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Remove Raid 1 and Keep Data On Drive

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February 27, 2009 10:37:50 PM

Hey everyone,

I had a raid 1 array setup with 2 500GB drives and one of the drives went out. I ended up replacing the array with a pair of 1GB drives. I would like to keep the data on the old functioning 500GB drive (wanna make sure I got everything) but remove it from the old array so it is just a normal drive.

I am using a P5Q-E Board which uses the ICH10R chipset. I am also using Intel Matrix Storage Console to manage the drives in windows. If I try to delete the volume, I am notified the drive will be formatted - I am quite surprised by this.

Any way around formatting the drive?

Thanks!

EDIT-- I meant 1TB not 1GB. Duh...

More about : remove raid data drive

March 2, 2009 5:33:15 AM

What sort of setup did you have before? Usually you just plug it in and it shows up.

Accually, what you are doing is imposible, no wonder your having such issues, how much you pay for this 1GB drive anyways? i hear there going for about $10 now.....
March 2, 2009 5:49:54 AM

ideffect said:
Hey everyone,

I had a raid 1 array setup with 2 500GB drives and one of the drives went out. I ended up replacing the array with a pair of 1GB drives. I would like to keep the data on the old functioning 500GB drive (wanna make sure I got everything) but remove it from the old array so it is just a normal drive.

I am using a P5Q-E Board which uses the ICH10R chipset. I am also using Intel Matrix Storage Console to manage the drives in windows. If I try to delete the volume, I am notified the drive will be formatted - I am quite surprised by this.

Any way around formatting the drive?

Thanks!


Does it show up in your OS?
Related resources
March 2, 2009 5:34:02 PM

OK so it sounds like you are using the 2 1gb drives for your OS, and you want to use the 500 for storage. Since you set up a RAID-1 to begin with, and I'm assuming you do still want a backup... why not just buy an external 500gb, copy the data, repartition/format the original, and copy back? Granted, it would cost $70 or so for the external, but the cost seems well worth it to me (compared to the alternative of burning a ton of DVDs). Surely the storage utility will allow you to read from the drive without a backup attached, no?
March 2, 2009 5:41:52 PM

I can't believe I put 1GB there - obviously I meant 1TB. I do remember the days when 1GB drives were huge...

I am using the same setup as before. I just made a new array with the two new hard drives and kept the old array but it listed as degraded since there is now only one drive. The old array still shows up in the os (Vista X64). The raid array's are used for data storage and the OS is not installed on them so there was no reinstalled involved.

I just want to remove the 500GB drive from the array without reformatting the drive but perhaps it is not possible. I am curious now if I pop the drive in another computer, will it read normally? I thought since the drives were just being mirrored, they weren't formatted any differently than FAT or NTFS.

Thanks.
March 2, 2009 6:37:58 PM

I think that is the case, only thing i can suggest, assuming you only have these 3 drives, is to backup and re-install, unless you want to try imaging the old partition and boot sector using disk dolly or ghost, then when you format you have 1 attempt to load the image and hope for the best.

I must Stress, no matter what solution you choose, backup anyways, even if you think it is 100% going to work.
March 2, 2009 7:23:42 PM

OK, OS does see it... I'd imagine that you have a set of non-raid ports, yes? It should be as simple as moving the SATA cable to one of those ports, then getting rid of the array details for the degraded raid set. You are correct, since it was simply mirrored, it should be just a standard drive format. Probably NTFS. I'd also suspect that it would be readable in any PC that can handle NTFS and has SATA ports.
March 2, 2009 9:10:42 PM

The procedure below is how I recently transferred a pair of 300GB mirrored RAID 1 multi-partition bootable drives (1 failed) to a pair of 320GB drives (maintaining Windows without having to "repair" it). (NOTE this will only work with broken mirrored RAID 1 volumes where the working drive is smaller to or equal in size to the new drive).

I’m going to assume your mirror RAID was bootable and not simply mirrored storage.

If you’ve identified your dead drive (fairly easy to do) remove it and install one of your 1TB drives.

Boot your PC and once in Windows go to the Computer Management Console / Disk Management and setup the 1TB drive for use on your system (set the drive to basic – not dynamic). Remember, Windows is going to go through it's "found new hardware" routine while you’re doing this and will want to reboot – ignore it. If you have problems booting, I’d double check the boot drive sequence in your BIOS.

Once you've set the new drive for basic use, exit the Computer Management Consol and enter Intel's Matrix Storage Consol (IMSC).

IMSC may identify the new 1TB HD as a candidate for use in recreating the broken mirrored RAID 1 set and will ask you if you want to use it – I think you know what to do. If IMSC doesn’t prompt you, this can be done manually (see IMSC help). In any event, you should be able to tell IMSC to use the new drive to re-create the old RAID mirror set which it will do. With the size of the old mirror set I’m guessing this will take about 1.5-2 hrs. Great thing about IMSC is you can continue to use your computer while it re-creates your mirror – just don’t do anything that would cause a crash (though IMSC usually recovers and just continues on where it left off next time you re-start your computer).

Once your RAID volume has been re-created with the 500GB/1TB pair, shut down your computer, unplug the 500GB drive (don’t remove it) and add the 2nd 1TB drive – if you didn’t before, I would suggest placing the bootable TB drives you just added on to your 1st & 2nd SATA channels and move your 500GB to the 3rd channel (leave it disconnected). I typically have my SATA CD/DVD-RAM on the last SATA channel.

Start your computer. If you have problems booting, double check your BIOS for the bootable device identity and set the bootable accordingly.

Once you're back into Windows, follow the same procedure to recreate your mirror RAID set as you did above (this time with both 1TB drives). I'm guessing this is going to take about 2-4 hrs for the RAID set to be created.

Once your 1TB RAID mirror is created and IMSC is reporting 100% health, enter IMSC and rename your new 1TB RAID volume to something differing from the original 500GB setup.

NOW .. what you will find after all of this is you're using only ½ of your 1TB drives (the other ½ remains unused).

If you don’t need to add any of the unused space onto an existing volume you can simply create a new partition (volume and drive letter) in Windows Disk Managment utility.

IF however, you want to add the unused space to an existing volume(s) (partition(s)) without destroying the data on the existing volume, you’re going to need HDD partitioning software (like Partition Magic which I use and trust) – Windows Disk Manager DOES NOT allow you to add empty space onto an existing partition without destroying the existing partition first (and any data contained therein).

So, now your 1TB RAID 1 is working.

I suggest you leave the working 500GB disk unpowered and disconnected for a week or two until you’re completely satisfied with how your 1TB RAID is working (consider it’s existence as an insurance policy if something were to go wrong). Once you’re happy, re-connect the 500GB drive and upon rebooting, enter the Intel RAID setup [ctrl]+ during the POST and delete your 500GB RAID configuration - this will release (but not erase) the 500GB drive for single drive use (you won't get a constantly annoying warning from IMSC in Windows that your 500GB RAID volume is broken when the drive is connected).

You will find when you return to Windows, despite the warning in the RAID setup utility, that data on RAID 1 volumes does not get destroyed when deleting mirrored RAID 1 sets – only data on RAID 0 (stripped) volumes is destroyed (duh!). I think who ever writes the software for this utility needs to clarify this. The point being you’re going to see copies of each partition with your 500GB drive attached – enter Disk Manager and delete (or re-format) your volumes on the 500GB drive as necessary.

Footnote: I recently discovered that a RAID pair being moved from a system with Intel's ICH8DO Southbridge to a system with the ICH8R Southbridge retained it’s pairing (I didn’t have to re-create the RAID pair). Will this work for say an ICH8R to ICH10R sys? Possibly, but with the differing chipsets, you won’t be able to boot into Windows without a repair to install the new chipset drivers.

Good luck.
March 2, 2009 9:58:49 PM

Thanks for all the posts! My motherboard has 6 Sata connectors which all support raid and then there are two more ports which are for "Drive Xpert" (ASUS's raid controller). I tried switching the hard drive to another port but it still showed up in the array.
March 2, 2009 10:03:27 PM

Wow WorknPlay. Thanks for the detailed post but it is not relevant to this situation. The raid array did not contain the OS and I do not need to rebuild the array either. I am trying to simply destroy the old array BUT keep the data on the old working drive. I already have a new array working and copied the files over BUT just in case something goes wrong with the new drives or I missed a file/folder, I wanted to keep the data on the old drive.

I think I will just keep it as is for now and in a few weeks I will format the drive and be done with it.

Thanks to everyone that contributed!
March 3, 2009 3:56:23 AM

Well, if you don't intend to use it just keep it in the cupboard for 2 weeks. It's not worth the hastle if your not intending of using it.

I thought u wanted the old drive as your OS without reinstalling. and the new RAID for storage.

Great, my "a" key has died, i cant do capital "a"
November 23, 2009 12:13:53 AM

According to Intel's website, you can mark the old drive as being no longer part of a mirrored set and the data will be preserved.
If it was a striped set you'd lose the data but on a simple Raid-1 Mirror you'll be safe.

Here's the reference: http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-023342...
January 9, 2010 3:11:19 PM

ideffect:

You mention that you have a working array up and running. To me the most easy way of keeping your old data and removing the old 500gb disc from the array is achieved by taking the following steps:

1. Copy the data on the old 500gb to the new array, in a backup folder for example
2. Remove the old disc from the array (yes everything will dissapear, but will still exist in you bakcup folder)
3. Add the disc back windows and format it.
4. Copy the files in your backup folder to the newly formatted drive and delete the files in the backup folder.

Of course this method requires you to have the amount of space required free in the array consisting of 1TB drives.

Hope this helps! :) 
January 17, 2010 10:52:19 AM

WorknPlay said:
The procedure below is how I recently transferred a pair of 300GB mirrored RAID 1 multi-partition bootable drives (1 failed) to a pair of 320GB drives (maintaining Windows without having to "repair" it). (NOTE this will only work with broken mirrored RAID 1 volumes where the working drive is smaller to or equal in size to the new drive).

I’m going to assume your mirror RAID was bootable and not simply mirrored storage.

If you’ve identified your dead drive (fairly easy to do) remove it and install one of your 1TB drives.

Boot your PC and once in Windows go to the Computer Management Console / Disk Management and setup the 1TB drive for use on your system (set the drive to basic – not dynamic). Remember, Windows is going to go through it's "found new hardware" routine while you’re doing this and will want to reboot – ignore it. If you have problems booting, I’d double check the boot drive sequence in your BIOS.

Once you've set the new drive for basic use, exit the Computer Management Consol and enter Intel's Matrix Storage Consol (IMSC).

IMSC may identify the new 1TB HD as a candidate for use in recreating the broken mirrored RAID 1 set and will ask you if you want to use it – I think you know what to do. If IMSC doesn’t prompt you, this can be done manually (see IMSC help). In any event, you should be able to tell IMSC to use the new drive to re-create the old RAID mirror set which it will do. With the size of the old mirror set I’m guessing this will take about 1.5-2 hrs. Great thing about IMSC is you can continue to use your computer while it re-creates your mirror – just don’t do anything that would cause a crash (though IMSC usually recovers and just continues on where it left off next time you re-start your computer).

Once your RAID volume has been re-created with the 500GB/1TB pair, shut down your computer, unplug the 500GB drive (don’t remove it) and add the 2nd 1TB drive – if you didn’t before, I would suggest placing the bootable TB drives you just added on to your 1st & 2nd SATA channels and move your 500GB to the 3rd channel (leave it disconnected). I typically have my SATA CD/DVD-RAM on the last SATA channel.

Start your computer. If you have problems booting, double check your BIOS for the bootable device identity and set the bootable accordingly.

Once you're back into Windows, follow the same procedure to recreate your mirror RAID set as you did above (this time with both 1TB drives). I'm guessing this is going to take about 2-4 hrs for the RAID set to be created.

Once your 1TB RAID mirror is created and IMSC is reporting 100% health, enter IMSC and rename your new 1TB RAID volume to something differing from the original 500GB setup.

NOW .. what you will find after all of this is you're using only ½ of your 1TB drives (the other ½ remains unused).

If you don’t need to add any of the unused space onto an existing volume you can simply create a new partition (volume and drive letter) in Windows Disk Managment utility.

IF however, you want to add the unused space to an existing volume(s) (partition(s)) without destroying the data on the existing volume, you’re going to need HDD partitioning software (like Partition Magic which I use and trust) – Windows Disk Manager DOES NOT allow you to add empty space onto an existing partition without destroying the existing partition first (and any data contained therein).

So, now your 1TB RAID 1 is working.

I suggest you leave the working 500GB disk unpowered and disconnected for a week or two until you’re completely satisfied with how your 1TB RAID is working (consider it’s existence as an insurance policy if something were to go wrong). Once you’re happy, re-connect the 500GB drive and upon rebooting, enter the Intel RAID setup [ctrl]+ during the POST and delete your 500GB RAID configuration - this will release (but not erase) the 500GB drive for single drive use (you won't get a constantly annoying warning from IMSC in Windows that your 500GB RAID volume is broken when the drive is connected).

You will find when you return to Windows, despite the warning in the RAID setup utility, that data on RAID 1 volumes does not get destroyed when deleting mirrored RAID 1 sets – only data on RAID 0 (stripped) volumes is destroyed (duh!). I think who ever writes the software for this utility needs to clarify this. The point being you’re going to see copies of each partition with your 500GB drive attached – enter Disk Manager and delete (or re-format) your volumes on the 500GB drive as necessary.

Footnote: I recently discovered that a RAID pair being moved from a system with Intel's ICH8DO Southbridge to a system with the ICH8R Southbridge retained it’s pairing (I didn’t have to re-create the RAID pair). Will this work for say an ICH8R to ICH10R sys? Possibly, but with the differing chipsets, you won’t be able to boot into Windows without a repair to install the new chipset drivers.

Good luck.


Does this work with Windows 2003 Server installed on the boot drive?
January 18, 2010 8:40:11 AM

I agree with Planscape... I would install the 1tb drives (mirror if you want or whatever) and move the data from the 500 there... then delete the array this way worse case senario if it does format the 500 you still have the backup on the 1tb... best case is that the controller warning was just worded poorly and it doesn't delete your data. I wouldn't move it to another set of Sata ports either... your board should be able to allow you to connect the 1tbs to the open ports without screwing anything up.
June 21, 2010 1:11:52 AM

greetings to all just a sort of inquiries here, i have already setup an xseries server with raid 1 configured properly with 2 1TB hot swap scsi, however i want to test if my raid 1 configuration really work. I try to remove the secondary hard drive and it booted properly but then when i try to remove the secondary hard drive it seems that it does not boot properly. Can anyone help me regarding this matter?? on how to test my raid 1 configuration?? thank you very much
June 30, 2011 8:18:08 PM

It booted fine the first time because your RAID setup will always try to boot from the SATA 0. To stop the "non bootable disk" error, just plug your secondary drive in with the SATA cable that was pluged into your Primary. Should boot just fine if you have a mirrored RAID 1 array.
!