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They forgot to configure my discs as RAID 1

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September 15, 2011 9:13:53 PM

Greetings,

Over a year ago, I purchased my very first desktop after having used laptops exclusively and being online since 1986. I configured it for speed.

I have an 80 GB SSD "C" drive and two identical 1-TB HDDs which I thought was my "D" drive. One of the options was for a RAID1 configuration which I selected. All this time, I thought I was kind of 'protected' with the mirrored drives. Somehow I discovered that my BIOS is set to IDE instead of to RAID(XHD) <--which is necessary for RAID. (Not that I really understand all this - tapping Ctrl-i during POST did not take me to the Intel Matrix Storage utility)....and that I do NOT have a functioning RAID1 setup.

Speaking with customer service, I learned that changing over to a RAID1 configuration at this time will eradicate ALL data on the 1-TB drives. Start over again? I don't think so.

I also discovered that one of the connections was dangling so that Computer Management in Win 7 had no idea there is a second data drive present! I re-connected it, restarted, and now I see that "Disk 1" is unallocated. Judging by the size (it's identical to Disk 2, my D drive), I suppose this is my other 1 TB drive now partially visible. (1) How to I "allocate" it so the drive is one I can use?

I also now see that my 80 GB SSD has 101MB unallocated! (2) Is that much of the SSD, disk 0, supposed to be unallocated? (3) can I get that 101 MB into action without losing any data? (my OS and other data is on this drive)

I was thinking that I'd just "copy" my "D" to the new "E" or "J" or "M" (whatever I name it; (4) might it take-over the "D" designation? is this a concern?) drive manually yo have a sort of mirrored backup. I am now thinking that that's not a good solution because the programs installed on "D" know where they are supposed to reside and changing the drive letter will confuse the software...and maybe even break diestinations "C" might point to. Then I wondered (5) is there a way to make a backup of my entire system, everything, all data, all programs, all settings....then do the RAID 1 configuration (which wipes all data), then "restore" the backup or mirror of my system "D" drive (data drive) without having to re-install all the configured software and everything?

I could use some guidance here.

TIA

drcarl

September 15, 2011 9:44:54 PM

For the SSD, you should be able to right-click the partition and expand the drive to the remaining unallocated space.

I'm not sure about the 1TB drive, though. You could set it to RAID 1, but I'm not sure if the system would wipe the other one, or just start building the mirror and not wipe. I've never been brave enough to test that theory, lol.
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September 15, 2011 10:02:46 PM

Thanks Mr Salad...it sure SEEMS like expanding the SSD would be safe...and I am sure someone will help me with the RAID issue. Thanks for your comment.

PS - went there, Computer Management, SSD ("C") and it's not as straight-forward as I thought it'd be. I am suspecting I might have to allocate the unallocated area, then shrink it or somehow remove it, THEN "expand" the active partition on "C"....

I'll stop until someone chimes-in

:) 
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September 16, 2011 10:50:31 PM

The unallocated space on the drive is reserved for errors. So far, all my installations of win7 (which it looks like you are running) have shown some small bit of unallocated space on the drives in Drive Management. I wouldn't sweat the small loss of storage (.1%)

Unless you are using a completely software based RAID, all the drives get wiped (well sort of) when you create the array. You need to backup the data somewhere first, then create the array, then put it back. Sounds like a fun time.
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September 17, 2011 12:57:31 AM

@fest - thanx.

I entered all this about my system and thought it'd be displayed somehow. Ah HA! I just found the signature area and updated it so that one needn't click 'more information' under the user, then 'member configuration.' Details at the end. (You're right Win 7)

At first I thought your math was a bit off saying 101 MB = .1% of 80 GB. I did not realize that the graphical representation within Computer Management is not to scale. I guess if it WAS .1% and it was to scale, not much text could reside over that partition. Before pointing out the mathematical error of your ways, I did a little verifying and revisited the 8 bits = 1 byte arena and it appears that 101 MB truly is a tiny amount of 80 GB. (I was also thrown off by seeing that the healthy partition on the SSD is 74 GB, and that 100 MB might bring it up closer to 80 GB...math is not my strong area, obviously - lol. So, thanks. I'll certainly leave Windows 7 a tiny slice for errors, etc..

As for completely software-based RAID, the whole idea for me was to have a second HDD mirroring in case one failed. The more I think about it, I think I may indeed get my hands on a 1 TB external drive and instead of doing the RAID 1 routine, I'll just use a cloning program (like Acronis') and make mirrored copies...or, perhaps better, is to use my newly discovered 1 TB drive for an Acronis True Image backup if I can just figure-out how well (how much) the data is compressed (will need to fit the 80GB C and the 1 TB onto a 1 TB second data drive - am I asking too much?)

ANYway, it's awesome to see the light at the end of the tunnel and that there appear to be some options for backing-up in case of a failure....I hope to save the 'fun time' for another time. lol

I'm always all ears.

Win 7x64/Office/Photoshop/Chrome/MSE; i7-920 CPU, 80 GB SSD, 2x 1 TB HDDs, 6 GB DDR3 1600 MHz RAM

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September 17, 2011 2:57:31 AM

Me thinks you are working too hard.

Buy a two tera drive and save your stuff to that drive and then disconnect from the computer to set aside while you wrestle with the Cloning or rebuilding raids.
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September 17, 2011 7:50:10 PM

Thanx, X ;) 
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!