Best (and safest) way to migrate to new drives and RAID configuration

Hi,

I'm looking for some input on how to best (and most reliably) reconfigure my SBS 2003 HDD/RAID configuration.

I currently have 3 drives in RAID-5 configuration and have been running this for the past 3 years. I made the poor decision of using the onboard RAID controller for RAID-5 and it is rather slow (especially when dealing with the large file sizes I've been working on). Also, the drives are configured as dynamic volumes.

What I would like to do is reconfigure the drives and RAID setup I have.

I'd like to setup two RAID-1 arrays. One for the OS, the second for the data files.

Right now, what I'm thinking I can do is... backup all the data files (non-OS partitions) onto an external drive.  Then plug in two additional drives and set those up for RAID-1 then use imaging software to clone the OS partition onto the new RAID-1 array. Then, connect two more drives (now that ports are free), configure as RAID-1 and clone back my data files onto it. Hopefully, all will boot well but I have the old RAID-5 drives in case anything goes wrong and can always fall back on that and get the server back up.

Does this sound reasonable? Is there a better/smarter/reliable way to do this?

What imaging software should I use? We're a small family business so droppig hundreds on a commercially available software for a one-time reconfiguration is too expensive, but if it is more reliable then it is worth the expense. Is there a particular freeware imaging tool that people trust and will work with my configuration?

I looked at HDClone but only the professional version and above supports dynamic volumes outside of running natively in Windows. However, at ~$150 it is one of the better priced options for me.

Any other suggestions are very welcome, thank you for your time and input.

emgee11Asked:
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Olaf De CeusterConnect With a Mentor Commented:
For a one off you can use a trial version of your preferred cloning software. Just make sure they are a fully functional trial version. Acronis is a great product.
Please keep your original disks intact and mirror to new drives.
You can also restore from an SBS Backup to new drives but depending of your raid drivers you might have to run a repair on the operating system.
Hope that helps,
Olaf
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