Too many hard drives, need to know how to proceed

I currently have a 40GB IBM DeathStar and a 80GB WD Special Edition. The 40GB is partitioned in three pieces, with 6GB for the system. The 80GB is partitioned five ways, with 1GB set aside for virtual memory. In case you're wondering, the partitioning is purely for asthetic reasons, and nothing to do with precieved performance gains. I'm OCD that way.

I was graced at Christmas with both a 120GB and a 160GB WD SEs. I would have preferred two of the same size, but that's beside the point. I want to kill the 40GB as my main drive, and instead move onto a RAID 0 array that I want to create with the 120GB and 160GB. I realize that I will lose ~40GB from out of the 280GB total of space, but this would be more for speed and performance reasons than space. Since my OS (WinXP Pro for those of you playing at home) is on the C: partition of the 40GB DeathStar, I would be forced to reinstall the OS, which is not something I want to do, and I would like to preserve the relatively clean install I already have. And I want it moved to a partition on the ~240GB RAID 0 array I'll create.

What does everything here think the best way to go about this is? I think I'm correct in assuming that I have to go ahead and install the two new drives and set up the RAID array (I have a Promise-lite ATA133 controller that is built into my MSI KT3 ARU), then partition them with Partition Magic 8, but from there I'm hazy. Do I then format the first partition of the array as bootable, or do I use Data LifeGuard, which comes with the hard drives, to just do a straight copy of the old hard drive to the new?

Also, I can get a hold of Norton Ghost, and would that be easier? I seem to remember a clone function in it. Would it then just be a matter of setting up a 10GB partition as my new system partition on the array, using Ghost clone, and I'd be up and running again? In the end, I want to only have the 80GB and the 120GB+160GB running, and to pull the 40GB out and give that to a friend who needs something better than an old 18GB 5400RPM hard drive. My IBM drive has lived beyond the normal age of death that its line tended to have, and I have yet to have it give me any problems, noises, or anything. At the same time, I would set it up in her machine as a slave drive, instead of the master, since that would lessen the chances of catastrophic failure and killing the whole machine. This way, she'd just lose anime and mp3s if it goes down.


No matter how hard you try to stay away from THGC, it always draws you back.

My name is SammyBoy, and I have a problem
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  1. Forgive me if I've oversimplified, but it's late and my eyes are weary ;) As far as I can tell, you can:

    Setup your 120gb and 160b as RAID 0 (however you want to, I've only ever setup RAID with identical drives using my MSI GNB MAx's on board Promise controller s/w).

    Setup a 6gb partition on the RAID array to exactly match your current OS partition on the 40gb drive.

    Use Norton Ghost to clone your current OS partition to the new RAID 6gb partition.

    I've performed similar operations w/o any problems whatsoever, even with NTFS partitions (Ghost 2003). I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but natch you should backup existing files first ;)

    As an aside, there's a LOT of current thinking that says RAID isn't that great for speed in a 'normal' windows desktop environment. RAID is all about STR, and apparently the 'average' windows user isn't gonna benefit much from RAID in that sense. Still, I'm doing it at the moment, until I find a better solution for my setup. Check out the forums at www.storagereview.com for more info.
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