I have a Raid 1 setup now with nvidea raid controller & 2 -250 gb maxtor disks. I want to go back to old school & separate the disks & do normal backups from 1 to the other. How can I uninstall the riad setup with out losing all the data & bootability. Can I just unplug 1 disk, reformat the other &, replug & do an image copy then boot from the non raid disk?
It's hard to say. If you delete the array, you might be left with two normal disks with the same data on them. The motherboard manual may be able to answer the question. If not I would ask NVidia directly before proceeding.
My suggestion if you just want to try it: Unplug one of the disks and start up the computer. You should be able to get to all your data because it's raid-1. You should also be able to delete the raid array from that disk. When trying to delete the raid array, you may or may not get a message saying all data will be erased, and it may or may not be correct.
It is very, very important that one of your two disks is UNPLUGGED if you try this without backing up.
After deleting the array, try rebooting the machine. If you can still see your data, then you're safe to use the other disk as you like. I would plug it in using USB and format it, just to avoid the nvidia raid controller seeing it and getting confused.
After deleting the array, if you do NOT see your data, you know that this process will not work. UNPLUG THE DRIVE IN YOUR SYSTEM. Now plug in the drive you unplugged earlier, and boot your machine. You should now have access to your data, because you still have half of your array intact.
Alternatively, you can try this other method, which might be safer.
Unplug one of your drives and put it in a USB enclosure. Boot your machine. You should have access to your data through the other half of the raid-1 array.
Now plug in that other drive using USB. The RAID controller can't see it that way. Format it and copy all your data over. Do a REAL format, not a quick format, to be sure you erase the RAID array data at the end of the disk. If your RAID drive is also your OS drive, you may be stuck reformatting because you won't be able to image your OS data over without also copying the RAID array data, and then you're back at square one.
Now that your data is on the USB drive and the RAID array data has been erased, you can make the switch to a single drive however you like because you now have the safety of that backup.