Philosophy of RAID on XP & Trueimage

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by md83, Nov 12, 2006.

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  1. md83

    md83 Registered Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    Anyone know a good website that explains Mobo RAID1 on XP?
    And answers such things as
    *the significance of F6'ing RAID drivers on install
    *what not to do with a hard drive with RAID drivers on XP
    *what can be usefully tweaked at POST

    It would be particularly good to know:
    *what not to attempt with Trueimage when RAID is installed on the HDD/XP OS

    My current mobo is ASUS A8R-MVP with ULi RAID1 on it, but my previous was ABIT/Intel which was quite different in its RAID1 setup. I have just Trueimage-transferred an image of a RAID1 XP volume a brandnew HDD without RAID1 mirror copy. Is the new Image hampered by the RAID settings in XP?
    I wrote to ASUS and was told that removing RAID1, means wiping all content of the relevant HDDs. A very chilling thought, is that really necessary?
    Being mobo RAID ignorant I may make a BIG mistake, so I'd like to change that. Thanks in advance!!!!
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Nov 3, 2006
    You try a web search for RAID setup. I'm not a RAID expert, but I have setup several computers that way.

    F6'ing RAID drivers during install is necessary when Windows does not recognize the RAID controller. In other words, no drivers, no install.

    In a hardware raid system, Windows will treat the raid array just like a hard drive. The motherboard controller takes care of everything.

    POST settings let you manage the raid array. Build new ones, change drives and update, add drives, etc.

    True Image should not have any problem imaging raid arrays in Windows as it is just like a single drive. If it is a software raid system you probably wouldn't be able to use the rescue cd.

    I don't think there should be any problems restoring a raid image to a non-raid drive unless it is a system drive (or partition). It's possible that Windows will have problems because of the RAID drivers being installed when the single-drive setup does not require it, etc. You could test it by restoring to a single drive, change the setup in the computer to non-raid (keep your raid drives safe) and see if Windows boots and runs okay.

    I wouldn't try any of this without having everything important backed up. If the raid array gets screwed up then you'll lose everything on the disks. Also, if you disable the raid array (after post) with the disks connected, I think you'll lose everything on the disks. I doubt you could re-enable it and have it access the data on the drives.

    If it were me and I was trying this, I would make the backup image of the raid array to another non-raid internal drive (don't forget to verify). Then shut down the computer and remove the raid hard drives (keep track of which is connected to which port). Install the single drive that will replace them. Start the computer and go into the BIOS and change the drive mode to AHCI or IDE or whatever the default non-RAID setting is and make sure the drive is detected and set it to be the default boot drive. Then boot from the TI rescue cd and restore the image to the new drive. Reboot and see if Windows starts and runs okay.

    If Windows works, great. Otherwise, turn off the computer and remove the new single drive. Reconnect the raid drives to the same ports they used before. Boot up and set the controller back to RAID in BIOS. Hopefully it will detect the drives and the existing raid setup on the drives will be intact.

    Again, this is just what I would try. You might lose everything on the disks so make sure you have a good backup (or even several if it's important data) before you try.

    Worse case senario, you have to reinstall Windows to the new single drive and then restore you data, etc. from the TI image.

    I think normally people replace the hardware with like hardware in case of failure. If the RAID 1 array fails you would replace the drives and restore your RAID 1 TI image to the new array.

    My advice to you would be to not mess around with it unless absolutely necessary. I happen to like messing around with computers, though.
  3. md83

    md83 Registered Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    MudCrab, many thanks for your useful suggestions. I am not as adventurous as you regarding messing around w. PCs.:ouch:
    It all brings me back to my suggestion, if we understood the philosophy then the 'messing' ought to be less, and the outcome more predictable.
    Not understanding it all fully, then at least it would be helpful knowing what not to attempt - where XP operated RAID has its shortcomings.
    And by the way I have been searching the web first, many times.
    Thanks again, I'll print out your reply, in case I do get into trouble.
    Interestingly, after a 3 hour CHKDSK execution, my XP now sees the new drive as the main drive (as I'd expect), and the 2 drives previously designated ULiRaid have been liberated with 2 separate drive letters. I never disabled RAID in the POST process, in fact I can't get into now (so I didn't need to wipe the drives clean, I hope - will 'mess around' a little more before I count my chickens)
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