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New motherboard comes in tomorrow, it's an ASUS Z87-Pro, and given the HDD scares I've had recently, I've decided to use a few new drives in conjunction with the old ones in two RAID 1 arrays. (yes, I do keep backups both on and off-site)

Since I'm taking the system rebuild as an opportunity to install Windows 8 from scratch, I'd like to keep the current C drive hooked up on the existing mobo and use the new matching drive (same size/RPM/manufacturer/etc.) to build the first array, but I'd like to do so without attaching the current drive; take my time setting up Windows and authorizing all our software (stupid Adobe/Apple applications!) before wiping the current drive and adding it into the array.

Closest answer I've found is here, where the first answer doesn't really definitively say you can't do this, but that it probably isn't possible; the second answer points out that it's easy to do via the Linux RAID tools (how I wish this was going to run Linux).

Other than buying (finding?) another drive of similar or larger size and temporarily using that as the second drive in the array, is there any way on the new Z87 chipset with Intel's RST system in which I can do this? I'll pull out another drive for the first array if that's what it comes down to, but I don't have any spare 2TB drives to do this with when I build the data RAID array.

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The trick is can you build a RAID array from 1 drive. I looks like in your manual you cannot. BUT, when you get your board, try to select only 1 disk when creating your RAID array and see what happens. That will give you your answer. You would also need a solution to copy windows to the RAID array outside of windows; Linux live CD maybe? – Damon Aug 20 '13 at 7:46
While I think you know this, the logic is create a 1 drive RAID array. Then copy data to the degraded array from non-raid drive. Then add the non-raid drive (now empty) to array and rebuild. And your right, Linux MDADM makes it very easy. – Damon Aug 20 '13 at 7:51
I'll try it out when I get home tonight. Everything came in early, so I built it up last night and now it's running memtest. Luckily it's going to be a fresh install, so other than the manual telling me I need a USB floppy drive (excuse me?) to get the RAID drivers before running the Windows installer, it should be pretty straightforward. That is, if it'll let me build a 1-drive array. – Amazingant Aug 20 '13 at 14:05
Just a note: I'm happy to report that MDADM has let me grow my 2x2TB RAID1 array up to a 4x2TB RAID10 array, without losing data :) I love that feature of it, and I wish Intel would allow that – Canadian Luke Aug 21 '13 at 5:06

1 Answer 1

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In case anyone else finds this question looking for the same answer, unfortunately it's "No".

This board (probably part of Intel's Z87 controller, not ASUS' fault) won't let you create a RAID array with less than two disks.

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