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Setting up RAID

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June 18, 2011 12:55:08 PM

Hello,

I am currently running 2 5400rpm hard drives, each of 1TB in my PC- they are Seagate Barracuda. If I format the hard drives so that they are completely empty, can I then run them in RAID, using the BIOS? And if I make a system image of my PC right now- and then use that system image for the RAID hdd's, will all my data be restored, all programs etc. ? I am using a Windows 7 upgrade option package, and I can use the system image for the RAID array.
Thanks for any help!

More about : setting raid

a b G Storage
June 18, 2011 6:44:30 PM

If you have a build in RAID controller (Not all MBs have this and the BIOS is just where you might turn it on, not the actually RAID option itself) then yes you should be able to do this. I suggest loading the RAID driver into the OS BEFORE you image your existing OS. If there is anything important, I would also try restoring that image BEFORE you overwrite your existing drives. Create your RAID array (assuming RAID 0, RAID one can be done much easier in most cases) and restore your image WITH the RAID drive to it.
June 18, 2011 9:37:19 PM

tokencode said:
If you have a build in RAID controller (Not all MBs have this and the BIOS is just where you might turn it on, not the actually RAID option itself) then yes you should be able to do this. I suggest loading the RAID driver into the OS BEFORE you image your existing OS. If there is anything important, I would also try restoring that image BEFORE you overwrite your existing drives. Create your RAID array (assuming RAID 0, RAID one can be done much easier in most cases) and restore your image WITH the RAID drive to it.



So in the BIOS, what settings do I need to change?
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a b G Storage
June 19, 2011 4:54:14 AM

I don't know what BIOS or controller you have. Normally you would turn the controller on in the main BIOS and configure the RAID array in the RAID controller BIOS. For instance on my ASUS board, its under integrated peripherals and I set my controller mode from IDE to RAID, I then get a RAID controller BIOS and from there I can configure my array.
June 19, 2011 1:18:08 PM

So, after changing the controller from IDE to RAID, how do you get the "RAID controller BIOS" ?
June 19, 2011 2:12:20 PM

OK, nevermind my last message- I have a big problem. I enabled the RAID controller thing, and now when I startup my PC, I have to setup the RAID- it does not boot the normal Windows 7!! I went into the BIOS, changed the setting back to the IDE setting and still it pops up a raid setup screen. I have a backup on one of the two hard drives I want to use for RAID, but how do I access this hard drive? :( 
June 19, 2011 2:18:26 PM

and never mind that message-I am back in Windows. Now to back it up!
a b G Storage
June 19, 2011 3:45:58 PM

Remember to make sure you have the drivers for your RAID controller loaded...
June 19, 2011 4:10:03 PM

You mean before I back up I need to have the RAID driver enabled in the BIOS? And one more question, should I format the 2 hard drives, if so how do I go about doing this?
June 19, 2011 9:17:18 PM

Hi again, I found out that I have to format the two hard drives from my Windows CD. Please correct me if I am wrong with the following steps I will go through:
1. create system image of C drive on an externat hdd
2. shut down computer and restart with windows cd loaded
3. using the windows cd, format the 2 hard drives so they are empty
4. restart pc, go into bios, setup raid for the 2 hard drives
5. raid setup is created, now use windows cd to read the system image on external hdd
6. done

Correct? :D 
a b G Storage
June 20, 2011 12:24:09 AM

You don't have to format them before you create the RAID array. If you have everything backed up, just go ahead and create the RAID volume and re-install windows and you should be good. I was just commenting that you will need the driver for your RAID controller if the windows install can't see the volume
June 20, 2011 5:52:47 AM

OK, thanks! So by creating the RAID array the data will be automatically deleted?
a b G Storage
June 20, 2011 6:13:45 AM

Well.... yea sort of. It will destroy the partition information and allow you to use all of the space. If you inti or start writing to the drive again thats what will actually destroy the data. Regardless, no need to format first.
June 20, 2011 11:57:53 AM

ok, thanks for the info. I will post back when it is all done or something went wrong :p 
June 20, 2011 2:30:42 PM

Hello, when I try installing form the system image it says: error- windows did not find any disk it can use for recreating volumes present in backup. (and then just information)

What do I do now?
June 20, 2011 4:37:47 PM

OK, I downloaded a RAID driver, put it on my USB. Now If I select Install driver on the Win7 restore screen, and I select the .inf file, there are 12 options of drivers to choose from! Which one should I choose? I really appreciate your help
a b G Storage
June 20, 2011 9:21:57 PM

Look up the model of the RAID controller included on your motherboard, it should be in the manual or on the actual chip itself
June 21, 2011 6:05:48 AM

Apparently it is a JMicron RAID controller- on another computer I downloaded the JMicron driver from my motherbard cd, and when I load it on my usb and select the driver while installing Win7, there are another 8 options or so. Which one do I choose?

I wish I had followed your instructions about the driver properly! I always thought you meant a driver had to be enabled in the BIOS :( 
a b G Storage
June 28, 2011 9:09:24 PM

Choose the one that best matches the controller you have. Try reading the writing on the chip itself. You can also just try one, if it works though, becareful. I HIGHLY recommend doing the research, it could hurt you down the road.
June 29, 2011 9:46:47 PM

Can I ask something please. If I raid my existing HDD with files on it, will it delete the existing files? Thanks in advance.
!