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Need some advice on moving raid0 to a single SSD

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July 20, 2010 9:03:44 PM

im thinking of buying a solid state drive to speed up my system. all of my components score in the mid to high sevens with win 7 experience rating except my raid scores a 5.9 which is a huge bottleneck.
so im thinking of getting this Kingston SSD...
http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?sduid=327638&t=2136820

i currently have two 640 gig WD Caviar Blacks in raid0. i want to move to a SSD without reloading win 7 and all my programs/games.
can anyone recommend an easy program to use? the Kingston drive comes with Acronis which doesnt support cloning a raid.

i have a 1 TB esata hdd in a dock that i can use to make a copy of the raid and then move that to the SSD if necessary.
any and all advice appreciated! if you have a better suggestion for a SSD to get that would also be welcomed!

Quote:
motherboard - ASUS M4A79T Deluxe AM3 DDR3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard
CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz
CPU cooler - ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED 120mm 2 Ball Low-noise
video card - XFX HD-487A-ZHFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
RAM - Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit
display - ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24\" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD
case - COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower
power supply - COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 700 RS-700-AMBA-D3 700W
2 times HDDs in RAID 0 - Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5\"
DVD burner - ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X
a c 99 G Storage
July 20, 2010 11:24:17 PM

I don't recommend cloning to a SSD. But others have done it.

And I don't think the "Windows Transfer Settings Wizard" (or whatever) will work for additional programs, like games.

I do suggest a fresh install. This will make sure the SSD drive is aligned and such for the OS, and give the best performance.

Sorry.
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a b G Storage
July 21, 2010 2:56:27 AM

I honestly don't know about a SSD, but I have used Acronis True image to mirror my OS drive and contents from RAID0 arrays to a single drive, and back again several times. Never had any problems.
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July 21, 2010 3:56:09 PM

i guess ill play with clonezilla and acronis to see if they will work. i was in a hurry to buy and upgrade but ive decided to wait until i have all my ducks in a row and know that i can do the transfer easily. or find that it will be a pain and then just reinstall everything... ugghh, takes about 2 weeks before i feel normal after loading windows.

i know its usually better to use a third party tool for this type of thing but has anyone used windows own imaging?
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/4241/how-to-create-a-sys...
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a c 353 G Storage
July 21, 2010 9:31:44 PM

I used the win 7 back-up feature to create an image file to 3 DVDs and to create a system boot disk to do the restore on my wife's system. Went smooth, but have not tried the restore so can only answer half the question. Also this was not on a Raid0 set-up. So recommend trying to create - it will soon tell you if it can not do an image file on a raid0 setup.

Refer: foscooters comment - partition alignment (VALID Point) which windows 7 installation will do automaticlly for an SSD. Recommend (1) use Win 7 and create your image file and boot disk. (2) Use windows 7 installation disk to create your SSD partition. Just choose custom, set up the partition, then bomb out of the win 7 installation. (3) use the boot disk created in step 1 and proceed with restore.
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a c 353 G Storage
July 21, 2010 9:55:27 PM

ONE PROBLEM (My Bad, should have thought of it)
First Windows 7 create image should work, Started the create to DVD on my vista Raid0 machine - Did not say no-can-do, still writting to DVD disk 1. But it also made me think of a problem in transfering to a SSD set up using AHCI (Recommended Bios setting).

No for the Problem (Same if you use 3rd party most likely). Your image file will have the disk drivers for a RAID setup, But for an SSD you will be using a bios setting for AHCI which means that the SSD may not boot after the image is installed.

unless jit gets back and says -NO PROBLEM, here's what you do, My recommendation would be to do the clean install on the SSD.

jit - How did you get around the driver issue
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July 21, 2010 10:11:23 PM

to get around the driver issue can be tricky.. image to a standard hd and run it in ide mode, on a dif controller ( my board has intel ich, marvel and another.. in my case I would run the copy on the marvel controller in compat mode ( ide ) then change the intel to ahci, then boot into the drive let it install the new drivers.. ( or manually update drivers) then shut down, and plug it into the intel controller ( windows already installed the driver) and you are good to go. as for ssd, i would do what was suggested above after doing what i just said
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a c 353 G Storage
July 21, 2010 10:17:44 PM

Thanks Hard Line,
also found this which basically says after putting the image on the new drive, and on first boot press F8, which only loads basic drivers, and then delete the Raid drivers and reboot. Although this was for Acorics, should also work for win 7 BU.

http://forum.acronis.com/forum/9522
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July 21, 2010 11:32:49 PM

I have seen windows not even boot in safe mode with compat ide drivers instead of ahci so you can do that at your own risk lol
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a c 167 G Storage
July 21, 2010 11:43:38 PM

jitpublisher said:
I honestly don't know about a SSD, but I have used Acronis True image to mirror my OS drive and contents from RAID0 arrays to a single drive, and back again several times. Never had any problems.


I also have used acronis true image to clone a raid ssd drive set.

Retiredchief brings up another issue. Trim.

Trim is what frees up deleted blocks on a ssd without a read/rewrite operation. In time, performance can degrade as the SSD becomes full without trim.

Windows-7 natively passes on trim commands to a SSD operating in AHCI mode using windows drivers.
Raid-0 will currently not pass on the commands because it is using it's own drivers. Such support is either here, now, or coming I think.
But, if you are currently using the drives in ide mode, then windows will not boot if you change the boot drive to AHCI.

There are possible workarounds, but I see them as risky if you are not comfortable with registry hacks.

It may be best to bite the bullet and reinstall the os on the SSD.
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July 23, 2010 5:22:49 AM

im leaning toward the full reinstall but i may play with the Acronis program and see what happens and then do a clean install if i cant get it done satisfactorily.

assuming i can get a good image of the RAID, would i need to partition the drive with Win7 to get it aligned correctly and then put the image on?
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a c 353 G Storage
July 23, 2010 1:58:03 PM

That is what I would, first set up the drive using win 7 installation disk.

From OCZ forum
Quote: Use Windows 7 disk to create and format SSD.
Windows will create a system partition of 100MB with an offset of 1024KB. A second partition is made with all the storage space and make sure to format it. Restore any image or clone to second partition and make sure that partition is active.
The 2nd partition is already align due to the 1st partition is align at 1024KB. End Quote

To check the alignment of your SSD's partition, it is quite simple.
In windows, run msinfo32
click on: components => storage => disks
Look for your SSD and check the partition starting offset.
It needs to be divisible by 4096 (ie return a whole number when you divide by this) otherwise the alignment is not correct

There is a 2nd method to check alignment and that is by using the cmd (w/admin privlage) diskpart (Updated version of XP diskpar ) NOTE this is a powerfull cmd.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300415

I think I liked the old XP diskpar better, just copy to C:\ (This is the root directory) from a dos prompt (Open dos window w/admin Priv) and enter diskpar -I A
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a c 167 G Storage
July 23, 2010 3:05:28 PM

heynow said:
im leaning toward the full reinstall but i may play with the Acronis program and see what happens and then do a clean install if i cant get it done satisfactorily.

assuming i can get a good image of the RAID, would i need to partition the drive with Win7 to get it aligned correctly and then put the image on?


Your current system should already have a reserved partition which was created when you installed windows-7. It is used, I think, for recovery purposes. If you use acronis true image to clone a drive, it will by default resize the partitions proportionally on the SSD. Coming from a very large raid-0 image, to a small SSD, this may leave you with a undersized reserved partition. It is possible that the clone program recognizes this, I don't know. There is no harm in trying it. You can probably get it working in IDE mode.

Your real problem with cloning is that the OS is not prepared to use AHCI and will not boot. I suggest you avoid all such issues and rebuild.
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a c 353 G Storage
July 23, 2010 3:31:58 PM

geofelt
First - I still FULLY agree, since he will have to overcome the driver issue, a new clean installation is the best.

2nd, I think you can specify using a current partition and acronis will install, AS LONG as all files will fit on new partition.

??? If dead set on trying a cloning operation, what about this - go into system and delete HDD drivers, do not reboot, just tell computer to shut down, then run acronis from a boot cd/dvd - would require a retail copy, or and iso image to create cd/dvd.

For my wife's new computer(s) I had only 1 option: Get a program to migrate all programs from XP (raid0) to vista )ahci), then when I upgraded her to a Win7 I3-540, bought a 2nd program to migrate all programs from vista to Win 7 - then Clean up installation. I will have to clone the C drive to an Image file to restore - A clean install is NOT an option on here system (sore spot, but reality) at least I I did not use raid0 on her new system.
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a c 167 G Storage
July 23, 2010 3:40:17 PM

RetiredChief said:
geofelt
First - I still FULLY agree, since he will have to overcome the driver issue, a new clean installation is the best.

2nd, I think you can specify using a current partition and acronis will install, AS LONG as all files will fit on new partition.

??? If dead set on trying a cloning operation, what about this - go into system and delete HDD drivers, do not reboot, just tell computer to shut down, then run acronis from a boot cd/dvd - would require a retail copy, or and iso image to create cd/dvd.


I think you are correct that you can clone to a partition.

As to deleting HDD drivers, I think that is risky. If the process should not work as expected, you will be left with a bad production system and need to recover.

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a c 353 G Storage
July 23, 2010 3:50:42 PM

I think on the "reboot" windows will identify, and reinstall the correct drivers, But as you indicated - risky.

For my wife's new computer(s) I had only 1 option: Get a program to migrate all programs from XP (raid0) to vista )ahci), then when I upgraded her to a Win7 I3-540, bought a 2nd program to migrate all programs from vista to Win 7 - then Clean up installation. I will have to clone the C drive to an Image file to restore - A clean install is NOT an option on here system (sore spot, but reality) at least I I did not use raid0 on her new system.
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a c 167 G Storage
July 23, 2010 3:56:42 PM

RetiredChief said:
I think on the "reboot" windows will identify, and reinstall the correct drivers, But as you indicated - risky.

For my wife's new computer(s) I had only 1 option: Get a program to migrate all programs from XP (raid0) to vista )ahci), then when I upgraded her to a Win7 I3-540, bought a 2nd program to migrate all programs from vista to Win 7 - then Clean up installation. I will have to clone the C drive to an Image file to restore - A clean install is NOT an option on here system (sore spot, but reality) at least I I did not use raid0 on her new system.


What program was it that migrated programs from vista to W7? Sounds like a useful tool.
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a c 353 G Storage
July 23, 2010 4:20:22 PM

laplink pcmover
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It may not transfer all activations. In my case I had to reactivate uSoft office (no problem, it did tranfer the Key) and a program called Smart Sizer good which I just had to manually copy the key over and re-enable the key. I first un-installed the printer drivers and any programs that I did not want to transfer. Then ran CCleaner before transfer. BUT overall worked great. I used the same program (older version - diferent name) for the XP->Vista migration.

Only work on 1 computer (it gets tied to computer moving programs from), I did not use the inclued USB cable (which adds to cost) I used a 10/100 ethernet switch - did not connect to router, just connected the two computers.
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July 25, 2010 4:02:32 AM

well, i found a great deal on a 96 gig Vertex so i went ahead and bought it. now i have to wait for the bracket i bought from Newegg to get here.
i had to RMA my processor so im stuck at the moment. i keep bugging AMD but apparently they were backed up with the 955's and were having trouble getting them back out to customers. hopefully i'll be able to get to work on this stuff by tuesday...
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