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