Adding RAID 1 to system


Okay. I have a PC in the basement that I use to run the surveillance system of the house. This PC is on 24/7.

Windows XP Pro
Asus P5Q PRO Turbo motherboard
2 WD 500 gig drives
(adding 2 seagate 1tb drives)

On one drive is the O/S and software and storage for the surveillance card and nothing else of importance.

The other drive I have always used for storage of important files. This drive is networked and I access it as need to place those important files.

Time passes and the drive fills up. I have a great idea. I'll purchase two new drives, install them in the basement PC, set them up in RAID 1, transfer important files to the new setup, and now not only do I have more storage, but my files are mirrored and safer than ever.

Seemed like an easy enough process and thought I knew what to do. I intended in not changing the O/S drive at all and continue on my happy way. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble. I am unable to get it going as planned.

I changed to raid in bios set up a raid 1 volume and tried to reboot. Now the O/S drive is not able to be set up as the boot disc.

I guess the first question is can I change the bios storage configuration from ide to raid? There are two different types of SATA connectors on this motherboard. Intel SATA controller supports raid and this is where the new drives are connected, the other silicon image controller does not support raid and this is where the drive containing the OS is connected.

Thanks in advance for input!
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More about adding raid system
  1. You will have to re-install windows if you switch the BIOS SATA Operation to RAID. the current OS does not have the drivers needed to read/write in RAID mode. you can always use windows to create a software RAID array in disk manager though.
  2. I was hoping that since the motherboard has two sata controllers (silicon image controller & intel controller) that I could just keep the drive that contains the OS as is. It is attached to the silicon image controller and the motherboard states that this controller doesn't support RAID. Then simply add two new drives to the intel controller as RAID 1 to back up the drive that contains the important files.

    Is it not going to be possible to leave the older drive that contains the important files alone and then just transfer these files over to the new RAID 1 when it is up an running?
  3. I don't mean to be a party pooper but keep in mind RAID is designed to increase up-time not to back up files. I can't keep track of how many times I've heard of a RAID array breaking and someone losing all their data because it wasn't backed up properly.

    The options you have will depend on the motherboard. If your motherboard has two separate SATA controllers you could switch one of the controllers to RAID while leaving the other (with the hard drive with your O/S on it) in whatever mode its already in. After that you would need to configure your RAID array. Another option you have is to purchase a RAID controller card that you'd install on the motherboard.

    I hope that helps and I wish you luck with whatever you decide.
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