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I hope this is a simple question, but I simply don't know anything about RAID.

Some time ago I received a machine that, as I understand it, has two drives in it under RAID 1 (or so that one drive is mirrored on the other and appears as just 1 drive to the OS). Recently, one of these drives has started marking a clicking noise and I would like to replace it. I believe the machine has a hardware RAID controller on the motherboard that handles the RAID stuff, but if it matters the Operating System is Windows XP 32-bit.

Is the solution to my problem as simple as buying another drive that is of the same capacity and plugging it in where the clicking drive is currently? Or could I possibly lose everything if the drive that's clicking is the one being mirrored on to the other drive? Is there some menu I need to find before unhooking things? Any best practices out there?

I'm sure I'm leaving out some required information, so please just tell me what I'm missing.


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up vote 4 down vote accepted

There is no one answer fits all as it changes from manufacturer to manufacturer.

If I was you, get some storage somewhere - ideally (for speed) use an external hard drive but anything will do and make a full backup of everything.

Once you have a backup, try simply changing the faulty hard drive.

Some will just automatically rebuild whilst others may say foreign/unrecognised disk and require you to enter the RAID Setup then manually extend the existing RAID to it.

There is no way for any of us to know without more information, but as long as you are careful, you should not lose the existing data on the good hard drive - but we can not say for sure, and again, you should take a backup just in case.

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Sounds good to me. Is there a nice trick to entering the RAID setup that will allow me to provide more information for you? Or is it part of my BIOS settings or something? – mrduclaw May 22 '10 at 20:16
Entering the RAID setup varies from manufacturer to manufacturer as well. How about the manufacturer and model number of the PC to start with if it is a factory configured RAID – BearGriz72 May 22 '10 at 20:58

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