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Can I setup RAID1 without formatting?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I have a WD caviar blue 1TB hard drive. I have tons and tons of files that I really cannot afford to loose. So I want to setup a RAID1 configuration to ensure that if one goes bad, then I'll have everything on the other one.

Is if possible to set this up without having to backup all my info, reinstall windows, setup the RAID, then restore all the info? I have heard that certain RAID controllers are capable of doing this, and certain other ones are not.

Also, would I be better off doing RAID1, or just backing up my info on another drive? I personally feel that doing RAID1 would be more reliable.

Any answers will be well-appreciated.

Thanks.
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Synergy
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post #2 of 13
If you are willing to spend the money on setting up a RAID, I would recommend doing that. It is more reliable, but it's also more convenient. You can avoid having to manually back up all of your data, make sure all the backups are current and then avoid having to restore it all in a disaster recovery situation. To answer your first question, yes you can build a RAID1 without losing data. Most RAID controllers and software allow you to choose which hard drive has the data on it and which hard drive you would like to extend the RAID onto. If you do go with the RAID option, I suggest you do not use the onboard RAID utility that comes with some motherboards because your RAID would now be dependent on the chipset on the motherboard, so if your motherboard were to go bad it'd be a pain to get your data back. You can find some pretty inexpensive RAID cards online that will get the job done for you.

Check out: http://www.microbarn.com/details.aspx?rid=101458

I have no experience with it but I have seen some good reviews on it and it's probably the cheapest you will find.
post #3 of 13
It has been awhile since I have run a RAID 1 setup, but I think you can set one up without formatting.
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Alright, glad to hear this. I will buy a cheap RAID card, and will wait for the HDD prices to finally come back down...

Thanks for the help!
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Synergy
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post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetboy623 View Post

Alright, glad to hear this. I will buy a cheap RAID card, and will wait for the HDD prices to finally come back down...

Thanks for the help!

What size hard drive are you looking for? I might be able to get you one cheaper than retail.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
post #6 of 13
One thing to remember is that RAID is not a back up solution only redundancy, if a virus, user error, file system corruption/error occurs you can still lose data
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitemarks and bloodstains View Post

One thing to remember is that RAID is not a back up solution only redundancy, if a virus, user error, file system corruption/error occurs you can still lose data

I like to recommend a NAS for a propper backup solution. All of your data will sit on your network.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
What size hard drive are you looking for? I might be able to get you one cheaper than retail.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
Another Caviar blue 1TB
Quote:
One thing to remember is that RAID is not a back up solution only redundancy, if a virus, user error, file system corruption/error occurs you can still lose data
Hmmm, good point, haven't thought about that..
Quote:
I like to recommend a NAS for a propper backup solution. All of your data will sit on your network.
Would love to get one of those, just don't have $500 in my pocket... Wish I did.

EDIT: Found this: http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-BlackArmor-Network-Attached-ST320005MNA10G-RK/dp/B002SYWLQC/ref=reg_hu-rd_add_1_dp

Is that good?
Edited by jetboy623 - 4/7/12 at 6:03pm
Synergy
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Western Digital caviar blue 1TB 7200RPM Western Digital caviar blue 320GB 7200RPM OCZ Solid series SSD 60GB 6Gb/s Some Sony DVD/CD drive 
CoolingOSOSMonitor
XSPC Rasa 750 RS360 liquid-cooling Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Ubuntu 11.4 Viewsonic 27" 1920x1080 
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HP 18.5" 1440x900 Logitech G510 Gaming keyboard CM modular silent pro 1000w Heavily modded Cooler Master HAF 922 
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Microsoft Intellipoint ergonomic W.O. mouse my desk Coby 5.1 surround 
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15.6 Inch monitor 
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Synergy
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Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition @ 4.3Ghz Asus M5A99X Evo Crossfire XFX 6870's Corsair Vengeance 16GB 1333Mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Western Digital caviar blue 1TB 7200RPM Western Digital caviar blue 320GB 7200RPM OCZ Solid series SSD 60GB 6Gb/s Some Sony DVD/CD drive 
CoolingOSOSMonitor
XSPC Rasa 750 RS360 liquid-cooling Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Ubuntu 11.4 Viewsonic 27" 1920x1080 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
HP 18.5" 1440x900 Logitech G510 Gaming keyboard CM modular silent pro 1000w Heavily modded Cooler Master HAF 922 
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15.6 Inch monitor 
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post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetboy623 View Post

Quote:
What size hard drive are you looking for? I might be able to get you one cheaper than retail.
Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
Another Caviar blue 1TB
Quote:
One thing to remember is that RAID is not a back up solution only redundancy, if a virus, user error, file system corruption/error occurs you can still lose data
Hmmm, good point, haven't thought about that..
Quote:
I like to recommend a NAS for a propper backup solution. All of your data will sit on your network.
Would love to get one of those, just don't have $500 in my pocket... Wish I did.
EDIT: Found this: http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-BlackArmor-Network-Attached-ST320005MNA10G-RK/dp/B002SYWLQC/ref=reg_hu-rd_add_1_dp
Is that good?

I will get back to you on what my cost is for a HDD and I will sell it to you for cost thumb.gif. I have never used that NAS, but it looks like a really good price for what you're getting. I would say go ahead and get it, it should be fine if you're just going to backup to it. I would also recommend using Cobian backup as a backup program. It's free, powerful and doesn't compress the backups into a weird file format that only that program can read.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleOhAlex View Post

I will get back to you on what my cost is for a HDD and I will sell it to you for cost thumb.gif. I have never used that NAS, but it looks like a really good price for what you're getting. I would say go ahead and get it, it should be fine if you're just going to backup to it. I would also recommend using Cobian backup as a backup program. It's free, powerful and doesn't compress the backups into a weird file format that only that program can read.

Alright, thanks so much.

Will look into that Cobian backup as well.
Synergy
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Western Digital caviar blue 1TB 7200RPM Western Digital caviar blue 320GB 7200RPM OCZ Solid series SSD 60GB 6Gb/s Some Sony DVD/CD drive 
CoolingOSOSMonitor
XSPC Rasa 750 RS360 liquid-cooling Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Ubuntu 11.4 Viewsonic 27" 1920x1080 
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HP 18.5" 1440x900 Logitech G510 Gaming keyboard CM modular silent pro 1000w Heavily modded Cooler Master HAF 922 
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15.6 Inch monitor 
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Synergy
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Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition @ 4.3Ghz Asus M5A99X Evo Crossfire XFX 6870's Corsair Vengeance 16GB 1333Mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Western Digital caviar blue 1TB 7200RPM Western Digital caviar blue 320GB 7200RPM OCZ Solid series SSD 60GB 6Gb/s Some Sony DVD/CD drive 
CoolingOSOSMonitor
XSPC Rasa 750 RS360 liquid-cooling Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Ubuntu 11.4 Viewsonic 27" 1920x1080 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
HP 18.5" 1440x900 Logitech G510 Gaming keyboard CM modular silent pro 1000w Heavily modded Cooler Master HAF 922 
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Microsoft Intellipoint ergonomic W.O. mouse my desk Coby 5.1 surround 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 M480 @ 2.67Ghz Stock Lenovo mobo Integrated Intel HD graphics 4GB 1333Mhz 
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Hitachi 500GB 5400RPM HDD General use DVD/CD drive integrated laptop heatsink Windows 7 Home Premium 
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15.6 Inch monitor 
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