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Configuring RAID1 on external enclosure

Last response: in Storage
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July 10, 2012 6:48:01 PM

I have an Akitio Taurus Super-S LCM 2-bay eSATA external drive enclosure that I want to set up in a RAID 1 configuration. I'm running Win 7 with two internal hard drives that will remain as they are. I will use the two 2TB external drives for video files.

What I can't figure out is how to configure the drives and activate the RAID array. I used disk management to allocate/partition the one visible drive. That drive is now active and visible, demonstrating that the external enclosure is functioning (the display says it's in RAID 1 safe mode). I have found no way to access the second drive for formatting.

I also attempted to set up a RAID config by booting into CTRL-I. The problem here is that the external drives don't appear in the list of drive choices, so I could not complete the RAID setup. I have the same issue trying to set drives in AHCI with CTRL-M.

I tried resetting the RAID 1 to RAID 0, hoping I would get access to both external drives, but only one of the drives was visible even in RAID 0.

The LCD display on the external enclosure shows no errors or problems.

The external enclosure is connected via eSATA cable to the AHCI SATA controller.

I really need step by step instructions on how to set get the two drives operating in RAID 1 configuration. I'd also like to know how to tell that the mirroring is actually being done.

Additional Information from System Information which seem relevant to my problem from System Information:
Under Storage/Disks:

Disk Drive
eSATA-2 ExternalRAID ATA Device
Fixed hard disk
Size 1.82 TB with cylinders, sectors, and tracks listed
Disk #2, Partition #0
Partition Size 1.82TB with no cylinder. sector or track info

Under Storage/SCSI:
Intel(R) ICH8R/ICH9R/ICH10R/DO SATA RAID Controller
Status OK
PNP PCI Device

Under Storage/IDE:
Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller
Status OK

a c 76 G Storage
July 10, 2012 10:34:56 PM

Really! read the manual/Spec
RAID1 is a mirror - you can not access the 2nd drive

If you need to see TWO drive as JBoD - Just a Bunch of Drives.

Return the box. It DOES NOT support JBoD

Get an external enclosure that supports JBOD then you will able access BOTH hard drives
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a c 906 G Storage
July 10, 2012 10:47:51 PM

JBOD catenates the drives so they appear as one large drive, he still wont see both. The only way to see two individual drives is to set them up as plain old Sata or IDE.

Charlie, since the drive is external you would set the raid up on the enclosure itself, which is usually switches on the enclosure but sometimes a utility program is used. Once either raid 1 or 0 is setup the drive will appear to windows as one single drive. Thats what raid does, makes a bunch of drive work as one drive either for size (jbod), speed (raid 0), or reliability (raid 1).
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a c 76 G Storage
July 10, 2012 11:08:43 PM

Combine all drives together calls BIG or SPAN, where JBOD is JUST a BUNCH of DRIVES.

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July 11, 2012 1:30:34 AM

popatim said:
JBOD catenates the drives so they appear as one large drive, he still wont see both. The only way to see two individual drives is to set them up as plain old Sata or IDE.

Charlie, since the drive is external you would set the raid up on the enclosure itself, which is usually switches on the enclosure but sometimes a utility program is used. Once either raid 1 or 0 is setup the drive will appear to windows as one single drive. Thats what raid does, makes a bunch of drive work as one drive either for size (jbod), speed (raid 0), or reliability (raid 1).


Thanks for the response. This particular enclosure has a switch setting for RAID 1, and a display setting for other RAID choices. I have the enclosure set via switches to RAID 1, and the display confirms the choice as RAID 1 Safe Mode. The drive appears in Windows as a single 2TB drive. However, the drive does not appear in the BIOS drive listing when I use CTRL-I.

Issue #1: In Windows, since I could only see one drive, I assumed that the allocation, partitioning, and formatting was done only on the one drive. Or does that automatically extent to the second drive?

Issue #2: I can't set up a RAID configuration in the BIOS because the external drives don't appear. Do I need to do that since the RAID setup is done at the enclosure? Perhaps it is already working as a RAID 1 drive?
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July 11, 2012 1:31:37 AM

A third issue is how to tell if the RAID 1 configuration is working? I appreciate the advice to change gears and use a JBOD solution, but that isn't what I want to do. If someone could suggest JBOD or other software that would let me view all of the drives without making any changes that would help me out.
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a b G Storage
July 11, 2012 2:10:11 AM

You will NOT be able to setup raid in your motherboard via BIOS as they only allow for drives connected via the internal SATA connectors (Esata will not work)

RAID 1. in windows there is no way to tell. thats the point. it silently writes all the info to the 2nd HDD (hidden). you cannot access the 2nd drive, it does not need formatting or any setup, the raid 1 setting is all that needs to happen.

the only way to tell if the mirroring is being done is to remove each of the drives from the NAS and plug it in via the internal ports of your PC and check the drives contence. WARNING, remove the drives one at a time as removing them both may break the raid array.

JBOD will NOT appear as a spanned volume. it will be 2 seperate 2tb voulmes that you can do what you want with.

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a b G Storage
July 11, 2012 2:11:37 AM

does the enclosure have a web management login feature? this could be the only way to setup / manage the NAS's advanced features.
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a b G Storage
July 11, 2012 2:12:49 AM

again its been said quite a few times,

RAID 1 you cannot see / access the 2nd hdd at all.
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July 11, 2012 6:21:24 AM

Thanks. From what you've said it seems that I've set up the RAID 1 correctly and it should be working. It does seem strange that a config that is specifically designed for maximum redundancy and backup has no way to inform the user whether the mirror process is working - short of removing and checking the drives. That doesn't give me a good feeling about trusting all my data to that process. And JBOD seems to be even less of an option as far as a safe backup solution.

I will certainly test the RAID drive with some sample data to determine if the mirror process is working. However, it looks like I would be better off not using RAID at all and manually backing up the data from drive 1 to drive 2 each day. At least I could see that the backup was there.
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