Copy RAID0 array to new single disk without RAID hardware

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Copy RAID0 array to new single disk without RAID hardware

Postby donstarr » Sat May 05, 2012 11:51 am

  • Dell XPS 700 w/ NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI RAID controller on MB
  • Three 320GB Seagate ST3320633AS Barracuda 7200.9
  • Drives on MB's SATA 0, SATA 1, and SATA 2
  • RAID 0 stripe set on two of the drives (I don't know which two), using the motherboard's NVIDIA controller/BIOS
  • Resulting (RAID 0) drive contains the OS (Windows XP)
  • The above Dell motherboard is dead and no replacement is available
  • I am confident that all three drives (including the RAID 0 stripe set) are healthy
A new PC is on the way. It will have three 500GB SATA drives and 'spare' SATA ports on the motherboard. It will have no operating system installed.

Goal, to be performed on the new PC:
  • determine which 2 of the 3 drives are the RAID 0 stripe set
  • de-stripe those 2 drives into a single drive image, preserving all partition tables, MBR, etc.
  • copy the resulting de-striped image to a new physical drive
  • copy the third (non-RAID) drive to a new physical drive
  • preserve original 3 drives (from dead system)
  • boot from the 2 new physical drives in a non-RAID environment

Is this something tha R-Drive Image will handle?
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Re: Copy RAID0 array to new single disk without RAID hardwar

Postby Alt » Sun May 06, 2012 4:50 am

This is a work for R-Studio rather than for R-Drive Image.
But before start, be warned that, even if the OS is correctly copied onto the new disk, that doesn't guarantee that it will successfully start in the new system. That Windows XP installation doesn't have the drivers necessary to run on the new system board, processor, controllers, etc. On the contrary, it will try to use drivers for the old system board, processor, controllers, etc. So, the result may wary from not starting at all, the blue screen of death, extremely slow and unstable operation, and for sure problems with Windows XP activation. Or it merely asks for drivers for the new hardware. So be ready for this.

So the procedure will be the following:
1. Install R-Studio on a working machine and connect all the drives to it. Direct connection to SATA ports is preferable, but if those aren't enough, you may use USB to SATA bridges.
2. Using this software: ReclaiMe Free RAID Recovery, determine which disks are from the RAID and the RAID parameters. You may try those 3 disks it 3 combinations, if this program yields a result, those disks are from the RAID, if not, try another combination.
3. Create a virtual RAID 0 out of the RAID disks. See R-Studio's on-line help: Volume Sets, Stripe Sets, and Mirrors for instructions.
4. Copy the volume from the virtual RAID 0 to the new disk using the copy module from R-Studio. See R-Studio's on-line help: Object Copy for instructions. If you like, you may adjust the volume size during the copy.
5. Copy the third old disk to the new one using the same copy module.
6. Connect the new disks to the new machine, try to start it, and see what happens.

I know this scheme was tried successfully, but that was on the same hardware except disks. The system started successfully, then told that it was installing new drivers for the new disks, and since that it worked smoothly.
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Re: Copy RAID0 array to new single disk without RAID hardwar

Postby donstarr » Sun May 06, 2012 7:54 am

Thank you.

I'm aware of (and expecting) the driver problems when booting on the new hardware.

I'd much rather work with images of the 3 drives instead of the drives themselves. That is, I'd like to avoid booting into Windows on any machine with those 3 drives connected; instead, I'd like to boot from a Linux-based CD and create images, then use the images in any recovery/analysis software that runs on Windows. I'm leery of letting WIndows ever "see" those 3 physical drives.

Do you know if the "ReclaiMe Free RAID Recovery" app will work with "plain" images created by the R-Studio Emergency startup disk? If it will, then my revised sequence would be:

0. New PC has one 500GB drive and one 1TB drive
1. Install Windows XP on new PC
2. Install R-Studio and "ReclaiMe Free RAID Recovery" on that PC
3. Create R-Studio Emergency CD
4. For each of the 3 old physical drives D1 - D3 (320GB each):
a. connect Dn to PC
b. boot from R-Studio Emergency CD
c. create image of Dn onto 1TB drive
(1TB drive now contains 3 images, representing the 3 old physical drives)
5. Boot into Windows
6. Run "ReclaiMe Free RAID Recovery", analyzing the 3 images to get RAID parameters for 2 of them
7. Use R-Studio and the discovered RAID parameters to create an image of the RAID 0 stripe set
8. Use R-Studio to copy the resulting 2 images (de-striped RAID 0 image and image of original non-RAID drive) to 2 new physical drives

Or am I being too paranoid about letting Windows XP see my original 3 drives?
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Re: Copy RAID0 array to new single disk without RAID hardwar

Postby Alt » Mon May 07, 2012 4:11 am

I'm such paranoid, too. I don't know if Reclaim can work with images, I only know it successfully works with disks. You may try to find the RAID disks and parameters manually, using our article Finding RAID parameters. It's about RAID5, but may be well applied to RAID0. You even don't have to find the parity disk. R-Studio has a built-in text editor, too, so you may find the parameters within it. As I understand, you can do that in the Demo mode without registration.
You also may "filter out" a non-RAID disk by finding its folder/file structure in R-Studio Emergency.
If you're able to find the RAID parameters manually, you may copy the partitions and files in R-Studio Emergency, although you'll have to register it and to lock to that machine.
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