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Win 7 go from 1 disk no raid to 2disk raid w/o re-install?

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August 29, 2011 3:35:21 PM

Is it possible to go from 1 hard drive to RAID 1 (add another hard drive) without formatting?


I have a Windows 7 desktop system with OCZ 120GB SSD drive and I have added 1TB drive for Data storage ( movies/music/pictures).
I keep having to back up my pictures and movies and I wish I had set up my system as 2x 1TB drives with Raid 1 config.
Now I actually want to do this... but I don't want to start fresh and re-install everything. Can I just add 1 more 1TB drive and set up the system as Raid 1 ? or is it absolutely necessary to do a clean install ?


My motherboard is p67 chip and it supports Raid 0-1-5-10.

Here is my desktop specs if you need it:
GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD3-B3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with USB3.0 and supports 2nd gen i5 chip http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...
Latest Intel 2nd generation i5 2500k "unlocked" 3.30GHz (auto overclocks to 3.7)
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm
ADATA 8GB PC1600 DDR3 ram (altho the mobo and cpu hold the ram to 1333)
OCZ 120GB SSD SATA 3.0GBs solid state drive 250MBps read 250MBps write
Samsung 1TB SATA 3.0GBs 7200rpm internal drive
(Will add 1 more Samsung 1TB Sata drive to make raid 1)
Asus 24X dvd burner
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W
Antec P183 case w upper/lower chamber. 11 expansion bays. great air flow
Windows 7 x64
a c 289 G Storage
August 29, 2011 5:00:55 PM

Well, good news and bad news. The good news is, because your system drive is not installed in the RAID, you don't have to re-install. The bad news is, if you want to do your RAID1 mirroring at the chipset level, building the RAID set will wipe the drive. You will need to make an external copy of what's on the drive, TEST THAT COPY as if everything depended on it, build the RAID1, and then copy the data from the external drive back to the new volume.

Obligatory warning: RAID1 is not a substitute for backups. It only protects you against a single-spindle failure, not against malware, accidental erasure, rain soaking the PC, and other nasty incidents. Note that the above procedure leaves you with an external copy - cool.

That said, you can introduce the second volume as mirrored via Windows rather than the chipset by using Disk Manager to mirror from the first volume to the newly-mounted second. I have never tried this; you may need the disks to be set up as Dynamic Volumes.
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August 30, 2011 4:32:36 PM

i made an external copy of the data on the 2nd disk.
then i set the the PCH SATA Control Mode to be RAID in BIOS.

then i rebooted and i saw a new raid configuration menu that you can open with CTRL+I.

i entered it and i configured raid for port 4 and port 5 of my 2 disks to be RAID 1.

then i exited and rebooted. upon reboot, it tries to load windows.. shows the logo screen for a second.. then blue screen for a split second and then just dies and restarts.

i noticed during bios post and when it prints the disks and its rain info. it shows my port 0 (SSD) drive is also using raid driver.
it also said ACHI driver not installed.
then it lists all my drives
then it tries to load windows and fails.

Any idea what I'm doing wrong here?
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a b G Storage
August 30, 2011 5:17:27 PM

Try resetting your BIOS to ACHI and see if it then can boot. The BIOS may either force all drives as RAID exclusively, or all drives as ACHI exclusively.
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a c 289 G Storage
August 30, 2011 6:05:18 PM

My bad. My guess is that before you made the BIOS change to RAID mode, you were running it in IDE compatibility mode, not AHCI mode. So, when you rebooted with it in RAID mode, your SSD required the AHCI drivers which were not installed. There are a number of posts on how to do this. You will have to
1) Disconnect the RAIDed drives physically
2) Set the BIOS mode back to IDE
3) Boot Windows
4) Do the magic tweak (I will go look for it)
5) Shut down; set the BIOS back to RAID mode
6) Boot and ensure that Win7 works. If it fails, lambaste me
7) Shut down, re-attach the RAIDed drives, and enjoy your RAID

As a bonus, the SSD will be happier running with AHCI drivers than it was with IDE-compatible drivers.

Anyone out there able to find the magic tweak really quickly? EDIT: Here it is: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/271613-32-ahci-transi...
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August 30, 2011 7:53:21 PM

okay i am closer to solving it.
i found this while googling the fact that i had blue screen of death when switching from IDE to AHCI

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/244840-32-convert-sat...

that pointed me to the microsoft KB article
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976
which told me to modify registry

To resolve this issue yourself, enable the AHCI driver in the registry before you change the SATA mode of the boot drive. To do this, follow these steps:
Exit all Windows-based programs.
Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
If you receive the User Account Control dialog box, click Continue.
Locate and then click one of the following registry subkeys:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\IastorV
In the right pane, right-click Start in the Name column, and then click Modify.
In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
On the File menu, click Exit to close Registry Editor.


so I set the controller back to IDE, was able to get into windows
then i chagned the registry
then i rebooted and changed controller back to AHCI
then i was able to boot into Windows!

Now what i am doing is... installed IRST Intel Rapid Storage Technology, which is a prereq to having ahci drivers for my motherboard.


It still failed when set to use RAID.

I then googled more and found this.. if you scroll to bottom a guy has 3 screens up
http://forums.tweaktown.com/gigabyte/40484-ahci-bios-no...

Anyway i realized it says SATA native enabled for Ports 0-3. .. so maybe using ports 4&5 aren't such good idea.
So i put the drives to ports 2 &3.

Then it still failed.

I went to bios and set CMOS to factory
I updated my bios with q flash from the bios menu with a usb stick.

I went to bios and set CMOS to factory
then i set it to optimized.
then i set it to raid

then i rebooted and set my raid configuration to non disk, then again set it up for 2 disks.

then rebooted.

still windows crashes right when i see logo screen..
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August 30, 2011 8:01:25 PM

i disconnected the 2 raid drives.
raid still enabled.

rebooted.
and it still says upon reboot AHCI BIOS not installed

then it tries to load windows and crashes.

i might have to try the 'extreme hard drive' feature that this mono has
http://img686.imageshack.us/img686/3289/bios1h.png


i am kind of out of ideas..


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August 31, 2011 4:26:34 AM

WyomingKnott said:
My bad. My guess is that before you made the BIOS change to RAID mode, you were running it in IDE compatibility mode, not AHCI mode. So, when you rebooted with it in RAID mode, your SSD required the AHCI drivers which were not installed. There are a number of posts on how to do this. You will have to
1) Disconnect the RAIDed drives physically
2) Set the BIOS mode back to IDE
3) Boot Windows
4) Do the magic tweak (I will go look for it)
5) Shut down; set the BIOS back to RAID mode
6) Boot and ensure that Win7 works. If it fails, lambaste me
7) Shut down, re-attach the RAIDed drives, and enjoy your RAID

As a bonus, the SSD will be happier running with AHCI drivers than it was with IDE-compatible drivers.

Anyone out there able to find the magic tweak really quickly? EDIT: Here it is: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/271613-32-ahci-transi...


I have tried your steps a few times actually.
I did the same steps except I did not disconnect the drives.
This time around I tried to disconnect and only reconnect once i set it to RAID.

I installed all the chipset drivers that came with the gigabyte motherboard CD ROM..
The good news is now I can set the controller to ACHI and boot up without issues. I even see AHCI BIOS installed now during POST.

The bad news is i still cannot get raid to work... as soon as i set controller to RAId.. and run the Raid configuration utility and build my 2-1TB drives to be raid 1... upon reboot it says "AHCI BIOS not installed" and fails when it tries to boot up windows...



I am wondering if it is at all possible to have a system where 1 disk is used as the System disk and is NON RAID, and have 2 other disks to be set to RAID, which will be used for Data like pictures/music/movies.

Maybe its simple not possible to have a raid system where the main OS is not installed on a raid, but only the 'slave' drives are set to RAID.
Or am i wrong?
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August 31, 2011 5:18:35 AM

this is kind of related to the above post, but from all my reading in the "IntelĀ® Rapid Storage Technology" read me that i got from the gigabyte motherboard page, it seems like they want you to install the Raid controller/driver during Windows install.

So perhaps, you cannot start with a system that has Windows 7 already installed and try to setup raid on 2 other disks...

In my scenario, i am starting out with an install of windows 7 on ssd and adding 2 disks to be raid.
I think what the documentation wants me to do is install WIndows 7 and install raid controller right before windows 7 starts to install...
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a c 289 G Storage
August 31, 2011 12:42:21 PM

TheDarkStranger2011 said:
this is kind of related to the above post, but from all my reading in the "IntelĀ® Rapid Storage Technology" read me that i got from the gigabyte motherboard page, it seems like they want you to install the Raid controller/driver during Windows install.

That's if you are running the OS from the RAID, which you are not. You need your OS to be able to run with the controllers in AHCI mode; that's all. Run the tweak, reboot with the OS drive in AHCI mode, and I'll buy you a donut if you can't go ahead and run the RAID volume as data (after initializing, partitioning, and formatting).

Of course, you would have to come to NYC to collect the donut.
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August 31, 2011 1:39:44 PM

WyomingKnott said:
That's if you are running the OS from the RAID, which you are not. You need your OS to be able to run with the controllers in AHCI mode; that's all. Run the tweak, reboot with the OS drive in AHCI mode, and I'll buy you a donut if you can't go ahead and run the RAID volume as data (after initializing, partitioning, and formatting).

Of course, you would have to come to NYC to collect the donut.



WyomingKnott said:
That's if you are running the OS from the RAID, which you are not. You need your OS to be able to run with the controllers in AHCI mode; that's all. Run the tweak, reboot with the OS drive in AHCI mode, and I'll buy you a donut if you can't go ahead and run the RAID volume as data (after initializing, partitioning, and formatting).

Of course, you would have to come to NYC to collect the donut.


I think I understand what youre saying.
You want the OS drive to run in AHCI
and you want me to set the 2 disks to be in Raid mode...

From my BIOS, it doesnt seem like i can specify per drive which controller to use.
It seems like as soon as i say PCH Controller = RAID... it tries to boot all drives as RAID, which makes sense why my OS would then crash.

I'll paste a screenshot here so you can see what the printout is from BIOS POST of all the drives,
http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/2638/photo5q.png


I dont know where the settings live for setting the controller "per drive" or if its possible. Here is snapshot of choices in BIOS where I do set it... but it applies to ALL drives
http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/8788/photo2y.png


Here is snapshot of when AHCI is enabled, and you can see all the drives post, then windows loads fine shortly after.
http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/9656/photo1y.png


Here is the snapshot of the Integrated Peripherals screen, you can see I set PCH Sata Control Mode to RAID, but its not per drive.. i think it affects all drives. I also have Sata Port0-3 Native Mode Enabled
http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/1757/photo3n.png


Here's screen shot of the Hard Disk Boot Priority
http://img854.imageshack.us/img854/9633/photo4m.png


So I guess the main thing for me is to try and figure out how to get my OS to load in AHCI, while having the other drives load with RAID Controller....


I think you owe me that donut lol
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a c 289 G Storage
August 31, 2011 4:11:28 PM

Yup, I owe you a donut. I was completely convinced that if you set the controller mode to RAID a single drive will be treated as if it were in AHCI mode. The only time I've seen an issue with that was on a Dell computer. Unfortunately, that Dell computer is my wife's, so I had to deal with it.

A D'oh-nut:
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August 31, 2011 5:58:03 PM

how can gigabytes latest motherboard that supports the latest intel cpu not have the option to set some drives run by AHCI and some run by RAID.

i curse you gigabyte. I've created a ticket with gigabyte support, if i get a meaningful and helpful response ill post it here.
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Best solution

September 1, 2011 3:28:18 PM

I just was having kinda the same thing happen to me. Installed windows on my ssd with ahci. Then after installing I changed my data mode to raid. Had my drives connected and tried to create a volume. I kept getting bsod after the windows logo.

Eventually just had to wipe everything. Plug the SSD in Sata3_1 and the 2 HDs in Sata2_2 and _3. Leaving the HD's disconnected and before loading windows I set my Sata mode to Raid. Installed and updated windows/drivers. Powered down, connected my HD's, Ctrl+I, created my volume, went to windows, powered down. FORMATTED MY HD's and Eventuallly everything worked.

This was also on a newly built machine
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September 1, 2011 6:09:14 PM

Stalzy said:
I just was having kinda the same thing happen to me. Installed windows on my ssd with ahci. Then after installing I changed my data mode to raid. Had my drives connected and tried to create a volume. I kept getting bsod after the windows logo.

Eventually just had to wipe everything. Plug the SSD in Sata3_1 and the 2 HDs in Sata2_2 and _3. Leaving the HD's disconnected and before loading windows I set my Sata mode to Raid. Installed and updated windows/drivers. Powered down, connected my HD's, Ctrl+I, created my volume, went to windows, powered down. FORMATTED MY HD's and Eventuallly everything worked.

This was also on a newly built machine


That is what I plan to do next. I just called gigabyte support cuz i got tired of waiting to hear answer back on the ticket. Apparently my mobo GA-P67A-UD3-B3 has only 1 chipset and controller. This means you can't have some drives on AHCI and some run by RAID. I'll have to reinstall win7. Another model the - The GA-P67X-UD3-B3 - for example has 2 chipsets , one intel and one marvell. Ports 0-5 run by intel, ports 6&7 run by marvell. if i had this i wouldn't have a problem. I'd just put the 2 raid drives on port 6&7.. and go.

I think they should make this very well known that if you ever plan to do RAID.. make sure to first install Windows with RAID. There are too many people having issues when trying to just switch the controller.

Btw, I think the steps you listed would work fine for Sata3_0 as well.
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a c 289 G Storage
September 2, 2011 12:39:03 PM

My brain must have been on vacation. The following works in most cases of BIOS changes:

Insert the Win7 DVD in the drive. Boot to it. Select a Repair Install. It will find the Win7 installation, notice that it has the wrong drivers, and install the correct ones.

Bad brain!
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September 2, 2011 2:40:38 PM

WyomingKnott said:
My brain must have been on vacation. The following works in most cases of BIOS changes:

Insert the Win7 DVD in the drive. Boot to it. Select a Repair Install. It will find the Win7 installation, notice that it has the wrong drivers, and install the correct ones.

Bad brain!


is that correct?? i just re-installed win7 yesterday and all updates, just started doing app installs...

i might just back up this current install of C w macrium reflect free edition, and try to restore my backup of C drive before i wiped it...

will be back to report if it works..
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September 2, 2011 8:17:37 PM

WyomingKnott said:
My brain must have been on vacation. The following works in most cases of BIOS changes:

Insert the Win7 DVD in the drive. Boot to it. Select a Repair Install. It will find the Win7 installation, notice that it has the wrong drivers, and install the correct ones.

Bad brain!


I restored my OS drive as it was before, got it to crash as before.. (when set to RAID and windows logo appears).
Then i popped in win7 dvd and tried repair. It could not repair it and asked me to send info to MS.

So now im going back to my fresh install of win7 backup...
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