Migrating striped drives
I have 2 40Gb drives that I had striped on a system that used a RAID peripheral. I want to move them to a new system, with an on-board RAID and I'm wondering how to do it properly. I'm concerned about configuration, and such, but the bottom-line is that I'm worried that a misconfiguration will result in the file system being corrupted. I don't remember anything about the configuration of the array and I don't even remember in what order the drives were connected. Are these things Plug'n'Play and idiot-proofed, or are there some precautions I should be taking in doing this?
I have no experience with RAID, but I would attach each drive to your motherboard as a single drive and then use data recovery software to reconstruct the RAID. In that way you will be able to non-destructively determine the order and stripe size.
I expect that the first drive in the array will be identified by Disk Management as initialised, whereas the second drive will not. This is because the first drive will have LBA 0 which contains the MBR and partition table.
A good freeware disc editor is DMDE.
DMDE (DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery):
Go to Drive and select Construct RAID. Then experiment with stripe size until you see your data.
When you say RAID peripheral do you mean a RAID adapter card? if so, i'd just transplant the card and all, otherwise you can do as fzabkar has said, although a little differently. Image the RAID array. Set up the onbaord raid on the new motherboard, then restore the image to the new RAID.
The problem with both of these methods is that whenever you replace a motherboard, a clean install of the OS is recommended because your current install won't have the correct drivers for the new board. This will cause immediate BSOD's or failed boots. You may get lucky with a repair install, but why chance it?
Yes, I meant adapter card, but transplanting the card isn't an option, because it's old skule PCI and this new board isn't. But it's academic now, because it looks like that even though this motherboard has on-board SATA controllers, they aren't RAID controllers. So I'm just going to have to transplant it to another old skule PCI board I have, then rescue the files individually. That's an acceptable option, but I'll have to buy more hardware first.
Still, I'd like to know what I have to do to transplant it. I imagine these RAID cards store the arrays in their firmware, so I haven't lost the configuration, have I? What about the order of the drives? I might have gotten them backwards, so is there a safe way to find out what that is, short of fzabkar's recommendation of performing a data recovery?
To transplant it, just move the card and drives to the new system. Install the OS onto a new drive and install the drivers for the RAID card. Now you can copy data from the RAID. Some RAID cards don't care about the order. Others have the option within the RAID bios/setup to automatically arrange drives into the correct order. Worst case, if you can't see the data on the RAID or it gives problems, shut the computer down and reverse the drive connections to the RAID controller.