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My brother-in-law has asked for my help upgrading his small business server. He wanted more hard drive space. The server is an older Lenovo Thinkcenter running Windows Server 2008 R2, with 500 GB of HDD space. I suggested getting a 500 gig SSD, with the idea of cloning his current setup using the provided Samsung data migration software, and then formatting his old hard drive and re-purposing it for a data drive. He liked the idea, so I purchased a Samsung 850 evo.

Here's the rub. I opened the server up, there are two 500 gig HDD's installed in some kind of RAID array. Windows does not appear to even be able to see it. When I open up Windows Disk Management, it only shows one HDD, with a 100MB back-up partition. I tried each of the motherboards SATA ports, but windows will not see the SSD. If I go into the BIOS, under Disk Management, it is set on some kind of RAID setting. When I put it in AHCI mode, it will see both HDD's, and the SSD, but then fail to boot. If I leave it in RAID mode, and unplug one of the 500 HDD's it will fail to boot.

I am a total noob to RAID. I looked everywhere in the BIOS, but no where does it say what kind of RAID it is. When you select the RAID setting in the BIOS, it says on the side: "For RAID setup to be setup with RAID configuration software".

My brother-in-law needs the server during the week, so I won't be able to try anything again until Sat, but I was going to try to put the SSD in an enclosure, plug it in via USB, use the Samsung software to clone it, replace it in the disk0 sata port, unplug the other HDDs, go into the BIOS and turn on AHCI mode, and attempt to boot. However, from what I can find online, this probably won't work because there are some RAID disk drivers buried deep in windows, and windows won't know how to boot off the new SSD.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!! Sorry for the long read!

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  • Might be some flavour of hardware raid, or fakeraid. Exact models would be handy – Journeyman Geek Mar 8 '17 at 1:41
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You'll need to attach the SSD to the RAID controller, and then go into the RAID setup and add it as a "JBoD" array or alike (depends on the make/model of the RIAD controller).

  • You're best bet (IMO) is to go get another ~500GB drive as a temporary drive.
  • Use the Windows Server Backup to do a full image backup to the temporary HDD (also create recovery disk if you don't have the 2008R2 install media).
  • Remove the existing RAIDed drives.
  • Install the SSD.
  • If possible, disable the RAID (controller) and use AHCI instead. If not possible, add the SSD as a JBoD array of 1 drive (as suggested above).
  • Boot from the Windows media (or recovery disk).
  • Restore the image you backed up earlier, to the SSD.

This is your best bet of not being stuck with incompatible drivers being loaded into the system, preventing booting.

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