How to clone a single disc onto a new RAID 5 array?

I have a Windows 7 system with a single 1tb disc with OS and all data. I want to clone/copy it and then replace that single drive with a RAID 5 array then restore the clone/copy to the new array.

Can this be done?

The point here is that I'm obviously trying to avoid reinstalling the OS and all my programs. Is there a way to accomplish this?
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  1. I suppose it's important to point out that I need the current single drive to be a part of the new 3 disc RAID 5 array. So, it's being re-purposed and added to the two new drives.

    Is it possible to build the array without deleting the current disc? What I mean to ask is, can I install the RAID card, plug the current drive in to that card, allow it to recognize it as a non-RAID drive, then add the two new drives and turn the whole thing into a RAID 5 without deleting/formatting the current disc?
  2. So I simple make an image backup of the entire current disc and then restore the new RAID 5 array with that?

    How does that work the first time I boot up? Do I start with an OS recovery disc and then choose the "repair my computer" option? I've always done a fresh install, so I have no idea what happens when you choose to repair. Will it then allow me to point to an image backup on a USB drive?
  3. You can get a Bart-PE disk to boot with and run say Ghost or Snapshot or what ever you used to get the image. Bart is a free download to build a Bart-PE boot disk. A disk image can be captured and restored to a partition which would exist on your Raid array.
  4. I appreciate what you're saying, but can't any of this stuff be done with windows tools? I can make an image backup with "windows backup", right? If I did that, what would the process be to restore it to the new RAID 5 array?

    I'm sure I can use these other tools you mention, but why do that if I don't need to? Or is that the only way to get this done?
  5. OK, my further investigation has led me to understand that this can't really be done with standard windows tools. That was predictable.

    So, price_th can you please explain your proposed process in more detail. I've looked into Snapshot and that seems to be the least expensive route, but I need to know more about this Bart-PE boot disc.
  6. price_th, the Bart PE software is not compatible with Windows 7. So, that's not going to work.

    Other ideas anyone?
  7. Quote:
    You can't do that directly. But that's possible when you first create an image of the first disk and store it on a temporary storage. Then you may create a RAID and restore the data from the disk to the RAID.
    You may use R-Drive Image for that. You may use its startup version for creating the image and restoring it.

    alt-rtt, your method seems easy and straightforward. R-Drive Image seems to be a very useful tool capable of doing exactly what I need.

    I understand the making of the image backup (OS and everything) using R-Drive Image, but when I'm ready to restore to the RAID 5 array how does it work? Will R-Drive Image lead me to create a bootable disc from which it will restore the image, or what? Can you please help me with more details?
  8. OK, this is turning out to NOT be easy at all. R-drive image does not work, because the startup version is not compatible with the RAID controller I'm using (Syba SY-PEX40008), so it doesn't see the RAID 5 array and thus does not give me the option to restore to that array.

    So, I need other options.

    Surely there must be a way to restore an image backup to a RAID 5 array.
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