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Adding another drive for a RAID 1 config

Posted on 2016-10-17
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Last Modified: 2016-12-08
Hi, currently, we have a PC with one HD running Win7 home. I would like to add a RAID controller card and another HD to have a RAID 1 config.  Can I just add another HD to have RAID 1 config without erasing the data from the original HD?  (PLs note I prefer to have a hardware RAID, not the built-in Win7 software RAID).  Thanks.
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Question by:Soho_Dan
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9 Comments
 
LVL 47

Accepted Solution

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dlethe earned 250 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41846737
The answer is a function of the specific controller.  If you get a decent one, then you CAN do this hot.  (Note, if your RAID controller can't do online migration, then chances are it is total crap and might not even support load balancing)
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by:Soho_Dan
ID: 41846802
Hi LVL 46, when you said decent one, which controller were you referring to?  Pls bear in mind, this is only a PC and we are not interested in load balancing or other RAID options. Thanks.
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by:rindi
rindi earned 125 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41846865
With Windows 7 home doesn't support OS Software RAID anyway, you need at least Windows 7 Pro for that.

For Windows 7 home my opinion is that RAID isn't worth the extra cost, as you'd need a real hardware RAID controller. Those fake-RAID controllers most mainboards come with are useless, and OS built-in RAID is the much better option. Getting a real hardware RAID controller is expensive, and you'd also need expensive enterprise class disks to match the controller.

With home versions of Windows you are better off investing in backups and taking those very seriously.
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LVL 17

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by:Gerald Connolly
Gerald Connolly earned 125 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41847862
It's probably cheaper (and easier) to upgrade to Windows Pro ( approx USD100) which will give you Software RAID capability
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Author Comment

by:Soho_Dan
ID: 41848486
Thanks Gerald. Pls read my original post. Not interested in software RAID.
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LVL 17

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by:Gerald Connolly
Gerald Connolly earned 125 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41848590
For RAID-1 its better than all but the most expensive Hardware RAID controllers! (ie faster, more reliable) So just dont write it off, lots of recommendations on here from multiple experts to use software RAID-1

(NB beware fake-RAID controllers that come on most PC motherboards these days, in general they are very unreliable)
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Author Comment

by:Soho_Dan
ID: 41848598
Was thinking of a Promise RAID controler card. Have used them before and they seem reliable. My question is not really about what controller card to go with, but if I need to reinstall my OS if I were to add another drive for mirroring.
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:Gerald Connolly
Gerald Connolly earned 125 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41848617
As ever when changing/upgrading/modify your storage, always have a an uptodate backup.

From what i remember you just need to convert both your current disk and the new disk to dynamic disks (NB there is no easy way to go back to basic disks easily.) Then right click on the volume that contains all your data, choose add mirror, select the new disk and it should set it all up and start synchronising!
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 41875995
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