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Changing hard drives from IDE to SATA With a RAID configuration

By lizardking71 ยท 10 replies
Jul 20, 2010
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  1. Hello Everyone,

    I purchased two WD Green 500 Gig SATA hard drives. I currently have one WD 80 gig IDE as my master and a WD 40 gig as my slave. I am running windows XP Home addition. I want to change out the hard drives, but I have never used SATA before therefore I am a little worried about doing this. I read my manual under the RAID setup topic. I am undicided as to RAID 0 or RAID 1. I have backed up my C drive (the 80 gig IDE) and the slave through the software provided on my external 1 TB WD Book drive. I was thinking of using this software called Spotmau that I purchased to make a copy of my C drive for they say you can completly copy everything even the operating system. A tech at Best buy told me that the system will run very slow if I were to do it using the Spotmau software. He said it would be better to install the new SATA hard drives, set up the RAID and then place a new copy of my operating system on the drive, then pull over my files from the WD external drive. He said the USB can not copy the windows operation system and it would run extremely slow. I know there are a few topics here in my questions, but if anyone can provide some solid advice I would appriciate it. Basically I need to know more on what RAID to use and how best to copy my files over to the drives once there in. I have heard that using both IDE and SATA at the same time can not be done, That is what I planned on doing, but since it is not possible and they will not communicate with one another I had to purchase new hard drives.

  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,187   +3,484

    Windows XP is not capable of running SATA drives as either AHCI (single drive SATA mode) or SATA RAID without installing the proper drivers during the OS install. You would be instructed to "Press F-6", then insert the drivers with a floppy drive.

    Bottom line, you would have to install the OS clean to do what you want to do, no exceptions.

    You cannot change the drive mode with the OS installed in either Vista or Win 7 either, but the driver situation is a bit easier to deal with.

    I don't think the RAID 1 or 0 should be an issue. RAID 1 is a mirroring (backup) strategy, and RAID 0 splits data between 2 (or more drives) for speed of access. Truth to tell, RAID 0 really isn't any good by itself, too unreliable to protect sensitive data. You really need to run RAID 0 & 1 together, This is sometimes referred to as "RAID 5".

    If you can be talked out of RAID altogether, you can run your new HDDs as is, by selecting "IDE" emulation in the BIOS. Most sources state that there is very little to no speed penalty for doing it this way.

    Anyway, you would need to go to the board manufacturers website for the SATA drivers. I didn't Google your board. Does it even have a RAID capable SATA controller?

    Incidentally, those WD "Green" drives are the worst possible choice for RAID. As I understand it, their "energy saving" self-throttling behavior, will cause them fall out of RAID, and generate a bunch or errors and messages in doing so.

    I don't recommend RAID, but if you absolutely insist, you should spring for WD's "RE" (RAID edition) HDDs.
  3. lizardking71

    lizardking71 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    My motherboard is the ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe. It has both IDE and SATA Master and slave drive connection on the board. It has the capability of RAID, but the manual says nothing about RAID 5 setup, only 0 or 1. I have the motherboard software that contains the drivers.

    I purchased two 500 gigs SATA hard drives to be added to my computer. I want to take out the IDE drives totally and use the SATA's. I heard this is faster than IDE for one reason and the other is my drive c is now only 80 gigs and it is full. I didn't know you could run SATA drives in the system using "IDE" emulation in the BIOS. I am guessing here, but I placed a single SATA drive in my wifes computer a few months ago and I did not have to do anythings special. It recognized the drive, I added windows XP Home and off she went. I imagine this is what you are talking about with IDE Emulation in the BIOS. Would this be something the computer would automatially do should it see a SATA drive?

    I take it you are not real happy with RAID confuguration. I have no clue about it, so I must listen to all of you who know. I just need more room and faster speed. I also read some about the crashing of WD Green Drives but that was all I could afford at the time. That is why I was thinking of running the RAID 1 to mirror the system should anything happen.

  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,187   +3,484

    Yes. Once the SATA controller is set as IDE, all ports in that controller are so set. You can then add or remove drives at will, with no further action required.

    I think that your choice of HDDs is somewhat unfortunate regardless of whether you choose RAID or not. The WD "Greens" are 5400 RPM, and you are presently unhappy with the speed of your system. From here I can't predict if these new HDDs will be faster than the IDE drives you're using now. I simply wouldn't use anyhing less than a 7200RPM drive for the OS.

    Why don't you research some reviews on these drives and compare them the the WD "Black" series.

    As to running RAID 1, data is backed up in real time. Meh, how big a deal is that to you? with 2 drives in the system, you could find a backup strategy to protect your files, without the aggravation of a RAID setup.

    As I said, do some more research on the drives, and hang out here, maybe you'll get some more ideas.
  5. lizardking71

    lizardking71 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Cap! you have been a big help to me. I guess I'll just stick both drives in as regular drives using the IDE. That way I'll stil have the same speed for now but much more room until I can get the Black WDs. I am sure I'll see you on here somewhere if I have anymore questions for you. I'll put you in my friends list if I can figure out how to do that! hehe. New here you see!!

    Again, thanks a bunch

  6. lizardking71

    lizardking71 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey Cap,

    One more question I have for you. Since I am going to forget about RAID totally and use my SATA drives that I purchased would I be able to just connect the SATA drives to the SATA plugs on the motherboard without taking out the IDE drives? If I am able to leave the IDE's in I may be able to just ghost the original 80gb c drive IDE over to the SATA 1 drive. Am I correct is believing this can be done? I have Spotmau Power Suite 2010 and one of the programs in the package is called Clone Genius. With this program I am able to clone a total hard drive including the OS and place it on another new drive. My only issue is: will the IDE be able to send the data to the SATA? Any thoughts?

  7. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 53

    This should be no problem.
    At some point you may need to change the boot order.
    You may find this article interesting:
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,187   +3,484

    You can't really "Ghost" a Working copy of Windows from one drive to another. With that said, I don't think that's actually what you're trying to do. The drives heritage has no bearing on the ability to "copy and paste" between them. So, if you're just tryng to move, (or duplicate) data, from one drive to another, just select the folder, and copy it to the new drive. There's no need to install software for this simple operation. If you're running your machine's OS off the IDE drive, a reinstall of Windows would be in order on the new drive.

    Word of caution. you can copy and paste data only, not programs. Also, you can use "Ctrl A" to select everything on the drive, BUT, before you do the file transfer,(after making "hidden files and folders visible"), DESELECT the "Recycler" and "System Volume Information" folders, as they'll drive the new location's drive nuts.
  9. lizardking71

    lizardking71 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I am going to clone the IDE drive over to the SATA. I found that all I must do is have the SATA Controler set for IDE, then run the Spotmau Clone Genius software after booting with the Spotmau bootdisk provided by them. Then open up the Clone Genius software on the disk and pick the IDE to clone to the SATA. I talked to the techs at spotmau and they say there software will allow the windowsXP to work fine once it is on the SATA drive. I do not have to reinstall windowsXP. The software does it all. After that I must remove the IDE drives and all will be well, they say. My only question is Must I add the SATA drivers from the motherboard disk if they are running as IDE in the SATA Controller?

  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,187   +3,484

  11. lizardking71

    lizardking71 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, then I should be good to go, unless something happeneds of coarse! Thanks Cap!

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