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Motherboard RAID 0 and drive imaging software - what works?

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February 28, 2006 5:16:10 AM

I briefly set up a RAID 0 array to do some benchmarking and I discovered that True Image 8 isn't compatible with my NF4 NVRAID Arrays.

It can't do anything with RAID 0 arrays.

RAID 1 arrays are seen as two independent drives, so read operations are safe, but write operations are out of the question.

I am just wondering whether this is a common problem? This is the primary reason I haven't purchased a 2nd Raptor for stripping purposes.

Does anyone use a backup solution that has no problem backing and restoring to RAID 0 arrays?

If so what RAID controller and software are you using?
February 28, 2006 6:56:34 AM

No typical software HDD / partition imager is compatible with the nForce RAID controller.

Norton Ghost 2005 can backup a single HDD (not even in RAID mode), or RAID via OS drivers, on an nForce 4 chipset, but it can't restore it using the Symantec System Recovery disk (lacks the RAID drivers, almost impossible to 'slipstream' them into the Symantec Recovery / Image restore disc, ala: SP2 to WinXP CD-ROM style), so you need to install the OS then Ghost 2005 just to restore the image anyway.... sort of defeats the purpose no ?

The restore operation takes 2-3 times as long as it would to just rebuild the machine from scratch.

Norton Ghost 2005 uses the PowerQuest format anyway.

Linux wise, bearing in mind that 2.6.x Kernel doesn't like 'RAIDlite' HDD controllers (the ones on typical consumer mainboards, including the nForce 4 and server nForce Pro 2200+2050 chipset), so you need to use Linux software RAID and forget about 'psuedo-hardware' RAID in Windows will let you make images and restore them quickly.

Otherwise look into Adaptec and LSI, etc 'real hardware' RAID (vs hardware just passing to CPU) and see if their cards (typically PCI-X, not to be confused with PCIe / PCI Express) come with image software for their arrays.

Using Norton Ghost 2003, from DOS, using 'GHOST -?' from the command line, and using the base Int 13h mode with faster interface methods disabled (for backup and restore) might work if the total array size is small (not partition size, a 1 GB partition on a TeraByte array won't work for example).

Still you may be able to backup the partition(s) you want even with Ghost 2003, only to run a integrity check on the image to find it corrupt (not made for newer chipsets or processors), or that you can't restore the backups anyway.

I'd just get an external HDD or two, or external LaCie RAID ( http://www.lacie.com ) if you need the redundancy.... and re-install your Operating Systems when need be, using 2-3 Primary Partition OS's with the 'one hand washes the other' system of image backup (within the OS itself), as you can install Windows XP + drivers + image backup/restore software + the images themselves, and boot from, external USB mass storage devices.

The other option is use RAID-5, and remove any (XOR data) HDD, insert a new HDD and rebuild the array... repeat for each disc to make a 'mirror' of your arrary (very dirty, unsafe method).... also requires twice the HDDs (one set in the PC and a 'known good' backup array, numbered by cable / HDD position, outside the PC).

The option in blue is the best I've come up with so far.
March 1, 2006 4:08:55 PM

I switched from Norton Ghost 9 to True image 8 due to the recovery discs loading time.

I can restore my OS partition litterally five-seven times using True Image in the time it took Ghost 9 just to finish booting!

Just like Ghost 9, true image has zero problems backup up anything from within windows, but lacks the proper drivers on the recovery disc.

---
My best solution is to just use a single Raptor for my OS and use RAID 1 for storage. No problems writing to RAID 1 then recovering from the image from one of the two RAID 1 drives.
---

I just realized that there is a Ghost 10 and a True Image 9. I might try out their recovery media to see if either has drivers for my RAID controller.

If so I might need to buy a 2nd Raptor :) 
Related resources
a b V Motherboard
a c 371 G Storage
March 1, 2006 4:25:11 PM

I'd wrote Acronis about this exact same thing, but raid 1. The answer seemed generalized ("all levels of raid"), but version 9 may help you. Excerpt of E-mail from Acronis support follows.

Thank you for your interest in Acronis True Image. (http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage...)!

Acronis True Image 9.0 supports all levels of Raid controllers and support NVRAID controllers. So, you do not need to broke RAID mode before creating/restoring an image.

You can learn more information about the work of Acronis products from:
http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/download/docs/

We suggest you to use the trial versions of Acronis products from:
http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/download/
to be completely sure that it works fine on your system.

Acronis software can be purchased via online store available at:
http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/sales/online/

Thank you.
--
Sincerely yours,
Konstantin Karikov

Acronis, Inc.
395 Oyster Point Blvd., Suite 115
South San Francisco, CA 94080 USA
http://www.acronis.com

Acronis Customer Service Department
http://www.acronis.com/my/support/
March 2, 2006 1:39:23 AM

They can say that because the Windows Version supports everything. And you can restore from windows as long as its not the system partition. Its the driver included on the boot CD that are at issue.

I have a copy of the True Image 9 rescue disc. Sometime soon I will create a RAID 0 array with a couple of spare 120's and see what happens.

Since their software is now newer than my motherboard I have hope that maybe that added support.
March 2, 2006 2:46:08 AM

I use Acronis 9.0 with my Promise 378 RAID 0 array (ASUS A8V Deluxe mobo) and it works great. When I use the boot CD I choose "Safe Mode" to skip SCSI support and the recovery console loads in three or four seconds. I don't even bother loading the application in Windows anymore since I have to reboot to recover the system partition anyway. I just do everything from the boot CD.
March 2, 2006 3:18:54 AM

I use ghost corp with my nvraid 1's, I just backup one drive, if you restore, just create the raid 1 and copy the drive, so what if you have to wait for a rebuild :) 
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