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Converting to Raid

lsimmons85 asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have a server running server 2000, It has two 80GB hard drives. How hard would it be to convert to raid? Or atleast set it up to where one of the hard drives is mirroring the other? So that if the one drive goes out i can just continue with the other drive...
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Technology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Converting to a mirror shouldn't be difficult.  If you want to do a software mirror, just convert both disks to dynamic in Computer Management and make the second disk empty - NO PARTITIONS - it should be unallocated or RAW.  Then right click on the each partition you want to mirror and select Add Mirror.

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What type of drives.  I know some have had success with software raid, I find the performance and reliability to be less than using hardware raid.  Depending on the type of drives (ATA, SATA, SCSI) you can get a good raid controller foro $80-$125 (assuming not SCSI).  I would go that route.  It's not terribly difficult.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

I would recommend Hardware RAID as well - more efficient and better reliability in my opinion.


They are ATA.  And is there a good guide or book on installing or configuring raid?


Not to ask a dumb question but where under computer mgmt do you convert both disks to dynamic,
and where do you tell it to mirror? And if there is some stuff on the drive i want to use to mirror... should i move it and then format that disk?


The disk i am going to mirror has two partitions on it, if i make that disk a dynamic disk will it keep all the data on both partitions? Dynamic disks don't use partitions, so will all the data be on the drive??

For a software RAID - Right click "My Computer", Select "Manage", navigate to "Disk Management", right click "Disk 0" you will see "Upgrade to Dynamic Disk". Note the conversion to dynamic disk is irrversible. There is no easy way back to Basic disk.

The data will be as it is, the conversion to dynamic does not lose any data.

However, for a mirror you need twice the capacity of the disk, so you need to either delete some volumes (partitions) on a second disk, or add a third disk of enough capacity.

Be advised that software RAID will not allow you to continue without reconfiguration should the master drive in the mirror fail (it will require certain boot.ini change to boot from the shadow drive in the mirror - as described in http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;302969&sd=tech and its references).
dont use dynamic disks, you can almost never recover from them if a problem.  Get a RAID controller card, only about $25, and put one disk on it as the master, and the other as a blank drive (not formatted.)  On boot, go into the RAID BIOS on the card, and choose RAID 1 - mirror.  Save the setting, let the system boot, go away and watch TV for an hour, and you now have a mirror RAID.  This is easy and foolproof, and if you want to move the drives to a new motherboard, take the controller with them and leave them cabled to the controller.  That way the RAID will still work in the new system.
Here's some links that talk in depth about RAID configurations.  If you have ATA drives I would recommend a promise FastTrak controller.  Excellent reliability and easy to configure.  Hope this helps....Jim



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