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Can RAID 1 (Mirroring) using Drives 0&1 be adopted WITHOUT reformating Drive 0?


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#1 stevesls

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 02:16 PM

My current system has two separate, but physically identical, Western Digital Caviar 2TB drives ( Drive 0 ["C"] and Drive 1 ["D"] ). The OS, Windows 8.1, resides on "C", along with all applications and data. I am presently using "D" as an internal backup drive, but wonder if implementing RAID LEVEL 1 (Mirroring) might provide a more convent backup / restore solution should one of the two drives fail.

 

The Motherboard is an ASUS P9X79 Deluxe.

 

I would LIKE to be able to install (activate?) RAID LEVEL 1 WITHOUT having to reformat Drive 0 ("C"), but I am not sure if this can be done. I don't want to have to reformat Drive 0 © and then have to reinstall the OS, applications and data.  I just want to "activate" RAID LEVEL 1 on the C & D drives, with D effectively being the clone or real time mirror of C. I'm fine with the data on Drive 1 (D) being lost in the RAID 1 setup process. 

 

Does anyone have any experience with this?   

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Best,

Scott Stevenson



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#2 GreenGiant117

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 03:02 PM

It may be easier to make an image (windows system image should do just fine) and a recovery disc, put that on an external and reinstall from there, one and done kinda deal, externals are fairly cheap (1 TB about 50 bucks) and you realistically could return it after the reimage has been done.

 

That being said, even setting up RAID 1 without formatting may result in problems, so I would suggest getting an external or a third drive just in case regardless, hence it will probably be easier, and possibly cheaper to go that route.



#3 stevesls

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 05:29 AM

Thank you GreenGiant! I appreciate your suggestion. For now, I think I will forgo the RAID 1 exercise as I am concerned that I will end up trashing the data already on the Boot Drive 0 - "C" in the process.  I am going to try the cloning the Drive 0 onto Drive 1 using Acronis  Disk Director, which features a cloning function. As both drives are using the fast SATA connections on the motherboard, I'm hoping the process can be completed in a few hours (or less?).  I'll post an update so that others can benefit from my experience.  I won't be able to devote the time to this until this weekend.

 

Thanks again!!



#4 kcstueber

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 09:10 PM

Hi stevesls,

 

Based on your scenario and question, I have a couple of suggestions:

 

While a Raid 1 may look attractive as a way to back up your system, the most important benefit it provides is redundency if one hard drive fails, you're able to continue to work, until you're able to replace the failed drive and rebuild the RAID. That's great, for sure, but it doesn't replace the purpose of having a well designed back up routine. As this is the Bleeping Computer Forums, the one most obvious benefit to having a backup is the ability to return your PC to an earlier state before it was damaged by a virus/malware or system corruption of some kind. A RAID will have that same problem duplicated on all drives, so you're still out of luck.

 

Please let me know if you had any other questions about it.

 

Kurt


Edited by kcstueber, 16 October 2014 - 09:11 PM.


#5 stevesls

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 05:43 AM

Thank you Kurt! Yes, you are spot on and I agree with your comments completely. I was considering implementing RAID 1 on my (main) system more for the security and ease of recovery in the event of a drive failure. I have RAID 1 in an older system and actually had the experience of a Drive 0 failure. It was an essentially painless and simple procedure to simply swap out the failed Drive 0 with a new drive and see it rebuilt from the good Drive 1 on the array. Very cool! I also tried RAID 0 on a system, and would never recommend it as while it's nice to enjoy the performance enhancement provided by the RAID 0, if EITHER drive fails, the whole dang array is kaput and you have to reinstall everything.

 

I back up my data religiously, but I really like the idea of being able to quickly recover from a drive failure without having to spend the time installing the OS, applications and data. RAID 1 is ideal as it seems to guarantee a continuously updated "clone" of your main drive. Yes.. it ALSO clones the "bad stuff" too... so if you have a virus on Drive 0, you'll have it on Drive 1 too!  

 

I'm going to try the cloning feature of Acronis True Image 2015 this weekend. I'll post an update of my experience.

 

Best!



#6 Ivy74

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 09:05 AM

Thank you GreenGiant! I appreciate your suggestion. For now, I think I will forgo the RAID 1 exercise as I am concerned that I will end up trashing the data already on the Boot Drive 0 - "C" in the process.  I am going to try the cloning the Drive 0 onto Drive 1 using Acronis  Disk Director, which features a cloning function. As both drives are using the fast SATA connections on the motherboard, I'm hoping the process can be completed in a few hours (or less?).  I'll post an update so that others can benefit from my experience.  I won't be able to devote the time to this until this weekend.

 

Thanks again!!

Acronis works well but I have ran into a weird issue that wondering if you dealt with it in the past since you mention knowledge of Acronis. On both a HP Desktop and a Dell desktop BOTH running RAID1 with Windows 7 64-BIT as the OS I ran the Acronis 11 bootable CD to make an image of the PC due to how long it took me to configure it for the customer. It FUBAR the MBR. On the HP it resulted in a rebuild for the HP restore CD's didn't have the option to do a fix MBR where the Dell had the same result but I was able to fix the MBR due to how the Dell restore CD's work.

 

Curious if you ever encountered this. If you have, PLEASE PM directly for I don't want to miss your reply if you have.


***Note***

My job has blocked Europe by the firewall which means I can't access this site from the office anymore. So I will barely be here if at all. In case you cared.  :smash:


#7 stevesls

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 12:44 PM

 

Thank you GreenGiant! I appreciate your suggestion. For now, I think I will forgo the RAID 1 exercise as I am concerned that I will end up trashing the data already on the Boot Drive 0 - "C" in the process.  I am going to try the cloning the Drive 0 onto Drive 1 using Acronis  Disk Director, which features a cloning function. As both drives are using the fast SATA connections on the motherboard, I'm hoping the process can be completed in a few hours (or less?).  I'll post an update so that others can benefit from my experience.  I won't be able to devote the time to this until this weekend.

 

Thanks again!!

Acronis works well but I have ran into a weird issue that wondering if you dealt with it in the past since you mention knowledge of Acronis. On both a HP Desktop and a Dell desktop BOTH running RAID1 with Windows 7 64-BIT as the OS I ran the Acronis 11 bootable CD to make an image of the PC due to how long it took me to configure it for the customer. It FUBAR the MBR. On the HP it resulted in a rebuild for the HP restore CD's didn't have the option to do a fix MBR where the Dell had the same result but I was able to fix the MBR due to how the Dell restore CD's work.

 

Curious if you ever encountered this. If you have, PLEASE PM directly for I don't want to miss your reply if you have.

 

 

I have just upgraded to the latest Acronis True Image 2015 and plan on trying to clone the Drive 0 to the Drive 1 in my system over the weekend. As I have only used Acronis for backing up, I don't have any experience with the cloning feature. I will post my experience later this weekend.. BOY! I HOPE I don't experience the MBR problems you noted, Ivy74! That would pretty much ruin my day!!!



#8 Ivy74

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 12:45 PM

Tell me about it. I spent 6hrs on this guys HP and that was all for nothing after the MBR. I was pissed!


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My job has blocked Europe by the firewall which means I can't access this site from the office anymore. So I will barely be here if at all. In case you cared.  :smash:





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