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I got a computer (Windows 2003 server) with broken motherboard. The board using an onboard hardware raid and have 2 HDDs in mirror configuration. Trying to find a replacement board will take some time, so, i'm looking for a possibility how to move DATA into another computer. The questions:

  • it i safe move one HDD from the mirror into another computer and try boot it? Or it is absolutely pointless? (Asking because i'm hoping than a mirror configuration simply mean "copy every hdd block twice onto two HDDs") Is this assumption totally wrong?

  • is here any way get data from the mirror without buying replacement board?

E.g. Is it worth attaching the HDD into Linux or Freebsd computer (without mounting it) and "dd" the whole HDD into one image? Is it possible do "something" useful with the image - like mount it with some offset parameter, or convert it into virtualbox image and so on..

  • any helpful links for this?

The board is this one: http://manuals.ts.fujitsu.com/file/3381/d2179-thb-en.pdf

and yeah, i know: "The raid is not backup" - i got the comp as a bad lecacy...

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2 Answers 2

"Mirror" means RAID 1, where data is duplicated exactly on both drives. As such, it should be possible to perform a block-level copy from either drive such as by using dd to recover the data, and the drives should be accessible by themselves, without special hardware, as if they were standalone drives.

You should use dd to copy the data out of the drives first before booting from either drive directly, since doing so changes the content in the drive, making the two drives out-of-sync with regard to the data stored on the drives.

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If the data is set up as RAID-1 ("mirror") then what you have is essentially a standard formatted drive that has been duplicated between two drives.

I have taken a drive that was connected via a RAID card and set up as RAID-1 in the past and used the drive quite happily on the motherboard built in hard drive interface with no changes whatsoever.

You should be able to simply plug that drive into whatever machine you like, mount the partitions exactly as you would expect to in that operating system and then just use that drive as you would any other.

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