Sata RAID Cloning, Mirroring, Newbie

Hi, new to the forums, but have been a long time supporter of tomshardware. I am building 14 computers for a good friend, what i had planned was, build all 14 computers, install everything needed (OS, software, drivers, updates) on one hard drive, and just use ghost to clone the 1 hard drive to the other 13, and bam, im done. But, he just sprung his new "idea" on me.

Before I go into detail, im sure some hardware specs would be appreciated, so here they are:

Athlon XP x64 Dual core 3000+
Gigabyte "S" series mobo (GA-M61P-S3 model) 4 sata 3mb, NVIDIA NFORCE 430 CHIPSET
2- Western Digital Cavier SE 7200 RPM 16mb cach 250GB sata
1- Asus sata dvd rom
2 GB ddr2 800 ram


He wants 3 computers set up with a RAID ARRAY 1
He wants the other 11 computers to be 1 hard drive, with no raid

My question is, if you have a computer set up with a RAID 1 ARRAY, is it possible to still be able to use my current plan, copy the 1 hard drive to the other 13 hard drives. For the other 2 RAID 1 ARRAY computers, Would i have to go into my bios and enable the raid, and the clone will work? Or do i have to go through the process every time, installing all of the software (OS, PROGRAMS) for each of the 3 RAID 1 ARRAY computers

Then do my single hard drive setup, install the (OS, PROGRAMS, DRIVERS), and then clone the NON-RAID hard drive for the remaining NON-RAID computers?

Much help would be appreciated, I'm kind of new to the RAID stuff, this is my first time doing it, I have exhausted looking on the internet for the answers, and I am starting to realize that the answer I am looking for is only learned by personal experience...something that I do not have in this area.
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More about sata raid cloning mirroring newbie
  1. I can't answer to the RAID portion. You may have to do it individually for each system that's running RAID 1. Although you might want to ask him why RAID 1. If he wants data redundancy then go with RAID 1, if he wants performance than go with RAID 0, but if he wants both redundancy and performance then RAID 5 would be best. Although it does require a minimum of 3 HDDs for a RAID 5 setup.

    In any case, for the other 11 systems, yes you can do a setup of 1 system and then do a straight clone of that drive for the others but you will have to worry able duplicate security IDs. You should read this article for an explanation of and work around to that problem:

    Change SID with NewSID

    While this is an okay method if you're just rolling out a small number of systems, it's not really practical to do this for large numbers of computers (100+). If you want to try something a little more exotic (that doesn't involve changing the SID after install but automates generating new SIDs during setup), or if you are in fact rolling out a large number of systems, you can try using Sysprep in conjunction with Ghost:

    Using Sysprep to Automate Deployments of Windows XP

    Sidenote here. You may want to remind your friend that unless he wants to risk getting bit in the ass by Microsoft's legal attack dogs, he'll need a license for each system that's running Windows; RAID and non-RAID.
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