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From normal to a RAID1 on a Gigabyte P55A-UD4

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January 27, 2011 10:04:49 PM

I have a system running XPSP3 on a P55A-UD4 with a single WD Caviar Black 1TB drive. I also have a second WD Caviar Black 1TB that I wish to add to the system for use as a RAID1 array for the sake of performance.

Currently the existing 1TB drive is about half full and is formatted in a single partition. The drive has been backed up to an external drive via Paragon Backup and recovery as an image. I am hoping that there is a way to add the second drive without installing the OS from scratch. Is there a relatively simple way to just tell the BIOS that the new drive is there and the system will automatically patch it in as a drive? If not, what about if I link the drives together as a RAID1 and copy the image from the backup onto the new 1TB array? Will it boot?

So, basically, Is there any means that I can add the second 1TB drive to the system as a RAID1 without having to do a clean install and build of the system?
a c 177 V Motherboard
January 28, 2011 12:34:13 PM

In a word - no... Sorry, but two issues are involved. First, the 'join' is also a 'wipe'; second, you need to get the RAID driver (and its attendant OS software, if any) onto the OS so it can even see any volumes/partiotion on the RAID(s).
Think of it this way - OS installs are good for you! I multi-boot about six OSs, am always doing some reinstall or other, reinstall my primary working OS about ever six months whether it needs it or not - and, every single time, I learn something utilitarian that improves the system. If I don't do it, I also find I forget parts: I have a four-monitor, two-card ATI video setup, and I use media center on it to watch TV at night sometimes. There's a flaw in MC or the drivers, when used with MS' Intellimouse s'ware - once you install IM, you lose your visible cursor when MC is full screen. My last install went too long, and after a month or two, started getting annoyed by not having access to one of my mouse buttons - so I oopsed, and put intellimouse in! %$#@ - no cursor in MC 'till the next 're-up!'
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January 28, 2011 9:40:44 PM

That's sort of what I was afraid of. I was just kind of hoping since I just finished a new install. I am with you on the occasional reinstall for maintenance sake though. I do this myself. I've just never ventured into RAID territory. Having a couple of 2 TB drives arriving soon means that the extra 1TB drive that WAS being used as space might make a nice Raid1.

Thanks for the reply!
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a b V Motherboard
January 28, 2011 11:38:55 PM

1. Why are you running XP on that system? DUMP IT

2. RAID1 will only protect against drive failure, it will NOT protect against corruption, deletion or virus's etc

If you want to move to RAID1, it will be a long process and is not worth the effort, easiest way is to do a fresh install onto a newly created RAID1 array if thats what you want, but seriously dump XP its a dinosaur.

If you really must know how to do it, easy way would be to ghost your install to an IDE connected drive, boot onto that hdd, reboot and go into the bios, enable RAID, make the array with 2 SATA drives, boot off the IDE drive and install the Intel SATA/AHCI/RAID drivers required and reboot again to check there installed, then ghost the IDE drive across to the RAID1, then boot off the RAID1 - it will work now because its aware of the chipset and has drivers etc installed.

Tools you may require? HIREN boot cd is a good one...
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February 1, 2011 5:33:15 PM

1959219,4,17017 said:
1. Why are you running XP on that system? DUMP IT

I was an early adopter of Vista. I'm still kind of getting over the hangover and am not eager to drink from the upgrade cool-aid again soon. ; ) Seriously though, XP is what I happen to have at the moment and I do intend to dump it as soon as I can budget a legit copy of Win 7. What do you suppose the most cost effective upgrade path might be on that? That said, why is XP so bad? Hooked on XP worked for me...

Quote:
2. RAID1 will only protect against drive failure, it will NOT protect against corruption, deletion or virus's etc


Yes, I'm just recovering from a bona-fide drive failure and am realizing the value of this. That and both of the drives are 6 GB/s capable drives (limited of course by their RPM, but oh well), and I am curious as to the perceptible performance boost of a RAID1 main disk.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
February 1, 2011 7:02:43 PM

So the real question is How to Transition to non-RAID to RAID 1. Since you're backed-up you can attempt to reconfigure and join the second HDD into a RAID 1. First make certain that the RAID driver(s) are installed and ready. Also, install the Intel Matrix Storage Manager.

"Ideally" you want to do this 'clean'.

In the BIOS:
PCH SATA Control Mode -> RAID(XHD)
Save & Exit

Press Ctrl-I at boot
Use the Recovery option (4) **
{refer to page 92 of your manual}

I use SSD + RAID 1 and the recovery will 'copy/clone' the Master to the Slave HDD.

As far as speed, no RAID 1 is slower than a single HDD, but if one drive fails you are not praying to God where's my stuff!

** Since neither HDD is in the RAID you may need to configure the RAID -- BUT DO NO REFORMAT THE PRIMARY HDD!!!! Otherwise the data is Toast! There's no guarantees this will work!
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February 4, 2011 11:21:04 PM

Best answer selected by Leumis.
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