how to replace hard disk drives in raid 0 stripe configuration.
I have a Dell Dimension 9130 in which the boot phase is reporting a failed drive. I have no problem with replacing the hdds but what do I do then to get the system up and running?
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Emerald said:once you loose a drive in a RAID 0 and you cannot fix the RAID, you loose all data and have to start from scratch
Thanks. Fortunately, because the HDD had started making rude noises, I'd backed up everything to an external HDD. At the moment I plan to replace the drives with new ones, reinstall Windows 7 Home Premium and then restore from the back-up. What I don't know is whether the process is that simple. For instance, do I have load any drivers to my system first before doing the restore.
In RAID 0 it can't fix itself because you don't have a copy of the data if you lose it. Unlike other RAIDs there is no redundancy so you lose that protection for an increase of drive space. If you can still use the other drive copy the data off of it onto the replacement before it brakes. A safer method would to use a different RAID so if a hard drive fails it will rebuild itself.
OP, you say you plan to replace both HDD's, re-install Win 7, and then restore from your backup. Good plan. You don't mention two steps in there, so I'm not sure you know all the steps. In case you're fuzzy on it, READ the manual (often a file on the CD that came with your mobo) on the RAID system - it is separate from your mobo manual, usually.
First omission is that, when you install the new pair of HDD's, you will need to do two things: boot into BIOS Setup and configure the HDD's as RAID units (as opposed to AHCI devices), then Save and Exit. As the boot sequence continues, you then will need to watch for the prompt to press a particular key combo to enter the RAID Setup system. There you will need to tell your machine which two HDD's are to be used for what type of RAID, and probably a few other setup parameters. Then you tell it to proceed with actually creating the RAID array ready to use.
Next omission is the matter of driver installation. Win 7 (even its Install routine) cannot use a RAID array without having the right driver installed for that device, and there's a particular way to do this. The driver required MUST be the one supplied for your mobo, and usually it is on the CD that came with that mobo. Read the mobo manual for details of how to set up a RAID array to boot from. You will have to copy that required driver onto some external storage device that can be used during the Install process. Up to Win XP, that could only be a floppy disk, but I believe Win 7 also allows media like a USB thumb drive. READ the Win 7 documentation to find out what medium it can use for driver installation during the early phase of the Install process. Then you'll have to use another machine to copy the driver you find to the medium you can use.
To Install Win 7 you'll have to ensure that the Boot Priority Sequence in BIOS Setup is set to use your optical drive first, THEN the RAID array. You put your Install disk in the optical drive and boot. Very early in the process it will offer you an option to install additional driver(s) from an external source, and you must press the "F10" key to do this. It will wait and, if you don't, it will skip that and proceed with the process. But if you hit "F10" as prompted, it goes into a routine to allow you to install that drive for the RAID system. This does two things: in the sort term, it allows Windows Install to access that RAID device for the rest of its process, AND it makes that driver a permanent part of this installation of Win 7 so that, in all future work, it CAN access the RAID array for anything, including the BOOT process you need to start up each time.
Once Win 7 is properly installed, you can proceed with restoring from the backup. I don't know what backup system you are using or what it does. Simply copying things will not do it all. Each Application software you have (like Office, Firefox, graphics software, Adobe Reader, etc.) normally must be re-installed so that the new Registry can be modified to be aware of these applications. But maybe your backup software system takes care of restoring the Registry, too. You'll have to check on details like that.