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Reinstall Windows, Migrate RAID1?

Posted on 2006-07-17
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I have been running my system successfully for a while now, and decided recently to upgrade my boot drive from ATA to SATA. I also have 2 x 250GB SATA drives configured in RAID1 mirror (as a data drive) without problems.

To avoid messing up my current Windows installation, I have reinstalled Windows XP on the new 160GB SATA drive. HOWEVER, I cannot get the RAID1 data group to be recognized as "Mirrored" by default. Instead, in the SiI Array Manager, it comes up with the pair as "Available". When I boot to my new SATA (non-RAID) drive, The SAM comes up with the option to "Create RAID Group", but I'm scared to do that for fear of losing the data that I already have on the drives.

So -- since I am not changing BIOS, motherboard, drivers, etc. what do I need to do on the new windows installation to recognize the same mirror set as I had before?

Is it because when I tried F6 (to load RAID drivers) during the reinstall, I skipped the load (didn't have a floppy drive) and continued on with Win install? I assumed that I only need the F6 driver loadup if I want to make a RAID partition bootable.

Would selecting "Create RAID Group" on the new windows installation work and would it not damage any of the existing data on those drives?

Another strange thing I noted is that the Power-On sequence (after RAM check), where it displays the available drives is VERY slow (10 secs?) when I have both the ATA boot drive & SATA boot drive plugged in. Disconnecting the ATA drive allows the boot sequence to continue much faster (1 sec). Boot menu allows me to select either drive to start, but I wonder if there is some conflict here.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!! Thx.

System:
- ASUS A8N-32SLI Premium
- AMD 64 3800x2
- 3GB DDR400
- Windows XP Home SP2
- RAID1: 2x250GB Seagate
- SATA2: 1x160GB Samsung
- IDE ATA: 1x250GB Maxtor
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Question by:chojan
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by:JeremyPage
ID: 17132725
Have you installed the drivers for your RAID controller? You can get them from the ASUS website.

I have almost the same box as you, sans IDE drive, great system.
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Author Comment

by:chojan
ID: 17132903
Hi -- I have installed the SATA/RAID drivers with the ASUS disc, and hence the fact that I can see the two drives in the Sil Array Manager.

I noticed that every other time that I boot to the IDE ATA drive (original) after a previous boot from the SATA installation, the RAID1 pair come up as inaccessible (i.e. not assigned to a set) and show up as "Available" not "Mirrored". Booting a second time from the IDE ATA drive usually re-enables the RAID1 pair.

One thing that I am going to try out this evening is to create a slipstreamed install of Win XP SP2 with the RAID drivers integrated and reinstall the SATA boot drive.

I'm just terrified of losing what I have on my RAID1 pair, so I'm trying to be careful. In fact, with these sort of problems, I would almost rather have an ATA IDE or SATA drive (no RAID) for data, as then there are no problems trying to move the drives to a new computer, or new windows install, for example.

Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:chojan
ID: 17149331
I found the solution --

Once the Windows Update had suggested new drivers updates for the Silicon Image SATARAID, the partitions showed up as the correctly-mirrored pair.

So, with a fresh, unupdated SATARAID driver, the partitions were not showing up as being allocated. After update, the partitions were recognized. This surprised me somewhat, but I suppose it makes sense.

Thanks.
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