Remove RAID 1 from dual SATA drives to have independent drives

Posted on 2009-05-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Thank you in advance for any advice given.

I recently setup a home workstation using Dual Boot XP64 and XP32bitPro on a computer using dual Intel Xeon Quad Core Processors with dual 1TB SATA hard-drives configured to RAID 1.  Limitations that rapidly became apparent were the inabililty of XP64 to connect to my work domain using Aventail Connect and insurmounable confusion with essential installed programs to correctly allocate files to my 32bit "F" drive, rather than my 64bit "C" drive during installation, despite on-site IT assistance with this.  The RAID 1 also was problematic in that I would much rather clone my drive to an internal backup drive at regular intervals (and less frequently to an external drive), rather then immediately mirror any problems that occur to my other drive.

I have decided to reconfigure my system to a very simple 1 partition C drive state running XP32 bit, for the moment underutilising my computer resources.  I will set up 64bit XP as a virtual machine on this boot to allow networking of my hard-drive space on my home work-group for backup puposes for my other PCs.  I will also trial Windows 7 as a virtual machine for the short term.  If Windows 7 proves compatible with an Aventail connection to work, and my other essential programs, I will try a clean install of this whilst being able to keep a clone of my existing setup on the backup internal drive.

I have wiped the drives and performed a clean install of XP Pro 32 bit onto a single partition.  All drivers are updated and the system appears to be running well.  During this install I used F6 to load the RAID driver.  In the motherboard BIOS (Tyan Tempest i5400PW) the SATA RAID Enable is set to "Disabled".  RAID 1 is however running, and only 1 drive is seen on "my computer"  and on the drive manager list.  I do not know what SATA AHCI Enable does, but from memory this is currently set to "Enabled".  In the LSI Logic Config Utility 2 drives are listed.  I presume that this is where the RAID control options are actually controlled.  Within this utility I have found the option "Delete Array".

Do I simply choose "Delete Array" to convert to a simple 2 internal hard drive setup, one for backup cloning.  I am still not clear what the implications of SATA drives are or what AHCI actually is.  It has taken a lot of work to get to a nice clean "square 1", and I would like to try to avoid a major BIOS error if possible.

There is a fair bit of background information for what may be a very straightforward end question.  It has given me food for thought about the merits of dual-boot versus virtual machine and RAID 1 versus regular internal cloning.

Question by:Exempli_gratia
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Expert Comment

ID: 24482778
If you have wiped the drives and want to start over, choose the delete array option.  In fact, if you don't want RAID enabled at all, you can disable the controller from the BIOS; you will probably need to connect the drives to a different controller on the motherboard.

Author Comment

ID: 24483045

Thank you for your comment.  I presume that if I delete the array the freshly configured operating system and drivers will remain intact.

What mystifies me a little is that on the BIOS setup RAID is already set to "Disabled".  Am I misinterpreting this somehow?
LVL 69

Accepted Solution

Callandor earned 500 total points
ID: 24485420
>I presume that if I delete the array the freshly configured operating system and drivers will remain intact.

That depends - if the OS was installed on the array, it will be wiped as well.  If you installed the OS on a separate hard drive, it will remain intact.  If you don't want to lose the OS but still want to delete the array, get an imaging program like Acronis or Ghost and make an image onto some removable media or extra hard drive.  You need to make a bootable CD with the imaging software, delete the array, boot up with the CD you just made, and restore the image to your new boot drive.

If the BIOS says the RAID controller is disabled, you aren't booting from it.  Your BIOS should tell you what drives are available and how they are connected.  You can also take a screenshot of Control Panel->Admin Tools->Computer Mgmt->Disk Mgmt and attach it here.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31585709
Thank you.  All has worked well.

My drives are now listed seperately, with my operating system running properly on the "C" drive.  My new "F" drive is for rolling C-drive image backups.  Paragon Drive Management seems to have fewer verification problems compared to Ghost , Acronis and Shadow Protect.

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