restoring RAID0 image to non RAID SATA HDD

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by bcool2, Apr 2, 2006.

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  1. bcool2

    bcool2 Registered Member

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    restoring image from RAID0 to single HDD?

    Need a reality check here, please.

    Currently I'm running WINXP SP2 H.E. in a RAID0 configuration using two identical WD SATA(150) 80G HDD. The MB is a Gigabyte G1975X(Intel) with Intel(R) 82801GR/GH SATA RAID Controller. Acronis TI9 (build 2,337). My questions are as follow:

    (1.) Can I delete my current array(losing all data - I know!) but leave my system "Raid Ready" without actually having to set up a new array?

    (2.) If YES, then would the two WD SATA HDD be treated by my system as two separate and independent HDD?

    (3.) It has been suggested to me that if I handle things correctly it should be possible to restore an image (Acronis TI9) of my current system (boot) partition containing Windows XP to Hard Drive 0 (as a single drive, not in any RAID array). This process should then make the single drive bootable into Windows. Since I didn't actually change "RAID" mode in the Gigabyte bios(only deleted the array in the Intel Matrix controller bios) that my chances are good for a successful boot after restoring the TI backup image to the single drive. What do you think?

    In case I didn't make myself clear - all I really want to do is be able to come out of RAID 0 so that I can use by two WD SATA HDD separately without going back into any array. I do prefer, however, to remain "RAID READY" for flexibility. So I'll remain in RAID mode. Now here's the trick. I don't want to re-install Windows XP which I only just did 10 days ago. I know you'll be tempted to advise me that I should. Please resist the temptation if there's another way. FYI: I currently have two partitions that make up my RAID0 array and the volume presented has been imaged already by TI9 several times. I look to restore only one partition of a current image, that is the Primary/Active/Bootable/C: partition containing Windows XP SP2

    Am I on crack or is this possible? :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2006
  2. bcool2

    bcool2 Registered Member

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    Re: restoring RAID0 image to a single drive

    Surely somebody on this illustrious board has taken an image of their boot drive containing Windows while in RAID 0 and restored that image to a single drive as a part of the process of bringing the hard drive out of a RAID array? And when you were finished, the single drive booted right up into Windows. Surely? Acronis TI seems like the perfect tool to get this done. But I've got to be sure before I muck up everything here. Isn't there somebody out there, please? :rolleyes:
     
  3. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Re: restoring image from RAID0 to single HDD?

    Hello bcool2,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    I'm afraid that it is not clear for me what you mean exactly by leaving your system "Raid Ready". The point is that if you use a hardware RAID which is being configured in your computer's BIOS then your SATA hard drives can only have two states, namely RAID and non-RAID.

    If you have a RAID array configured in your computer's BIOS and your particular RAID controller is supported by the latest build (2337) Acronis True Image 9.0 when it is running from Bootable Rescue CD then both your hard drives will be recognized as a single disk (RAID array) and you will only be able to restore the beforehand created image to a RAID array, but not to a single hard drive.

    If your hard drives are not in RAID mode, i.e. RAID is turned off in the computer's BIOS, then these hard drives will be recognized as two separate disks when computer is booted from Bootable Rescue CD and you will be able to restore your beforehand created image to any of your SATA hard drives.

    Please be aware that we recommend you to prepare your Windows for transferring using Microsoft System Preparation Tool (sysprep) as it is described in this FAQ article prior to creating an image. This will allow Windows to load the necessary drivers for your single SATA disk(s) on it's first boot.

    If my understanding is not correct and the above explanation does not answer your question then please describe the desired actions in more details.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  4. bcool2

    bcool2 Registered Member

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    Thank you, Alexey for your kind reply. Let me address the point that confuses you because it confused me also. According to Intel it is possible to enter the Intel Raid controller bios and delete the exisiting RAID array. Without a specific RAID array setup in Intel's controller bios, the controller will present the two SATA drives as single drives. The controller will continue to use the same drivers as before which as you know during a fresh installation of Windows would require the F6 install. Intel recommends not to change the "RAID" mode in the actual motherboard bios on an existing installation of Windows. Fine. I won't. So if I boot up and in fact am presented with a single drive for Hard drive 0, you have then confirmed that I should be able to restore my backup image to that drive and all should be fine. No worries about the controller drivers because the same drivers will be used as are included in the TI image of my Windows partition. Further, I wouldn't use the Acronis Bootable Rescue CD for the restoration process. I would use a prepared BARTPE CD with the TI8 plugin in order to access my external USB HDD which has the TI backup images. The BARTPE CD and TI8 plugin have no issues with my Intel RAID controller or drivers.

    "RAID READY" is Intel's phrase referring simply to the fact that I will continue to be in RAID MODE in the motherboard BIOS but not actually in any array in Intel Matrix RAID controller. This allows for maximum flexibility. Do you follow?

    Finally - I currently have two partitions on this RAID0 volume. I have backed up both partitions( the entire drive). When I go to restore to the single drive - all I am interested in is the first partition or the C: partition which is Primary/Active/bootable. Will TI restore the MBR and track 0 (boot track) information if I restore only the C: partition instead of both partitions?

    Thanks again.
    Brad
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2006
  5. bcool2

    bcool2 Registered Member

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    Ok - if there are no last words of advice, I will proceed. When I do reset my SATA disks to non-RAID "RAID READY" state (which simply means with Intel Matrix RAID technology turned on in the Motherboard bios and the drives running via the RAID drivers as standalone drives not as members in any RAID array) , I'll report back later if I was able to successfully restore a bootable Windows partition to hard drive 0. Thanks.
     
  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello bcool2,

    Yes, thank you very much for the explanation. In fact, I didn't know about such feature of Intel RAID controllers.

    Please feel free to do so.

    Please be aware that MBR is included into the image of the entire hard drive only. If you restore a single system partition then MBR will not be restored. The ability to restore MBR separately will be implemented in the future builds of a particular product, but exact time frame for this is not decided yet (9.1 Corporate Products Family already have this feature implemented).

    Please also note that if you restore a less number of partitions than it was originally then you might get into the known problems described in these previous threads: auto logoff problem, Re: Mr.

    We recommend you to restore the image of the entire hard drive, boot into Windows and change your hard drive's partition layout using special partition and disk managing software, such as Acronis Disk Director Suite 10.0 for example.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  7. bcool2

    bcool2 Registered Member

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    :D I am graterful for your important advice, Alexey. Please, please clarify one final issue:

    Yes, I will restore entire drive image(including all partitions), no problem....but

    Question: As you know now, my current backup image is of a RAID Volume. This image is of the entire drive which contains two(2) partitions. Each partition is set at approximately 74G for a total of 148G of partitioned space (total used space is actually about 4G only). But I will restore to standalone single drive with only 80G total physical capacity? How does Acronis TI handle these partitions during restoration? (For example, I remember that one of your competitors has a similar imaging program that will adjust partition sizes to meet size requirements of destination drive during restoration process.)

    If you would explain this to me then I will feel confident to proceed with my project.

    Thank you again, Alexey!
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2006
  8. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello bcool2,

    Please be aware that Acronis True Image 9.0 allows you to change the size of partitions during the image restoration process. The procedure of resizing partitions is described in section 5.3.8 of Acronis True Image 9.0 User's Guide.

    As for confidence in proceeding with your project, please note that you will always be able to re-configure your RAID array and then restore the beforehand created image so that your system will have exactly same state as it had at the moment when this particular image archive was created. In fact, there is no reason to think that something may go wrong.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  9. bcool2

    bcool2 Registered Member

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    Thank you Alexey. I feel much better.

    PS. I have downloaded the User Guide which I should have done from the beginning. Sorry to bother you so much.

    I am much obliged! :)
     
  10. bcool2

    bcool2 Registered Member

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    The big chore is done! I had only one scare during the whole process. After successfully reading and restoring images from my Seagate External USB HDD several times in the recent past, today at a most critical point, the TI8 plugin for BARTPE decided that it could not read the archive on the USB drive. I was so annoyed because of course TI9(build 2,337) in Windows verified this very same image as A-OK. Later I would discover that there was nothing wrong with that image at all. But for the moment, I was in trouble. Fortunately I had a week old image on DVD. I popped it in and thankfully TI could read the image. Restoration went smoothly although it did take an hour because there was considerable partition resizing to do (which could have been avoided if TI would have been able to read the intended image for this project!).

    Anyway, I did a little partition housekeeping immediately after the restoration by booting up first to PartitionMagic 8.01. Once I was finished and liked the looks of things, I let her rip. Windows booted without incident. Spent some time bringing the little things up to date because I had to use an image that was a week old. But it's all good now. My previous "RAID 0" SATA drives(x 2) are now running as NON-RAID SATA (single) drives but still using the Intel SATA RAID controller drivers. Smooth as silk and as Intel puts it, "RAID READY."

    I could not have accomplished this without the help of Acronis. I am grateful. I do have a little extra paranoia today because of TI's failure to read the archive on the USB drive which it had successfully done several times in the past on the same hardware. I will now keep very current images on DVD at all times. Acronis TI can sure be temperamental! I bragged to a few friends how this "corrupt image or bad blocks on the USB drive" never happened to me. I thought to myself that those who suffered from this were doing something wrong. Well, today I am considerably more humble. Sorry.

    Thanks Alexey for your help.
    Brad
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2006
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