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Old October 26th, 2007, 11:48 AM   #1
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RAID Question

Hi,

My motherboard went out yesterday while I was working on my compter.
It's a Supermicro H8DCE with dual AMD 3.0 GHz CPU's on it.

The system is almost 2 years old and I'm thinking about just upgrading to a dual Xeon system.

However, my footage drive is RAID-0 controlled by Microsoft XP Pro, so it's a software RAID system.

My questions are:

1. If I purchase a new MB, CPU's and RAM, can I just install my current system drives and boot up and most everything will be fine?

2. If I need to reinstall Windows XP, can I get my software RAID back without losing any data?

Thanks,

Jim
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Old October 26th, 2007, 11:59 AM   #2
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I can't say categorically, as I use Mac systems but, AFAIK, the partition map for your drives is stored on the drives themselves, so you will be fine, unless they were somehow corrupted when the MB went on the fritz.

Use all the disks (if there is an additional one for Windows, which might have conceivably have some partition info on it). If you want to be be really safe, try and buy a the same brand MB, and install the drives in the same order.

Then go and buy a Mac :)
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Old October 26th, 2007, 04:14 PM   #3
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James,
I'm not fully sure what you mean that your RAID is controlled by XP as a software RAID. To get the true benefits of RAID you need to be running it on a RAID-capable hardware controller. Most modern PC motherboards have RAID options available.

From what I've read, if you built an array with a specific controller, then try to hook that RAID up to a different brand controller, your drives will NOT be accessible.

I have never heard of a Supermicro brand motherboard, so I can't speak to the quality of their products.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 06:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kary View Post
James,
I'm not fully sure what you mean that your RAID is controlled by XP as a software RAID. To get the true benefits of RAID you need to be running it on a RAID-capable hardware controller. Most modern PC motherboards have RAID options available.

From what I've read, if you built an array with a specific controller, then try to hook that RAID up to a different brand controller, your drives will NOT be accessible.

I have never heard of a Supermicro brand motherboard, so I can't speak to the quality of their products.
Both Win Xp and Mac OS X can emulate most of the functionality of a dedicated RAID controller in software. There are limitations to this approach of course.

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Old October 26th, 2007, 07:33 PM   #5
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IF the OS on your boot drive will accept the new components you may be OK. The drive letters will have to be the same, make sure they are connected in the same way or you may have to change this in drive management to get the order correct. I think that if you have to re-install the OS you will loose the data.
I know this doesn't help but this is one of many reasons I don't use RAID. At least keep the project files on another drive especially your batch capture files so that you can at least re-capture.

Ron Evans
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Old October 27th, 2007, 05:47 AM   #6
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Hi James. I agree with Ron to a certain extent(largely and almost completely, but I have a story)... LOL

I pretty much install windows every 5-6 months to clean out all the old stuff and get a clean slate to work with. What I have found is that the raided volumes since on my system, they are tied to the motherboard are pretty much set, since all I am doing is reinstalling the OS sys drive and I am running off hardware raids.

In your situation, I am not exactly sure that you will be ok, "even" if you do reinstall the drives in same location and are given the same drive letters(To be honest, I am interested in your findings, but this is just my hypothesis). If Pro is anything like Home(I purchased a copy of pro and simply have not installed it since I got it a year ago), your going to have to reinitialize the discs and once you do that, you have to format. Maybe pro is different, but basically with the hardware, you really don't have to do that. At least it does with all of the motherboards I have had.

So I really to be honest with you am not sure you are going to be ok with all of your resources. Especially since you are upgrading "everything" and more than likely your new board is going to come with some form of raid controller built into it. Which, thinking about it, you probably like any other one do not "have" to use it.

But when you do, please report back on if everything goes ok, and believe me, I really do hope for you that it does. I have been in that situation where I had to reinstall for a variety of reasons and simply prayed that the content would be ok.

Good luck to you though,
Damon
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Old October 30th, 2007, 05:37 AM   #7
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Super Micro boards are server spec (-ish) and as such are pretty high quality, I don't know the technicals of your particular board so I can't be too specific.

The easiest way to do this would be to buy a new hard drive simply to run the OS. 20Gb would do it. Then install XP on this drive without connecting up your RAID array. Once it's up and running install all the RAID controller drivers and software, then shut the machine down. Reconnect all your RAID drives to the appropriate ports on the MoBo and then reboot. When the RAID utility recognises the RAID array you should be given a few options. One of which will be "Migrate RAID" this is what you want. This is all from memory so make sure you check the RAID controller Manual and read all options etc. Basically it should rebuild the RAID array without destroying the data and alter the MBR on your new drive to incorporate the array at boot.

In theory this is what you're after. Infact it may be possible that the RAID array won't even need migrating on boot and it may simply rewrite some of the MBR and simply start operating as it did.

As a few people have mentioned a "real" dedicated controller is the way to go. Mine is an LSi 300-8X 8 port SATA controller that sits in a PCI-X slot. It has it's own XOR chip and as such really boosts performance on a RAID 5 array. And just to point out I used to use Super Micro boards but have since swapped to using a Tyan Thunder K8WE S2895 board running dual Opty's.
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