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Migrate WIN7 to SSD from current RAID 1

I currently have two 1TB hard drives in a RAID 1 configuration. I have two partitions 1) OS and 2) Data. I would like to install a SSD and install WIN7 on there and then repartition my hard drives as a single partition for all my data. I would also like to keep my RAID 1 configuration including the SSD (if that's possible).
I have no problem with a clean install on the SSD, because actually I think I'm ripe for a clean install after 3 years running WIN7. I also have no problem with rebuilding the RAID system, as I can easily restore all my data from my backups. I've checked various post, but couldn't find the right strategy for my situation. So my question is: what would be the easiest and least painful way to achieve my goal.
Thanks for your help.
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. I dont know if this is going to be do-able for you. I have not had anything that will reliable clone a raid much less going from a raid to a single drive outside of a true raid card & utilities ($500+ card).
    In a world where everything worked you would
    Basically backup your current raid1.
    Clone the OS partition to the SSD
    Delete the OS partition on the raid.
    Expand the Data partition on the raid.

    I suspect you'll be doing
    a fresh install of windows to the SSD {after a complete backup}
    followed by installing all the programs you use.

    Now you may be able to delete the OS partition on the raid and expand the Data but at worst you delete both and create a new Data partition and then copy your data back in from the backup you made in step 1.
  2. Thanks.
    But why would I want to clone the existing OS partition to the SSD and then delete OS on RAID, if I want to do a complete fresh install on the SSD to begin with?
    How can I install WIN7 onto the SSD, when my RAID drives have an existing OS. I've read threads where people advised to disconnect the RAID drives, connect the SSD, install WIN7, reconnect RAID drives and then delete and repartition the RAID drives. But that also feels like a very complicated way.
  3. Best answer
    Maybe because I'm old and didnt clearly understand what you wrote. I assumed you only wanted to reinstall if you had to. Sorry, bad on me for assuming.

    -Install SSD
    -Disconnect HDD's, just data cable is fine. (This is to prevent windows from writing the boot loader to the raid)
    -Power up and install windows, you'll likely need the raid pre-install driver depending on which port you put the ssd on.
    -When windows is done installing, power down.
    -Reconnect Raid drives.
    -Power on and setup as desired.
  4. Yea agreed with popatim. Remove the current drives that are in Raid and then setup your SSD (Raid you want) and then install windows. Then reconnect Raid drives and then move anything you may need off the OS partition from the old drive. Then once your done just delete any unwanted partitions. NOW sometimes windows won't extend a partition if the space is BEFORE the partition you want to extend. There are a lot of free simple partition programs out there.

    Now if you don't want to remove your drives then you can always just backup anything on the current OS drive you want to keep. Then when you go to install windows DELETE the old OS partition, and then create a new one on the SSD and install from there. The reason why everyone reccomends that when ever installing windows to only have the drive you want to install it on is because someone windows will know there is stuff on another hard drive or see another OS and it may not put the boot loader on the hard drive you want it to be one. So when you remove that hard drive later BAM its like WTF? Wheres the boot loader? But that is fixable. Just toss in your Win 7 DVD and boot from it and then do a repair and it will fix the boot loader.

    Now as for raid I have in face SUCESSFULLY cloned a Raid drive with out issue let alone it was a SCSI drive too! Had some hard drives fail in an old Dell PE1600sc and we wanted to move them to bigger drivers all together in another PE1600. It was tricky but it was done with out issue. I have also cloned drives from my Raid 0 of 2tb to my single 4Tb (My backup drive) with out issue as well. If its a Raid 1 or Raid 0 you shouldn't have any issue. if you have a raid 1 and remove a drive you'll be fine as long as the motherboard doesn't see it as a raid hard drive otherwise it will always be like "Hey! Your Raid 1 is Degraded!". One thing people don't realize is that RAID isn't just managed 100% by the Raid Card. There is information written to the Hard drive it self telling the Raid Card what Raid it is and what drive in the raid. If you have a Raid 5 with 3 drives and lets say you take Drive 1 and Drive 3 and swap them on the sata ports it will know what drive is which. This also allows people to move Raids from one Raid card to another. Not all can do it but the ones I have dealt with can but then they are all High End Dell PERC cards too which are suppost to do all that. It will ask if you want to Import the Raid Configuration. I know if you go from a motherboard and have an Intel Raid and you go to a new motherboard with again Intel Raid, Intel can pick it up as well.

    Just food for though on raids.
  5. popatim said:
    Maybe because I'm old and didnt clearly understand what you wrote. I assumed you only wanted to reinstall if you had to. Sorry, bad on me for assuming.

    -Install SSD
    -Disconnect HDD's, just data cable is fine. (This is to prevent windows from writing the boot loader to the raid)
    -Power up and install windows, you'll likely need the raid pre-install driver depending on which port you put the ssd on.
    -When windows is done installing, power down.
    -Reconnect Raid drives.
    -Power on and setup as desired.


    Great, got it.Maybe I wasn't clear enough.
    One more thing, though, that I have never thought about until you mentioned it is the port. Can you explain a little bit more which port I should use and why that is important.
    Thanks
  6. Just for the sake of the Raid Card is best to make sure you don't use the same ports are what the Raid is plugged into right now.

    Also what motherboard do you have? Some newer ones have Sata II and Sata III ports. a SSD you want in the Sata III ports. A Hard Drive i would just leave them where they are at. You don't see a huge difference between Sata II and Sata III hard drives.

    Also sometimes not all Sata ports have Raid on them hence why we need your motherboard make
  7. With SSD's you really want to strive for putting them on your motherbds chipset sata 3 (sometimes referenced as sata_6g) ports. By chipset I mean if you have an AMD motherbd you want them on the AMD sata3 port and for an Intel based board you want them on the intel sata3 ports. Some motherbd offer additional ports thru another controller chicp such as Marvell, AsMedia, JMicron, Gigabyte (which is just a renamed Jmicron) and you want to avoid these to achieve best performance.

    The sata3 ports are usually well identified and separated out by a different color. Read your owners manual to identify them but on the board itself they are often labelled as sata3_0, sata_6g_0, sata6g_0 or similar. I tend to put the SSD on the lowest numbered sata3 port and reserve the next higher sata3 port for expanding with another ssd. I put the HDD on the lowest numbered chipset sata2 port (if the drive does not have all chipset sata3 ports) and the DVD drive on the highest.

    The result is often something like
    ............AMD......Intel
    SSD - sata3_0.. sata6g_0
    empty sata3_1 ..sata6g_1
    HDD - sata3_2.. sata3g_0
    empty sata3_3.. sata3g_1
    empty sata3_4 ..sata3g_2
    DVD - sata3_5 ..sata3g_3
  8. Thanks so far for all the information.
    I have an ASUS P6T SE motherboard with 6 SATA2 connectors. And from what I can see from the manual, all ports can be used for RAID. Currently Port 0 and Port 5 are used for the RAID drives. The SSD I have is also a SATA2 drive. So, I could put the SSD on Port 1 which would be the lowest available port if I follow popatim's advise. Would that work?
    One other question occurred to me. If I follow popatim's install procedure, after I end up with WIN7 installed on the SSD and still installed on the OS partition of the RAID. I guess I have to change the boot sequence in the BIOS to make sure WIN7 is loaded from the SSD and not from the RAID?
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