Temporarily remove hard drives from raid 0

Hewlett-packard Elitebook 8760w mobile w...
July 2, 2013 at 18:10:31
Specs: Windows 7 64bit Pro, Intel Core 7
I have 2 hard drives configured in raid 0 (I know, don't use raid 0). I have a third drive that I need to temporarily install in the machine, but I don't want it to interfere with my current setup. I also don't want to lose the data on the two drives that are currently in the machine (yes I have them backed up, just in case).

If I shut down the machine, remove both drives, and then install the third drive, can I later remove the 3rd drive, reinstall the 2 original drives and continue where I left off?

I guess I'm wondering where the raid array information is stored. On the drives themselves or somewhere on a raid controller. The machine in question is an HP Elitebook 8760w laptop.

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July 2, 2013 at 20:23:29
If you re-install the two RAID 0 drives to the SAME exact SATA ports, I would think it should work.

Can we ask WHY you need to do this? Can't you connect the third drive externally?

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July 3, 2013 at 06:32:27
I'm not sure what you're asking for here, but expect any changes to of the number of drives in a RAID 0 to invalidate any data in the array.

If you just attaching the drive to a system with a RAID, but don't bother making it a part of the RAID, you should be fine. Assuming you don't touch the existing array or its connections, as OtheHill said.

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July 3, 2013 at 06:59:47

mvstill has a laptop that evidently has two drive bays. So, connecting a third internal hard drive is not an option. I question the reasons for the swap but I do think that if the drives are removed and replaced in the exact same order there should be no problem.

I should have added above that the BIOS settings must also be identical to the original settings as far as the drives are concerned.

Of course, this procedure is risky and I am only giving an opinion, not endorsing the swap.


Looking at the specs for this laptop shows an available eSATA port. I suggest you connect the additional hard drive using that eSATA port and leave the original drives and settings alone.

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July 3, 2013 at 08:11:46
Well, that changes things.

mvstill, make sure your backup is up to date, remove both drives and disable the array. Then add the new drive. When you're done, remove the temporary drive, reinstall the drives from the same bays they came out of, and reinstate the RAID. If you're lucky, it won't wipe the data and you'll be good. If you're not, you're recovering from the backup. Either way, let us know how it works out.

Or you could just spend $20 on an enclosure and not worry about breaking your array.

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