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Single bulk data drive to RAID 1 migration questions.
JAB Creations

 7:57 pm on Oct 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'd like to get a second 1.5TB drive for RAID 1, it would be cheaper then getting a couple of 2TB drives for RAID 1 and I don't really need 2TB right now any way.

I don't have the space to move all the files off the drive however so I'm wondering if I can create the mirror without having to remove the data?

I'm running 64 Bit XP with a RocketRaid 2300 RAID card. Thoughts please?

- John



 11:19 pm on Oct 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't know specifically, but this seems like something that should be handled by the raid card seamlessly. I would expect that you would install the drive physically, then in the Raid card add the new drive to the array. It should then just mirror the drive next time you boot up. I wouldn't think Windows would be involved at all, should all happen at the hardware level and should be transparent to the operating system.

THink of it this way. You've got raid one and a drive goes bad. You pull the bad drive and install a new one. You're just at the point of 'install a new one'.

JAB Creations

 11:52 pm on Oct 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ah, good point! Thank you for your input! :)

- John


 11:54 pm on Oct 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

not all mirrors works like that, sometimes the mirrors don't even copy the boot sector and other things, so you can't just boot off a mirrored drive...(ask me how i know *ugh)

what you would want to do in this case is ghost it over, logical drive to physical drive. or depending on your raid card just physical to physical.


 3:39 am on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't have experience with the RocketRaid 2300, only with some older cards from the same manufacturer. My experience was that their disk format under RAID is different from the normal disk format. To say it nicely you may experience some incompatibilities while upgrading to RAID 1; in harsher words, all your data may be lost in minutes. I would therefore follow J_RaD's advice and take a full image with Ghost or another disk utility and use that to rebuild the RAID 1 configuration.

JAB Creations

 4:29 am on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

From what I've read some people say that HighPoint cards lock data in to the specific model or maybe even the specific controller which if true is not my idea of how I want to run my RAID 1. I've also read that you can't unattach the drives from the controller and access the data from any other controller, haven't tested the theory though I don't like the idea in the least.

I think I may switch to using my motherboard's on-board RAID then, I'm still open to any advice of course. I do back up data off my system to external sources. I think of RAID not as a backup though as a means to be able to keep working while enduring an eventual hard drive failure, external sources that aren't connected to the electrical grid are what I consider backups.

- John


 11:56 am on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I can confirm that you can't unattach a drive from a HighPoint controller and add it to another model controller. The data becomes inaccessible. I haven't tried replacing the controller with the same model. I would say that such a move should work. Otherwise your RAID 1 disks would become useless whenever the controller fries.

This incompatibility is however not a specific problem of HighPoint cards. It is also true for many other brands of hardware RAID cards I have used in the past. Most of them use a non-standard formatting method. The only exception where I was able to switch from a single disk SATA config to RAID 1 without reformatting and by simply adding an extra disk was with a server equipped with a motherboard with an on-board SATA RAID controller.


 12:34 pm on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

oh nooooo you can't move RAID arrays around to other controllers, they 100% won't know what is going on. They all write their parity and stuff their own special way.


 12:44 pm on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

That is why I use software raid.

JAB Creations

 7:05 pm on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm now running a solo SSD for booting so any RAID setups I have/will have will likely be used purely while in XP or eventually I'm thinking Kubuntu in a year or two.

So is there no standard for the parity approach or is there something equivalent to like the wireless standard for it or is the entire industry completely condemned to being a proprietary no-man's land?

How does software RAID compare to hardware RAID? Does it suffer from the same parity issue as well or...?

I really appreciate the advice!

- John


 9:59 pm on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

That is why I use software raid.

software raid isn't as robust.


 11:26 am on Oct 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm running 64 Bit XP
Assuming that this is a home/office PC then RAID is probably a waste of money. A separate backup drive is without doubt a better solution (unless you have that covered already).

RAID provides very limited security benefits. It won't protect against theft, physical damage, fire, electrical/electronic failure, etc. - on the other hand, a backup USB drive plugged in at the end of the day to synchronise automatically and kept in a safe location will provide a greater level of overall security.


JAB Creations

 5:47 pm on Oct 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is the everything PC and I am slowly building my own business, I play games on here, I do work for clients, etc. I do external backups though my concern with RAID is to be able to keep running if a drive dies. Granted if both drives died at the same time I could certainly recover though it would effect my productivity time-wise.

In regards to parity I don't see why there would have to be anything special except for something that designates each drive as being part of a RAID array?

A basic hardware RAID has served me well the past three or four years plus with my "luck" the moment I decide not to RAID a drive will simply die just because. I've figured out how life works and it's obnoxious.

So my ideal setup would be to have a hardware based RAID where I can switch between at least two controllers of different companies. Certainly there has to be some sort of RAID standard? There has to be money in certification of a standards compliant interchangeable RAID!

- John


 2:46 pm on Oct 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

sounds like you want a RAID 5 setup. But you'll need atleast 4 drives, and a hot spare laying around.

one drive can die and it won't take down your array, but it could take hours for it to rebuild the array.

but in all honestly I could kill my main system drive and have it ghosted back over to whatever drive I have laying around faster then any of those solutions. Just keep a system image laying around.

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