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Switching from AHCI to RAID - question

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by James, May 12, 2010.

  1. James

    James Flightless Bird

    Right now I have a single SATA/AHCI drive with Win7 64bit installed. I
    want to backup (Image) the system drive using Acronis True Image. Then I
    want to set up a RAID 0 configuration, and restore my system drive image
    to the new RAID drives.

    My only concern is my Win7 64bit system was installed originally under
    AHCI. Will there be a problem restoring this to a RAID controlled disk
    environment? Or do I need to reinstall everything?

    -james
     
  2. Seth

    Seth Flightless Bird

    "James" <anonymous@nowhere.com> wrote in message
    news:hsfrap0r20@news3.newsguy.com...
    > Right now I have a single SATA/AHCI drive with Win7 64bit installed. I
    > want to backup (Image) the system drive using Acronis True Image. Then I
    > want to set up a RAID 0 configuration, and restore my system drive image
    > to the new RAID drives.
    >
    > My only concern is my Win7 64bit system was installed originally under
    > AHCI. Will there be a problem restoring this to a RAID controlled disk
    > environment? Or do I need to reinstall everything?



    Be sure to have the RAID controller present in the system and load the
    drives before starting your plan. Should work.

    Personally I would backup the data and do a fresh installation. Why bring
    unneeded baggage.
     
  3. James

    James Flightless Bird

    On 5/12/2010 11:28 PM, Seth wrote:

    > Be sure to have the RAID controller present in the system and load the
    > drives before starting your plan. Should work.
    >
    > Personally I would backup the data and do a fresh installation. Why
    > bring unneeded baggage.


    By "present" do you mean actively running or just sitting in the BIOS
    and ready to be activated?
     
  4. Seth

    Seth Flightless Bird

    "James" <anonymous@nowhere.com> wrote in message
    news:hsi8i10rif@news2.newsguy.com...
    > On 5/12/2010 11:28 PM, Seth wrote:
    >
    >> Be sure to have the RAID controller present in the system and load the
    >> drives before starting your plan. Should work.
    >>
    >> Personally I would backup the data and do a fresh installation. Why
    >> bring unneeded baggage.

    >
    > By "present" do you mean actively running or just sitting in the BIOS and
    > ready to be activated?



    If it's an add-on card, physically in the machine. If it's built into the
    motherboard, turned on and detectable by Windows.

    One or the other of the above is required for the drivers to be installed,
    registered and active. If the driver is not properly installed, registered
    and active, the first time you try to boot from the RAID set you will BSOD
    with an "Inaccessible boot device" error.

    Your best way to proceed though is a fresh rebuild. 2nd best, a proper
    SYSPREP which will pre-stage all the drivers specified in a custom
    information file that will have the drivers available for when mini-setup
    detects installed hardware. The method you are looking to achieve is the
    least reliable method.
     
  5. James

    James Flightless Bird

    Just so I make sure I understand what you're saying...

    Pick a plan:

    (initial: machine running Win7 64bit under AHCI controller and working fine)

    1. Image the system drive and then remove the drive
    2. Install 3 SSD RAID disks and switch to RAID controller in BIOS &
    assign drives for RAID 0 operation.
    3. Restore image of Win7 64.
    4. Boot computer

    OR...

    1. Set BIOS for RAID controller and boot Win7 64 OS.
    2. Image the system drive and then remove.
    3. Install 3 SSD RAID disks, assign, and configure BIOS for RAID 0
    4. Restore image of Win7 64.
    5. Boot computer

    Just FYI, my mb is a GA-EX58-UD4P/i7-920/BIOS F14 (BIOS is current)

    I know you would rather I start from scratch, but I have a lot of
    apps/games/utils coupled with all the hours of tweaking and
    configuration (that I never documented) that I do not wish to repeat if
    I don't have to... :)
     
  6. Seth

    Seth Flightless Bird

    "James" <anonymous@nowhere.com> wrote in message
    news:hsigpo02k17@news7.newsguy.com...
    > Just so I make sure I understand what you're saying...
    >
    > Pick a plan:
    >
    > (initial: machine running Win7 64bit under AHCI controller and working
    > fine)
    >
    > 1. Image the system drive and then remove the drive
    > 2. Install 3 SSD RAID disks and switch to RAID controller in BIOS & assign
    > drives for RAID 0 operation.
    > 3. Restore image of Win7 64.
    > 4. Boot computer
    >
    > OR...
    >
    > 1. Set BIOS for RAID controller and boot Win7 64 OS.
    > 2. Image the system drive and then remove.
    > 3. Install 3 SSD RAID disks, assign, and configure BIOS for RAID 0
    > 4. Restore image of Win7 64.
    > 5. Boot computer
    >
    > Just FYI, my mb is a GA-EX58-UD4P/i7-920/BIOS F14 (BIOS is current)
    >
    > I know you would rather I start from scratch, but I have a lot of
    > apps/games/utils coupled with all the hours of tweaking and configuration
    > (that I never documented) that I do not wish to repeat if I don't have
    > to... :)


    Missing step added below...

    I understand the desire to save time and not have to install everything
    again, but it really is the best method for making sure you don't have
    issues further down the line. It's not a matter of what I would want, but a
    recommendation based on experience. I've had to repair many machines in my
    time where the issues could have been prevented by not taking shortcuts.

    Of all those tweaks and installations, how many of them included
    uninstalling something you didn't like and it left behind remnants? How
    many of those items still there aren't really used anymore and the system
    would be better off/cleaner without?

    Don't look at this as work, but rather an opportunity to clean up.




    The steps below "might" work (and often times do) but you bring with you
    baggage. As mentioned, 2nd best method (after full rebuild) is using
    SYSPREP. SYSPREP is SYStem PREParation tool. it is specifically designed
    for preparing a system to be imaged for deployment into other/different
    hardware. It's how I use a single image to deploy 140,000 machines globally
    on a myriad of different hardware platforms.

    And remember, you might have at least 2 partitions to make sure they match
    the old drive. A small 100mb partition that is active and the large
    partition that is assigned to C:. Plus any other partitions you might have
    made.




    1. Set BIOS for RAID controller and boot Win7 64 OS.

    2. Once in Windows, install drivers for RAID controller when Windows
    auto-detects the "new" hardware. If Windows doesn't auto-detect new
    hardware, start driver setup and hope for no errors.

    3. Image the system drive and then remove.
    4. Install 3 SSD RAID disks, assign, and configure BIOS for RAID 0
    5. Restore image of Win7 64.
    6. Boot computer
     
  7. James

    James Flightless Bird

    Thanks Seth, I appreciate your help very much. My hardware has not all
    arrived yet, and so I'll have to wait a little while longer to try this.

    Believe it or not, I am a computer tech. I got my CompTIA A+ and N+ back
    in 2002. Unfortunately for me, I have never worked with RAID technology
    until now. And so I appreciate your input very much.

    As for the "baggage", I know what you mean. But I try to keep things
    relatively clean. I use CCleaner from time to time. And i know enough
    not to leave fragments of deleted programs & trial apps laying around.

    Anyway, I'll let you know how things turn out.

    Thanks again!

    -james
     
  8. James

    James Flightless Bird

    Just finished. Everything went flawlessly. I even managed to get my 3
    other OS's set back up to multi-boot!

    Just FYI, SSD is great! And striping the drives now makes my investment
    in an i7-920 (OC'd to 3.8GHz) system seem worth all the money I spent. I
    just might have to invest in a i7-980 now! Hey, it's only a thousand
    bucks. But it's 6 cores and 12 threads! ;)

    To anyone else who reads this..if you have invested a lot of money in a
    system upgrade, and don't have a SSD array installed... you're missing
    something big. For me anyway, it was well worth the extra cash.

    -james
     
  9. Jackie

    Jackie Flightless Bird

    On 5/16/2010 02:16, James wrote:
    > To anyone else who reads this..if you have invested a lot of money in a
    > system upgrade, and don't have a SSD array installed... you're missing
    > something big. For me anyway, it was well worth the extra cash.
    >
    > -james


    You're right about that. I don't have just as powerful system as you
    have with stock clocks (but it will be close with when overclocked). I
    don't really get any real performance increase even when overclocked (by
    a whole GHz). Obviously the HDD (Raptor 10k RPM) is the bottleneck in my
    case.
     

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