Going from non-Raid to Raid-0?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by thenoser, Aug 10, 2005.

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  1. thenoser

    thenoser Registered Member

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    I have a laptop that has a 60 gb drive as the main drive and a 20 gb secondary drive. I would like to get another 60 gb drive to replace the 20 gb drive and then set them up in a Raid-0 configuration. What would be the easiest method of accomplishing this with True Image. My thinking is that I would have to create a disaster recovery set on CD, install the 60 gb hard drive, set up the Raid-0 configuration and then restore the disaster recovery set to the Raided drives. Is this correct?

    Thanks for any input anyone can give.

    Steve
     
  2. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

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    Hi, thenoser

    Your Non-Raid will need the Raid0 drivers installed before you create an Image of it, so when you restore the Image to the Raid0 it will Boot. [can not boot without the raid drivers they must be in the Image]

    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  3. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello thenoser,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    TheQuest is correct when saying that your newly restored operating system should contain the appropriate drivers for the RAID controller in order to be bootable.

    I can suggest you to use the following scheme in order to achieve your goals:

    - Create an image of the entire hard drive saving this image to any type of the supported media;

    - Replace the old 20 GB drive with the new 60 GB drive and configure your RAID array;

    - Boot your PC from special Bootable Rescue CD and restore an image to the RAID array;

    - Try to boot your PC as usual;

    - In case it does not boot, perform Windows Repair Installation as it is described in Acronis Help Post.

    Windows Repair Installation will keep your applications and configuration untouched and will allow you to install the appropriate drivers in order to make Windows bootable.

    Everything should work fine then.

    If you have any further questions please feel free to ask.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  4. thenoser

    thenoser Registered Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I will report back after I have tried to accomplish this.

    Steve
     
  5. thenoser

    thenoser Registered Member

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    I have almost got the RAID-0 set up. I tried various things for the past two weekends. The first weekend I got the image restored, but could never get the system to boot properly. I finally re-installed my original two drives and gave up. This weekend, I had a free Saturday so I tried again. After about 10 hours, I got to a point where Windows starts up properly, but I continually get blue screen errors when I try to do certain things. Setting up the RAID configuration and restoring the image took less than an hour. The most time consuming part was tracking down and re-installing all the drivers. If you try this, I would recommend doing a Windows update before trying to load drivers. I was getting constant blue screens, thinking it was a different driver that was causing it each time, until I did an update.

    Here is what I did to get my notebook set up with a RAID-0 configuration:

    1. Made an image of both original hard drives to an external firewire hard drive
    2. replaced the 2 original drives with 2 new 60 gb drives
    3. My notebook’s motherboard has tiny dip switches that needed to be changed to set up RAID
    4. popped in the XP install CD
    5. at BIOS start, set up the RAID array (Ctrl-F...)
    6. when XP install started, installed the RAID drivers (F6...)
    7. exited the XP install mode
    8. popped in my True Image rescue CD
    9. restored the images of the original 2 hard drives from the external drive – something that I did differently than in my many attempts the previous weekend was to select the whole primary drive of the original image and then selected each partition separately (I had 2) from the secondary drive to restore.
    10. This is the point where I had problems the previous weekend. When I would restart, the computer would freeze on the logon screen. This time, it froze again, but I put my XP install CD back in and installed the RAID drivers again and then let the install continue on so that I could do a repair installation. This is confusing because the first screen asks you if you want to do a recovery, if so, hit ‘r’ to do a repair installation. Ignore this until you get to the second screen that asks you to hit the ‘R’ button – this will be the actual repair installation.
    11. After all the drivers are loaded, the computer will be re-booted and then will take about half an hour (for my system) to continue with the installation of the OS.
    12. When the install was finished and the computer was re-started, I initially got the same frozen logon screen and thought I was going in circles again. However, after I tried re-starting again, everything booted up into Windows.
    13. At this point I should have done a Windows update, but instead banged my head against the desk as I kept trying to find and install updated drivers for anything I could think of that might be causing all the blue screens I was getting.
    14. Now, I can do things like use my web browser, but trying to run my database program (I am thinking anything that has to intensively access the hard drives) will eventually cause blue screen errors.
    I gave up again after two full weekends of trying to set this up. I pulled out the RAID’ed drives and replaced them with the original ones and am back to where I started. I did notice a significant improvement in the OS startup and in running my database program (when it would work properly) with the RAID configuration, so it is definitely worth trying to set up – I’d estimate at least 25% faster.

    I hope this may help anyone else who tries to do this.
     
  6. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello Steve,

    I don't think you needed to carry out steps 6 and 7 because prior to restoring an image TI will delete all relevant partitions on the destination drive. Hence, those RAID drivers that you installed will also have been zapped.

    Anyway, I personally wouldn't be too upset by the loss of RAID 0 functionality (as you mentioned a speed increase I assumed you were talking about RAID 0 not RAID 1). Believe me, there are far more import things to consider than pure speed. I recommend you read this thought provoking article titled RAID - Not such a clever idea for your home PC, connect your two 60GB drives in non-RAID configuration and enjoy the increased reliability of two independent drives. As you can see from my sig below, I practise what I preach!!

    Regards
     
  7. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

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    Hi, thenoser

    I have to agree with Menorcaman. I have used and played around with "Raid Arrays" for years, [and still do for fun testing].

    But with the Size, Speed, Reliability and low price of today's HDD. together with the Very best Imaging Tool Available TrueImage.

    These days IMO I think Arrays are either History or a Toy.

    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  8. Anon

    Anon Guest

    Uh, I think that article is bogus. Seriously, any author that tells you to do your own research to prove his point is not worth his salt. Sorry, but thats the AUTHORS job.

    Having said that, my personal experience with RAID 0 drives is quite the opposite of what that guy said. If RAID 0 on dual Raptor drives didn't increase my disk speed at all, then the laws of physics and time cease to exist in my apartment...

    Windoze installing in less than 20 minutes is at least 150%+ improvement on my old setup as far as speed. Maybe it isn't the most reliable, but surely doesn't claim to be. My RAID drivers and Readme's had warnings posted all over the place about the possible loss of data. Just my $.02.
     
  9. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Anon you are talking through your hat, whilst at the same time doing the author of that article a great disservice.

    Do some more reading, particularly some of the articles/information at storagereview.com, and you will find that the speed increase seen by the average Home PC user during real world day-to-day use of a RAID 0 array is marginal. Also, if you are happy living with less than half the mean-time-between-failure (MTBF) of a single drive then good luck to you. Perhaps you could buy a third Raptor and set up a RAID 0 + Parity array, although writing/reading all those parity bits will probably make the real world speed increase even more marginal!!

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2005
  10. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

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    Hi, Anon

    What was your old set up? coming from an old 66 to a Raptor you would expect to see more speed or you was robbed. ;)

    If you made a large strip size and cluster size to match it [strip] on the Array you will see more speed, but then you would with just running basic disk as well if you had a large cluster size.

    My PATA Maxtor 133 [Non Array] pre-formatted [DDS9] with the default cluster size for NTFS [4k] Installs WindpwsXP SP2 [SP2 Slipped on to to CD so a little bigger then OrgCD] in 18 mins.

    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  11. MPSAN

    MPSAN Registered Member

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    As long as we are going OT, I may as well keep it there. :D

    I have a RAID0 setup and it used a Stripe size of 64K. I had issues and did a restore, but thought I would try 128K. Bad move. I need to put it back as I saw the performance drop. I used RAID with the 2 80GB ATA drives as it did help.

    Now, I need to change the stripe back to 64K, but wonder if 32K would be even better.

    OK, now back to the normal topic. :p
     
  12. Anon

    Anon Guest

    So I'm doing the author of that article a great disservice by critiquing his article and pointing out ways to significantly improve his writing ability by actually supporting his arguments with facts, rather than sending the reader off to find his or her own? Wow, I'd hate to read any term paper you wrote in college or high school...

    That little flame aside, storagereview.com is the only place I could find any articles about RAID not performing as claimed, and I should also point out without any supporting facts. Not one benchmark was placed in any article. However of the benchmarks I can find the tests were admittedly RAID friendly, and real world tests would probably not show the increase as outlined by the benchmark (read one said benchmark <a href="http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=1746&page=6">here</a>)

    Now, for probably 75% of desktop users at home, your right that RAID won't benefit them at all. That's because the heftiest program they'll be running is probably Word, Excel, or Internet Explorer. However for the rest of us that do Graphic Design, Image Editing, Video Editing, Modeling, Rendering, Sound Editing, and the like it makes a HUGE difference. Believe me, I don't need a benchmark to tell my how fast my 100MB Photoshop file is saving or loading... but don't take my word for it, because I'm talking out of my hat.
     
  13. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

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    Hi, MPSAN

    What program did you use to get the cluster size of 128k,

    You should aways match to cluster size to the Block [strip] size to get the Max.

    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  14. MPSAN

    MPSAN Registered Member

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    No, 128K was my new stripe size. I create it from ASUS BIOS. I said I used to use 64K and will have to go back to it as 128K is noticeably slower. I just wondered if I should even try going down to 32K.

    I create/edit large spreadsheets and presentations. Some take several minutes to open with all they are doing, so I notice any issues with my RAID 0...(I know it is AID 0) :D

     
  15. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

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    Hi, MPSAN

    As I said unless you make the cluster size the same [hence me thinking 128x128 you had a tool [program] to make 128k clusters the biggest Windows will make them is 64k as is the same with DDS9] as the strip.

    You must preformat the Partition on the HDD and set the size of clusters to match the strip, because when you Install Windows it formats with the default cluster size 4k, [so the strip would not be used to its full advantage = useless]

    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  16. MPSAN

    MPSAN Registered Member

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    Yup, cluster is 4K. If I create a 64K cluster (kind of a waste isn't it) I guess you are saying the image restore will not put it back again.

    So, are you saying I should have a 4K stripe?

     
  17. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

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    Hi, MPSAN

    Why is it a waste? if you want the speed of a large strip you have to give up something, there is alway a downside ;) .

    No I not saying that, Ti will restore the clusters that are in the file system at the time of creating the Image.

    No I am not saying that either, that would be a wast of the array IMO, just as well run Basic. [that what I do now #7]

    look at the big cluster as a big box so a big file will go in it with ease= fast [but can be called a waste of space], a small cluster = small box a big file need lot of clusters [box's] so the file is made in to smaller bits to fit so takes longer so it is slower.


    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  18. MPSAN

    MPSAN Registered Member

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    Well, I am not sure I agree on everything. For example, suppose I have a 128K stripe and cluster. Not only will a <128k file waste the space, but it will also put the whole file on 1 drive, just like there is no RAID....unless I do not understand DASD! :D

    So, when will I be told to get back on topic? :rolleyes:

     
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