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Retrospective Mirror RAID

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Argee

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I'm fairly computer-literate, but I've never used a RAID array before. After some recent hardware failures (everything recovered, thank goodness!), I've upgraded my system and I'm now running XP Pro on a SATA drive, with one IDE still in the system. This IDE is the same age as the recent failure, so I'm waiting for a second (identical) SATA drive to arrive, then I intend to replace the IDE with the new SATA and set up a mirror RAID with it.

My question is - can I do this retrospectively, that is, without a complete re-format of the existing SATA? I've currently got the 160Gb SATA partitioned into a 10Gb C: drive (operating system only), with three 50Gb partitions (D: E: and F: - programmes, data and drive images).

My idea is to format the new drive identically, then have it mirror the currently-installed one. When I installed the current SATA, I also installed a RAID manager, so I'm wondering whether this will deal with the setup and mirroring for me. The new motherboard manual only gives examples of new installations.

Any ideas? TIA

Ray.
 

RogerS

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Ray

Not too much experience with mirror RAID but if the RAID manager is any good then I would have hoped that it should cope..since what would it do if one of your mirror disks died?

As I say, I'm only usewd to hot-swappable drives...when it dies, whack another one in and leave the RAID s/w to sort things out.

Alternatively you could try posting or searching on experts exchange but you'll need to give a bit more info such as which RAID software you are using.

Have you tried Googling?

Good luck..I know the feeling...my laptop hard drive is making little 'snicking' sounds from time to time. I've got an iso image of a hard drive exerciser but am having difficulty making a bootable CD with it on. Knowing my luck, the drive will fail before I TUIT:cry:

Roger
 

Mike B

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Ray

I too have never actually tried this but as far as I am aware you should have no problems as this is exactly the situation it is supposed to cope with; as Roger pointed out.

The only thing I think you must do is to make sure the two drives are identical and are formatted with the same partition sizes and formats.

Also, I think you will need to use hardware RAID (i.e. that built into your new motherboard or a separate controller card) because IIRC XP cannot use software RAID (i.e. the version built into XP) with only 2 drives - you would need 2 for the mirrored pair and then another (can be different) for the OS.

And finally, make sure your PSU is at least 400W as disks use lots of juice!!

cheers
Mike
 
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