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Free Software to Configure Raid-1 ??

Posted on 2009-12-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Hi

I have a HP proliant DL145-G2 Server which runs on windows 2003 server.The OS and application runs on the single Hard Disk. I want to configure Raid-1 disk mirroring for redundancy. But when i went into the configuration utility when the system boots by pressing Cntrl+s. I cant  see any option to configure Raid-1.So i thinking of  using a software raid .Are there any free software available  to configure Raid-1
Any information appreciated

Thanks

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Question by:lianne143
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Expert Comment

by:sampler_8r
ID: 26070749
What do you see exactly? Have you inserted the second HDD?
Have you checked BIOS for the HDD configuration to be set to RAID?
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Expert Comment

by:MinoDC
ID: 26070787
RAID can do with Windows.

Go to My Computer right click and select Manage.
Select Disk Management, and convert to dynamic, the disk 0 by right on it.

After adding the second disk (disk 1) also converted it to dynamic.
Then create the RAID 1 (Mirror)
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Expert Comment

by:MinoDC
ID: 26070801
To create the RAID 1 do right on "Disk 0" and select "New ...". Mirrored Volume
Add the second disk and creates the mirror
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Expert Comment

by:David
ID: 26071162
FYI - MSFT does NOT support software RAID1 for your boot disk.  If (when, because 100% of disk drives eventually fail) you lose one of the disks then your system will either crash, or fail to boot, and recovery can be difficult.   Browse through requests for assistance in experts-exchange from people who used software mirroring and can't get their system working again after a failure.

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by:lnkevin
ID: 26071711
The other option for you instead of create redundancy, which will not be supported in SW RAID is image backup. You can schedule to run image incremental backup to external drive and overwrite full backup every weekend. This will keep you in business when HD fails.

K
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Expert Comment

by:MinoDC
ID: 26072055
Or...you can create a disk image (with software as Gosth, Acronis, BartPE ...) to create a RAID 1 hardware through the HP screen, and then restore the created image.
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by:MinoDC
ID: 26072084
I've done this procedure several times and it works
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 26074469
DL145 G2 doesn't have RAID controller by default so all you've got is software RAID. IF MS don't support it I wonder why they have instructions on how to set it up?
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by:David
ID: 26074773
They also have instructions on how to reformat c:  :(

Here are full instructions from MSFT -> But, it just doesn't work for boot disk in event of a failure under many scenarios.  It is just not a good thing to do.  Look how many people log questions with problems and lost partitions and such after mirroring boot disk in experts-exchange.

My strong advice .. buy a RAID controller and sleep at night.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/323432
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by:andyalder
ID: 26074848
Well, it certainly needs testing after setting it up, I always made a SFT boot floppy and taped it inside the case in the old days when RAID controllers weren't common.
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Expert Comment

by:Mestha
ID: 26076336
I picked up a RAID card from eBay for my VMWARE setup at home for less than £100 - what is that - US$70 - something like that?

If you can find a PERC5 card on ebay (thats a Dell, but actually LSI logic) you can RAID SATA drives with it.

Simon.
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Accepted Solution

by:
David earned 2000 total points
ID: 26076690
One practical reason why it doesn't work is that the PC architecture is not high availability. If a disk dies, then the controller/motherboard manufacturer aren't required to keep the system running; or do anything with flushing or retrying I/Os .. so hello data integrity problems in event of a failure.  (Or perhaps you'll just a get a blue screen, and if the disk that failed was primary boot disk then maybe the computer won't boot).

So technically software RAID will create 2 copies, but there is no guarantee that you won't have data destruction in event of a hardware failure.  As such, it is unacceptable. (And proof of this can be found all over the internet by searching for "recover windows software raid" and seeing all the horror stories and companies selling products to get you out of a jam when it fails.

RAID controllers take care of all of these problems -- as long as you don't buy junk with ancient firmware.
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Author Comment

by:lianne143
ID: 26142787
Finally i have  brought a http://www.globalonetechnology.com/HP_8_Internal_Port_SAS_HBA_with_RAID_p/347786-B21_new.htm
HP 8 Internal Port SAS HBA with RAID:
Option part : 347786-B21
Spare part : 435709-001

for my  HP proliant DL145-G2 Server .Please let me know  as  how to install this raid card and set up Raid-1 for my existing server, where  the OS and application running on the single Hard Disk at the moment. Any tutorial information appreciated
Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:David
ID: 26143429
That is an excellent controller  the HP site has downloads, manual, etc on it.  Since the O/S is already installed on a different disk, then I would just build the RAID1 from the BIOS, then install ghost, acronis or whatever imaging software you like on the existing O/S disk, then restore it onto the RAID1.  Once you boot the RAID1, then you can install the add-on HP software that keeps an eye on the hardware from Windows.

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