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Software Raid 5 - Transferable to new PC?

I plan on setting up a RAID5 array running on a windows server 2008 R2 box. It is for my home network so i will not be backing up data (i am aware of the risks...). Since i will be depending on RAID5 i have a few questions.

1)Can software raid 5 be transferred between machines? If this PC or motherboard dies i want to be able to move the array to the replacement PC without having to rebuild it or lose the data.
2)What if i format the PC, will the array still be accessible when i reinstall the OS?
3)Is hardware raid a better idea for this situation? I am nervous the raid card will fail and i will not be able to get anything else to recognize the raid array.

Thanks for any help. Basically i am just looking for a raid5 solution that will not require me to rebuild the array in case hardware failure occurs, or to lose any data. Thanks!
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WillThomason
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WillThomason
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1 Solution
 
Darius GhassemCommented:
Software RAID means it is software base which in your case is the OS is creating the RAID. If you rebuilt your OS RAID will be gone. Hardware RAID is the best and really only choice you should go with if you have critical data that needs to be backed up.

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WillThomasonAuthor Commented:
what if the RAID card fails?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Software RAIDs require Dynamic Disks.  They are NOT recommended.  STRONGLY not recommended.  But, because they are dynamic disks, provided all the drives are functional and available, they SHOULD be importable to a new Windows OS - the new Windows OS should see them as "Foreign" disks and allow you to "import" them.  That said, because this is so unwise, I don't think you'll find many people who have direct experience with it and your best bet is to test yourself first.
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WillThomasonAuthor Commented:
thanks for the input! but, why are dynamic disks so strongly not recommended?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Because very little else can read them.  Most partition software can't, most recovery software can't, only Windows can, for the most part.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
And I say it that way to give the benefit of the doubt that there's a product I'm unfamiliar with that can read them
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WillThomasonAuthor Commented:
sounds good. i am afraid of hardware raid just as much. i am running hardware raid for my raid0 SSD's at the moment and everytime it has a hiccup i have to rebuild my array. not a big deal since it is my OS drive and i keep an image ready, but it would be disastrous for a raid card to fail with my data on it. i have around 3TB and growing so there is not a backup solution i am willing to purchase that i can justify the cost. I just want to minimize the risk of failure as much as i can. thanks for the help! the plan now is to implement raid 5 software wise, put a couple files on it and then transfer it to a new PC and back. if it works on both PC's then i think i will be ok. thanks!
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WillThomasonAuthor Commented:
thanks!
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