Posted on 2011-10-04
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hello experts!

I am using Win7 pro edition 64bit.

At the moment I am using one HDD I do not want to lose data from.

Decided that having RAID 1 and two discs would make my data safe.

Already have RAID controller.

How can I make my RAID1 matrix?

Already have another HDD same size and speed as my first one.

How can clone my first HDD to another and start using both in RAID1 matrix?

Thank you

Question by:panJames
    LVL 91

    Accepted Solution

    afaik - you will need to setup both drives in raid, then install everything from fresh
    so best use 2 new disk to setup the raid, and keep your old one to copy data from

    Author Comment


    Are you suggesting to have two new HDDs, setup RAID with them and then copy data from my current HDD onto them?

    What software would you suggest to clone my data HDD onto RAID HDDs?

    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    you could use Windows Backup to backup to an external drive ; make sure that your raid drivers are available when you restore the copy, because in the new configuration, your system is using a different driver to handle the discs
    LVL 87

    Assisted Solution

    To keep your data safe you must make good and regular backups and keep those backups stored away from the PC. RAID doesn't substitute for backups. It only protects against a disk failure, which is one of several issues that can cause data loss, like malware, careless users deleting something that should have been kept, an installation that fails, a file-system that goes corrupt etc. All those issues can't be prevented by RAID.

    So before you even consider using RAID you should have a good backup running on your system. For that you should get at least 3 Harddisk you can attach externally (via a USB docking station for example), and then you can rotate between those 3 disks so you have 3 backup sets:

    Windows 7 already has an image based backup tool included, so you could use that for creating the backups, but of course there are also better products available, like Paragon's backup tools. Once you have your backups running, (make sure to test them by restoring one or two files to another than original location and opening them using the application they were made with), you can try to create a RAID 1 array from inside your BIOS with the old and new HD. Most RAID utilities allow you to add the 2nd HD and then it will just mirror the original HD to the new one. Make sure the new disk doesn't have any partitions on it.

    Once the Array is synced, you can try booting into windows 7. If you get a BSOD, the RAID controller's driver will be missing. If that is the case, boot either from the Windows 7 DVD, or into the repair options (it should be available in the boot menu via F8 or F9), and then you will have to provide the driver of the RAID controller via a USB stick. If that doesn't work, you can also try injecting the driver via Paragon's Adaptive restore utility:
    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    The best way as nobus said is to craate NEW RAID1 and clon OS to this RAID1.
    When you will use another RAID controller, than SATA controller which is running now, than:
    1) Shutdown your PC
    2) put the new RAID contoller in, start Windows. Install the drivers of the new RAID controller, if this not detected automatically. It is nessesary to boot Windows from RAID1.
    3) Shutdown your PC
    4)Place the two new HDD's and craete via RAID controller BIOS the new RAID1.
    5) Shutdown your PC
    6) Boot PC with GOST or another colne tools - Achronis... and create clon of your OS HDD to the new RAID1.
    7) Shutdown your PC and take OS HDD out.
    8)Start PC. It will start from the new RAID1
    LVL 7

    Assisted Solution

    Why not use Windows Backup ; its a very good backup program build into Windows 7.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    You are right
    It can be done with  Windows 7 backup too, it's good programm.
    But if anybody has expirience with clon soft and not with Windows 7 backup, it's just ANOTHER solution....
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    i would not even clone the old disk - it has different drivers (for disk etc)
    imo - that would be looking for trouble
    a fresh install may take time now - but will save you more time in the end
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    When PC is helthy, on the same hardware , only another RAID controller clon - never problems
    As I saied (p2) you can install the right drivers and test it  before you create clon

    Fresh install is good option too. Only one thing - you have to reinstall all your software and restore your data.
    LVL 46

    Assisted Solution

    You MUST copy your data to another disk, build the RAID, then restore.  The reason is because the RAID'd disks will have a slightly smaller usable capacity then the original. (Plus, as others have said, RAID is no substitute for backup).

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