Specific RAID 1 questions

By AliasName
Aug 2, 2007
  1. Hi

    I've got two identical WD SATA2 250gb drives that I want to connect in a RAID 1 array. My motherboard is a DFI NF4 Ultra-U. My XP is currently installed on one of these drives (on an 18gb partition).

    Can I make a ghost of the XP partition and restore it as if nothing had happened after the process?

    If not, do I need to do something different when reinstalling XP, or will it treat the two drives as one disk? (Can it be that I _must_ use drivers, from _a floppy disk_??)

    What are the steps, one by one?
    1. After making a ghost, I remove all data from the two disks.
    2. I enable RAID (1? just "raid"?) in the BIOS setup.

    (Where do I configure which disks are to be in the array?)

    3. I reinstall windows / restore the ghost?

    (After creating an 18gb partition? Without creating one? Can I create a different one? I guess that's more of a Ghost/Acronis question...)

    If the reality is that the disks don't just act as one drive after a simple BIOS change, who will know it's one drive? An XP? An XP with RAID drivers (NVIDIA? DFI?)? How about a program that I run from Hiren's Boot CD?

    As you can see, a lot of questions need to be answered, and I hope will be, before I attempt this...

    Thanks in advance,

    PS - How easy will it be to recover data in case one of these disks crashes?
  2. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 872   +12

    It's been a while since I've used Ghost 2003, but I'll see what I can remember. I assume you have backed up the partition to DVD or external drive because you will not be able to restore from an image on the newly partitioned/formated RAID array. I do know that Ghost will create a partition on the array the same size that's on the image, so your new array will have an 18GB partition on it if you restore from that image. You'll have to create a second partition to use the rest of the array

    Your array will treat the drives as one disk. First you'll set the controller to RAID function in the BIOS, and then you'll either create a RAID 0 or 1 array in the controller's BIOS which you can access during the boot sequence. You will restore from the Ghost image to "reinstall" Windows. Windows will know that you have two hardrives but you'll only see one disk per partition in explorer.

    Make sure the RAID driver is in place before you create the Ghost image or you will not have access to the array after the restore. <--- Maybe the fatal flaw in your plan.
  3. AliasName

    AliasName TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Wait: what??

    Ok... I think I've got it so far. If it's backup space u're worried about, I have three other harddrives hooked up to the system, so I'll restore from there.

    Ok, cool... How about when I install XP from scratch in the future on this/these drive/s? Do I just proceed as usual?

    See, this is where I lost you. As best I understood:

    You mean I should restart, enable the Raid (but not create the array and everything [yet]), and then let XP starup, and only then restart to create the image? Then set up the array and restore the image?

    Also, what about recovering data upon fialure of either disk?

    Sorry if I'm missing something, I just don't want any... snags.

  4. AliasName

    AliasName TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Anybody? Everyone just talks about setting up RAID arrays, but nobody seems to have specific advice... :)
  5. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 872   +12

    Ok normally when you install an array you do it from a clean install. You'd insert the XP disk and hit F6 when prompted to install the RAID driver. The install process would then collect the driver from your floppy and install it into the OS, so it will understand how to operate the array. What you have is an install that you want to move to an array. Currently your install doesn't have any idea that you're going to move it to an array, so you need to have the RAID driver installed in the OS before you transfer the install, because if you do transfer the install without the driver you will not be able to boot afterward. I'm not sure you'll be able to place the RAID driver into your current install because of restrictions that are probably present in the install software.

    You'll need to press F6 during a fresh install to load/insert the RAID driver.
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