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Pulling a RAID drive

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June 30, 2011 8:22:38 PM

Hello,
I have two 500 GB internal hard drives on my PC. They are set up as RAID. One is failing and I'm told there isn't a replacement avaialable. The suggestion was that I pull both drives and set up from scratch or pull the bad drive and just set up the computer as a 500 GB non-RAID computer. I was told at Micro Center that if I pull the bad drive then the computer will take care of the rest. Is it really that easy? What are the down sides to doing this?

Thanks!

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a c 104 G Storage
June 30, 2011 9:59:03 PM

Hello, & Welcome to Tom's Hardware!

Well, it is not that simple. It depends on what kind or RAID you have on your computer. If it's a RAID-1 mirror setup you can detach the second drive and end up with a single volume. If you replace the mirror, you have to replace it with an essentially identical drive. With a single drive, it doesn't end up being a Basic Drive with a standard Partition, it's a Dynamic drive with a simple volume. However you can move all the data off and convert it back to a Baisc MBR partition type.

If you have a RAID-0 setup for speed, and remove one, all the data's gone. You can replace it with a different size HDD and it will be OK, but to do that you have to copy off all the data first before setting up the new volume.

Lot anymore depends on what your needs are, with the HDD's 1-2 TB SATA-III's being so inexpensive and fast.
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a c 117 G Storage
July 1, 2011 3:08:10 PM

+1 John_VanKirk!
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July 11, 2011 4:19:22 PM

John_VanKirk said:
Hello, & Welcome to Tom's Hardware!

Well, it is not that simple. It depends on what kind or RAID you have on your computer. If it's a RAID-1 mirror setup you can detach the second drive and end up with a single volume. If you replace the mirror, you have to replace it with an essentially identical drive. With a single drive, it doesn't end up being a Basic Drive with a standard Partition, it's a Dynamic drive with a simple volume. However you can move all the data off and convert it back to a Baisc MBR partition type.

If you have a RAID-0 setup for speed, and remove one, all the data's gone. You can replace it with a different size HDD and it will be OK, but to do that you have to copy off all the data first before setting up the new volume.

Lot anymore depends on what your needs are, with the HDD's 1-2 TB SATA-III's being so inexpensive and fast.


Hi John,

Thank you for your response. This is more complicated than I thought it would be. The computer is crashing more and more often so I need to do something soon. Unfortunately, the drive that I need to replace isn't made anymore so I would have to replace both drives and if I do that, I'll just be starting from scratch anyway. And if I'm going to start from scratch I'm thinking that I may just install Windows 7 instead of reinstalling Vista so that my desktop computer is compatible with my laptop. The good news is that all my data is backed up.

Thanks again,
Staffan
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a c 117 G Storage
July 11, 2011 4:40:26 PM

Good that you are backing your data. You also need to do a complete system backup regularly. In Win 7, it is in Control Panel, Backup & Restore.
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