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Transfering old data to new RAID?

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May 18, 2011 1:26:43 PM

hi guys,

I was planning to get myself a harddrive upgrade, as i'm running out of space and could use a little more speed.
I was therefore thinking about getting 2 harddisks and putting them into RAID0.
But my question is: Can I, once i've set it up, simply dump all my old data on my new array and keep my old data for back-up?

After all, I can't name it the same so I'm kinda worried all of my programs won't work. of course I could change everything in the register, but that would be quite the effort.

Please keep in mind that is is mostly about my games and programs, I have lots of steam games so re-downloading, installing and patching would take ages. I'm probably going to re-install the OS anyway.(booting times)

Thanks in advance.

More about : transfering data raid

a c 289 G Storage
May 18, 2011 2:18:00 PM

plantenbak123 said:
hi guys,

I was planning to get myself a harddrive upgrade, as i'm running out of space and could use a little more speed.
I was therefore thinking about getting 2 harddisks and putting them into RAID0.
But my question is: Can I, once i've set it up, simply dump all my old data on my new array and keep my old data for back-up?

After all, I can't name it the same so I'm kinda worried all of my programs won't work. of course I could change everything in the register, but that would be quite the effort.

Please keep in mind that is is mostly about my games and programs, I have lots of steam games so re-downloading, installing and patching would take ages. I'm probably going to re-install the OS anyway.(booting times)

Thanks in advance.

plantenbak123

First, you can certainly copy what's on an old hard drive to a RAID array. Create a RAID volume, bring the system up. You will see your old hard drive and the new RAID array as a hard drive. Copy files. However

1) RAID0 is more failure-prone than a single drive, and data recovery with scanning tools is not possible. (FreeDataRecovery, do you perhaps have a way?) If you go this route, backup early and backup often.

2) Copying data is one thing. And you can copy files to the new volume with the same names and directories as on the old volume; the volumes are different and the OS doesn't care.

Copying the OS to migrate to the new drive, if that's what you want to do, is another. If you were copying to a new single drive you could do a "clone" of the hard drive, then boot from the new drive. But with a RAID volume as your boot device, you need additional drivers in the OS installation.

Your results will be anywhere from needing to run a repair installation (simple) to needing to re-install the OS.

3) No, you can't just copy your games to some other location and have them work. You can't re-install the OS and run your previously installed games from the old drive, or from copies in the new drive. The installation process makes entries in the Windows Registry, and may copy files to /windows/system32. There have been many threads on moving game or app directories to another disk to work around space restrictions. I have yet to see a single one that was resolved successfully. You will have to re-install.

And even then, most games will install on your OS volume. Very few apps offer an option to change the location of the installation during the install process.

-----------------------------------------

So. As far as data goes, create a new RAID volume if you want and copy the data to it. Done. I would recommend a new, larger, faster drive instead. RAID is wonderful if you are good at it already, or if you want to play with it to become good and don't care how many times you lose your volumes in the process.

As far as moving your OS to a RAID0 volume goes, and all associated problems, you would need to have the RAID drivers which requires at a minimum an image copy and a repair step, and at most a complete re-install.

If you do a new OS install, you will have to re-install most or all of your applications. Very few apps can be run from app directories that are simply copied to the new drive.

Were I you, and if I needed less than 2 TB total, I'd get a new drive and do an image copy of the old one. If I needed more than 2 TB total, I'd have a separate drive for data (pictures, downloaded music, pr0n). The 2TB limit is because you need a different disk partition system for drives over that size, and a special motherboard to boot from such a drive.
May 18, 2011 2:38:11 PM

Thank you for your reply.
1) I know, I'm keeping my old hdd as a back-up disk for things like photos etc.
2) That's not quite what I meant, yes, I know that simply copying the data is possible but if you would boot up the game the registry would display the program files to be on (e.g.) the C\ while they are actually on D\. I'd have to adjust all registry parameters to make it work. I could, but it'd be loads of work and I was hoping there was an easier way.
3)I don't care about my OS, I'm going to re-install that anyway. However is there some way to transfer windows(7 x64) preferences and such? And can I delete my old version so I won't have a dualboot?
Related resources
a c 289 G Storage
May 18, 2011 2:41:08 PM

This just in! After I pontificate that you can't put large game directories on another drive, of course someone posts a thread about how to do it.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/269328-32-using-junct...

And the articles on "Junctions," which are like links for directories: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb89676... and http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=205524 .

This is exciting for me. There have been a lot of inquiries on this.
May 18, 2011 2:43:54 PM

Guess it's my lucky day! ^^
But how to get rid of my current windows when I install the new one?
a c 289 G Storage
May 18, 2011 2:49:44 PM

plantenbak123 said:
Thank you for your reply.
1) I know, I'm keeping my old hdd as a back-up disk for things like photos etc.
2) That's not quite what I meant, yes, I know that simply copying the data is possible but if you would boot up the game the registry would display the program files to be on (e.g.) the C\ while they are actually on D\. I'd have to adjust all registry parameters to make it work. I could, but it'd be loads of work and I was hoping there was an easier way.
3)I don't care about my OS, I'm going to re-install that anyway. However is there some way to transfer windows(7 x64) preferences and such? And can I delete my old version so I won't have a dualboot?



To the second point, if you boot off the new volume, then the new volume will be seen as C. Ceen as see? You can use a partition tool to just mark the old drive as not being bootable (I think you remove the marking for an Active Partition, but I'm not sure.) If you're going to do a fresh install, just disconnect the old drives during the install and the Win7 install procedure will not create a boot menu.

To point 3, Microsoft has a migration tool that you run under the old install to export info and then under the new install to import it. I'm too lazy to go look up what it's called. Laplink makes a similar product, PCMover. I only know this because I got a free copy with a new computer once.

I hope that this is closer to the target.
May 18, 2011 2:55:06 PM

Ok thanks very much, I'll see what I can do.
As for the steam games, I appear to be able to back-up them to any given location. When I've done that, it should be a matter of unplugging the old disk for a sec, and it should give the back-up location as primary. Should. well, at least worth the try.
May 18, 2011 2:57:54 PM

Oh and one more thing;
You say that if I install windows on the raid disks, it will be the new :C.
So... couldn't I then simply copy all data save for windows and apply the old registry values? After all, it's the C. Right?
a c 289 G Storage
May 18, 2011 3:09:18 PM

plantenbak123 said:
Guess it's my lucky day! ^^
But how to get rid of my current windows when I install the new one?


Gee, I can't keep up!

To getting rid of your current Windoze, two things that I mentioned in my post that crossed with yours. First, if you do a fresh install, have the old drive disconnected when you do it. The install proc won't see the old install and won't build an OS-level boot menu.

At the BIOS level, to ensure that you never accidentally boot from the old IDE drive you can remove the Active Partition marker on that drive and the OS won't be able to boot from it. It might try, but it would fail. You have to ensure that the correct drive is selected for booting in BIOS; but once that is set up it should stay set up.

Quote:
Ok thanks very much, I'll see what I can do.
As for the steam games, I appear to be able to back-up them to any given location. When I've done that, it should be a matter of unplugging the old disk for a sec, and it should give the back-up location as primary. Should. well, at least worth the try.


I don't understand that, but one thing that I can tell you for sure: Don't "unplug the old disk for a sec" while the system is running. IDE drives should only be added or removed with the power down. That said, I don't understand what you are trying to say.

Quote:
Oh and one more thing;
You say that if I install windows on the raid disks, it will be the new :C.
So... couldn't I then simply copy all data save for windows and apply the old registry values? After all, it's the C. Right?


It will not be the new C drive by virtue of being the RAID disk. It will be the new C drive because you boot from it. The partition that you boot from will always show as the C partition. It took me a week to change this in Windows XP, and my technique doesn't work in 7, and there's no reason to do it anyway.

Do not "simply copy all data save for windows and apply the old registry values." Or at least be prepared for it to destroy your system and require you to re-install everything. There are two safe approaches:
1) Do a new OS install and re-install all your games and apps.
2) Do a disk image copy from your existing HDD to the new array, then boot from the new array. All your programs and settings should come over cleanly by being an image.

--------------------

Could you explain what you mean by "back-up them to any given location?" You can make a copy of the directory, that's a give, but can you actually run it from there? Being certain requires removing / renaming the directory under /program files, as you might be starting the image and then using the program files subdirectory as pointed by the registry. The only way that this would work cleanly is if the game does not make use of the registry.
May 18, 2011 3:15:09 PM

1) Steam offers the possibility to back-up (steam) game files to any given location, it was somewhere in the menu. And YES, I will power down when I unplug the drive ^^

2) I know it's due to the new install. but erm, will the old disk then standard show up as D? Because if it does, I still can't use any programs as the registry says that they're installed on the C. That won't change all by itself, will it?
a c 289 G Storage
May 18, 2011 3:20:24 PM

plantenbak123 said:
2) I know it's due to the new install. but erm, will the old disk then standard show up as D? Because if it does, I still can't use any programs as the registry says that they're installed on the C. That won't change all by itself, will it?


No it won't. As I wrote, if you do a new OS install you will have to re-install all the apps. You can wave at the ones on your old drive while you are booted into the new OS, but you shouldn't run them. As a matter of fact, if you do the new install, the registry will not say that they are installed on C. The registry won't know about them until you install them again.

I'm going offline for a bit.
!