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Restoring RAID-0 data to new disks

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I have Acronis True Image Home 2011 (update 3, built 6942) installed on a PC running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit.

My boot disk is a 120GB SSD. All is well there.

However, I keep most of my apps and data on a RAID-0 (2x 500GB Seagate SATA disks = 1TB RAID-0). That 1TB is proving to be insufficient and I need to expand. I've bought 2 brand new 2TB WD Caviar Black disks I intend to put into a 4TB RAID-0 and use that as my new data drive.

I've got Acronis doing regular backups of the current RAID-0 onto an external disk, but I've never had to recover anything before and I'm nervous. Is it as simple as swapping out the old disks for the new disks and telling Acronis to "recover" it once the new RAID is set up? Will I encounter any problems given these are different, larger drives I'm recovering to?

Thanks in advance for your help. I want to do this right the first time and make sure I'm totally prepared! :)

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#1

Anyone?

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#2

Martin,
I doubt you will have any problems. I would do the following;

-Power down the system
-Remove my current array and note their orientation, connected to which SATA port, etc.
-Install my new drives
-Start my machine, enter the RAID Configuration Utility - Ctrl+M, Ctrl+I... which ever it is for your controller (Do not boot into windows)
-Mark the drive as RAID members
-Choose your stripe size
-Create the array
Save and exit
There are only two things that will happen next
-Either your system will reset completely and POST... in which case I'd enter BIOS and confirm boot order looks good
or (more likely) windows will start
-I'd visit Disk Management and see what you've got there
-You should have an unformatted array

All you want is an array that appears as a single disk

Get your Boot CD and back up image ready

-Restart from your boot CD, select restore
-Single partition - restore the entire partition
-Extend it to the full size of the disk or desired size of the partition you want to create
-If the drive has multiple partitions, restore the partitions one at a time sequentially making each partition the size you want

Please post your progress

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#3

Thanks, Shadow! That's what I was thinking it would be, but I wasn't sure due to never having done a restore before.

Question: Since I'm backing up and restoring to a data array (D drive) and not my disk (C drive), do I need to restart from a boot CD? Or can I just do the restore through the Acronis app in Windows?

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#4
Martin K wrote:

Thanks, Shadow! That's what I was thinking it would be, but I wasn't sure due to never having done a restore before.

Question: Since I'm backing up and restoring to a data array (D drive) and not my disk (C drive), do I need to restart from a boot CD? Or can I just do the restore through the Acronis app in Windows?

Any restore of your system drive is best done when booted from the ATI Rescue Media. Data partitions can be restored within Windows, but restoring your C drive from within Windows is not recommended.

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#5

Martin,
I always use a boot media for these types of operations. MVP tuttle agrees.

File recovery is the only operation I perform in windows.

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#6

So, here's where I'm at...

* I removed the old disks and installed the new ones.
* Without booting into Windows, I used CTRL+I to access the RAID utility and create the new array.
* Booted into Windows, formatted the new array as my new D drive.
* Booted into the ATI boot CD and began a recovery process. Since I was doing just a data drive, I chose "Files and Folders" only, instead of the entire partition.

Now, everything appears to be progressing fine. However, the ATI boot CD shows my source as "D:" (which it was), but it shows the target location as "H:". I'm assuming this is just a temporary label within the ATI boot CD environment because ATI considers my source partition to be D? When I load back into Windows after the process completes and my files have been recovered, I assume Windows will continue to recognize the new array as D, which is how I set it up?

Thanks!

PS... it's estimating 10 hours to recover roughly 700gb of data from my backup disk to my new array. Does it always take this long?

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#7

The Linux environment enumerates disks differently than Windows does. That's why we recommend that you add a recognizable label to every disk, so you can uniquely identify it without the drive letter.

As for time, that's primarily related to the size of the restore (700 GB is big!), the speed of your drives and the speed of the interface between the drives. When using an external USB HD, don't connect via a hub, a port in a monitor, a USB extension cord, etc. Connect the external drive directly to a USB port on the rear of the computer case.

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#8

Thanks, Tuttle.

I figured as much on the drive labels. As long as it's just the ATI boot CD app identifying the new array as H, and it will show up as D once I boot back into Windows, I'm a happy clam.

The restore is about 1/5 of the way complete as of 3:30 PM Central. The estimated time remaining has shot up to 2 days, but I honestly think it will complete sometime later tonight based on its current progress. My backup drive is connected directly to my PC via a USB 3.0 port + cable so the transfer speeds are decent.

I'll update once it's complete. Thanks again!

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#9

Any updates Martin?

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#10

Well, I'm about 30 hours into the process and it's still chugging along. Looks to be at around 95% or so (the progress bar doesn't tell me %'s). However, it's gone from "3 days remaining" to "1 day, 9 hours". But again, that hasn't exactly been an accurate gauge of progress. I'm hoping it'll be done in 1-2 hours.

Considering backups of the original array only took about 2-3 hours, I'm sorta disappointed in the recovery process taking so incredibly long. I'm wondering if I had done it in Windows, since I'm recovering a data drive and not a system disk, if it would have been quicker? It occurred to me that the ATI boot CD might not be able to take advantage of USB 3.0 transfer rates, whereas a Windows environment can. Live and learn, I suppose.

I certainly hope there are no issues once the recovery is complete because I don't know if I have the patience to go through this again. At this point it would have been quicker for me to just reinstall or re-download all my apps.

Thanks for checking in. I'll post when it's done!

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#11

Martin K wrote:
It occurred to me that the ATI boot CD might not be able to take advantage of USB 3.0 transfer rates, whereas a Windows environment can.

The Rescue Media certainly makes use of USB 3.0 on my system. It's possible that your particular controller isn't yet supported, but you should be able to test that.

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#12

Ugh. The restore FINALLY finished. I booted into Windows 7 only to discover I was locked out of all my data due to some sort of user rights issue. It looks like when ATI does a restore, it uses a generic "administrator" user instead of the user that actually owns the data (I do not use "administrator" as my main user name).

So now I am going through the who-knows-how-long-THIS-will-take process of changing the user rights in Win7 for the D drive and all its subfolders/files over to the correct owner. Win7 Ultimate has a nice tool that will do this en masse, but I have no idea how long it will take.

I also noticed that ATI's restore didn't put my data back where it was -- it put it in a sub-folder on the D drive with the name of the drive.

So instead of

D:\Program Files\

I now have

D:\Drive(D)\Program Files\

Once the permissions are all restored, I'll have to cut-n-paste those files and folders back into the root of D instead of that sub-folder.

I gotta say, I'm disappointed with ATI here. Not only has it taken crazy long, but all these quirky issues after the restore are annoying. Granted, there were probably some sort of advanced options in the ATI boot CD restore process that might have alleviated all of this, but they were either not apparent, or not labeled intuitively. The only pluses were that, for all its faults, it WORKED (tho not very efficiently IMO), and the fact that you guys were awesome. :)

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#13

Martin K wrote:
It looks like when ATI does a restore, it uses a generic "administrator" user instead of the user that actually owns the data

I've never seen that happen.

Martin K wrote:
I also noticed that ATI's restore didn't put my data back where it was -- it put it in a sub-folder on the D drive with the name of the drive.

I've never seen that either, but I'm careful about destination paths when restoring.

I've done hundreds of disk/partition restores, and have never seen the issues you describe. I don't use RAID, so perhaps there are steps that should have been done differently - maybe someone knowledgeable about RAID can comment.

EDIT: I reviewed your posts and see that you did a Files/Folder restore.

For the path issue, you likely did that (perhaps inadvertently) and chose that restore path.

Re. permissions issue, was the restore made to the same user account that created the backup? If not, then this would be a standard Windows permissions issue rather than a True Image issue. Even if you had just used Windows Explorer to backup files to an external drive, if you tried to restor them to a different user account you'd encounter the same permissions block.

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#14

Martin,
I've never seen this behavior either. There is nothing special to restoring data from a RAID array than from a disk formatted alternatively. Certainly you can grant yourself administrative permission to the disk by taking ownership of the of the data.

Permissions can be inherited and applied to the container.

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#15

I'm pretty sure the restore showing up in a sub-folder instead of the root folder was some type of ATI setting that I just didn't see. IMO, the restore process using the ATI boot CD was pretty convoluted when compared with the silky smooth backup process in the ATI Windows app. It seemed like I was fumbling through the recovery menus seeing a lot of unfamiliar terms, whereas the Windows app holds your hand to configure a backup.

As for permissions, I only have 1 user account on my PC. It's just a name, rather than the generic "administrator" or "admin" you sometimes see. Not sure why ATI wasn't capable of restoring my files back with the same user rights. But the Windows utility to fix user permissions took roughly 10 minutes for all my files, and it did it recursively which was nice. :)

Then moving \Program Files\ from the sub-folder ATI put it in, into the root of D, took less than 3 minutes in Windows.

Everything seems to be running fine. I am now cruising along with a 4TB array instead of 1TB, which is great. Thanks again for all your help and guidance. I hope I never have to do this again, but if I do, I'm that much more experienced. :)

Of course, I may want to upgrade my 120gb boot SSD to a 250gb SSD once prices come down. Hopefully that process will be smoother.

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#16

Martin,
We are pleased to hear of your success. The more I think about it... I seem to recall a permissions thing that came up several months ago. I'll have to check with one of our other MVPs.

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#17

I ran into the same issue with ATI 2019.  It listed the Array as unknown and gave a write error.  I found a ATI 2016 or 2017 (created in mid 2017) rescue disk.  It booted and showed the RAID array unintilized and is actually starting the restore process.  It just doesn’t make sense how the newer disk are having issues unless it’s an array controller support being deprecated?  It sees it, backs it up and let’s me select for restore but errors out.  I’ll know for sure in 45min (hopefully not days).

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#18
Jeff Allen wrote:

I ran into the same issue with ATI 2019.  It listed the Array as unknown and gave a write error.  I found a ATI 2016 or 2017 (created in mid 2017) rescue disk.  It booted and showed the RAID array unintilized and is actually starting the restore process.  It just doesn’t make sense how the newer disk are having issues unless it’s an array controller support being deprecated?  It sees it, backs it up and let’s me select for restore but errors out.  I’ll know for sure in 45min (hopefully not days).

Hello Jeff,

thank you for your posting! If a bootable media of 2016 sees the RAID array and 2019 not, I'd recommend opening a support ticket for the issue.