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Raid 1 without a format?

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Brunel07

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Hi,

I have a 1TB harddrive which is now at 95% full. I dont have any significant backup of my files aparent from the really important ones, but all of my movies, programs and music would be lost if the HD went down. Its worth noting that this is just a file hard drive, the OS is on a different drive.

Im looking to buy another 1TB harddrive and setting up a Raid1 array but im under the impression that both drives need to be formatted, and then the raid is setup, and finally I can put my files back on. The problem is if I have to format both drives to start, I dont have anywhere to temporarily put the files whilst im doing this.

So, my question is this. Can I setup a Raid1 array by adding a new drive without formatting the original drive. Simply mirroring my current files on a new drive.
 

Automata

Destroyer of Empires and Use
Joined
May 15, 2006
I believe it depends on the controller. I'm fairly sure that the Perc 5/i that I use in my file server could do it without losing data. Basically, I build the array and specify that I'm recovering the data (no format) and then tell it which is the master hard drive to copy data from.

Can yours do it? Well, you didn't specify a RAID controller, so I have no idea.

If you are using an onboard solution, my guess is that it will probably format it. I know that my onboard RAID always tells me that all data will be lost if I build the array.
 
OP
B

Brunel07

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Hmm. I have a ep45-udp3 gigabyte motherboard with onboard RAID controller, does this mean I have to format?

Also are you saying that if I buy a raid controller, I shouldnt have to format?
 

Automata

Destroyer of Empires and Use
Joined
May 15, 2006
Hmm. I have a ep45-udp3 gigabyte motherboard with onboard RAID controller, does this mean I have to format?
Most likely. I don't have that exact board, but we have the same north/southbridge and onboard RAID (ICH10R). Unless I'm absolutely blind, I don't see an option for not wiping the drives when adding them to the array.

Also are you saying that if I buy a raid controller, I shouldnt have to format?
That would be a huge waste of money. Any good RAID controller is $400+. You'd be better off getting an external 1TB drive and moving everything to that or buying two 1TB internal drives, creating the RAID on those and moving the data to it.
 

bing

Low Profile Senior
Joined
Jul 13, 2006
Location
Indonesia
Yes , you can migrate from single drive to two drives raid 1 without re-formatting, although I never try it, assuming you're using the ICH10R, read it here -> Intel® Matrix Storage Manager How do I improve performance or protect files from single hard drive failure?

But again, there is a risk factor, my suggestion is do NOT rely on this process alone, you better think of backup it 1st, may be its a good idea if possible to borrow a spare drive from a friend as a temporary space while you do that migration.
 

fritzman

Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2002
Thanks Bing... I was just going to chime in myself and say I was pretty sure that it could be done from within Windows using the Matrix Manager software.

Good call on the 'back me up first' mate... definitely.