Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

How set up raid 1 array with data already on one disk

Last response: in Storage
Share
October 13, 2009 12:40:14 AM

I have 1 existing and 1 new 1TB drives plus a smaller drive for my Vista OS. Existing 1TB drive has data on it. Can I combine the new 1 TB with it in a RAID 1 witout destroying the existing data? My purpose is to insure redundency for data preservation reasons. With RAID I, if one drive fails and I replace it with a new simillar size unformated drive will the data be automatically transfered over to it?
a b G Storage
October 13, 2009 7:15:21 AM

Regarding data transfers in the event of drive failures, yes. But when building one, I don't think it's possible to just transform the standalone drive into the data source for the RAID1 array. In any case, it's always advisable to back up everything before using an existing drive to build an array.
a c 327 G Storage
October 13, 2009 4:59:09 PM

I'll disagree with r_manic. The RAID1 systems I have used (those built into the mobo BIOS) have software for exactly this purpose. Get and read your RAID manual. I expect it will show you exactly how to take an existing drive containing data and then ADD a second drive to create a RAID1 array, copying all original data to the second drive so the redundant copy is created. This is NOT supposed to damage or lose any data. HOWEVER, there are lots of people who advise caution in EVERY disk operation and will tell you to make a good Backup AND verify that it's good before you start on this project.

If I read your post right the 1TB drives you are planning for the RAID1 will NOT be your boot drive. The array will be strictly for data. So, I expect your manual will tell you how to create the array, and then show you exactly how to load the required RAID drivers into Windows so that you can use it after Windows boots from the third (smaller) drive.
Related resources
a c 126 G Storage
October 13, 2009 8:54:43 PM

You can't convert a single drive into a RAID array without data-loss. At least one sector will be overwritten; the last sector. This can cause problems because the filesystem and partition information are not correct anymore. If the partition doesn't reach the end of the capacity then there should be no problem; but on BSD these problems are kind of nasty if you don't know how to work around it.
a b G Storage
October 13, 2009 9:31:34 PM

i believe some will allow creation of RAID arrays while keeping the data but i would strongly advise against it if the data is of any importance to you

the best way is the safe way - back up your data and create the RAID1 array properly the first time
October 20, 2009 7:58:24 PM

Thanks all for your replies. I played it safe and moved the data first and reinstalled it on the raid drives after they were up and running. I have a further question. Now that the RAID 1 array is up and running when and if there is a failure how will I tell which physical drive failed? Does Vista alert about a failue since the data is still available? Does it depend on the manufacturer of the controler chip set -- INTEL in my case? I guess my question is How do I know there is a failure and how do I know which drive needs to be replaced?

Best solution

a c 327 G Storage
October 20, 2009 8:54:43 PM
Share

Dig out and read your manual on your RAID system. Most have a procedure that will put a warning message up in a window if the array fails. But that window may not be very permanent and someone may close it and just keep on truckin'. There certainly are other ways you would be alerted, not least of which is the note as you go through the boot sequence that the RAID array is working just fine (or not!) And, of course, any time you reboot you can go into the RAID setup screens and the first thing you'll see is an analysis of the RAID condition. Look in the manual for any other ways to check.

Read up also on what to do when trouble happens. Usually the RAID setup screens will have tools to identify exactly which drive has trouble and which is still working. Then you will need to know how to fix it. Reading up on it now will help you remember and feel more comfortable if you have to tackle these issues later.
October 27, 2009 8:52:38 PM

Paperdoc said:
Dig out and read your manual on your RAID system. Most have a procedure that will put a warning message up in a window if the array fails. But that window may not be very permanent and someone may close it and just keep on truckin'. There certainly are other ways you would be alerted, not least of which is the note as you go through the boot sequence that the RAID array is working just fine (or not!) And, of course, any time you reboot you can go into the RAID setup screens and the first thing you'll see is an analysis of the RAID condition. Look in the manual for any other ways to check.

Read up also on what to do when trouble happens. Usually the RAID setup screens will have tools to identify exactly which drive has trouble and which is still working. Then you will need to know how to fix it. Reading up on it now will help you remember and feel more comfortable if you have to tackle these issues later.



Thanks for this and the previous reply.
!