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  • upgraded HS System

    As I reported a while back I upgraded my system to a nice new MB and processor with virtually no problem. I am now looking to do more, fool that I am. The MB supoprts onboard RAID to twin SATA drives. I just picked up a pair at a reasonable price and am going to switch the OS over to them.

    What is the best way to do this? Can I ghost the old C drive onto the new Raid array or does ghost work at a level that the raid array would not operate as a raid array, that is it would build just one drive up?

    Does it just pay to rebuild the OS from scratch onto the Raid array and just do what I did before as it was not hard and is still fresh in my mind.

    Does anyone have experience on using a Raid array to host Homeseer?

    Will XP be happy on a RAid array as the primary drive?

    TIA Barry

  • #2
    I did just that. Gigabyte MB that supports Raid1 SATA drives. Put two identical 160 gig drives and told the bios that they were the boot drives. Then, installed OS (XPPro) and HS, and other.

    Already saved my butt twice with drive failures...

    I would do a clean install and apply SP2 (to save downloading all the indepenent updates) and then install HS 1.6 and put the old boot drive into the PC as a slave and copy the HS directory over to the new Raid1 PC. Of course, any drivers will have to be installed (not copied) on the new PC to support HA hardware.

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    • #3
      Barry,

      Moving to RAID is a great upgrade for piece of mind and reliability. Still no substitute for regular backups, but seems that the mechanical nature of disk drives still makes them the least reliable component in a PC! With RAID, a failed drive is just a a slight inconvienence instead of a catastrophic time consuming event.

      I think DavidL's advice to start over is appropriate. The OS will require drivers for the RAID controller and I'm not sure if Ghost has a mechanism to allow for this?

      I've been running RAID in both my workstation (XP) and server (previosly 2K, and now Server 2003) for many years. The server runs 6x36GB 10k SCSI drives that provide around 180GB of storage. The OS and HS run wihout a hitch... downside is that my server puts out as much noise and heat as a small jet engine . I've been thinking about switching over to SATA RAID with only 2 large disks as you are doing jsut for these reasons.

      Please let me know how you make out and if you attemt to use Ghost to image the new RAID drives.

      Paul

      Click to visit: www.sbsmarthomes.com
      Santa Barbara Smarthomes

      Authorized Russound Dealer & Installer

      Personal HA Website

      HomeSeer User Profile

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      • #4
        Well it is all done and I had to rebuild from scratch. Ran into a few problems that I needed to iron out, but it was not that bad.

        1) First of all ghost wwould not do it (Ghost 2003). Neither would the Seagate utilities since I would have had to copy between two interfaces (EIDE and SATA). What the hell I had nothing to do for the next 12 hours.

        2) When I built the OS (WINXP Pro) the only drives connected were one of the 2 SATA drives (drive 0), the Floppy and the CDRom. It built properly and it booted. I added all of the necessary drivers from the ASUS mb. I rebooted and all looked well. I then added the EIDE drive (was my old "D" and "E"). I keep the swap file all by itself on "E", a little partition on the real "D" drive. The swap file is never affected by fragmentation this way. I then rebooted and it still looked good.

        3) I then told the Raid system to build the raid array and mirror it (Raid 1), it did that and I rebooted. No problems

        4) For some reason the bios boot was set to Flooppy, CDrom, HDD0, but it booted. I then installed all the ap's including homeseer and rebooted. All came up.

        5) Inoticed that D had NTLDR and NTdetect.com and Boot.ini so I asked myself why? Thoght it strange and deleted them I rebooted and up came the famous "Can not find NTLDR message. I guess I needed them, and when I thought about it, it was obvious that I needed them if I am booting off HDD0. My "D" drive is HDD0 and the boot system does not know about drive letters.

        It was 12 AM my normal bed time, but no way could I sleep. so.... "Off to the WEB".

        The bios was booting off HDD0 (My "D" Drive) There was no boot programs, I just removed them. It turns out using Recovery mode on WINXP you end up with a nice little DOS system with things like Copy, CreateCFG, FixBOOT, etc. Cut a floppy off of another system with NTLDR, NTDetect.com and BootINI put them on the Root of what the recovery system was calling "C" which was HDD0. Rebooted. No NTLDR msg but a new one about the HAL.dll (Hardware abstraction layer) missing. Back to the WEB. I am a firm believer that all information is on the WEB, its asking the right question or setting the right search that is the hard part.

        Turns out the recoevry system also has a program to fix boot.ini, my problem was I was NOT pointing to the WINXP system on what the recovery system was calling "D" which was the raid system. Ergo it could not find HAL.dll at boot time. Using the program to rebuild the boot.ini I asked it to find all of the Window installations on any hard drive and I will pick the one to point to. I did that not knowing how to set up the record in Boot.ini that begins with "Multi(0)Disk(0)Rdisk(0)...." Nice feature! I picked the one that said D:\Windows. (The D/C stuff confused me for a while. During recovery the first drive found is C, Next is D, ... So in recovery a dumb DOS system the drive with windows on it is "D", The first drive it sees at enumeration is "C". When windows boots and it gets to Windows on the right drive, it now calls that drive C, the next one D, etc..

        I rebooted the system and all was well with the world.

        Now what I need to know is what do I put in the BIOS to select the raid array, 0 drive to be the boot choice? Any one know? I will be asking the MB manufacturer who have been very good in their support. Once I get that I can build the right boot programs add them to the Raid array and set up the MBR (Recovery system does that too.)

        Lesson learned, The MS Recovery tool with WinXP is a damm improtant tool to understand. Basically an enhanced DOS with all the right drivers etc. When doing a WINXP recovery from the CD ROM of WIN XP, you start by pretending you are doing a clean boot. You add any special driver for raid, scsi, etc by doing an F6 keyin as soon as asked for it very early in the process. It then loads all it needs and finally asks you to put in the driver diskette into "A". It then finishes up and ask if you want to do an initial install or a "Repair". Selecting repair then comes up with a message after searching for multiple Windows systems (could be a dual boot system) and asks you which one to repair. Enter the right number and hit enter, you then get a veryu Nice DOS system with lots of extra important tools.

        Hope this helps the next Guy.

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        • #5
          For my Gigabyte Motherboard, the choice to boot via the SATA Raid was in the bios settings. It was a specific setting for this option. You should consult your own MB's documentation or just cruise DOS screens...

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