Migrating RAID


A few months ago, my 5-year-old Alienware Area 51 died. I narrowed my problem down to the motherboard. Since this computer is so old, I decided to replace it with a new, updated computer. The busted rig had two 200GB hard drives on a 3ware RAID controller (RAID 0 configuration). Is it possible to install the RAID controller and drives (as is) on my new computer as a secondary drive and retrieve the existing data, or will I have to rebuild my RAID during installation?

—David Truan

The Doctor strongly advises keeping regular backups of RAID 0 configs, especially if you plan on migrating your data. In fact, when possible, back up your data and re-create the array from scratch on the new machine, then move your data back to it.

That said, we know it’s not always possible to back up before a move, especially in cases like this, which are essentially rescue missions. Moving a RAID array can be a tricky proposition, but it’s much easier if you use the same RAID controller.  The Doctor spoke to a 3ware tech-support rep who said that as long as your new motherboard plays nice with the RAID controller, you shouldn’t have any problems. Wait until your new computer’s fully set up and functional before moving your RAID over. Install your RAID controller’s drivers and then (with the machine powered down) install the RAID controller with the drives attached. When you power on the computer, your array should show up.

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION Are flames shooting out of the back of your rig? First, grab a fire extinguisher and douse the flames. Once the pyrotechnic display has fizzled, email the doctor at doctor@maximumpc.com for advice on how to solve your technological woes.

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