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I have 2 identical drives in an old PC running as a mirror RAID (RAID1) using the Windows 7 software RAID. These drives are data-only drives and are not being used to boot an operating system.

How do I safely move these drives to a new PC?

The new PC is also running Windows 7.

There is a Windows Computer Management help article titled "Move Disks to Another Computer", which talks about dynamic disks, but I find it a bit confusing. It's not clear if all of the steps given are necessary for dynamic disks (of which mirrored disks are a type), and the step that is clearly for dynamic disks mentions menu items that don't exist for mirrored drives.

Basically, I'd appreciate any knowledge or experience in this area.

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If they are data-only drive. just plug a USB-stick or portable disk. Make a copy and that's all, don't be a nerd attempt to do something like break-mirror, move disk, add pair and then re-sync. You don't need to do that. – user218473 Apr 27 '13 at 14:11
First backup everything on those disks. Always do this when you are not 100% sure. After that just creating a new array and restoring from backup is probably the easy way. It is also the least educational and figuring out how to do this might be useful in the future. (I got no idea how to do that on windows. Break mirror, move one disk, check if the disk is accessible and resync should work though, but it is not something I ever tested on windows). – Hennes Apr 27 '13 at 14:22
if one is die hard to try, the following are the steps "diskpart > select volume > break" unplug the disk, plug into another machine "diskpart > select volume > add > recover" quite straight forward, and Good Luck – user218473 Apr 27 '13 at 15:24
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Antony Lee's comment above is basically correct:

"the following are the steps "diskpart > select volume > break" unplug the disk, plug into another machine "diskpart > select volume > add > recover" quite straight forward"

Some additional hints:

  • Before breaking the mirror in the old PC, make sure the dynamic disk status is "Healthy". If it has a percentage next to it, the PC needs some time to finish synchronising the mirror. Don't break the mirror in this state.
  • After moving the first disk, you should be able to access your data on the drive in the new PC.
  • After installing the second disk, you will need to repartition it before you can add it to the mirror. (This deletes the data, but your data should be safe on the other drive.) Afterwards, Windows will synchronise the data to the second disk and, when the progress reaches 100%, the drive status should be "Healthy".
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