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RAID Problem, I want RAID gone.


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7 replies to this topic

#1 cableman

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 12:15 PM

When I bought this computer I had no idea that it might be a server. I just thought I was getting a really good deal on a Dell Workstation. I had never even heard of a RAID system before. I had to Google it just to start learning what I was dealing with.

 

A few months ago I thought I got a great deal on a Dell Precision T5400 with dual quad 2.5GHz processor and 32 MB of RAM upgradable to over 100MB. It also came with 2 750 GB hard drives but before I figured out that the second drive was just a data recorder set up in a RAID formation in order to safely keep sensitive data safer by duplicating it on a second drive.

Well, the second hard drive went out and I had to re- install Windows on the first drive and I thought everything would be allright but then the first drive went out also. I have 3 choices in the bios to change this setup. 1.) RAID Auto Detect / AHCI 2.)RAID Autodetect / ATA or 3.) RAID On

Obviously I want the RAID off but it looks like I have to reformat my hard drives to make that happen and I don't know how. Can someone please help me fix my computer back to normal. With this system I ought to have some serious power put together right. I already have an 80gb new solid state drive but I don't want to mess things up before I put my operating system on the solid state for quick start ups and then add a couple of large hard drives for my large data. Also upgrading the video card.

Can someone help me straighten this mess out because I am afraid I may need a certain format to keep this from happening again and I am in uncharted waters. I normally just let the computer format the drive when installing windows but I have a feeling that won't work here. Just by looking at the choices open to me from the bios I am thinkinh that my best option is to format in AHCI but I leave those details to you professionals. Please direct me on how to fix this problem.



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#2 starrouter

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 06:51 PM

I have a T5400 at the office with 2 hard drives and no raid.  It's not in use now but if I have time in the next day or two Ill hook it up and see what the raid setting in the bios looks like for you.



#3 Sneakycyber

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 08:05 PM

From my research (not owning or ever worked on a t5400) There is no real way to "turn off" raid on that particular model. When you reinstalled Windows after the Second drive failure did you reformat the first drive? If you are installing Windows to a NEW drive and do not want to setup a raid array Select Raid Auto Detect / Ahci and install Windows.  The system will treat the new drive as a non raid ahci sata drive and you will see it In Windows setup (you may need a storage driver). Additional hard drives installed will be treated as non raid sata drives. Windows should detect these and allow you to set them up.

 

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#4 Wand3r3r

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 12:17 PM

"RAID formation in order to safely keep sensitive data safer by duplicating it on a second drive."

and

"Well, the second hard drive went out and I had to re- install Windows on the first drive"

 

First issue is the understanding of what raid does.  It does not duplicated sensitive data.  Raid levels 1 though 50 protect data from a single and in some cases dual drive failure.

 

Since you have to reinstall windows with a single drive failure this means you have the ONLY none fault tolerant raid level which is Raid 0.  If you want drive fault tolerance you need to do Raid 1 which is a mirror set.  This is where two drives appear as just one to Windows.  The sequence of raid setup is as follows;

 

1. initialize the raid level by choosing what drives and what raid level.

2. initialize the drives in this raid level.  This wipes the drives of data.

3. partition and format the partition(s) on the raid array which will appear to windows as a single drive.

 

If you don't want any raid level, this may depend on your bios/motherboard but it may require being disabled in the bios or you need to cable to the nonraid drive controllers on the mainboard.

 

Since you are in the server forum and if this is a server it should be raided for all system which would include the SSD drive.  So you would have a mirror set for the SSD and a different mirror set to the two hard drives.  Servers should have drive failover fault tolerance.
 


Edited by Wand3r3r, 03 November 2014 - 12:18 PM.


#5 starrouter

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 08:23 PM

I have a T5400 at the office with 2 hard drives and no raid.  It's not in use now but if I have time in the next day or two Ill hook it up and see what the raid setting in the bios looks like for you.

 

I looked at that T5400 today and the setting in bios is 1.) RAID Auto Detect / AHCI but there is no raid, just two independent hard drives with XP installed on the first drive.  The T5400 is a workstation, or desktop computer but like any computer, someone could install Windows server on it.  I set this computer up myself back in 2007 and I don't remember exactly how it went but I think there are options during the Windows install for the drive configuration where you can set it up with no raid.



#6 Wand3r3r

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 11:36 AM

Sounds like perhaps you are mixing software raid with hardware raid.  Hardware raid is done via the onboard raid controller.  Software raid is done with the servers Disk Management utility.  Hardware raid is always better than software raid though any raid is better than none on a server.

 

Be careful about thinking you can install Server on any computer.  You will want to confirm there are server drivers for that hardware before you proceed.  Not all hardware is supported by server OS's which means there are no drivers. 7 year old hardware.. doubt you can install 2008/2012 but you can certainly try.



#7 starrouter

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 08:20 PM

Sounds like perhaps you are mixing software raid with hardware raid.  Hardware raid is done via the onboard raid controller.  Software raid is done with the servers Disk Management utility.  Hardware raid is always better than software raid though any raid is better than none on a server.

 

Be careful about thinking you can install Server on any computer.  You will want to confirm there are server drivers for that hardware before you proceed.  Not all hardware is supported by server OS's which means there are no drivers. 7 year old hardware.. doubt you can install 2008/2012 but you can certainly try.

 

I think he's trying to install windows 7 or some other desktop flavor of windows, but I could be wrong - cant really tell from the op.  Some of those T5400 and T7400 workstations also had a Perc hardware raid controller besides the onboard raid.



#8 JohnnyJammer

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 09:45 PM

Some older servers dont show much in the bios, the actuall configuration is done once the bios has loaded and generally it invloves a CTRL+I keys being pressed after the splash screen has started.

So when it starts, it should you show you somethign like "To Configure raid volumes press CTRL+I). But yes like wanderer said, software raids are fine but if you wever want to use esxi on them, software raids are useless.






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