How do I move an entire Server 2003 OS to Solid State Drives

Hi All,

What would be everyone's best recommendation for how to move an Windows Server 2003 Poweredge 2970 Server from its current RAID-5 SATA configuration over to a new pair of RAID-1 Solid State Drives.  It is my company's web server, so downtime must be at a minimum.  Basically the Solid State Drives are currently configured in a RAID-1 Array but just an additional drive right now.  Let me know your thoughts, thank you!!

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DavidConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:
Well, if you are going for speed, then I bet you could get the whole thing done in less than 30 minutes if ..

1) You use a downtime window to plug in 2 x RAID1 SSDs into the host PC (using existing SATA free ports, or adding a 2nd controller).  Don't count this against the 30 mins, then reboot.
2) Download an ubuntu LIVE CD or  USB, and make sure drivers exist for the existing RAID.  
3) Use another PC to test the ubuntu LIVE CD/USB.  download the freebie clonezilla and install (so best use a USB version of linux).  Familiarize yourself with clonezilla as you will use it to clone the RAID5 array onto a single SSD, and save it to the stick.

4) start clock
5) shutddown host
6) Use clonezilla to clone the RAID5 volumes to ONE of the SSDs
7) Configure bios so the SSD is now primary path, which will now present C & D
8) boot
9) Stop clock.  I don't see how this would take more than 30 mins, perhaps you could get it done in 15 mins if you practice on another computer
10) Convert to dynamic, then turn the single disk into RAID1 using build-in software RAID.   All this can be done online
i think the easiest way would be to image the array across using imaging software such as Acronis True Image
Kruno DžoićSystem EngineerCommented:
In windows create mirror with software RAID, and after mirror is build up, broke it, and move RAID-5 drives from raid array

RAID-5 mirror on RAID-1
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gmsugareeAuthor Commented:
Thanks all,

I dont have Acronis licensing but I can look into that.  

M3rc74, are you talking about doing this with a built in windows software app?
You can purchase a product at called RAID reconstructor.  It will rebuild the RAID5 array onto a single SSD, then you can RAID1 that SSD.
or indeed Norton Ghost (having just noticed this is posted in the "norton ghost" section) would work equally well.

the raid mirror is another option although you may end up with an additional rebuild cycle
gmsugareeAuthor Commented:
Which way would have the least downtime?  Currently the C Drive is 9 GB, and the D Drive where the web site is, is about 20 GB.... :)
Advantage to system above is you put nothing at risk, and can always go back to how it was before.  You could also just add a step 8.5 where you take out the SSDs, put them in ANOTHER computer, disconnect networking cable and check it out to make sure everything works ok using a clone of the data, so you understand what has to be done to turn the disk into a dynamic software RAID while the host is online using the RAID5.   You will have to take another clone before switching it over for real, but you will be able to test at your leisure.
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