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I bought a HTPC I plan on using as a NAS/HTPC combo, which has been working well for me for a while now. When I bought the machine from Dell, it came with 2 500GB HDDs in a RAID0 configuration as opposed to a single 1TB HDD as I expected. I have become increasingly concerned about losing my system setup and files, and I want to "upgrade" to a RAID1 with 2 2TB HDDs. What would be the easiest way to do this? I'm using windows 7.

Option1: Install 1 of the 2 2TB HDDS, and use Clonezilla to copy the RAID0 array to the new HDD. Boot into BIOS or gparted if it can handle it, and change the Raid level from 0 to 1. Install the second HDD and mirror.

Option2: Create a system image of the RAID0, and store it on an external harddrive. Swap the RAID0 harddrives, for the blank, 2TB HDDs and boot up in system recovery. Boot up to BIOS, and change the Raid level from 0 to 1. Restart, boot into system recovery, and restore the disk image to the new HDDs.

Option3: Install 1 of the 2 2TB HDDs and mirror the RAID0 data onto the 2TB drive. (This would be RAID01 w/ 3 drives...is that even possible?) Then, once it's mirrored, uninstall the 500GB HDDs, boot into the 2TB HDD and install the 2nd one, and mirror yet again.

Frankly, I have doubts whether any of the options will work. Is there a better solution?

Thanks

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The option 2 is most reliable. Because I am not 100% sure about the way you plan let me try to define it step by step

  1. Create image of current RAID0
  2. Remove old disks
  3. Install new disks
  4. Recreate array as RAID1
  5. Restore the information from image

This will ensure you have one copy of info in the image, another in the RAID0 (old disks)

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    That's atleast how I meant to describe it. I just wasn't sure how windows would handle restoring an image made with a RAID0 array onto a RAID1 array, though. – dberm22 Jan 19 '15 at 13:28
  • Is this real RAID or half software based? If it hardware based, Windows know nothing about it. Otherwise you can try. If fail you have two copies, reinstall OS and restore information – Romeo Ninov Jan 19 '15 at 13:39
  • I assumed it was HW based. How can you tell? The only way I knew it was RAID because it says so in BIOS (and the fact that I saw 2 disks in the bays). It's a dell XPS 8500 (maybe 8300 - can't check ATM) – dberm22 Jan 19 '15 at 13:51
  • From what i read about the machine it is 50/50 hardware and software. So the method above may work or may not. And to be safe will be better install big disks and create raid1 and then recover information from old disks or from image – Romeo Ninov Jan 19 '15 at 13:58
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    Just made the transfer. Used Paragon Free as the backup tool to create a virtual disk clone (only took 10min to do so, and compressed 120GB to 35Gb), and used their free windowsPE bootable restore tool to restore it onto the new hard drives. So much easier and faster than I was expecting it to be. No hiccups whatsoever (except for wasting my time working with window's built-in backup utility). First time using Paragaon...this thing is incredible! – dberm22 Jan 25 '15 at 8:00
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I am assuming you can have more than one RAID array at the same time. Create a second RAID array using the (2) 2TB drives in RAID1. Then copy the data from the RAID0 to the RAID1. No matter what, make a backup first.

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  • Possibly, if my PSU can handle it. If I did that, would I be able to remove the RAID0 disks and plug the RAID1 disks into the SATA ports? In other words, is the RAID config tied to the HDD or the SATA slots? – dberm22 Jan 20 '15 at 23:37
  • Depends on the controller. Some disks are based on UUID (likely), others based on port (unlikely). But you should be able to move ports around and it should self configure as the partition and RAID information would be on the disk. – Damon Jan 21 '15 at 2:23
  • I doubt your power supply would have any issues powering the additional drives because drives do not take much power. Especially since while you are moving data, most other components that would draw more power (cpu, video, sound, network) would sit idle and not draw much power compared to what they would draw under full load. – Damon Jan 21 '15 at 2:26
  • I was more concerned about not having enough power cables to run to the drives, rather than the amount of power they actually take. If I have enough, I'll do it this way. Thanks for the UUID tip – dberm22 Jan 21 '15 at 17:56
  • Recommend you invest in some molex expanders and extensions from ebay for cheap. I like having these on hand for odd situations like these. – Damon Jan 22 '15 at 7:30

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