Access data from a raid 5 thats been removed

I need to remove a RAID 5 array (4 WD 70gig Raptors) from a system and replace with a single clean drive so that I can install a new OS. The reason for this is that I cannot boot into Windows right now and have tried all the Googled tips and tricks. I can get to the Windows logo screen, but it always shutsdown and reboots. The RAID 5 is healthy. I suspect its something to do with the fact that the current version of Windows I'm running may be a duplicate, unbeknownst to me of course. I'm running Windows 7 Professional and need to upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate, a bonafide legit copy. I need to find someway to access some files on the RAID 5 disks, and I'm stuck. Any advice would be greatly recommended.

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  1. Best answer
    Install the OS to the new drive, with all the other drives unplugged. Do nothing in the BIOS to your array.

    Once your OS is installed, plug them back in. You should be able to access them after a reboot.

    Make sure your boot priority is set to the new drive in the BIOS.
  2. I appreciate your suggestion foscooter. I'll be trying that tonight and will post results.
  3. out of curiosity; If booting to safe mode what is windows hanging up on? It may be a simple repair issue. Having a 'duplicate' OS will not cause this (whether you mean a pirated OS, or having a duel boot system). Inserting a windows DVD and running the repair option just might fix your woes.

    Either way, what foscooter suggested will work, and is probably the easiest way to do this. Just be aware that you will be running in RAID mode, and will have to re-install your OS (or pay for some good imaging software) to switch to IDE or AHCI mode.

    This would be an excellent time to move to an SSD :)
  4. @CaedenV...I'm not entirely sure why Safe Mode won't work, but I've heard that it's likely not loading the RAID drivers.

    Also, things just got a little more complicated as it now appears I've only got 4 stinkin' SATA ports on this motherboard, all taken up by the RAID 5 drives. If I pull one of the ports and proceed as foscooter suggested, would I still be able to pull data from a degraded RAID 5?
  5. You can pull data froma degraded RAID5 but I wouldn't recommend doing it this way. Can you boot from a USB device into the recovery console? Load the RAID drivers and copy the data off.
  6. Thanks tokencode, but I actually just remembered I have an old IDE internal drive I can use, so no need to degrade the RAID. Thanks anyways!
  7. I feel like a moron asking all these question...but I've now got Windows installed on the standalone internal drive (IDE). Restarted w/ RAID 5 drives powered. It recognized them. But I'm now not sure how to get to the data? I see the NVIDIA RAID 5 listed in Device Manager under "Disk Drives"...but in My Computer it's not listed.
  8. Nevermind! I was able to "explore" the RAID thru the Disk Management utility. Thanks everyone, especially foscooter for the advice! Once I pull the data I need, I'm going to create a RAID 0 Striped, install Windows on it, and store personal files elsewhere. Wish me luck on that one. :) Thanks again.
  9. Best answer selected by mozzer4life.
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