Windows XP Slipt Over 2 Drives ?

Abit / Fatal1ty an9 32x (am2)
January 14, 2009 at 04:45:42
Specs: Windows XP SP3, AMD Athlon 5400+/2GB RAM
Background: When I built my 3rd PC I decided to experiment with a Raid0 configuration, with a paging (swap) file on a second drive. I put 2x400gb Samsung HDD in raid0 with my older 120gb maxtor HDD hosting the paging file. As it turned out the old drive was very loud all the time. So after reading that 2GB was enough to get rid of paging file I turned it off in windows.
Problem: Now with the PC running and precious data growing ever larger my raid0 is vunerable to failure. Therefore I wanted to remove the old drive and insert a new drive to back up the raid0. When I removed the old drive windows wouldn't boot. After reinserting the old drive I have discovered the boot.ini file is on this other drive along with a few windows hidden files. I didn't realise this would happen -noob- and therefore I'm not sure if I can just repartition the small number of files and move them onto the main Raid0 drives. Would this mess up windows booting? The reason I want to move these files is it's an old drive and if it dies windows won't boot.

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January 14, 2009 at 08:17:30
>> So after reading that 2GB was enough to get rid of paging file <<

Where did you read that. Wherever it was you were misinformed. Even with max memory Windows still benefits from a paging file and it should never be turned of completely.

>> When I removed the old drive windows wouldn't boot. <<

That is to be expected. Not only will it not boot but once you break a RAID 0 array to stand a very good chance if losing all your data.

You appear to be assuming that your RAID is functioning like RAID 1 were data is duplicated on both drives. With RAID 0 it isn't, it is split between both drives and files will be fragmented between the two drives. Recovering these fragments in the event of failure is nigh on impossible.

What do you mean by repartition of file? Thats a new one to me.

If the RAID 0 array is corrupted your only option will be to reformat again and start from scratch, only this time get rid of RAID 0. Use RAID 1 if you want redundancy.

The long and the short of it is that RAID 0 should be avoided. It gives no redundancy despite its name but is supposed to speed up disk access which it only does in very limited circumstances. In short RAID 0 is little more than a disaster waiting to happen.


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January 14, 2009 at 08:58:34
I believe what gibson1314 is saying is if he removes the older 3rd drive the system doesn't boot. He is not breaking the raid0 set.

gibson1314 please post your boot.ini so we know for sure what your drive config looks like according to windows.

BTW I have run xp with no pagefile and it works great. I did run into an issue with powerpoint and office so I made a 200meg pagefile and that appears to be all my system needs.

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January 14, 2009 at 09:33:41
Thanks for the reply to my problem wanderer it is the third disk that is giving me the trouble. I must not have made my point very clear in the initial post.
These are the files i have found in the swap partions on the 3rd drive.

System Volume Information

this is what is in the boot.ini file-

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Media Center Edition" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptOut

I hope this is what you need, thanks again.

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Related Solutions

January 14, 2009 at 10:06:08
If you want to replace that drive with the boot files, you could image that drive to a new drive. Then physically swap in the new one in to replace the old one, using the same motherboard connector.

Just copying the files will not work. The Master Boot Record and Partition Boot Record have to be moved also.

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January 14, 2009 at 12:44:25
In your bios what drive is selected to boot? The old one or the array?

BTW "swap" is not a windows file. Pagefile.sys is the windows file for paging.

This is what I would do to address this issue.

Buy Acronis.
Image the Raid0 array to a file you place on the old disk [assuming there is room].
Set the raid0 to a raid1. This will wipe out the disks.
Using acronis put the stored image back on the raid array.
Then booting the xp cd do a repair install of the xp install on the raid array. This will correct the issue of booting via the older drive.

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January 14, 2009 at 15:48:20
In the bios the old drive was selected to boot, and if i changed to the array it wouldn't boot. "Swap" is a folder sorry.

I couldn't image the raid to the old disk as it was to small, so using acronis I cloned the old drive onto my new one and booted using the new drive. Now I have my new drive which boots windows, alongside the raid 0 array.

Now if I want to image the raid0 I have to do it sector by sector as it says there are errors on the drive (Fragmented files?). Two questions when you say change raid0 to raid1 do you mean temperarily to wipe disk or change it to a raid 1. Also i'm not sure how to get the stored image file from the new drive back onto the empty raid using acronis.

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