Is it possible to migrate Raid5 from ICH8R to Adaptec 3405?


I built a 3way raid 5 system on an ICH8R system and didn't realise how slow it would be. I would like to swap the system to run off a raid card like the 3405 (also running Raid 5).

The machine has a lot of install/config effort gone into it, and I don't have time to go thru all that again.

I'm unsure how to go about swapping the raid systems, and have windows still recognise its boot drive.

I've assumed that the drives can't just be pulled off one raid system and shoved on another and expected to still work, cause I'm guessing the parity checking algorithms are different across manufacturers? Plus the drivers for the adaptec card wouldn't exist on the drives currently in the ICH8R.

Can I do something like get the ICH8R system to degrade to a simpler mirrored system, then add the drivers for the adaptec card to it, plugging it into the adaptec card and hope it recognises the new hardware, then add drives to make it up to raid 5 again?

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  1. If this is your main windows installation drive, you are looking at a reinstall of Windows and apps at the bare minimum.

    Without having a look at the Adaptec controller, I don't know if it can convert a single drive to RAID 5 so I'm not even sure if you can remove a drive letting the ICH8R array go degraded, put that on the adaptec and copy as much as possible across, then destroy the ICH8R array and rebuild it on the Adaptec.

    But even then, you would be reinstalling Windows etc.
  2. I have huge doubts since intel does not do things in the same way as bet is to get a large backup drive(DVD/Tapes work too).....break the array...rebuild in the new location and then reinstall and copy files

    If it was intel to intel...then yes it would work...i have moved intel to intel without having to lift a finger...but reinstalling windows is still a must for good performance...

    No mention of adaptec...but does state that from one to another company fails allot....ATI SB600 to Promise FastTrak 378 also seemed to work...
  3. My best guess will be a resounding "NO!!!"

    The initialization protocols used by the various manufacturers will be different. If the RAID controller (be it onboard or add-on) cannot get beyond the initialization stage, then there will be no possibility to access the data.
  4. Thanks for all the info! I'll leave it running as is for now, and plan on a total windows reinstall when I change it.

    For a laugh I'll have a crack at getting it down to one unraided drive, and see if the initialization protocols will allow recognition of that on the new hardware, but will expect that to end in tears+rebuild. This article (last page) makes it look like it could be possible to bring the array back to one drive, but not sure to interpret if they meant downsizing the array or just adding drives/complexity.

  5. You won't be able to move the drives from the Intel controller to the Adaptec controller and have the array be recognized.

    But, you can save the Windows installation if you really want to work at it. You'll do a version of the procedure in the hard disk forum under the FAQ: Switching Storage Controllers without Reinstalling Windows.

    To do this, you'll need a partition copy tool, a drive erase tool, and the total data on the array has to be less than 1/2 the capacity of the RAID 5 (i.e. small enough to fit on a single drive out of the array). I'm assuming you're booting off the Intel array.

    - Remove one drive from the array, causing the RAID 5 to be degraded.
    - Boot into DOS, erase that one drive with a drive erase tool like Darik's Boot and Nuke.
    - Reattach that drive to the Intel controller, don't add it back to the RAID array, but instead make it a separate single drive.
    - Use the partition copy tool to copy the Windows installation partition from the degraded RAID 5 to the single drive.
    - Remove the two drives remaining in the RAID from the Intel controller.
    - Verify Windows still boots up from the single drive.
    - In the BIOS, switch the Intel controller to IDE compatibility mode.
    - Restart and make sure Windows still boots up.
    - Install the Adaptec card, no drives, boot Windows.
    - Install drivers for the Adaptec card.
    - Shut down, install the two drives from the Intel RAID onto the Adaptec card.
    - Start up, use the Adaptec card BIOS to create a RAID 1.
    - Use the partition copy tool to copy the partition from the single drive to the Adaptec RAID 1.
    - Remove the single drive.
    - Start up Windows on the RAID 1 from the Adaptec card.
    - Shut down, add 3rd drive to the Adaptec card.
    - Start up Windows, use Adaptec storage manager to migrate the RAID 1 to a RAID 5.
    - Resize partition on the array as necessary.

    As always, back up all important data before trying this. I make no guarantee this will work.
  6. damn.....nice post SomeJoe7777
  7. Wow, thats excellent SomeJoe7777 - thanks loads for that. I'll have a go at it, cause if its got any chance of working then its better than what I was going to do!
    Nice one.
  8. It worked! I found the FAQ you referenced as well, and I've gotta say you put a great description together.

    You've saved me a lot of time trying to recreate the system drive, thanks for posting such good info. Thanks loads.
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