Transparently migrate Server 2003 from single drive to RAID1 w/o reinstall?

By g0dFather ·
I work for a small company, only three years old with 15 employees, so we don't have a big budget. I built a file server over a year ago using both new and existing hardware to keep costs low (completed for less than $1,000).

Quick overview: It is an Intel D865PERL motherboard with a 2.8GHz P4 (non H/T), 3GB DDR RAM. The OS drive is a single 40GB connected directly to the mobo IDE and runs Server 2003. There is a Promise FastTrak TX4310 RAID controller with 4 SATA drives. The first three ports have 160GB drives in RAID5, the fourth port is for two 320GB drives in JBOD that get hot-swapped weekly.

I want to turn the one OS drive into a RAID1 setup without having to totally reinstall the OS. The easy way would be to simply connect the second drive to the mobo IDE and let Server 2003 do the mirroring. However, I have a HighPoint RocketRAID 100 PCI controller and thought about keeping the RAID1 duties on the hardware side and preserve processor cycles.

Should I choose the hard way, here's my checklist so far:

1. Install the RAID card and launch the OS. Install windows drivers.
2. Acronis the OS drive.
3. Create and build the RAID1 array.
4. Restore the Acronis image to the RAID1 drives.
5. ???

Isn't there anything I'm missing? My guess is that the mobo will detect the card in the BIOS and I can instruct it to boot from there. However, if it doesn't then I'm at a loss.

I have a feeling I'm going to be taking the easy route.

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All Answers

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Your RAID1 challenge(s)

by mytmous In reply to Transparently migrate Ser ...

Unfortunately, you won't be able to create a mirror set containing the HD that already has the O/S on it (Windows sees the device as "in use" and cannot be 'changed' to put it in a mirror set).

In order to properly put the O/S disk in a RAID array, you'll have to create it using your RAID controller (hardware).

So I'm afraid you may be stuck with the 'hard way'.

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Are you sure?

by g0dFather In reply to Your RAID1 challenge(s)

I have a friend that says he does it all the time.

"In Disk Management, right click on the active booting drive then click mirror."

I'll try it and let you know yay or nay. Thanks!

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Use the Windows raid

by pgm554 In reply to Transparently migrate Ser ...

The Highpoint doesn't have a co-processor,so it will eat CPU cycles just like the Windows mirror.

All the Highpoint is ,is software raid on a chip.

You'll gain very little by using that card.

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The only way is to do it and find out..

I have done similar to your set up and it works well, but i used Paragon software to do this as it does it while in Windows, though Acronis should do the same. Hope al goes well.

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.
If this information is useful, please mark as helpful. Thanks.

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Windows mirroring is up and running

by g0dFather In reply to Transparently migrate Ser ...

I did the work over the weekend and it went well. Indeed, you can convert the OS drive to dynamic and mirror it just fine in Windows.

Thanks for all your help!

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Nice to know all went well.

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.
If this information is useful, please mark as helpful. Thanks.

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