Changing and increasing RAID 1 capacity

I've read all the threads on this and am still a bit confused and I've seen different results. So let me state the problem as clear as I can.

I have an ASUS computer I built, motherboard is P5WD2 E-Premium and is running Windows Vista 64 bit. The MB has an on board RAID controller. I have 2 Western Digital 300 GB 10,000 RPM Velociraptor internal hard drives. My original drives were Western Digital 150 GB internal drives and had the RAID 1 configuration. When I bought my new drives, I swapped them in, 1 at a time and rebuilt the RAID so now I have 2 of the 300 GB drives installed. The problem is that the RAID only sees 150 GB with half of both drives unuasable as "Unallocated" space. I want to use the full capacity of the drives as RAID 1 devices.

The computer is my stock trading computer so I use RAID 1 to minimize any potential down time should a problem arise.

I purchased the Acronis True Image 2010 but couldn't get it to run correctly. The drive I want to clone to is an external Maxtor 300 GB USB drive but it kept getting an error msg about MFT corrupted, but everything else works fine on the drive. Seems to be an Acronis problem.

So question # 1 is how do I accomplish what I want to do with my RAID drives?

Second question, on my second computer. I was running the same configuration, same drives. But somehow I've broken the RAID connection so I have 2 separate drives. How can I get the RAID 1 back without losing any data? This is a Windows 7 64 bit system. Onboard controller.

Thanks so much for the help I know you will give me. It's greatly appreciated.
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More about changing increasing raid capacity
  1. I am not sure that Acronis True Image can do what you need. It certainly can make a clone image, BUT you do not want that! You want to COPY everything from a RAID1 array to a stand-alone single HDD. I presume you intend then to break the RAID1 array, delete the partitions on the HDD's, then create a new RAID1 array of the full disk size and copy everything back from your external drive. In fact, what you really need is BACKUP software, not cloning software. Read the Acronis manual and check whether it can do backups and restores. If it can, also check into doing a Verify of the Backup once it is made, to be SURE you have a good backup you can restore from later.

    Now, on the second machine, get out the manual on the RAID control system you have built into the mobo. Your situation is very similar to one in which the RAID1 array had detected a faulty member disk and is using only one good one. In those cases your normal procedure would be to use the RAID management utility to break the array, and usually it would already know which HDD is "good" and use that one only. It would be up to you to remove and replace the "faulty" unit, then tell the RAID management software that was finished and it should rebuild the array by copying from the "good" unit.

    MAYBE the system can "rebuild" your RAID1 array if you tell it which is the "good' drive that has all the correct recent data. I do NOT know whether it can just update the second drive, or whether you would have to empty it first (perhaps by deleting its Partition) so that it could copy over ALL the data to an empty drive unit. But the answer should be in the detailed manual for the RAID system.
  2. I have Acronis Home 2010. You can indeed create a full backup of any drive, including the MBR if necessary. In fact, this is how I expanded my RAID 1. Acronis will allow you to create a bootable CD/DVD with the backup software on it so that you can use the utilities outside of windows.

    Make a backup of the drive (you may want to use a verify during backup), then go into the RAID bios and destroy the old RAID. Replace the hard drives with the larger drives and create the new array using them. Now use your boot CD/DVD and restore the backup to the new array. Acronis can backup/restore across a network if needed, so be sure to put the backup somewhere you'll be able to access it from.

    Oh, forgot to mention, you only need the bootable CD/DVD if you need to restore a boot/system drive, otherwise you can boot into windows and use the Acronis application just fine from within windows.
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