Switching from AHCI to RAID - question


J

James

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
 
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S

Seth

James said:
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.
 
J

James

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?
 
S

Seth

James said:
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.
 
J

James

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... :)
 
S

Seth

James said:
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
 
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J

James

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
 
J

James

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
 
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J

Jackie

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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