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Setting up RAID 1 with two drives that already contain exact copies

Hello,

I decided to build my next computer instead of buying one. I have decided to take apart the 2 external drives that I used to store & backup my media out of their enclosures and put them in my new machine as Sata connected drives. My quesiton is how can i setup these as RAID 1 without losing my data.

Drive 1 is the main storage drive (2TB)
Drive 2 is the Copy of Drive 1 (2TB)

Drive 2 is currently a duplicate of 1 but not because of Raid. I simply connected the drives externally and coppied the files from one drive to the other.

If there is any risk of me losing my data on both drives I would rather buy a 3rd drive so I know there is one safe copy.

Thanks in advance for your help.

--update below is my machine specs (incase it matters)
CPU Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core
CPU Cooler Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H ATX LGA1150
Memory Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600
Storage Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5" SSD
Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM X 2
Video Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 4GB
Power Supply Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V
2 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about setting raid drives exact copies
  1. Best answer
    Hey,

    When setting up the RAID 1 for the first time, you are going to lose ALL data on the hard drives. This is obligatory as pairing happens. So in order to set the rAID 1, you would have to move all data to a 3rd HDD first and then move back once pairing is complete.

    Having said that, I advise you not to RAID 1. In the current world, bacukp is done using an external HDD. With RAID 1 you sole half your GB capacity, and the rebuildig process is very time consuming and dangerous, specially for 2TB of data. Its very easy for a small software glitch to cause the drives to unsynchronize, and then, the only way to have the RAID 1 working again is if you rebuild the entire array. The truth is, the best way to have 2 HDD matching data perfectly is manually like you did or automatically by the use of software. I use WD Anywhere backup, but this software is no longer available. There are other options Im sure if you search.

    To conlcude, I strongly recomend you set the new HDDs in RAID 0 and get a proper external HDD for backup. I strongly recomend Toshiba Canvio. WD My Passport is another popular model, but I am more pleased with the Toshiba models.
  2. leandrodafontoura said:
    Hey,

    When setting up the RAID 1 for the first time, you are going to lose ALL data on the hard drives. This is obligatory as pairing happens. So in order to set the rAID 1, you would have to move all data to a 3rd HDD first and then move back once pairing is complete.

    Having said that, I advise you not to RAID 1. In the current world, bacukp is done using an external HDD. With RAID 1 you sole half your GB capacity, and the rebuildig process is very time consuming and dangerous, specially for 2TB of data. Its very easy for a small software glitch to cause the drives to unsynchronize, and then, the only way to have the RAID 1 working again is if you rebuild the entire array. The truth is, the best way to have 2 HDD matching data perfectly is manually like you did or automatically by the use of software. I use WD Anywhere backup, but this software is no longer available. There are other options Im sure if you search.

    To conlcude, I strongly recomend you set the new HDDs in RAID 0 and get a proper external HDD for backup. I strongly recomend Toshiba Canvio. WD My Passport is another popular model, but I am more pleased with the Toshiba models.



    Thanks for the info, however if you think of it more like i have 2 external drives that are in my machine. I do not want drives laying around where pets/ people can knock over or kick. So if i set it up like the below is that more like what you mean?

    SSD - C:\ (boot drive)
    Drive 1 - E:\ (storage drive)
    Drive 2 - F:\ (bacup Drive using software to copy E:\)

    Does that sound right? So no RAID1 just 2 drives and one backs up to the other using software?

    Thank you!
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