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RAID 5 to Single HDD/SSD config

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Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 2

Hi,

My setup:

-1x SSD for Windows 7-64bits (C:)
-1x RAID 5 made of 3 HDDs with all my programs (E:)
-2x Storage HDDs

So my RAID 5 has a dead disk at the moment and at first i was thinking about just buying a new one like i used to do in the past but another disk also has a "Current Pending Sector Count: 1 " so it may run into problems if i try to rebuild my RAID ? Or is it fine ?

Maybe it's better to just buy a new HDD/SSD and put all the RAID 5 stuff on it ? But i am not sure how to do it.

Do i just create a full backup/image of the RAID 5 with Acronis and then load it on the new HDD/SSD like it use to do when i restore my OS Drive (C:) on a new HDD ? Then what ? What about the RAID ? Do i just unplug all HDDs ? Do i need to do something into the BIOS ? Like "killing"/"removing" the RAID5 ?

My goal is to avoid to reinstall all my programs or have Windows problems because the drive letter changed for example.

Thanks in advance for any help provided,

Dane

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Legend
Posts: 109
Comments: 27965

Dane, welcome to these public User Forums.

First a caveat that I am not an expert on RAID!

If your RAID 5 array is currently showing as being degraded due to a single disk failure, then assuming that the other two disks in the array are good, you should be able to simply swap in a new good disk to replace the failed one.

If you are able to access the RAID array as a single drive E: within Windows, then please do make a backup of that drive as a safety net against the array not being able to recover from the failed disk.

I would suggest actually making two backups of drive E:

One as a Disks & Partitions backup image and a second backup as Files & Folders.

The first of these backups should be able to be used to recover back to either a new RAID 5 array if you have to replace more than a single disk and the second could be used to recover to either a formatted single drive replacing the array, or else to recover individual files & folders if there is evidence of any disk corruption, assuming the data was able to be captured in the backup image.

If you are going to change from having the RAID array to using a single drive, then you would need to remove the RAID configuration in the BIOS and then decide if you are keeping any of the disks from that array, or removing them all and replacing by a single new disk?

Once you have made that decision and have the array or new disk in place, then you should be able to do a recovery to it using the Acronis rescue media.

Ideally, I would recommend removing any other drives while doing the recovery to limit the chance of making a mistake and restoring to the wrong drive.

Note: you may still need to go into Windows Disk Management after doing the above and check that your restored drive (single disk or array) has still been given the same drive letter E: as used by your programs installed to that drive.  If the drive letter has changed, then identify what now has been given E: then change that to another letter, then give E: back to the array / drive.

One other check to make:  what partition scheme is used by the RAID array drive?  Is it using MBR or GPT?  You should ensure that this is matched if creating a new RAID array or swapping to a single disk.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 2

Hi Steve and thanks for the very detailed answer and the warm welcome ! :)

 

If your RAID 5 array is currently showing as being degraded due to a single disk failure, then assuming that the other two disks in the array are good, you should be able to simply swap in a new good disk to replace the failed one.

 My Intel software doesn't show any problem after a full scan, it's "HD Sentinel" that sometimes show one HDD with a "Spin Up Time Error" (don't have the error at the moment) and then the condition of that disk goes down to 0%. First time i have seen that.

I also have 1 other disk on that array with an error: Current Pending Sector Count: 1 and that's why i changed my mind and don't want to keep my RAID, my HDDs are pretty old too, switching to 1 SSD with an Acronis backup seems a better option now.

I would suggest actually making two backups of drive E:

One as a Disks & Partitions backup image and a second backup as Files & Folders.

Sorry i am not good when it comes to computers and English is not my native language :) So what do you mean by "backup as Files & Folders" ? I just copypasta all the content under Windows or i have to do that under Acronis with the disk image ? Or it doesn't matter ?

If you are going to change from having the RAID array to using a single drive, then you would need to remove the RAID configuration in the BIOS and then decide if you are keeping any of the disks from that array, or removing them all and replacing by a single new disk?

Will remove all disks and replace them by 1 SSD, don't trust any of these disks anymore but later i might add another storage HDD on that Intel controller (6 SATA slots, it's an ASUS P7P55D-E Pro mobo)

One other check to make:  what partition scheme is used by the RAID array drive?  Is it using MBR or GPT?  You should ensure that this is matched if creating a new RAID array or swapping to a single disk.

MBR, it's my second computer, it's a "very" old one (2010), also i don't think AHCI is activated and most SATA ports should be set by default on IDE mode but i will check.

So if i am correct i will have to:

1. Install my new SSD and format it using MBR option
2. Create 2 backups of my drive (E:), Files & Folders + Disk Image, everything with Acronis ?
3. Reboot and remove the RAID 5 under the BIOS
4. Boot on Acronis rescue media and "mount" the RAID 5 disk image on the new SSD

After 4. can i just shutdown my computer and remove all my RAID 5 disks before booting to Windows ? Or can i do that later ?

Sorry for all the questions and even if it's my second computer i still use it on a daily basis and i have hundreds of apps running on it so i would really would like to avoid to hardware or software issues with Windows 7 :)

Legend
Posts: 109
Comments: 27965

Dane, if you are using ATI 2017 (as per this forum) then please see the ATI 2017 User Guide sections on Backing up data which describes how to make backups of both the whole disk and also just your Files & Folders.

You should be able to find the same information on your computer with ATI 2017 installed in the Help section of the application, where it should be in your native language.

You should make your backups to an external backup drive before starting to make changes such as removing the RAID drives and installing the new SSD.

Please also ensure that you have created the Acronis Rescue Media and are able to use this to boot your computer should this be needed.

Once you have your backups, then shutdown and remove the RAID array in the BIOS then remove the drives, followed by installing the new SSD drive.

At that point, you should be able to boot back into Windows from your OS SSD, and then use the installed version of ATI 2017 to restore your backup from the RAID set to the new SSD drive from within Windows.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 2

Got my new SSD + external HDD for backup and everything worked well

Thanks a lot for the help !