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Windows 7 RAID array & reformatting

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
On my HTPC, I have a 2TB WD green and a 1.5TB 7200.11 that I "spanned" together in Windows 7 Disk management (so it shows up as a single 3.5TB drive). I'm about to upgrade to a 2600k, and I was wondering if this'll be a problem when I reinstall Windows (which is on a third drive). I simply do not have enough spare drives to back everything up, and I'd really hate to have to rip all my movies again. I've googled a bit, but I cannot find any info on this.
 
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post #2 of 6
I do not have any experience with spanning personally, but I am pretty sure that any software controlled array cannot be preserved through a re-install. That said, I believe that if a spanning array is dismantled, that the information on each disk is preserved, meaning that the only data that would be lost is anything that is separated into blocks, and written across both disks (which I believe doesn't even happen in any JBOD).

I am pretty sure that you would be unable to reinitialize the array without losing information, but not certain.

I would look for someone with more experience with software JBOD to confirm/deny my assumptions.
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post #3 of 6
Yeah chances are you won't be able to save anything seeing as you will be breaking the array once you reinstall Windows 7 (since you used the software array). In the future, I would make sure to do hardware arrays since in my experience, they are a bit more dependable and don't rely on the Operating System to keep the array in check.
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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibfreeekout View Post
Yeah chances are you won't be able to save anything seeing as you will be breaking the array once you reinstall Windows 7 (since you used the software array). In the future, I would make sure to do hardware arrays since in my experience, they are a bit more dependable and don't rely on the Operating System to keep the array in check.
Definite +1, hardware FTW. But in the case of JBOD, I am still pretty sure that data is not lost if you break the array, considering that a drive failure results in only the data on the failed drive being lost...

May depend on how Windows Disk Manager handles the allocation table.
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Okay, so I should at least be able to keep most of my data then? I don't really have anything that'd be unrecoverable, it's just a massive PITA to rip Blu-rays and HD-DVDs.

Would it be possible to disable the array within Windows and have it reallocate everything onto separate disks so I don't get any broken files?


If nobody knows for sure, I'll probably just throw in an old PATA drive and install on it first to see what it does.
 
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post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by foothead View Post
Okay, so I should at least be able to keep most of my data then? I don't really have anything that'd be unrecoverable, it's just a massive PITA to rip Blu-rays and HD-DVDs.

Would it be possible to disable the array within Windows and have it reallocate everything onto separate disks so I don't get any broken files?


If nobody knows for sure, I'll probably just throw in an old PATA drive and install on it first to see what it does.
Like I said before, I would urge you to wait for someone with more experience with SW JBOD to offer their advice. That said, if the data is replaceable (PITA or not) there really isn't much to lose if you just went ahead and saw what happens.

It is possible that Microsoft writes the array definition onto the disks so that they would be recoverable through a reinstall (assuming the OS wasn't on said array), but knowing Microsoft, they didn't.

If no one else shows up to clarify by the time you go ahead with the re-install, let us know what ends up happening so we may all learn from the experience! (The lesson may yet be: Use Hardware RAID, haha.)
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