Changing Raid Stripe to Mirror

Dell / XPS 600
January 1, 2009 at 11:00:13
Specs: Windows XP, Pent D/2gb
My Desktop when purchased from a few years ago was configured by Dell with 2 80gig 10,000rpm as stripe raid drives for the OS & programs and with 250gig 7200 rpm drive for storage of my files. After some doing some repairs to my computer, I now understand that it would suited my intent better to have the raid drives as mirror. I would like to get the best way to convent to raid drive to mirror from the stripe configuration. I understand it will be necessary re-format the two 80 drive and reinstall the files from the raid drives. Is there any software that can help to transfer those file & os to a temp drive and will allow the os & Program files to be reinstalled from the temp drive?

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January 1, 2009 at 11:58:23
So right now you have backup files on the 250GB? Or is the 250 being used as the only storage medium for the files on it?

You can image the array to a third drive and after setting up the RAID 1 array you can image back to it.

Keep in mind that you will only have half the capacity you now have. So if you have more than about 55/60GB max. on the array now you won't be able to fit the data on the 80GB drives.

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January 1, 2009 at 12:19:37
I have a external 250 gb USB Backup drive & a 35 gb REV firewire drive for backup. The internal 250 gb 7200rpm drive has just my vidio, music, photos, etc files on which takes up only 5% of available space. The 80 gb raid stripe drives have a total of 45 gb of files - which with the stripe current setup it shows 105 gb available. I am aware if I go to mirror on the raid drives I will only have <80 gb available to use rather the 150 + gb now available but I rather have the mirror incase of a drive lost.

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January 1, 2009 at 12:36:42
You probably can currently mirror to the 250GB. That would allow you to keep the RAID 0 array and still have redundancy.

Another option is to use imaging software to create backup images to the 250GB.

BTW, the 80GB will only hold about 74GB formatted. Additionally, you need space to defrag and have a swap file. You should have about 25% for those two tasks. That would still put you in the correct range.

What do you do with the computer? There are some advantages to your current setup.

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January 1, 2009 at 15:36:07
Our use of this desktop is at my home office when not at my equipment yard & sales office. It's used for personal & biz: internet web site & communiations; Personal & Biz Accounting; Biz office software; Multi-media projects; and personal uses like photos, video, games, etc. I intend to move my documents directories and any other non-critical software to the 250gb drive if and when the raid drives need room. By mirroring the the 80's only with the OS & most of the programs,if the one of the raid drives crash, I can recover more easily. I can back up all other files using the REV or the USB removable 250gb drive. As far as mirroring to the 250 drive, since it's a different speed drive - namely a 7200rpm and that the 2 80gb raid drives are 10,000rpm - I was under the understanding that you should not mix different speed drives in raid setup. I also intend to do a clean install to upgrade to Vista 64 & MS Office 2007 to match my new laptop I'm using for my business.

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January 1, 2009 at 15:55:51
You could simply use the two 80GB drives as basic drives and still get 160GB storage without the risks involved when using RAID0.

Then image both disks periodically to a folder on the 250GB.

If you don't want to bother with that then go with the mirroring of the 80GB drives.

You should be able to make an image that can be restored to which ever setup you choose.

Ghost or Acronis true image will both do the job.

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January 1, 2009 at 16:05:18
Thanks for all your help. I'll consider my options and check out the software you noted.

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