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How to move an OS to a new RAID drive?

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December 11, 2009 5:04:32 AM

Currently have a WD74Gig Raptor hard drive as my C: drive with installed XP Pro OS.

I just installed 2 WD649Gig Cavier Black hard drives in RAID 0.

Question: Is there a way to copy/clone/move my OS (and all other installed Programs) from the WD74 gig C: drive to the RAID? (it is currently listed as H:) ?

More about : move raid drive

a b G Storage
December 11, 2009 1:35:58 PM

BEST WAY:

Begin by creating a drive image of your current C: partition,
and save that drive image file to a reliable medium e.g. DVD
or network drive, e.g. if the Raptor's C: partition is the
ONLY partition on that HDD. Then:

(1) use a program like Partition Commander from Avanquest
and shrink your C: partition down to 30-50GB; you can
do a little house-cleaning first, by deleting browser cache(s);

(2) after (1) has completed successfully, then
format a second "data" partition on your Raptor;

(3) format the first partition on your RAID 0
to be exactly equal to the size of the reduced C: partition;
if it's already formatted as one large H: partition,
then use a program like Partition Commander
to create a smaller primary partition on that RAID 0 array;

(4) format the remainder of your RAID 0 array
as a secondary data partition;

(5) run a drive image program like Symantec's GHOST
and write the output file to the data partition
on your RAID 0; then copy that drive image file
to the data partition on your Raptor, for redundancy;

(6) run the GHOST restore task to restore your
drive image file to the first partition on your RAID 0;
do NOT check the MFT option, because this can
cause problems for your drive letters;

(7) re-boot and adjust the Boot Device Priority
to boot from your RAID 0 instead of the Raptor.

This latter approach is the MOST CAUTIOUS
because it results in creating two (2) drive image files:
one BEFORE shrinking your existing C: and
one AFTER shrinking your existing C:.


Another, different approach is to use the "disk copy" task
available in the GHOST menu. Do NOT enable the
MFT option, because this will cause problems
with the drive letters. This latter approach may be
faster, but it does not create any drive image files
which are always a good idea, in case something
goes wrong. With a good drive image file, you
can always REWIND :) 


Hope this helps: GOOD LUCK!


P.S. another good "drive imaging" program is Acronis True Image
but I have no direct experience with it. And, I also see that
Avanquest's Disk Utilities retail package also as a drive imaging program
-- Perfect Image Professional -- but I know next to nothing about it.

On the other hand, we use GHOST on a regular basis,
and it has saved us untold HOURS of restore time
whenever we have needed to "roll back" our OS partitions.

The Avanquest Partition Commander 10 software also worked perfectly
for us recently, the first time, when we needed to reduce the C: partition
on a used Pentium 4 PGA-478 system. It also did a very nice job of
"defragmenting" the new, smaller C: -- files were tightly packed
after it completed successfully, resulting in "short strokes" of the
read/write armature on that new C: partition.


MRFS

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a c 342 G Storage
December 11, 2009 2:12:59 PM

One step missing from the details above is how to get Windows to access a RAID array. No version of Windows knows how to do that until you install the correct RAID driver in it. Your mobo's manual should have details of how this is done. Usually you use a CD that came with the mobo to create a floppy disk containing the RAID driver(s) for your mobo. Yes, I said floppy. Win XP in all versions only knows how to access an IDE drive, an ATAPI optical drive, or a floppy drive, and it will only allow installation of external drivers from a floppy disk. So if you don't have a floppy drive in your machine, install one even if only temporarily for this purpose.

The standard way for Win XP to be installed to boot from a RAID array starts by creating the RAID array in the first place using the RAID management utility screens in your BIOS (assuming you're using the mobo BIOS built-in RAID systems). Follow your mobo's manual for these steps. After the RAID0 array is created you go to a new installation of Win XP from the Install CD.

Very early in the Install process a screen comes up asking whether you need to install extra drivers, and you push the F6 key to do that. (After a timeout, it will skip this if you do nothing.) When you push F6 it will prompt you to place the floppy diskette in the drive and then it will load the drivers from it. In some cases there may be more than one driver to install, so it will keep coming back to this screen until you tell it you have no more. Follow the instructions in your mobo manual on this. Once that is done you can proceed with the rest of the Install. What this has done is temporarily "install" the RAID drivers in the mini-OS that is running in RAM, and then put those drivers onto the RAID array disks as an integral part of Windows. From then on as it boots, Windows can use those added drivers to access the RAID array for boot purposes and anything else. Without them, Windows can't use the RAID0 array to boot from.

Now, once you have re-installed Win XP this way, I'm not sure just how you can move the ghost image you made onto the C: drive without disrupting the version of the OS you just installed. There's also the issue of how to get the new REgistry to recognize the various application software previously installed in you old system - it has not been "installed" in the new OS even if you copy it over in the ghosting operation. Maybe MRFS can provide guidance there.
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December 17, 2009 11:16:06 PM

Thanks Guys ... I will try what you suggested and give feedback later.

Thanks again!
~Jim~
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December 28, 2009 1:51:10 AM

Well, it worked ... kinda. I had to do a basic Install of XP onto the new RAID 0 by temporairly hooking up an old 3 1/2 floppy.

Then once I had it so it would boot from the new array, I used Norton Ghost 15.0 to recover an image I had made of the original C:\, backed up to an external 500Gig usb drive.

As per the Ghost directions, I checked the MFT option and had it make a new master boot record.

Entire process took about 3 hours, but so far has worked perfectly. I now have an 1.16 Gig c:\ with my old (fully updated) copy of Windows XP Pro.

Thanks again, appreciate the help!
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