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RAID1 Array process


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#1
drmull

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OK - I found out from Gigabyte my MB indeed has an onboard RAID controller:

"hello,
yes, K8nsc-939 onboard SATA is Raid 0 / Raid 1 supported Raid driver is inside the driver CD comes with mother board ,please log on this web for detail features and spec :
[url="http://tw2005.giga-byte.com/Motherboard/Products/Products_GA-K8NSC-939.htm""]http://tw2005.giga-byte.com/Motherboard/Pr...C-939.htm"[/url]

So, now I want to put in 2 Maxtor SATA drives. I'm going to install the first one and use MaxBlast to migrate the contents of my old IDE drive over to the ATA drive, then install the second ATA drive. I'm slightly confused about the timing of installing the RAID driver. Does it happen before or after I physically connect the first ATA drive? Do I need the driver before I actually set up the array?

My primary concern is getting my old drive's contents (incl OS) over to the first ATA drive and making sure I can boot from it before installing the second new drive. Thanks for any help!

BTW - this is the tutorial I've been reading about this process: RAID array
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#2
gerryf

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I do not understand what you are trying to do (or maybe you do not :whistling: )

the RAID is two disks behaving as one (or two disks mirroring each other)

You need to install both sata disk, create the array, and then install the OS.

What you are proposing may not be possible with Windows XP because the hardware is substantially different. When you create a windows install, it is customized to the hardware you install it to.

I can tell you what might work, but it might also fail miserably due to these constraints.

In the current OS, install the raid drivers even though they are not being used. Now create an image of the OS using an image program like norton ghost or acronis true image.

Now pull the old drive, insert the two new drives, then create the array in the array utility built into your motherboard. Now restore the image to the array and cross your fingers

Keep the old drive handy as the above may fail.

If it does fail, wipe the drives and recreate the array, restore the image to the array, but this time, before booting, run a repair installation (you will need to install the raid drivers during windows setup) and cross your fingers

My sense is this may be a little beyond your abilities
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#3
drmull

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Hi gerryf - Here's some of the text of the tutorial I've been reading...maybe it's not correct? It assumes I have to install a PCI controller card, which I don't. I have a RAID config utility in my BIOS setup.

"When you purchased your desktop, you were certain its hard drive was roomy enough to last. Astonishingly, that drive filled up in a flash, now home to an irreplaceable collection of data files, digital images, music, and home movies. But don't fret. You can solve two conundrums—increasing your drive storage and safeguarding that precious data—at once by installing two new drives and a redundant array of independent disks (RAID) controller card."

"Locate the drive bay where you'll mount your first new hard drive, push the drive into place, and attach it securely to the bay with screws. Using the Y adapter, plug a power connector from the power supply into the back of the new hard drive. Then connect the first SATA cable to the drive, reconnect the PC's power cord, and turn on your PC."

"The RAID card should appear on the power-on self-test (POST) screen. Once the computer boots, install the RAID card's drivers and management software from the Adaptec setup CD. Restart, then confirm successful installation by checking the Properties tab of the new hard drive under My Computer."

"Now that you've installed one drive, you need to migrate the data from your old hard drive to the new one. To make things easy, we used Maxtor's MaxBlast software, included on the setup CD, to copy the entire drive--operating system and all. Close all open applications, insert the CD, and install the MaxBlast for Windows software. Once started, MaxBlast should detect the new SATA drive. When prompted, select "Add the drive as the new boot device" as the installation option, and the Setup Progress screen will load. The data-transfer process will take some time to complete, depending on the amount of data on the original drive. (In our case, it took about an hour for 8.36GB of data.)

After you complete the installation, shut down your PC and unplug both the computer power cord and the power connector from the old PATA drive. Reconnect main system power, turn on the PC, and make sure it boots up from your copy of Windows now residing on the new hard drive. Also check that you have access to all your files just as before.
"

"Swap your old drive for a new one. Power down the PC and disconnect its AC cord again. Remove the PATA drive by unplugging the IDE and power cables from it, then unscrewing the drive from the bay. Next, to the back of the second Maxtor SATA drive, connect the SATA power cable (use the other lead from the Y adapter) and the remaining data cable from the RAID controller card. Then mount the new hard drive with screws, close the case, and plug the power cord back in. When you power up the system, the second Maxtor drive should be accessible from Windows."

"With both new hard drives installed and working, it's time for the final step: transforming your two new drives into an array with a bootable RAID Level 1 configuration."

"To begin, restart your computer and enter the RAID BIOS screen by hitting Ctrl+A when prompted during power-up. This will launch the Adaptec RAID-configuration utility. Select Create Array from the menu; you should see two drives listed in the screen's left-hand box. The grayed-out drive shown will be your boot drive. Press Esc to return to the main menu. Hit Configure Drives, then press the Ins key for both drives. All you have to do now is press Enter, then Y, to acknowledge the warning message.

The utility will transfer all the data on your new bootable hard drive over to the second drive and create the mirror. Expect this process to take about as long as it did to configure the first Maxtor drive. When it's done, reboot the machine
."

What do you think - is this method flawed?? Thanks
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#4
gerryf

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no, not flawed, but perhaps not germaine to what you want to do

The guide talks about mirroring a windows installation on two disks, but it is not about moving your old OS onto the mirror

What exactly is your rationale for going with a RAID? What are you trying to accomplish?
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#5
drmull

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Well, I thought the guide reflected exactly what I want to do. Here's what I have:

A 40GB IDE drive that only has about 4GB unused...a problem that needs to be corrected.

A new MB with SATA connectors and an onboard RAID controller (nforce3 250GB chipset).

So I have a need to increase capacity and provide some security in case of future drive failure. It seems an SATA RAID1 array would do the trick.

I thought the guide addressed migrating from the IDE to SATA drive - "Now that you've installed one (SATA) drive, you need to migrate the data from your old hard drive to the new one. To make things easy, we used Maxtor's MaxBlast software, included on the setup CD, to copy the entire drive--operating system and all."

I was planning on using 2 160GB Maxtors so MaxBlast would be available for the migration. If not, I also have Norton Ghost.

The only part of the process that seems cloudy to me is after the imaging process. The guide says to use MaxBlast to "add the (SATA) drive as the new boot device" when the first new drive is detected and then begin the data migration from the IDE drive. When that's done I unplug the IDE drive and make sure the SATA drive boots. Then it says to connect the second SATA drive and configure the RAID array in BIOS. Once that's done how do I get the contents of the first SATA drive over to the mirror drive? According to the guide "The utility will transfer all the data on your new bootable hard drive over to the second drive and create the mirror." But this utility is with the Adaptec PCI card which I'm not using. Hmmm...

Sorry for being long-winded here but I hope I've explained myself a little more clearly!
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#6
gerryf

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no, that is much clearer...thank you for the detailed explanation and I read your last post too quickly, or when I was too tired.

I was not aware that maxblast was capable of that, but perhaps it is.

It sounds like maxblast can accomplish what ghost or true image can, so let's proceed with that assumption

Once again, I think you need to install the raid drivers before starting so that when windows wakes up on the new drive it does not have issues with missing drivers.

Follow the guide

The part that is cloudy is resulting from the the different hardware, but the same applies in your case. The raid setup utility that appears after the initial bios screen, but before windows loads is the utility that creates the mirror

it is not maxblast that does this

Here is the manual
http://us.giga-byte....A-K8NSC-939.htm

The only gotchas I foresee are
a) I think it wise to install the raid drivers on the existing OS before starting
b) after the first SATA drive is installed, pull the old ide (pata) drive and switch the boot order in bios
--test the install by starting the OS from the SATA drive--

if it succeeds, install the second sata drive, enter the RAID setup utility and create the mirror, it will mirror the drive

If it fails, you will have to repeat the maxblast imaging and this time run a windows repair installation the first time you boot (which is OK since you still have the original, untouched ide drive)

then proceed with the mirror.

This latter issue could result from Windows waking up in a strange place--an sata drive instead of a pata drive. It may not crash, but it is somethign to watch out for
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#7
drmull

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Thanks again, gerryf - an endorsement from you, even with possible gotchas, is good enough for me!

I just realized if I buy an OEM Maxtor I probably won't get the MaxBlast software. If there is some kind of install CD included maybe it would be on there? Oh well...assuming it's not I'll be using Ghost to make this happen.

"The part that is cloudy is resulting from the the different hardware, but the same applies in your case. The raid setup utility that appears after the initial bios screen, but before windows loads is the utility that creates the mirror. it is not maxblast that does this"

I'm SO glad you cleared that up - it had me worried.

A couple of clarifications, please. You said to install the RAID drivers from my MB install CD to the existing OS before starting out. Do you mean install them on the IDE drive before I physically connect anything new? Do I restart after installing the RAID drivers and then add the first SATA drive?

My MB manual has a section for installing the RAID drivers. It has me going into the contents of the install CD and zipping the appropriate driver to a floppy. If I understand the fractured English of the manual I then reboot and hit F6 as XP starts up and follow instructions to do the driver install from the floppy. Does that sound about right?

Edited by drmull, 22 June 2006 - 09:51 AM.

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#8
gerryf

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http://www.maxtor.co.....Top Downloads

you can get the maxblast software above
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#9
gerryf

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A couple of clarifications, please. You said to install the RAID drivers from my MB install CD to the existing OS before starting out. Do you mean install them on the IDE drive before I physically connect anything new? Do I restart after installing the RAID drivers and then add the first SATA drive?

My MB manual has a section for installing the RAID drivers. It has me going into the contents of the install CD and zipping the appropriate driver to a floppy. If I understand the fractured English of the manual I then reboot and hit F6 as XP starts up and follow instructions to do the driver install from the floppy. Does that sound about right?





Yes, install them on the ide drive so when the OS switches over, it will have the drivers preinstalled



It would not hurt to reboot.



The second bit is irrelevent to your situation...that is what you need to do to install windows fresh (since the raid drivers are not included in the Windows setup routine)
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#10
drmull

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OK - now my toal lack of expertise is showing. I need "Drivers for Dummies".

Am I going to install the RAID drivers straight from my MB CD from within the MB installation program or is putting them on a floppy still involved? The methods for installing and/or updating drivers has always baffled me - sorry!

Thanks for the MaxBlast link.
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#11
gerryf

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you cna install them straight from the cd

indeed, they may alread be installed.

start > run
devmgmt.msc
<enter>

anything with a yellow !?
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#12
drmull

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In device manager the only thing with yellow question marks is "Other Devices" ->"Unknown Device".

Under "SCSI & RAID controllers" it already has "NVIDIA Nforce ATA RAID Class Controller" listed.

Under "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers" it also has "NVIDIA nForce3 250 Serial ATA Controller (v2.6)" listed.

Does that mean the controller AND the drivers are already installed?

Thanks

Edited by drmull, 22 June 2006 - 11:24 AM.

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#13
gerryf

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it appears so--wonder what the unknown is?
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#14
drmull

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It says the unknown device is in "PCI bus 0, device 2, function 2". Also "The drivers for this device are not installed. (Code 28)". I'm only using 2 of my PCI slots (4&5) which are an ethernet card and an Adaptec USB2 card, both of which are working just fine. Oh well...

Maybe at some point I removed something without uninstalling it??

BTW - The driver versions are listed for the RAID controller under properties so I guess I'm good to go.

BTW2 -I just found a great deal on a Maxtor 200GB 7200rpm SATA drive kit at Frye's for $59.99 w/ free shipping. Wow.

http://shop2.outpost...product/3683765

Edited by drmull, 22 June 2006 - 12:36 PM.

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#15
gerryf

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good luck let us know how it turns out
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