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Moving a RAID 0 Array HOWTO???

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January 9, 2006 11:04:24 AM

Hi, I have an Albatron KX18D PRO2 (nforce2 + Silicon Image 3112). I just bought 2 WD1600JS (160GB, SATA2). I configured them in a RAID 0 Array with 64k Chunk Size. Then, I made 2 partitions: 1- 40GB 2- The rest (+o- 266GB).
Well, a friend of mine just bought a new computer with a A8N-SLI. I tried moving the disks to that machine but i couldn´t make them work. I created an array with the same config in that machine but windows didn´t recognize it. I put it back in my mother and it worked fine.
I´m about to buy a new computer next month (with an A8N-SLI) and i´ll want to move my array, so if someone has the knowledge i´ll aprecciate it. I know of computers but this is my first experience with SATA and RAID, so everything is new to me. I wouldn´t like to have an array of 320GB were i can put nothing because if my mother dies i will lost everything (i dont fear 1 disc failing, i have discs that are running for more than 6 year now with 0 problems, if it happens, well, S**T HAPPENS).

Thanks i advance for your help.
January 9, 2006 12:10:15 PM

I checked the specs for that standard Asus A8N-SLI board. It doesn't seem to have an extra hard drive controller, just the standard 4 SATA that come with the nForce4.

This means you have a problem.

There is a good chance your RAID-0 array will not be recognised by the NF4 RAID utility on booting. If it is, your problems just got seriously downsized. I have a Mobo that has a Sil3132 controller and an NF4 chip, if I get a chance I'll test and see if it's detected myself, small hassle for me to do.


If the NF4 detects the RAID-0:
All you need to do in this instance is "force" the NF4 drivers in before moving the system over. This entails "Adding New Hardware", manually selecting a SCSI/RAID device, saying you "Have Disk" and selecting the drivers specific to the new system. Windows will not assign resources to this device, as it's not yet there. HOWEVER, after you move the system over, the drivers will be immediately available for Windows to use to boot from, this will avoid a 0x7B stop error (Inaccessable Boot Device). You can also do a Windows repair by booting off the CD and using the "F6" driver disk, this is more time consuming and a hassle though. You will more then likely need to do this step either way.

If the NF4 DOES NOT detect your RAID-0:
You will need to recreate the array. IF you don't care about data loss, no big deal. IF you want to KEEP your data and your Windows install intact, it'll be tricky but very doable. Your friend will most likely need to help you. Or you will need an extra HDD to hold the data.

Either plug the extra HDD into your system, or have your friend (with enough HDD space) setup a shared folder on his computer. Use a program called Acronis TrueImage (Bootable CD) to make a compressed drive image of your data either on the extra HDD or to the shared folder on your friends computer. Now that your data and install are safe, your free to rebuild the array without fear. After moving the RAID-0 and rebuilding, just use Acronis to restore the image, *poof*, your done.
January 9, 2006 12:31:44 PM

I don´t care for windows, if I have to reinstall it i´ll do it.
I have 2 partitions (40-270) for that, so i can format and reinstall (or revover an image) if windows starts f******ng with me.
The problem is that i dont want to lose the data in the second partition. If i buy an A8N-SLI Deluxe it has a Silicon Image 3114 (mine has a 3112) maybe there it will work, but i think in the future what will happen if something happens to my pc, i would like to move array to other machine.

My solution, wich i dont like, is to buy a 250GB HD and change my actual paritions from (40-266) to (56-250) in the 56´s one i can put windows and my programs and i the 250gb one i can put my things for maximun acces performance and in the 250GB HD i make an automatic daily image of the other partition. But that requires buying a second hard drive and now i have to buy a whole computer so if i can keeep that money now i can invest it in the new machine.
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January 9, 2006 1:20:57 PM

That motherborad DOES have IDE ports (DVD,CD ROM,duh!!)
Get a BIG HDD and connect it to a Free SATA or IDE PORT (Most new motherboards have 4 Sata ports)

The Raid is using only 2 ports
Boot from a DOS CD using Norton Ghost and clone wahtever you want to backup. You can compress the image using Ghost options
There is a big chance the Silicon 3114 will recognize the array
January 9, 2006 1:28:32 PM

Moving a Windows install from one MB to another is iffy at best under normal conditions, but trying to do it with a RAID setup sound like too much work.

I had problems with my new Abit GF4 MB when I first tried to set up a RAID 0. I had to upgrade my BIO’s first and then upgrade to the latest NV RAID drivers (1.05) I also changed the default stripe from 64 to 32 as I recalled reading some where that was what windows XP likes?
January 9, 2006 3:38:21 PM

Forget about windows, it´s too complicated if not imposible to change motherboards with that junk OS. What ia want is to move the array. i would reinstall windows i the other motherboard sees the array.
January 9, 2006 5:12:39 PM

Each RAID controller (maybe brand, maybe each controller) has its own internal way of setting up the array. Moving an array between 2 mobos with the same controller should work (but no guarantees - back up your data first). Moving an array from (for example) an Intel controller to an nVidia controller will never work unless you get lucky - don't count on it.

Mike.
January 10, 2006 1:58:08 AM

Heck, I have an Asus A8R-MVP and created a RAID1 mirror non-boot drive. Then put some data on it, re-installed windows on other drive and expected to be able to access RAID1.
Well, I could see drive in device manager as healthy and active, but could not assign drive letter to it.
RAID driver utility access options on it were delete array, make active and make bootable were grayed out.
Tried booting with only one drive in on another machine, same results, ended up reformatting drives and use them separately for now.
January 10, 2006 2:32:30 AM

Uhm, in case you all didn't notice, I answered his question about how to go about doing this with or without a second hard drive and keep all his data 100% intact, not only that, but still have windows BOOT up and detect new hardware just fine.

I can't tell you how many times I've done very similiar procedures.

Very common when my customers upgrade from PATA IDE to SATA and don't want to lose any data. Complete controller change and don't want it to effect their programs. Big deal since HAL needs the proper drivers for the HDD controller to bring up the operating system.

If you want to have this done in like 2-5 hours, depending how much data you have, follow my instructions exactly.

Eh, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink it, whatever.
January 10, 2006 9:39:59 PM

ive no fear of one disk failing. My fear is if i have to move my array by force, not by will. If something happens to my motherboad im screwed. I´m in Argentina so not everybody has decent computers here, is not like i can go to a friend´s house and use my array in his pc, it´s possible that if he is not a computer fan like me he will not even know what sata is. So if I have an array and I have a perfect image of the entire disk in a single drive, i can use my array for performance and the single drive is a daily image backup in case my motherboard dies and i have to replace it with another one wich is not compatible.
I can use HD imaging software to duplicate my entire array to a larger disk but i´ll have to program it to do it every night, it will only take one hour at worst but if it could be done live while im in the pc it will be best.
So, finishing, i will use my array (160*2) and i will buy a 300GB HD, i´ll create a partition of 270GB to store my things and another partition with the rest of the space for windows, apps and games. I will setup an imaging software to make and exact copy of the 270GB partition to the 300GB HD every midnight (i can use the bios to startup my pc and sotware to shut it down after automaticly) so ill have a backup, and ill have the performance of RAID 0 with the security of RAID 1 and if i need to change PC i can destroy the array, put it in another one and recover the things from the other disk.

Thats my way, Im open to suggestions. And thanks to you all of you for trying to help.
!