Raid 0 with an unformatted drive

Dear all,

I appreciate the help,

I recently found myself running low on storage (300GB) and decided to buy a second HDD 1.5tb. Both are Sata. After having installed the new drive I couldn’t find the new space on the system. Having wondered about RAID previously I decided that I would look at the intel raid controllers and sure enough it recognized the drive. So I thought (being the first time I have ever messed with SATA drives instead of IDE) that I had to enter into a raid configuration to be able to access the new storage space. I spent nearly 4 hours running the raid configuration utility, restarted and found that I have absolutely no additional storage (the original 300GB total) but now the data is spread across both drives. I have figured out that I cannot revert to a non raid configuration and am wondering what I can do from here.

I have removed the power to one drive as a test and the data has definitely been split across both.

I can see unused space in Windows XP disk management utility totaling 300Gb but I fear if I mess with this I will lose all data.

As I have plenty of space that is sitting idle albeit unseen at present on the 1.5tb drive is there any way to partition this space to operate outside of the Raid array, backup an image of the system onto it. Load the OS from this new partition, delete the raid data from both drives, reformat the original drive back to a stand alone drive, install the image onto this drive. Then finally wipe the 1.5tb drive and add it back as a secondary drive resulting in a non RAID system?

Thank you in advance for your help

3 answers Last reply
More about raid unformatted drive
  1. After you install a new drive, you have to initialize, format, and set the partition active, and assign a drive letter under control panel/administrative tools/computer administration/disk administraton. The drive will not show up in Windows as a usable drive......until you do that.
    What you thought you wanted, RAID 0, requires 2 drives the same size. RAID will effectively double the size of the smallest drive, the leftover space is unusable on the large drive.
    If you can unhook 1 drive, and see data on the other drive, you do not have RAID 0. If you take a drive out of RAID 0 by unhooking it, you cannot see the data on the other drive, and you probably just "broke" the array, meaning it might not ever re-establish it's self if you plugged back it in. You also cannot build a RAID 0 array from a drive with data already on it, it takes 2 empty drives. Creating the array will wipe all information from both drives.
    What you have done it sounds like is created RAID 1, which does not give you more space, it simply mirrors and exact image of your drive to another one.(thus if you unplug one drive, you WILL be able to see the data on the other drive, it is mirrored exactly, if it was "split" as in RAID 0, and you break the array, you see nothing, nada, no data)
    Some controllers will allow you to build a RAID 1 array from a disk that already has data on it. Same scenerio though, the rest of the large drive is unusable.
    If you have done this, simply set the controller back to the original mode it was in, and the drive should work just as before, though you may to to do a repair install of Windows.
    As for the other new drive, refer back to my very first instructions..........
  2. Thank you JitPublisher

    Having removed the power to one of the drives the system fails to load and I am confronted with intels message displaying disk status and failure of one of the drives hence raid 0 not raid 1.

    Intel matrix storage confirms that:

    Raid level: Raid 0 (with striping)
    Size: 596.1 GB
    number of hard drives: 2

    Properties of disk C from my computer (no other hard drives shown)
    Total Size: 298GB "I haven't gained any space at all"

    microsoft disk management utility (again only shows one disk)
    volume: C
    Layout: Partition
    Type: Basic
    File system: NTFS
    Status: Healthy (system)
    Capacity: 298.09GB
    Free space:12.51GB

    then at the bottom for Disk 0 it shows the primary partition as 298.09GB NTFS and 298.08GB unallocated.

    As I have this space that is unallocated, can I format this, or is this actually working in the raid array and simply not recognised by windows.

    So what can I do from here to end up with a normal operating system without Raid? and keep my docs?

    Do I need to purchase a portable backup all my docs, break the raid, reinstall windows and load all my docs again? I don't want a portable, so can I buy another HDD and backup everything to that without it becoming part of the array?

    Do I need to purchase another drive to backup my data onto or can I utilise the redundant space on the larger disk?

    If I were to install another hard drive, can I create an image of my OS and DATA to this drive, and have it boot by itself? (or is it not possible to create an image of the system now it is in a raid array?). If creating an image is possible that sounds the most promising as I would then break the Raid on the other two drives format them and use them for backup (NOT RAID).

    I know I am asking a lot of questions, but I don't know where to go from here and have never had to deal with raid before.

    Thanks for the help already given.

  3. Just one last thought,

    If none of the above are possible, is it possible to conitinue with RAID 0 and atleast gain the petty 300GB, that would really help right now. I don't know why I haven't gained this space already, but it would atleast get me out of a hole for now.

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