Raid 1 question

I have 2 hard drives in a raid 1 array, and I was thinking of getting a new motherboard. Since it keeps a copy of everything on both drives, will it have a problem with the new chipset?
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  1. I'm kind of wondering about that too.
  2. The short answer is it depends [on the implementation]. Metadata could be stored in a way that would be disruptive to the new controller. If they (the controllers) are by the same manufacturer, chances are there will be no problems (but still could be). If they are not, you might be able to use the disks as single drives, but not in the RAID array - that would most likely not be recognized as such if you just plugged them in.
  3. You should make a backup of the data before attempting to migrate the RAID stripe. Better safe than sorry.

    Also, like russki said, if the chipset of the controller is made by the same manufacturer, it should work. But no 100% sure.
  4. Since RAID is really geared towards businesses, I think most RAID arrays are replaced at the time as the servers they provide storage for... SO... that makes this an excellent question! Be sure to let us know how this one turns out and what you learn from your experience.
  5. Well when I boot from my 3rd non raid drive, it sees them as 2 separate drives and anything I put on the one drive shows up on the other when I boot the array. I'm surprised no one here has tried this before.
  6. neokill3r said:
    Well when I boot from my 3rd non raid drive, it sees them as 2 separate drives and anything I put on the one drive shows up on the other when I boot the array. I'm surprised no one here has tried this before.


    No need to tries, it's obvious if you don't have the RAID drivers installed on the other HD!
    ALL the desktop mobos with low cost integrated RAID use software RAID, not true hardware array management, so if you don't load the drivers you'll see the drives as two separate and identical disks.

    Regarding your question, as others said, you'll be able to access the RAID array data only if the new mobo has exactly the same SATA controller as the current one.
  7. Wow, this is a lot more confusing then I thought it would be. I wish I messed around with the drives more before I put important stuff on them.

    I used software raid because I figured all the controller did was duplicate the writes and spread out the reads. So why wouldn't a different controller be able to read it? Then I could just have it read one drive and rebuild it onto the other drive?
  8. The initialization protocols are different from manufacturer to manufacturer. In the worse possible scenario, your RAID 1 array will not be recognized by the new motherboard.

    All is not lost though cause in a RAID 1 array all data on the 1st hard drive will be on the 2nd hard drive. You will simply need to rebuild the RAID, the only thing you will loose is time.

    The best way to maintain your current RAID is to use a new motherboard with the same RAID controller manufacturer as the original motherboard. If you have a mobo using one of the Intel's chipsets (like the P965) and you decide to go with another mobo based on an Intel chipset like the P35, then you should have no problems.

    If you are switching from an Intel chipset to nVidia or AMD chipset, then the your RAID will most likely need to be rebuilt.
  9. You could get lucky - depends on the RAID controllers. Many mobo's now have nVidea chips on them that include software RAID controller functions. Now it happens that nVidia says on their website that ALL their current controllers use the same software and control systems, so and RAID drives created on one nVidia system can be moved directly to another new nVidia system and it will still work! At least, that's their claim. So if you happen to be in that situation, you could get away easy. Just to be sure, try to check the exact details of mobo (old and new) and their chipsets with nVidia.

    If you are moving from one controller system to another, generally do NOT expect it to work. Take the careful route and make a complete backup of everything. Plan to either ghost your array or re-install your OS, then copy all applications and software, etc. By far the easiest would be to ghost your current "drive" (read, RAID1 array) to one IDE drive, then set it aside. Install new mobo and RAID array and drives. Then plug in the drive containing the ghost image to an IDE connector and ghost again to the new array. Requires some software and a spare large HDD for a while.
  10. On consumer grade raid chips, I have not seen any meta data (raid specific data) not stored on both hard drives which means that you should not have any problems what so ever.


    RAID is not a backup solution and you should have a ghost image / backup anyway. But I would not worry what so ever about raid migrations.

    What you will have to do is rebuilt the array on a new controller which is a waste of time, but that is the price of switching controllers using raid 1.


    (this is not the case with raid 0 or raid 5 or 10, 01)
  11. Thats what I thought I would have to do, just put 1 drive in the new controller and rebuild to the second drive.

    Well here is the new mobo I was thinking of getting - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128053
    Heres the mobo I have - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128012

    Its a newer south bridge (ICH9r compared to ICH8) but still Intel so hopefully I won't have any problems.

    Thank you all for your help and if you have any experience migrating a raid 1 array please post because I always find threads like this on Google and it really helps to have people with real experience. I will post my results after I migrate it.
  12. You shouldn't have any problems since you are upgrading to another Intel chipset. Based on an article I've read recently the various ICH (Intel Controller Hub) RAID initiation protocols are very similar. The article also when one step further by moving a RAID 5 array from an older motherboard with ICH6 to a newer mobo with ICH8.

    As I stated before, in the worse possible situation, you will need to rebuild your RAID 1 array. Since the data only needs to be re-written from drive #1 to drive #2, all you will loose is time.
  13. All ICH raid controllers use DIFFERENT DRIVERS. They are not compatible for say, Raid 0 swaps.
  14. While the drivers may be different, the protocols should essentially be the same since they are all Intel chipsets. Now taking a RAID that used Intel's ICH to an Adaptec RAID controller card, now that's different.
  15. Actually, there are not different RAID drivers for each of Intel's ICH platforms. Historically, the drivers were were backward compatible, but not forward compatible. I.e. the 5.0 driver released with ICH7R would also work with ICH6R and ICH5R, but it wouldn't work with hardware that was released later, such as ICH8R or ICH9R.

    However, starting with the drivers supporting ICH8 (version 6.0), the driver is not only backward compatible, but also forward compatible.

    In a nutshell, going from an ICH8R to an ICH9R should be a piece of cake-- no driver changes are needed for the RAID to work.
  16. rockchalk said:
    Actually, there are not different RAID drivers for each of Intel's ICH platforms. Historically, the drivers were were backward compatible, but not forward compatible. I.e. the 5.0 driver released with ICH7R would also work with ICH6R and ICH5R, but it wouldn't work with hardware that was released later, such as ICH8R or ICH9R.

    However, starting with the drivers supporting ICH8 (version 6.0), the driver is not only backward compatible, but also forward compatible.

    In a nutshell, going from an ICH8R to an ICH9R should be a piece of cake-- no driver changes are needed for the RAID to work.


    Due to some bizarre circumstances, I need to backward migrate a RAID 0 volume from a ICH9R mainboard (a gigabye GA-X48-DS5) to an ICH6R controller (an MSI 925XE Neo Platinum)... Is there any chance this'll work?
  17. First step, as VBorador2 said, is MAKE A BACKUP. Step 2 is check to be sure it's a good backup you can restore from. Step 3, if you're paranoid, is repeat steps 1 and 2 to another backup. Then go forward.

    Maybe the most straightforward way to do this migration is to use utilities usually included with your RAID setup. Assuming you are using software RAID built into the mobo BIOS and chipset, you should have some RAID tools included in them, so read the manuals for this carefully. Those manuals probably are files on your C: drive, or maybe on a CD that came with your machine. If not, check the mobo manufacturer's website for it.

    What you are looking for is two tools. One will undo a RAID1 set, converting the dual-disk RAID1 array you have into a single C: drive that is not in a RAID1 array, plus a second drive that is not in use. The other tool is a way to convert a single bootable HDD full of data, OS etc. into a 2-disk RAID1 array you can boot from.

    So the plan is you un-make the RAID1 array you have, then boot from it to be sure you have a good stable system operating on one C: drive. There will also be a second unused drive that still has data on it. Your might be able to just leave that alone, but to be clean you might want to re-Format it.

    Now you move both HDD's to the new system. You probably will have issues with getting your Windows OS to run on a new mobo with new hardware, and there are ways to handle that, too, which I won't deal with here. Anyway, you get to the point where your new system is working fine off one C: drive, and you still have a second empty drive.

    Now you reboot and go into the RAID utilities and look for the one that allows you to add a second drive to a single-drive system and convert the two into a single RAID1 array. This is just what you did originally to establish you array, with the exception that this time you need it to keep all of the existing data and OS and make the array the boot device. The built-in tools should have a way to do that. When you're finished, you have your RAID1 array back in operation but all on the new machine.

    AS I said, make your backups first and verify them. Then read all the RAID manual stuff to be sure you know where the tools are and how to use them BEFORE you start.

    Added later: Hey, even better if you really want to understand, read all of the sticky by Somejoe7777 in the Storage / Hard Disk forum, second from the top.
  18. Generally you can just go in the RAID BIOS of the new motherboard and create a new RAID1 array. The disk order is not important, there is no stripesize, so this can't go wrong unless the RAID engine is doing things in a non-standard way (non-contiguous, storing metadata at weird locations, starting offset not 0, not really RAID1, etc).

    In either case, create a backup of your most important data. RAID is no backup, RAID can protect you from a drive failure, but it can also fail itself!
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