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  • Win 7 Mirroring Issue

    Hi all,

    My question revolves around setting up a mirrored drive in Windows 7. I have a pc that has two identical drives. I'd like to create a RAID-1 setup on the second, empty drive. After digging around some I tried the steps I found on the web to make this work from within the Win 7 software, but I am having trouble getting it to work.

    When I right-click the empty drive, the option for 'New Mirrored Volume' is grayed out. I cant seem to get it to be an option. Any ideas on why it would be grayed out? I've tried a couple of different things, like formatting the drive, and setting it up as a volume, but no luck.

    Am I not allowed to mirror the first drive if it contains the operating system? Anyone know where else I may be going wrong?

    I attached a screen grab of what I'm talking about, if its of any use.

    Thanks in advance

    J
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Win 7 Mirroring Issue

    You need to convert the both the drives from Basic to Dynamic. A better option would be to purchase a cheap RAID controller. That way you can leave the HDDs in the Basic state. Adaptec have some reasonable priced controllers that would be suitable for what you want.

    I suggest you Dynamic Disks before converting them as there can be unwanted issues. Reverting the drives from Dynamic to Basic also can present problems.
    1 1 was a racehorse.
    2 2 was 1 2.
    1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
    2 2 1 1 2

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    • #3
      Re: Win 7 Mirroring Issue

      Many desktop motherboards support RAID natively. It may not be the best (puts some load on the processor, but less than WinRAID does), but its good for workstations and even cheap servers. Worth checking if yours supports that.
      Tom Jones
      MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
      PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
      IT Trainer / Consultant
      Ossian Ltd
      Scotland

      ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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      • #4
        Re: Win 7 Mirroring Issue

        Originally posted by biggles77 View Post
        You need to convert the both the drives from Basic to Dynamic. A better option would be to purchase a cheap RAID controller. That way you can leave the HDDs in the Basic state. Adaptec have some reasonable priced controllers that would be suitable for what you want.

        I suggest you Dynamic Disks before converting them as there can be unwanted issues. Reverting the drives from Dynamic to Basic also can present problems.
        Thanks for the responses.

        I think I'd rather offload it to another disk as opposed to using the RAID controller on the motherboard. I'm going to try to convert to dynamic today, and hopefully that does the trick.

        Thanks again

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Win 7 Mirroring Issue

          Originally posted by Ossian View Post
          Many desktop motherboards support RAID natively. It may not be the best (puts some load on the processor, but less than WinRAID does), but its good for workstations and even cheap servers. Worth checking if yours supports that.
          Damn, keep forgetting about that.

          jgarzoli, if you have onboard RAID then I suggest you try that first. Stay away from Dynamic Drives if you can.
          1 1 was a racehorse.
          2 2 was 1 2.
          1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
          2 2 1 1 2

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Win 7 Mirroring Issue

            Originally posted by biggles77 View Post
            Damn, keep forgetting about that.

            jgarzoli, if you have onboard RAID then I suggest you try that first. Stay away from Dynamic Drives if you can.
            It does have onboard RAID, which I havent messed around with in the past, so I'm unfamiliar with the setup. If I take the onboard route, will it mess with the data thats currently on the drive in use (C: drive with the OS, and lots of data)? Am I going to have to do a full wipe of that drive to setup the onboard? I'll do some searching on the subject, but if you happen to have any experience in the past, feel free to share.

            Thanks again all.

            J

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            • #7
              Re: Win 7 Mirroring Issue

              No it shouldn't cause any data loss but even if you were to go the Dynamic route you will still need the precautionary data backup as the conversion can go wrong.

              Read the motherboard manual and see what it says. On ones I have had experience with it is a matter of connecting the HDDs to the RAID ports. You would then need to access the RAID interface (it will be something like CTRL + M or CTRL + F, the manual will tell you and it will flash on the screen for a couple of seconds) and select RAID 1. Post your motherboard model and I will see if I can look through it and figure out what it says. (The first one is always the scariest. )

              One thing to note is with onboard RAID controllers, some of them require the identical HDD if you get a failure. Others will take any HDD bigger than the remaining one and SYNC the drive to the same size as the good one. Eg, if you have a 250GB HDD and you can only find a 320GB to replace it with, the RAID Controller will reconfigure it to a 250GB drive.

              Post the motherboard model and I will try and get the manual.
              1 1 was a racehorse.
              2 2 was 1 2.
              1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
              2 2 1 1 2

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              • #8
                Re: Win 7 Mirroring Issue

                You should also check if Win7 can pick up the RAID driver natively -- a repair install may be needed.
                Tom Jones
                MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
                PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
                IT Trainer / Consultant
                Ossian Ltd
                Scotland

                ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Win 7 Mirroring Issue

                  Thanks. I probably wont be able to get the mobo info until late next week, as this computers in a different building, so it'll probably be a few days until I can respond again with any news.

                  I do remember there being a CTRL + C option at boot. I did go in there when I was messing around, and I do recall seeing the hardware RAID options in there. Both drives are identical, so that will hopefully eliminate any issues there. I'll definitely make a backup before doing anything.

                  I think Win 7 detected the driver on this one. I believe when I initially installed the drive I didnt have to do anything special. The current drive is a replacement of an older drive, and I do believe it picked up fine when setting up.

                  Thanks for the pointers, and I'll be back to update once I have more info.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Win 7 Mirroring Issue

                    Because I promised an update...

                    So we stuck with the software mirror option for now. Converted disks to dynamic, and setup the mirror. All went smoothly. So far seems to be running well, and the users havent noticed any performance problems.

                    Thanks for all the suggestions.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Win 7 Mirroring Issue

                      Make sure you keep your backup current. I was in a position where I was forced to use a Software RAID 1 where I had a drive failure and it trashed the remaining good drive. Took some good recovery software to recover some new items I hadn't included in the nightly backup.
                      1 1 was a racehorse.
                      2 2 was 1 2.
                      1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                      2 2 1 1 2

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Win 7 Mirroring Issue

                        Also, when using RAID 1 and repairing a failed drive... make sure the rebuild copies the data onto the blank drive, not the blank onto the data drive. A former webhost of mine once did that accidentally on the server hosting the VPSes. No backups, because the drive was mirrored and he therefore assumed it was backed up. A cookie to whoever can come up with the best synonym for "cretin"...

                        And no, I'm not with that provider any more.
                        Last edited by gforceindustries; 10th June 2010, 21:28.
                        Gareth Howells

                        BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                        Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                        Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                        "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Win 7 Mirroring Issue

                          Originally posted by gforceindustries View Post
                          No backups, because the drive was mirrored and he therefore assumed it was backed up. A cookie to whoever can come up with the best synonym for "cretin"...

                          And no, I'm not with that provider any more.
                          I am not surprised you are not. What? No other backup because they had mirroring??
                          What sort of webhost are (were) they? The ones with the "datacentre" in the attic types
                          Caesar's cipher - 3

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                          • #14
                            Re: Win 7 Mirroring Issue

                            Oh no, it was a real datacentre. They had servers rented from PoundHost. I went with them because I was at university at the time with the CEO, so got a very good rate.
                            Gareth Howells

                            BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                            Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                            Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                            "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                            "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                            Comment

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