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Currently I have a the following setup:

  • Drive A/B: Identical hard drive's
  • Drive C: 2TB external drive with plenty of space currently.
  • Hardware RAID controller

Currently I have Drive A which is my boot drive (Windows 7), and Drive C which is a data drive, and Drive B which I only recently received and is blank.

What is the best way of moving off of Drive A, setting up the hardware RAID and then migrating my data back onto the RAID array? I'm proficient with Linux, but I'm not sure if I can get away with simply using dd here.

There is currently enough free space on Drive C to take 5-6 copies of a disk image of Drive A, so space isn't an issue.

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As you're using windows 7, you might find the RAID controller comes with software to achieve this, or it can be fooled into doing your bidding by creating the array, tell it to not wipe the drives (careful, not all controllers support this) and forcing a rebuild. Nvidia fakeraid doesn't seem to mind this

Intel and AMD both provide software to do it with their fakeraid chipsets, in which you simply click the 'Migrate to RAID-1' button.

Otherwise, Microsoft have a tool called imagex which I believe (I can't guarantee this) can be run from the installer cd -> repair -> command line. This can create and write entire operating system images, in the format that windows 7 setup itself uses.

Once you've got the system backed up, raid created, image written back, run startup repair from the windows 7 cd to make sure it boots to the correct device.

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+1 for ImageX!! – Joseph Redfern Jun 2 '11 at 11:56

If you have the space available: Make an image (perhaps try DriveImage XML) to a hard drive that WON'T be in the array, make the array, and image it back.

Drivers might (probably will) be a problem if you don't inject them into the OS first somehow.

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