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

Last response: in Storage
May 22, 2012 4:29:46 AM

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?
May 22, 2012 4:38:37 AM

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?
May 22, 2012 2:37:09 PM

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?
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May 22, 2012 4:03:54 PM

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.
May 22, 2012 4:16:15 PM

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?
May 22, 2012 7:44:13 PM

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.
May 23, 2012 3:05:13 AM

price_th, the Bart PE software is not compatible with Windows 7. So, that's not going to work.

Other ideas anyone?
May 23, 2012 4:09:45 AM

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?
May 25, 2012 4:50:08 AM

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.