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RAID10 Question - Setup RAID0, then make it RAID10?

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February 2, 2010 1:12:50 AM

Hello, I have (4) 1TB drives.
2 are brand new, haven't even been formatted and the other 2 have been in use and contain several partitions (3 operating systems and 2 data storage partitions) all and all there is about 1.4TB of data.

I would like to create a RAID10 array without losing my data and I dont have somewhere to backup the 1.4TB of data....

1. Is it possible to use the 2 new HDDs and create a RAID0 array (stripping), and then copy over all the data from the existing 2 drives? Will my OS's still be okay?

2. After copying the data, I can format those 2 disks, and use them to make a RAID1 (mirroring) thus completely my raid10 setup?


Has anybody tried this?
February 2, 2010 1:29:51 AM

mtaylor_1 said:
Hello, I have (4) 1TB drives.
2 are brand new, haven't even been formatted and the other 2 have been in use and contain several partitions (3 operating systems and 2 data storage partitions) all and all there is about 1.4TB of data.

I would like to create a RAID10 array without losing my data and I dont have somewhere to backup the 1.4TB of data....

1. Is it possible to use the 2 new HDDs and create a RAID0 array (stripping), and then copy over all the data from the existing 2 drives? Will my OS's still be okay?

2. After copying the data, I can format those 2 disks, and use them to make a RAID1 (mirroring) thus completely my raid10 setup?


Has anybody tried this?



1st, that setup would not be raid 10. It would be raid 0+1. Performance differences are uncertain. The array would be slightly less fault tolerant.

2nd, That won't work. Your hardware card won't let you freeform mix and match raid levels like that, or at least I've never seen one that will. You might be able to use software raid.

If there is a way to accomplish this, it will look something like this, but I HAVE NOT TRIED THIS and to approach it without backing up would be very stupid:

1: Create Raid-0 of your new drives
2: Troubleshoot boot errors, get your OS loading and your data working, verify the data is good.
3: Create Raid-0 of your old drives, thus destroying your original set of data.
4: In Windows, create dynamic volumes of your two raid-0 arrays
5: create a mirrored volume from those two dynamic volumes

Note that booting from a dynamic volume is very tricky, not all versions of windows can do it, and even windows 7 claims that if you make a boot drive a dynamic volume, you will never be able to boot anything other than the one OS from it. I'm not even sure you would be able to boot that.



The real solution to your problem is to buy more hard drives. Without doing that you are putting all your data at extreme risk and are quite likely to lose it all if you attempt to fiddle around creating raid sets on drives that contain data.

Also consider whether your old drives may be wearing out. If those drives are more than two or three years old you should either buy new drives or strategically arrange them so that if those two drives fail, they do so in a pattern that preserves raid-10 integrity.

A large 5400rpm drive would do quite nicely for the backup, and would be nice and cheap. You may also be able to eliminate some of your files and back up the overflow onto a blueray or a bunch of DVD-Rs, so you can fit all your files onto one drive and only have to buy one more.

Or, maybe haul your box to a friend's house, back up onto his extra hard drive space.
February 8, 2010 11:21:44 PM

I am in the process of backing up the data, I got the go ahead to take over 4 computers at school to load files onto!
!