I want to start by saying I have found many answers to the questions I seek on Tom's Hardware and thanks for all the help this forum has given.
System Specs: Operating System: Windows 7 Pro 64-bit Motherboard: ASUS M4N98TD EVO CPU: Phenom II X4 965 3.4Ghz RAM: 4GB G.Skill 1600Mhz GPU: GTX 470 Existing Hard drive: Samsung 500GB 7200rpm, 16MB cache Newly Purchased RAID 0: Western Digital 500GB 7200 rpm, 16MB cache (x3)
Background Info: I recently upgraded my PC from a AM2/DDR2 system to an AM3/DDR3 system. My current setup is Asus M4N98TD Evo mobo, Phenom II X4 965 3.4GHz Processor, with 4GB of G.Skill 1600Mhz RAM, as well as a GTX 470. After I switched out my motherboard, RAM, and CPU, I hooked back up my hard drive (Samsung 500GB Sata drive with an existing installation of Windows 7) to my computer and everything was great. In fact, everything is still working wonderfully. After upgrading my computer, I purchased 3 WD 500GB hard drives and decided to transfer my system over to a RAID 0 array. I plan to put all 3 WD's into a RAID array and then keep my Samsung as a backup for whatever important data I can find to put on it.
Problem: My current Samsung HD is a SATA HD running in IDE emulation mode. My goal is to make a system image of my Samsung and then copy it onto my RAID array so that I don't have to do a fresh install. I have looked at the guide located in the Tom's Hardware forums to do this, and I have hit a wall. I have done quite a number of troubleshooting steps to no avail, so I'm hoping to consult this forum for some help.
Troubleshooting already performed:
1) I created a system image of my Samsung using DriveImage XML, restored it to my WD RAID array, and tried to boot just as a test. Obviously, no go, and system refused to boot.
2) Next, I installed a Sabrent PCI SATA Host Controller Card (P/N: SBT-SRD2), and attempted to move my Samsung over to that to boot (after installing drivers, etc.). Device Manager said everything was working as it should, yet it was unable to boot my HD.
3) Since the Sabrent controller card was no help, I purchased another one (a Masscool, Model No. XWT-PCIE11) that has two internal SATA ports as well as an internal PATA port. I was hoping that since my HD is in IDE emulation mode, the physical IDE connector on the card would suggest that it supports IDE mode. After installing the drivers for this device, it was unable to detect my Samsung HD was even attached to it, which results in no booting.
4) I have also tried to uninstall the driver for the IDE controller (the one built onto/into the mobo) and reinstall the RAID driver onto my Samsung when in Windows repair. Windows appears to load the drivers and tells me I need to restart in order to complete installation. I reboot, switch my BIOS over to RAID mode (from IDE) and boot my hard drive. It fails to successfully load Windows. However, I can complete this operation when leaving my BIOS in IDE mode. To me this suggests that I installed the wrong driver. The one I installed, my motherboard CD labeled as RAID, Win 7 64-bit. (Pathway D:\Drivers\RAID\Driver\RAID\Win 7-64)
Just so its out there, I realize this is quite a situation I've put myself into, that RAID 0 probably isn't worth all of this trouble, and that it is extremely possible that I will lose all of my information on my hard drives.
That being said, if there is any more information I can give in order to help the community answer my question, please let me know and I'll be happy to provide it. If I need to repeat troubleshooting steps, I am definitely willing. Thanks for any responses, and good luck.
Personaly I'd remove and put the old drive somewhere safe, then useing the new drives build the array and do a FRESH install of Windows, familiarise yourself with it's configuration and management (etc), test it to make sure it does what you want; then make plans to migrate from the old drive.
Trying to do everything at once can cause confusion and risk losing existing data.
My RAID array currently has Windows 7 64-bit installed onto it, although I planned to delete it once I transferred a system image over. As far as my current Samsung hard drive, I have a backup already made of it, and none of the information on it is crucial to my being, so if I do lose all my data its not the biggest deal in the world. The reason I would like to use a system image is to keep all of my programs intact, such as the games I have installed, as well as Microsoft Office and Sibelius, along with other things that make computing life easier.
I feel as if Windows on a single drive vs. Windows on a RAID array should be, in nearly all respects, identical, at least as far as the Operating System itself is concerned. My real issue is getting the correct drivers installed on to my existing Hard drive so that when I create a system image, it will work properly when used on a RAID array, which it will not do at present.
I appreciate the response though, and if there is a way you can help me make plans to migrate the data from the old drive to the new ones I'd be really grateful.
Image files are a great way to have a backup so that you can restore your system due to a problem. Restore is normally to the same Hard drive, or a new one configured the same as your old HDD. They are not so good, as you found out, for restoring to a 2nd HDD in a different configuration. The Problem is do to the information in the boot sector and the drivers that are configured/contained in the image file - normally incompatable.
I would highly recommend that you bite the bullet and do a re-install of the operating system and programs on your new HDD(s). I have nothing against using Raid0 (have used it on a number of systems dating back to before sata).