Break a RAID 1 configuration

I have Vista 32 bit Home premium on my HTPC.

I had a 320 GB HDD on this HP machine and it has a manufacturer installed partition with the factory image to restore it back to the default settings.

I was planning on adding a RAID 1 using the Intel Matrix Storage Console. Then I even had the idea of upgrading the HDD, so I got myself a 1 TB HDD and created the RAID 1 configuration, assuming that I can switch the original HDD with another 1 TB HDD, after I have the new RAID build a mirror on the 1 TB HDD.

So I currently have a RAID 1 with 320GB/1TB HDDs (ofcourse the capacity is only 320GB). But now I am thinking about keeping my data and OS seperate and was wondering if I can de-couple this array and buy another 320 GB HDD to create a RAID 1 with 2x320GB HDD's for the OS and release the 1TB for data storage that I can then potentially use in RAID 0 configuration in the near future. I guess I will have to reformat this 1 TB HDD to capture the unallocated space that was lost in the 320 GB RAID configuration anyways. So I will really appreciate if you could help me break this RAID configuration without losing the data on the 320 GB primary drive.

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  1. Easiest would be to copy the data to another drive first. Else just disconnect the 1TB drive; then set controller mode to AHCI in the BIOS and not RAID like you are currently using.

    Now verify that you can boot from your 320GB disk which should now be stand-alone. If you can and your data is safe, you can start formatting your 1TB drive. However, if you connect the drive to your Windows system it might react strangely or even hide the drive; as it detects two filesystems with the same UUID or unique identifier.

    To cope with this, you may want to boot using Ubuntu cd and use the partition manager to delete the NTFS partition on the 1TB drive. Then reboot into Windows and it should see the 1TB as being empty.

    Ubuntu can be downloaded from and the Partition Editor is accessible using System->Administration->GParted/Partition Editor. No installation is required to use this; simply boot from the Ubuntu livecd.

    Please note that RAID1 is not a backup, and to protect yourself from losing valuable data i highly recommend you focus on a backup instead to protect your data.
  2. Thanks for the prompt response...

    The system seems to work fine with either drive disconnected and also when I change the bios settings to AHCI from RAID. However, the system still seems to recognize it as a RAID volume as shown in the attached screen shots with the only difference shown in the Intel Matrix Storage Console - and tried to rebuild the array after each trial with a single HDD attached. So I was concerned about reformatting the 1TB HDD using Ubuntu as the Windows might still be looking for the RAID array when I boot to Windows.

    Also, as I was reading more about resetting the RAID disk option here, and I was curious to know if I should use this option to reset the RAID array before installing Ubuntu to reformat the 1TB HDD.

    Actually, I was planning on using RAID 1 for redundancy and am now thinking it might me better for me to just do a regular backup rather than waste another drive for a redundant RAID configuration for the 1TB HDD. However, I might just buy a 320 GB HDD later and use RAID 1 for the drive with the OS... just in case.

    Hope you can help me resolve this issue


    (BIOS Setting set to AHCI),
    (BIOS Setting set to RAID)
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