Upgrading of System...New Win 7 Install Questions & RAID 1

My current system is in RAID 1 format, two WD 500GB drives.

What I'm thinking of doing, I don't know if it's possible or not, so I'm asking here.

Can I put the same 2 HDDs in my new system, but not in RAID format so I can move over my files after the install? Once done, how do I go about getting it back into RAID 1?

Since I don't really have a backup plan, I figured RAID 1 would be the best option for me to have a BU in case of HDD failure.
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  1. If you don't know how to do that then go back to windows XP, Windows 7 is not for any novice people like you.
  2. Nice & rude. Well done. I do know how to do it, I guess my real question was, how long would the sync take once I have imported my files.

    BTW, whether it's Windows 7, Windows XP, Linux, etc how would that change the situation? Guess I should have explained a little more, I am, and have been running windows 7 64bit. Have been for well over a year, thank you very much.

    Staying with XP or going to 7 will not change the situation. I'm upgrading my sytem, not my OS.

    Changing my mobo,cpu,ram. Which will require a fresh install of windows 7. RAID is what I am not filmiliar with, heck I always get RAID 0, RAID 1 confused, have to look up which is mirror and which is striping.

    Now, please take your rude comments elsewhere.

    Yes, I didn't explain myself clearly in my original post, left out some information. I can see how you would think I was saying upgrading to Windows 7, that was my fault. I figured my question explain what I was wanting to do. Try being awake and thinking about your question and not thinking clearly and assuming people would know what you're talking about.
  3. When changing mobo's, it's best to do a clean install. It sounds like you'll be doing that anyway.

    After the install, reconnect one of the RAID drives and see if windows can access it. If so, copy over any files you want to keep, i.e. Back them up.

    Once that is done, reconnect the second raid drive. Next, you will want to go into the RAID bios and add both drives to a RAID 1 array. Do not initialize the array or it will destroy all the data on the drives. If you are LUCKY and the raid controllers are compatable, your array should be intact. If not, you will be forced to initialize the array and lose all data on the drives.

    RAID is not a backup!!! If your drive becomes infected with a virus you will now have a virus on both drives. RAID is for fault tolerence so if one drive fails the system can remain running. Do yourself a favor and get some decent backup software or use windows backup and make yourself some real backups.
  4. Sounds like I will lost data on both drives after doing a clean install on one?

    Meaning, When I hook one to my system, format it, do a clean installs (which means will no longer match the old data), connect 2nd HDD, move data over. Then rebuild the array so that drive 2 matches drive 1. Will I lose data that way?

    Also, I know it's not a backup...I always forget to backup and went this route when my HDD first crashed.
  5. Sorry, I misread your initial post. I thought you got a new drive for the OS and just wanted to move the two (RAID) drives into that system.

    Like I said before, if the drive controllers on the two motherboards aren't identical, it is unlikely you will get the raid to work on the new board.

    If you want to make sure that at least a single drive is readable without losing data, try moving just one drive onto the new board and then boot with a linux live CD (one that can read NTFS formatted drives) and see if you can see your files ok. If so, you can install your OS with just one drive attached. After installing the OS, you can connect the other drive and be able to pull info from it. You will however, not be able to get the drives back in RAID 1 without losing data.

    If the new board has an identical controller to your old board, you may get lucky. Go into the raid bios and set it up as RAID 1 but do not initialize the array and see if it works for you. I don't know if I'd feel comfortable going this route since you don't have a backup.
  6. I can make a backup before hooking up my new computer.

    I kinda have 3 computers at this moment.
    1) The one I am currently using, I like to call her POS
    AMD Sempron 2400+
    She likes to crash when playing games and forget about trying to refresh 2 tabs in a browser (any of them) at once. One will wait until the first is done loading.
    She also like to destroy monitors. She had destroyed 2 monitors I got from Dell that I got when I bought a computer from Dell (see computer 2). I think it has a problem on the motherboard, but not sure.
    2) Dell Inspirion 531s.
    2.1) New Case, new PSU, & new Video Card (5770), 2 new HDD since original HDD crashed
    this one is currently "down" as the PSU is on RMA for the 2nd time.
    3) The newest one.
    Still in pieces.

    I have 2 ways to make a backup. but, that being said, one is not sufficient enough (not enough HDD space...I think) and the other is time consuming (burning to dvd).

    First option: Using POS to store the data I need from my "crashed" computer. This may be possible, I don't really know how much I need to save. No way for me to connect those HDD to this PC (IDE vs SATA).

    Second: This is no problem, once I get my PSU and a working DVD burner. The one in the system won't burn, but will read.

    After all that, I am a bit shocked at something. Putting the drives in RAID 1, changes them to where I can't use just one? I very much doubt that the RAID controllers are identical or even simliar (Dell Mobo: RY206 0RY206 vs ASRock 870 Exreme3). I thought that since they are mirrored, I'd be able to just take it out, format it with no problems.

    Any tips? Suggestions? I will try the Live CD, but will need to wait until my DVD burner & PSU arrives (Today & Tomorrow). Stupid UPS didn't put my PSU on the truck for some "Emergency conditions beyond UPS' control." Even though it's at the UPS center that handles my deliveries.
  7. so, if I can't read the disk when using a live cd, it means I'll have to make a back up in order to save my data as I will lose information on both drives?
  8. trickynick said:
    so, if I can't read the disk when using a live cd, it means I'll have to make a back up in order to save my data as I will lose information on both drives?

    Yes. On the bright side, RAID 1 doesn't stripe data like some other RAID levels so there is a good chance you should be able to read a single drive with no problems.

    I had a bootable RAID 1 system on a MSI board with an AMD 4400+ CPU. The mobo died and I ended up replacing the mobo with a Gigabyte board with an Intel C2D E7500. I installed Win7 on a new drive, slapped in one of my RAID 1 drives and I was able to access the files with no problem. So, not only did I swap boards, but went from an AMD platform to an Intel platform. I didn't try to put the two drives back in RAID 1 just because I needed the extra storage.
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