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Question about moving old RAID0 HDD to new PC.

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July 15, 2012 11:01:31 AM

I have an old computer I use for storage and backup purposes, it has a 4 port PCI to SATA2 add on daughter card connected to two hard drives in RAID 0 (through windows) configuration. Here is my question:

If the computer broke and I put the drives in another computer (old or new, doesn't matter), will I be able to use the drives with the current data if I connect it directly to the on board SATA controller or must it be connected to the daughter card which can’t be used since it uses an older PCI bus format? The software (windows) is doing all the work in this case.

Everything works and I am only interested to know for future purposes to plan ahead.
Thank you.
July 15, 2012 12:16:23 PM

Sorry to say, but no. Best practice is make regular backups. Acronis, Norton, and other vendors have solutions to suit your needs
July 15, 2012 12:23:39 PM

It's exceptionally unlikely your RAID would ever work the way it currently does on any setup other than what you're using now.

If you need to have this identical RAID setup on your next machine you need to make a backup of any important data and then configure the RAID from scratch again (format, hardware configure). In my experience it just doesn't work that way to simply transfer a RAID, for various reasons (first and biggest problem, if you take the drives and they are OS drives then you will most likely break the Operating System by taking the RAID drives and RAID add-in card and putting it on new hardware, and your RAID most definitely will not work if you try to use it on different RAID hardware).
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July 15, 2012 12:36:37 PM

kirsten titus said:
I have an old computer I use for storage and backup purposes, it has a 4 port PCI to SATA2 add on daughter card connected to two hard drives in RAID 0 (through windows) configuration. Here is my question:

If the computer broke and I put the drives in another computer (old or new, doesn't matter), will I be able to use the drives with the current data if I connect it directly to the on board SATA controller or must it be connected to the daughter card which can’t be used since it uses an older PCI bus format? The software (windows) is doing all the work in this case.

Everything works and I am only interested to know for future purposes to plan ahead.
Thank you.


This would the perfect time to move everything to another single large drive and forget about RAID0, especially software RAID being done through Windows, which is actually more like drive spanning than true RAID. Other than showing the 2 drives as 1 large volume, there is no other advantage to having RAID through Windows.
July 15, 2012 6:17:55 PM

Thank you all for replying, I see it is not possible to move the hard drives as they are and expect them to work as before. Will definitely keep that in mind in the, hopefully, far future.

I put the raid together for the sake that I have not done it before and the drives still works, not for any performance gains, the computer is old in any case. I must clarify that no operating system is on the drives, only data.
What I learned is you need 3 or 4 storage mediums if you are on a paranoid level of redundancy to keep your data safe.

1) Your computer HDD(s) / SDD(s)
2) Another computer’s HDD(s)
3) The cloud
4) External HDD(s) stored safely and with no power / not switched on unless needed.

I’ll keep the post open to see if someone else also has a view word to say.
Thank you everyone for your input. Hope this post will serve as a reference to many.
July 15, 2012 11:13:42 PM

kirsten titus said:
Thank you all for replying, I see it is not possible to move the hard drives as they are and expect them to work as before. Will definitely keep that in mind in the, hopefully, far future.

I put the raid together for the sake that I have not done it before and the drives still works, not for any performance gains, the computer is old in any case. I must clarify that no operating system is on the drives, only data.
What I learned is you need 3 or 4 storage mediums if you are on a paranoid level of redundancy to keep your data safe.

1) Your computer HDD(s) / SDD(s)
2) Another computer’s HDD(s)
3) The cloud
4) External HDD(s) stored safely and with no power / not switched on unless needed.

I’ll keep the post open to see if someone else also has a view word to say.
Thank you everyone for your input. Hope this post will serve as a reference to many.

That you only have data on the drives doesn't change the fact that because your drives are setup as a software RAID in RAID 0 (no redundancy) instead of RAID 1 (mirrored drives: redundant) you will have to backup any important data to another storage medium (DVDs, Blu-Rays, another external/internal hard drive) before disassembling your RAID.

As for being ultra paranoid about the safety of one's data; a person would only ever need two drives setup in a hardware level RAID 1 to fully protect their data as it is statistically unlikely that two identical drives will die at the same time (RAID 1 is a two+ drive setup that has identical data on both/all drives (mirrored) so if one dies the other(s) has/have the same data). It is possible to use RAID 5 or 6 where you have distributed parity across multiple drives, however, in RAID 5 you only have safety against one drive failure, so in terms of consumer level redundancy it's basically a more expensive RAID 1; even if it has its advantages. RAID 6 is better than 5 as it has safety against two drive failures, but again, is a lot more expensive than having two or three drives in RAID 1.

External hard disk drives are good, but if you drop one they tend to die. I would either use an external, reliable SSD or try to never move your HDD from where you keep it.

As for the cloud as it is now, it's expensive and I simply wouldn't use it as there is too high a risk of having one's data looked at or stolen.
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