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new drive, new Windows install - will this work?


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#1 Captain Dunsel

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 11:54 PM

Hi everyone,

 

I have Windows 7 Professional on my computer, but haven't used it (Windows) in a long time because of problems that are outside my time and expertise to solve.  (That's another subject too involved to go into here.)  Since the hardware is evidently fine, I've been using various Linux distros instead, and they serve most of my computer needs.  But I want Windows back as well. 

 

I'd rather not have to move all my data to reinstall Windows, and I'm also thinking a second drive would be nice.  So I have several questions...

 

Can I buy and install a new hard drive and use my Windows 7 installation/repair disk to install Windows on that new drive while the borked Windows is still in place on the older drive?  Is that do-able, and would having a second installation of Windows on the same computer (despite the fact that the current one doesn't work) cause me any activation issues with Microsoft?

 

Now assuming that's feasible, what if the original drive is a RAID array consisting of two drives?  Does that change anything?  My dysfunctional Windows is on a pair of drives in a RAID striping configuration (meaning the drives have to work together for anything to work).  Is there anything in this procedure which could break RAID so my data is no longer accessible?  I mean could taking boot status away from the RAID drive and handing it to a brand new (single) drive somehow revert the old drive(s) to non-RAID configuration?  (I don't know what software/firmware/hardware makes RAID work in the first place.)

 

Programs I'm less concerned about, as I can reinstall those that I still want.  But I'm hoping I can use a new drive and new Windows installation to access my old files. 
 
Thanks for any thoughts on this.

 



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#2 Captain Dunsel

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 08:41 AM

Anybody?? :mellow:



#3 stratosgr

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 09:19 AM

 

Can I buy and install a new hard drive and use my Windows 7 installation/repair disk to install Windows on that new drive while the borked Windows is still in place on the older drive?  Is that do-able, and would having a second installation of Windows on the same computer (despite the fact that the current one doesn't work) cause me any activation issues with Microsoft?

 

Yes you can. No problem with other installations. 

You just have to configure the new drive as the first boot device in your bios. 

 

 

 

Now assuming that's feasible, what if the original drive is a RAID array consisting of two drives?  Does that change anything?  My dysfunctional Windows is on a pair of drives in a RAID striping configuration (meaning the drives have to work together for anything to work).  Is there anything in this procedure which could break RAID so my data is no longer accessible?  I mean could taking boot status away from the RAID drive and handing it to a brand new (single) drive somehow revert the old drive(s) to non-RAID configuration?  (I don't know what software/firmware/hardware makes RAID work in the first place.)

 

If its a hardware raid then you have to image the drives or just a copy backup and break the raid from the controller. Breaking the raid will delete your data. 

If its a software raid then you dont really have to do anything. Just import the configuration from the disks to the new windows installation and you will be able to read, backup and then format the drives with gpt partitioning. 

You need to know what type of raid your computer uses (hardware or software)



#4 Captain Dunsel

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 12:35 PM

 

 

Now assuming that's feasible, what if the original drive is a RAID array consisting of two drives?  Does that change anything?  My dysfunctional Windows is on a pair of drives in a RAID striping configuration (meaning the drives have to work together for anything to work).  Is there anything in this procedure which could break RAID so my data is no longer accessible?  I mean could taking boot status away from the RAID drive and handing it to a brand new (single) drive somehow revert the old drive(s) to non-RAID configuration?  (I don't know what software/firmware/hardware makes RAID work in the first place.)

 

If its a hardware raid then you have to image the drives or just a copy backup and break the raid from the controller. Breaking the raid will delete your data. 

If its a software raid then you dont really have to do anything. Just import the configuration from the disks to the new windows installation and you will be able to read, backup and then format the drives with gpt partitioning. 

You need to know what type of raid your computer uses (hardware or software)

 

 

Oh, no, I think you misunderstood.  I'm trying to avoid breaking the RAID and to avoid deleting my data. 

 

From what you said next, I might be ok.  It appears to me that my RAID comes from firmware on the motherboard, specifically "Intel Matrix Storage Manager" because that resides on my system somehow/somewhere.  Is that enough to go on, though?

 

If RAID does come from firmware, does that mean that it will stay in place regardless of boot order, until I go into the BIOS and disable it myself?

 

And thanks for the answer to my other question.



#5 Captain Dunsel

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Posted 24 January 2016 - 12:57 AM

Can I get any more feedback on this topic (especially the part about RAID)?  I came here hoping to tap into the expertise of so many computer users.



#6 Niweg

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 12:04 PM

 If you want to break the RAID setup, I would do a full system backup of whatever you have on that configuration, then break it, and do a restore to the single hard drive you keep - just make sure it has the storage capacity.  Then you can install the 2nd hard drive and install Windows 7 on it.  I've installed multiple versions of Windows on a single PC plenty of times with no problem.  You don't have any fanagling to do after that because the most recent install will set itself up to be the first OS to boot.  If you need to change that, you can do that easily from the System applet of the Control Panel.  

 If you don't have good backup/restore software, try Easus Todo Backup Free.  It's free for home use.  I've been using it for 3-4 years with no problems (knock, knock!).

 

 Good luck.


Edited by Niweg, 25 January 2016 - 12:06 PM.

Make regular full system backups or you'll be sorry sooner or later.


#7 Captain Dunsel

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 12:24 PM

[sigh]  Let me be clear for any future readers, because I obviously wasn't clear enough in my original post.  As I said above...

 

I do not want to break the RAID setup.  That's exactly what I'm trying to avoid.

 

(I wasn't yelling, there; I just made that bold to catch the eye of future readers. :) )

 

The whole purpose of my question is to make sure my RAID stays intact when I downgrade the RAID drives from "boot" status to "just another drive".  Do you know the answer to that?

 

But I do appreciate your reply, Niweg, as I am getting very little help on this matter.  It's good to know you've had experience with the part about "multiple versions of Windows on a single PC".  Thanks



#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 02:47 PM

You say you do not want to break the RAID setup. What if you can recover your data first? I am throwing out an idea but I don't know if it will work or not.

Aoemi Backupper Standard allows you to create a image if it is a hardware RAID. On another computer you would download and install the program then create it's bootable WinPE disk. Booting the disk on your RAID computer you would create a disk image to an external drive with the capacity to handle the data. Once you have the completed disk image, Aoemi allows you to mount the image as a virtual drive. I can't guarantee this will work but if you have a large enough external it may be worth a try.

 

If it is a software RAID then you may want to check out mounting software RAID 0 in Ubuntu. This may be better answered in the linux forum if you have questions.

 

http://askubuntu.com/questions/567432/how-do-i-properly-access-windows-software-raid-0

 

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Mount%20Windows%20Raid%200%20Volumes%20Howto



#9 hamluis

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 11:28 AM

Just a minor clarification...a Windows install disk...is NOT the same as a Windows repair disk.  A repair disk won't allow you to install Windows, while an install disk will allow for repair efforts.

 

On OEM systems/licenses...the system manufacturer is responsible for whatever disks you received.  The system should have a built-in recovery/restore mechanism that would allow a "reinstall" of the O/S.

 

Regarding multiple installs of same O/S license on different parttitions, same system...I've done that and not experienced any problem with PA.

 

Louis


Edited by hamluis, 26 January 2016 - 11:30 AM.


#10 stratosgr

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 08:39 AM

@Captain Dunsel 

Please confirm what type of raid you have in place so we can give further instructions.

 

If its a hardware raid there is no problem changing boot flag. Then you wont have to do anything so you can get your files from your raid disks to the normal disk. Or just view the files. You will just see the raid drive as a disk. 

 

If it is a software raid, again you could change the boot flag without breaking your raid BUΤ you will need to take extra steps so you can view your files from the new installation (Foreign disk Configuration import). These extra steps could lead to data loss if something goes wrong. Full backup is always advisable. 

 

But again, we really need to know what type of raid you have. Not if is stripped or mirrored. Just software or hardware raid :)



#11 Captain Dunsel

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 09:04 AM

Stratos, I answered that question the day after you asked me a couple weeks ago.  (See above)

 

Thanks to everyone for the replies -- no time to respond right now.  I'm off to work...........



#12 Captain Dunsel

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 10:05 PM



You say you do not want to break the RAID setup. What if you can recover your data first? I am throwing out an idea but I don't know if it will work or not.

Aoemi Backupper Standard allows you to create a image if it is a hardware RAID. On another computer you would download and install the program then create it's bootable WinPE disk. Booting the disk on your RAID computer you would create a disk image to an external drive with the capacity to handle the data. Once you have the completed disk image, Aoemi allows you to mount the image as a virtual drive. I can't guarantee this will work but if you have a large enough external it may be worth a try.

 

If it is a software RAID then you may want to check out mounting software RAID 0 in Ubuntu. This may be better answered in the linux forum if you have questions.

 

http://askubuntu.com/questions/567432/how-do-i-properly-access-windows-software-raid-0

 

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Mount%20Windows%20Raid%200%20Volumes%20Howto

 

John, sorry for the very delayed reply.  Yeah it would be less critical if I knew I had copied all my valuable data first.  But I think I've already done that.  I didn't want to image the drive because [a] I don't need all that stuff and [b] it may be corrupt due to multiple issues.  Thanks anyway for the idea.  I'd just like to keep my RAID intact in case I realize at some point that there's still some data I want to recover, and because I'd rather have RAID (at least for now) than two comparatively slow drives.  Ultimately I'll probably wipe the component drives clean, but even then I'll probably keep RAID.


Edited by Captain Dunsel, 14 February 2016 - 10:06 PM.


#13 Captain Dunsel

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 10:15 PM

Just a minor clarification...a Windows install disk...is NOT the same as a Windows repair disk.  A repair disk won't allow you to install Windows, while an install disk will allow for repair efforts.

 

On OEM systems/licenses...the system manufacturer is responsible for whatever disks you received.  The system should have a built-in recovery/restore mechanism that would allow a "reinstall" of the O/S.

 

Regarding multiple installs of same O/S license on different parttitions, same system...I've done that and not experienced any problem with PA.

 

Louis

 

Hey Louis,

 

Thanks for that, but I do realize there's a difference.  The computer builder (Velocity Micro) provided me an install disk; I've seen the option to install from it.  I don't think my hard drives have a built-in recovery partition/folder/whatever, because of the provided optical disk.

 

As for the multiple installs of the same operating system on the same system -- thanks.  I don't know what "PA" means, though.  :scratchhead:

 

And sorry for the delayed reply.

 

I purchased and recently received the solid state drive on which I intend to install Windows, Linux, and some programs.


Edited by Captain Dunsel, 14 February 2016 - 10:16 PM.


#14 Captain Dunsel

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 10:35 PM

@Captain Dunsel 

Please confirm what type of raid you have in place so we can give further instructions.

 

If its a hardware raid there is no problem changing boot flag. Then you wont have to do anything so you can get your files from your raid disks to the normal disk. Or just view the files. You will just see the raid drive as a disk. 

 

If it is a software raid, again you could change the boot flag without breaking your raid BUΤ you will need to take extra steps so you can view your files from the new installation (Foreign disk Configuration import). These extra steps could lead to data loss if something goes wrong. Full backup is always advisable. 

 

But again, we really need to know what type of raid you have. Not if is stripped or mirrored. Just software or hardware raid :)

 

Stratos, I saw your question (twice) about hardware vs. software RAID and I answered it weeks ago to the best of my knowledge at the time; that it's evidently controlled by something called the Intel Matrix Storage Manager, which appears to be a feature on my motherboard.  Did you see that?  After I repeated that I had answered that question, I didn't see any more feedback from you. 

 

If you need more detail, I now see there's a feature on my MSI X58 Pro motherboard called "Intel Matrix RAID Technology", and there is a controller on my motherboard, the Intel ICH10R.  From what you've said, and as far as I can reason, that would suggest pure hardware control, independent of software, would you agree? 



#15 hamluis

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 11:26 AM

FWIW:  PA equals Product Activation, https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/piracy/mpa.aspx .

 

Louis






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