Thursday, May 28, 2009

RAID 1 vs Windows Vista

I recently needed to upgrade a computer with Windows Vista to RAID 1 (drum roll please)
without reinstalling vista.

Here are the steps to follow.

Disclaimer : Do not attempt these procedures. If you do attempt this, you and only you are responsible for any damage, loss of data, etc.

Note : Your RAID controller must support creating a mirrored array (RAID 1) without erasing the drive.

Note 2 : I got lucky with this one.

Note 3 : You should be familiar with setting up RAID already, this is NOT FOR NOVICE USERS.

Note 4 : One tiny mistake could result in complete loss of data, you've been warned.

The steps:

  3. Did I mention BACKUP YOUR DATA!
  4. Download the correct RAID drivers.
  5. Main Disk in SATA port 0.0 Spare Disk in SATA port 0.1
  6. Enable RAID in the BIOS but disable RAID support on SATA port 0.0
  7. Allow windows to load.
  8. Install RAID drivers.
  9. Shutdown system.
  10. Enable RAID support on SATA port 0.0 and 0.1 via BIOS.
  11. Create a new mirrored array via BIOS utility using SATA 0.0 and 0.1.
  12. If it asks you to erase the disk choose no.
  13. Shutdown computer and remove SATA data cable from spare disk (0.1)
  14. On startup the BIOS should report that the raid array is degraded.
  15. Enter RAID setup utility and make the RAID array to bootable.
  16. Shutdown and replug the SATA data cable to spare disk (0.1)
  17. Enter RAID setup utility.
  18. If it shows 2 arrays delete the one that is the spare disk (0.1)
  19. Choose the remaining raid 1 array and choose repair, select the spare disk.
  20. Allow windows to load.
  21. Wait for the mirror to rebuild.
  22. Enjoy!
After thoughts, if you wanted to migrate to a striped (raid 0, raid 5, etc) array, follow the steps for a mirrored array, then image your hard drive (Trinity Rescue Kit anyone?), construct your RAID array, and copy the files back over onto the new array, then hope windows boots.

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