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Help setting up RAID 1...

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December 31, 2005 1:07:41 AM

Hey, all. I'm setting up a RAID 1 array on my new machine. Specs, just in case they're needed: Asus A8N-VM board, two 300gb Seagate SATA drives.

First thing I did was to set up the RAID array through the hardware. The BIOS then recgonized the two drives as one, and I went to go install XP. Setup had an issue with installation due to the drives, so I went into the BIOS and turned off the nVidia RAID. (I don't have a floppy drive on the machine, so I couldn't put the drivers on a floppy and install them that way.) The BIOS still saw the drives as one, though. I went through the XP installation, and it noticed the two drives separately. I installed on one of them. Once the installation was done, I looked at my computer through Windows. It only listed one hard drive in My Computer, but in its Properties, it showed two drives. I then went back into the BIOS and turned the nVidia RAID function back on.

So I'm wondering if my drives are actually mirrors right now, or if I'm only running off of one and not the other. Other questions:

- How do I check to see if the drives are truly RAID 1?
- If one drive dies, I should still be able to use the other drive, right? How do I do that?
- In case something happens, how do I synchronize the drives?

If I've got more questions, I'll post them later. Thanks in advance.

More about : setting raid

December 31, 2005 1:28:59 AM

Your NOT in RAID.

Some times the drivers you need are on the MB CD. If not you will have to burn a cd with the drivers you need.

Once you are in RAID 1, only one drive will be present and the capacity will be roughly 80%.

You will be prompted during the boot process, (after bios, before windows) to go in the managment utility.
December 31, 2005 1:38:18 AM

Ah, I didn't realize I could use the CD to get the RAID drivers. I've only got one CD drive on there..

I just looked in Disk Management, and it shows one HDD in use, and one unallocated HDD. Guess I messed up.. going to try and fix it.

Edit: XP Setup won't let me use a CD. Keeps asking for a floppy, which doesn't exist. Hm.

More edit: Fixed my RAID array (for some reason, it was unhealthy) but cleared off the drive. Oops. Windows XP steps through fine and doesn't give me the error from before, but it says that there are no hard drives installed on my computer. Guess I gotta get those drivers. I've read about using a slipstreamed Windows XP CD.. may try doing that.
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January 1, 2006 12:02:18 AM

In order to install RAID on boot drive, you HAVE to use a floppy to input the drivers during XP install using F6, there is no way around it without slipstreaming your own XP-SP2 install CD with motherboards RAID drivers slipped in, which is not all that difficult if you have the time and another PC to do it on.
January 1, 2006 3:35:24 PM

How do you feel, wasting a 300 gigs HDD just to be safe and not loosing a few Gb of personnal data?? I meand, do you need to mirror the OS, the apps and everything you have installation CD for? Do you need to mirror all the stuff that ae easily found on the internet?

I would just use the second HDD as a storage HDD, and using a software that can create mirror copy of important folders and sync them. So, if you add/remove file in the main, then the mirror on the other drive will be mod too.

Anyway, it your business, but since I turn my computer off for the night and everything is still running on the planet, then I'm not running a mission critical computer. What that means is that I cann afford to do a fresh install of Windows after a while, to get a fresh start. It clears up registry unused entry, system file that are not in use, software that did not uninstall clean,...

Just check how much important stuf you really want to backup and what happen if you turn off your computer....
January 1, 2006 3:47:17 PM

Pat: That's interesting. I know RAID 1 isn't really supposed to be used this way, but I've had such bad luck with my computers in the past. Last spring, I had two hard drives die on me within 24 hours, and that's not the only time. I now back up all of my really important stuff.

But backing up only certain folders would work too, I suppose. Any recommendation on software for that?
January 1, 2006 3:51:47 PM

Quote:
Pat: That's interesting. I know RAID 1 isn't really supposed to be used this way, but I've had such bad luck with my computers in the past. Last spring, I had two hard drives die on me within 24 hours, and that's not the only time. I now back up all of my really important stuff.

But backing up only certain folders would work too, I suppose. Any recommendation on software for that?


I know only second copy , that I got with something long time ago.. I use it mainly to keep a mirror copy of my digital picture and personnal stuff.

Failing HDD are mainly caused by bad or cheap PSU..

I'll look in other software solution to find if there is something new and better than second copy 2000 when I'll have spare time.
January 9, 2006 7:31:53 PM

So I tried slipstreaming the files onto an XP CD, and it still didn't work. I followed a number of different guides online, and they all said basically the same thing.

Anyone know of any software that I could use to keep things synchronized? Or some sort of virtual RAID 1 array? Pat mentioned Second Copy above; I just came across Paragon Drive Backup. Anyone have any thoughts about either of these?
January 10, 2006 8:54:35 PM

Err... actually the number one cause of hard drive failures is heat.

-mpjesse
January 10, 2006 9:00:59 PM

Quote:
Err... actually the number one cause of hard drive failures is heat.

-mpjesse


Yup, but heat is caused by noob or Intel users that dont know what they do anyway..


I should hve assumed that, but I'm now trying to have more faith at peoples and less on hardware..
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