Windows Dynamic Disks (RAID0) and OS failure...

Posted on 2009-02-14
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Have a new desktop with hardware RAID0 for the OS (bootable), and have two other drives set as dynamic drives RAID0 under Vista x64, for Data. Without getting into the reasons why it is setup like this; in the event of an OS failure; what would happen to the dynamic disks data when you reinstall the OS? Would disk management recognize those disks as a striped set? Or would they be gone for ever, and I'd have to start from scratch on those drives?
Question by:Italia_NYC
    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    It is not something I would use.. if you really want RAID0 then use a add in raid card..

    As stated here you should be able to import the foreign disk that will show after the reinstall.

    Be sure to have a good backup always.
    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    So it is possible then? I would just have to select "import foreign media" in Disk Management? If this is true; this is wonderful news!
    LVL 24

    Accepted Solution


    Connecting disks to a new computer:

    After you physically connect the disks to the new computer, click Rescan Disks on the Action menu in the Disk Management MMC utility. When you physically connect a new Dynamic disk, it is displayed in the Disk Management MMC utility as Dynamic/Foreign.

    "Importing" Foreign disks:

    If you move one Disk Group to another computer that contains its own Disk Group, the Disk Group you moved is marked as Foreign until you manually import it into the existing group.

    To use Foreign/Dynamic disks, use the "Import Foreign Disks" operation associated with one of the disks. The manual operation lists one or more Disk Groups, identified by the name of the computer where they were created. If you expand the details on a Disk Group, it lists the locally-connected disks that are members. Click the appropriate Disk Group, and then click OK. You can then view the dialog box that lists volumes that were found in the Disk Group, along with some indication of the status of those volumes.

    Since volumes can span multiple disks, using simple disk spanning, striping, mirroring, or RAID-5 redundancy mechanisms, the display status of a volume in the Import Foreign Disks dialog box can become complicated if some of the disks have not been moved. Another complication may be moving a disk, and then moving additional disks at a later time. This is supported, but can be complicated. For example, if one active mirror of a volume is moved from one system to another, and then another is moved later, one of the two mirrors appears to be up-to-date on one system, and the other mirror appears up-to-date on the other system. When the two mirrors are put together on the same system, they both appear up-to-date, but they have different contents. LDM handles this particular situation by using the mirror that was moved first.

    NOTE: Given the complexity of the issues surrounding partial moves, it is recommended that you move all the disks at the same time.

    The operation of Import Foreign Disks differs slightly, depending on whether there are pre-existing online Dynamic disks on the target computer. If there are no pre-existing online Dynamic disks, then the Disk Group is brought online directly as it is, except that any unmoved volumes are deleted, along with any unmoved disks that have no volumes defined. If only some disks of a volume are moved, the remaining disks become Missing disks. The disk group retains the same identity that it had before. If there are pre-existing online Dynamic disks, then the configuration information is read from those disks, and the configuration data (with unrelated information removed, as in the no pre-existing disk case) is merged into the existing online disk group. The disks then become members of the existing Disk Group, instead of members of their original Disk Group.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    I would low format that drive if I were you, as data on it is lost anyway, better start as new.  But as others suggested, always, always use hardware solution and stay far from software RAID, especially MS's.

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