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How to migrate RAID-1 array to a new mobo with diff chipset

Tags:
  • NAS / RAID
  • Motherboards
  • Chipsets
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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April 4, 2012 6:19:50 PM

My computer recently had a motherboard/cpu/psu failure, I can't really tell which atm as I don't have replacements to test rule parts out, but it's so old I would like to build a new system so I can play some new games. The problem I'm realizing is I had a set of drives (non boot drives) mirrored using RAID-1 under the NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI MCP chipset. My motherboard was an ASUS Crosshair. So now I'm looking at a new motherboard, namely the Sabertooth Z77, but I am noticing it doesn't use an nVidia chipset for RAID, rather it uses an Intel one. After some research I've found that RAID is not standardized for some ungodly reason and each chipset manufacturer seems to use different RAID signatures used in the arrays they create. So what I'm trying to figure out and am looking for some help on is how I can migrate my 2 500GB SATA drives mirrored using RAID-1 to a new system that doesn't have a nVidia RAID controller chipset? Is there some PCI card I can buy with the chipset on it that I can use to get the data off? Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

TLDR version
PC Died w/ 2 drive RAID-1 array nVidia chipset
New PC w/o nVidia RAID chipset
How do I migrate over?

More about : migrate raid array mobo diff chipset

a c 240 V Motherboard
a c 82 G Storage
April 4, 2012 8:00:02 PM

In a RAID 1 configuration, each drive is a complete image. You could connect one of the drives as a non-RAID member to verify that you can access it. To play it safe, image it just in case something goes wrong. If you can access it (I see no reason why you couldn't since it isn't a boot drive), then just follow Intel's procedure to complete your new RAID 1 configuration.
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April 4, 2012 8:19:29 PM

That's what I assumed would be the case, but what I gather from reading over the past few hours is that even RAID 1 has "signatures" applied to it by the RAID controller that make them unreadable by other manufacter's controllers. You have me questioning now if simply plugging one of the drives in to another PC without the controller would work as far as having them simply be readable which is all I really need at this point.
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a b G Storage
April 4, 2012 8:43:51 PM

you'll be surprised what controllers can read which raid sets. Many times, a raid array from one controller can integrate into other seamlessly.

I'm not certain whether or you can use a single drive to get your data. Since its RAID 1, you'd think that both drives would be their own image, so you may be able to do that..

The other suggestion would be just plug them in and see. Since they're not boot drives, you can see if your chipset software will be able to recognize the RAID using software as well.
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April 5, 2012 12:02:57 AM

Ok I just tried this on this PC that happened to have an older nVidia nForce controller the MCP 61 so I was hopeful the drive could be read. Nope.

First I installed the drive and tried booting with it just by its lonesome to see if it would show up under explorer. It did not, then I rebooted and enabled the SATA RAID controller in the bios and booted, stopping in the config util to see what it would show. It did show the drive as "degraded" which made sense since only one of the pair was plugged in, but moving on to Windows (Vista on this box) it didn't show up under explorer. Under Disk Management it does show the drive as "Dynamic" but that's about it, it won't let me mount it to any drive letter only giving me the option of converting it to a "Basic Disk" which I'm fearful will not only not give me access to the disk's contents, but possibly erase the disk leaving me with only one drive that I may screw up telling apart down the road from this one.

In any case it seems like I need another motherboard or pci card (if one exists?) that's supports whatever method of RAID nVidia is using in the NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI MCP chipset. Unless anyone has any idea of what I can do instead?
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April 6, 2012 11:42:56 PM

Ok I have a solution for my problem now in case anyone else with a similar problem comes across this. All I had to do was simply download a livecd linux distro (Knoppix 6.7 DVD in my case) and this installer for flash drives to make a bootable flash drive (link here) After Knoppix was installed to the flash drive I just used that to boot the system and voila, both the computer's OS drive and the RAID 1 drive I installed both showed up mounted without issue. I was able to copy files easily so this can be one way to solve this issue (burning a livecd distro of linux to a CD/DVD would work equally well I'm sure, this computer just doesn't have a burner is all). Thanks to everyone who replied trying to assist though, I really appreciate it.
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January 11, 2013 4:33:00 PM

wow thanks so much for this. Who would guess that ubuntu would be able to read and transfer files so easily when PC's choke on this! just burn the iso of ubuntu .. i used 10.0 and boot to the cd (do not install !!! that would be disastrous). All connected internal and usb drives mount up and you can copy away to your little heart's content
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January 18, 2013 11:12:12 PM

Hey, this is good info - PMFJI

I have a similar setup, although my new board DOES have the same RAID chip set (LSI MegaRaid). (plus Intel RAID, and Marvel).

I did RAID 0+1 though, with 4 drives. They were 250G drives. I have 2 2TB backup drives I could clone them to as a VHD, if that would help but then I'd need to do software RAID (which is fine just for a backup).

I'm a little hesitant to just plug the drives in. If you mess up the disks (wrong order), do you think the LSI MegaRaid would be able to tell in the setup?

Will putting the drives in but not intentionally writing to them result in the RAID configuration getting wiped out in any way?

I have a backup, but it's not totally current, and the "backup catalog" from a sucessful Windows backup is now saying it's corrupt, so if I can't get the drives back, I lose a lot of stuff :( 

I'm looking at buying Acronis or other backup software now, but that doesn't help now as the old motherboard was shot.

== John ==
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