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More Raid 5 Problems

angelkiller

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Ok, still pretty new here, anyways,

First, I have been running a Raid 01 setup for almost a year now with no problems. Recently, I upgraded my graphics card to a X1950pro from a 6800XT. The only game I seriously play is Battlefield 2. Now with the resolution cranked up (All high at 1280x1024, no AA) It takes forever to load a map. Before this, I used to be the first one on a map.

Then I changed the RAID from 01 to Raid 5. (looking for performance) Now, BF2 is unplayable. When I play, I can hear my drives constantly seeking, and BF2 stutters, so much that I can't play it.

I want to go back to my Raid 01 setup. How do I do this??
Is there another way to optimize the HDD I already have?? (I dont want to buy anything)


My computer has a Intel 945GNTLKR Mobo, Intel Pentium D 945 (3.4GHz), 1 GB(2x512MB) Crucial Balistix DDR2-667, (4) Seagate Barracudas 7200.9 (80GB each) and I'm running Win XP Pro x64. My drives are currently in the Raid 5 setup and my stripe size= 32KB.

Thanks for any help in advance!!
 

choirbass

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offhand, i cant think of a way to switch raid array types 'on the fly' so to speak... going from raid 5 back to raid 0+1 'may' involve a reformat of the disks used in the array... you 'could' try deleting the array in the controllers bios (but not erasing the data on it), and that might allow you to make the hdds a raid 0+1 array again... but, im skeptical that would work so easily... so, to me it just sounds like you would need to back up the data you want (possibly use a disk imaging program), and then recreate the raid array as 0+1
 

angelkiller

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Thanks for the reply!
going from raid 5 back to raid 0+1 'may' involve a reformat of the disks used in the array
I was hoping to avoid this. But if it's my only option.... :cry:
you 'could' try deleting the array in the controllers bios (but not erasing the data on it), and that might allow you to make the hdds a raid 0+1 array again
I thought about that. But I figured that the actual "data" on the HD isn't what I see in Windows. (I never see the parity data, etc.) So I don't want to risk my data for it.
possibly use a disk imaging program
Good idea! Sure beats burning My Documents to a DVD! :D Do you have any suggestions?? (I don't know of any. :oops: Free would be nice also)
 

choirbass

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MadHacker

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just so that you know...
a friend of mine has a raid5 system on his EVGA 680i MB, and it performs horrible.
It even stutters on playing back an AVI.

I have a Highpoint 8 channel raid controller card and my raid5 screams...
I have 2 raid5 drives and I can get 188MB/sec copying from one drive to another.
 

RJ

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My drives are currently in the Raid 5 setup and my stripe size= 32KB.
I'm set up with 128kb. The higher the number, the faster the performance. The caviat is that your space isn't economically used.

My opinion...RAID 5 sucks. I tried my current setup with RAID 5 when I first built it. It's supposed to be one of the better chipsets(965). I still didn't like how slow it was. I've gotten spoiled with my Raptors in RAID 0.
 

darkangelism

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raid 5 is not as fast as a 0+1 or a raid 10...raid 5 is best used for storage efficency...raid 50s are better...but thats 6 drives and a seperate raid card.
 

angelkiller

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raid 5 is best used for storage efficency
Yea, That's why I changed. So now I'm not getting 50% of the total storage space.
I'm set up with 128kb. The higher the number, the faster the performance. The caviat is that your space isn't economically used.
I did a lot of research about this. My computer isn't a dedicated server. All my files are completely different sizes and I have a lot of small files. So I thought a smaller stripe size would be better. Could this be a potential problem?
I have a Highpoint 8 channel raid controller card and my raid5 screams...
I have 2 raid5 drives and I can get 188MB/sec copying from one drive to another.
8O 8O :x :evil: :evil: :( :( :)
I envy you....

So I've confirmed using a dedicated card is faster than the mobo's built in RAID. (But didicated cards are so expensive! :( ) And thanks choirbass for the link and info. First I'm going to try changing my stripe size to 128KB and if that doesn't work, I'm going to try Norton Ghost, and if that doesnt work.... :roll:

Thanks guys for your help! Without buying anything, Is Raid 01 the best way to go?
 

choirbass

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its certainly the easiest, when it comes to automatic data backup, especially since its widely supported (referring to raid 1, not raid 0+1)

another way (and possibly better even still, because youre not dealing with the hassles of raid at all, and because youre also offered greater data redundancy) would just be to have your hdds set up as jbod, and copy data manually that youd want to keep to the other hdds (that way youre not stuck with a bunch of OS data occupying space that could otherwise be best used for essential stuff), or you could schedule backups inside windows too, for the same thing, scheduling specific directories and files to be backed up to the other hdds on occasion, or however often

but, unless youre dealing with very large files, transferring or editing them, raid 0 in itself isnt going to offer much benefit (optimally you may see up to around ~15% boost in str when transferring large amounts of data in a 2 hdd raid 0 array, compared to a single hdd)... synthetic benchmarks and windows boot times being the major exception to that, you may experience up to double performance in either of those situations... ...game loading times though are a common misconception of what raid 0 can help a lot with, you may experience an average of ~1 second improvement in load times for most games (unless the game maps consist of mostly only large bitmaps and such, then youll probably see a larger benefit)... google for 'raid 0 game load time' or something similar to that, and you should find quite a few reviews on raid 0 and gaming... a faster single hdd, more system memory, or even a faster cpu will benefit you much more in this case (game map/level loading)
 

MU_Engineer

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The NVIDIA Nforce MCPs (southbridge for Intel or single chips on AMD K8s) have poor RAID 5 performance, even if you don't use the BIOS to set up NVRAID "fake" RAID. My NForce 4 board stinks at RAID 5 while using the onboard SATA-300 ports and using Linux to control the RAID. Friends who use Windows report the same. I also got a HighPoint card, the 4-channel 2130 PCIe x4 unit. Now the RAID 5 performs excellently- 120-130 MB/sec peak reads from 3 250GB drives and peak writes in the 70 MB/sec range. On the NVIDIA SATA ports, that was about 80 MB/sec peak reads and 19-20 MB/sec peak writes. Yuck. The HighPoint card was worth the $140.

OP: An external card is the way to go if you have an NVIDIA board. You've got an Intel 965, which I am not familiar with as Intel never got around to releasing that chipset for the Athlon 64 X2s for some reason :D RAID 01 is faster than RAID 5, but it's also less efficient at using the disk drive space. I find RAID 5 on my card to be more than sufficient for performance.
 

SomeJoe7777

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My drives are currently in the Raid 5 setup and my stripe size= 32KB.
I'm set up with 128kb. The higher the number, the faster the performance. The caviat is that your space isn't economically used.

Stripe size has nothing to do with space efficiency. Higher stripe sizes do not waste any space.

Higher stripe sizes affect performance for small files. Files that are smaller than the stripe size do not get as much speed benefit as larger files do because the entire file is not spread out amongst all disks in the array. Only files equal to or larger than the stripe size use all disks in the array and therefore get full speed benefit.
 

Madwand

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The NVIDIA Nforce MCPs (southbridge for Intel or single chips on AMD K8s) have poor RAID 5 performance, even if you don't use the BIOS to set up NVRAID "fake" RAID. My NForce 4 board stinks at RAID 5 while using the onboard SATA-300 ports and using Linux to control the RAID. Friends who use Windows report the same. I also got a HighPoint card, the 4-channel 2130 PCIe x4 unit. Now the RAID 5 performs excellently- 120-130 MB/sec peak reads from 3 250GB drives and peak writes in the 70 MB/sec range. On the NVIDIA SATA ports, that was about 80 MB/sec peak reads and 19-20 MB/sec peak writes. Yuck. The HighPoint card was worth the $140.
My 3-drive nForce 430 RAID 5 has done 140 MB/s read/write. Here's a write:

D:\tools>xxcopy /y f:\test\test0\10.gb n:\test\test9

XXCOPY == Freeware == Ver 2.93.1 (c)1995-2006 Pixelab, Inc.
...
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
F:\test\test0\10.gb 10,000,000,000
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Directories processed = 1
Total data in bytes = 10,000,000,000
Elapsed time in sec. = 71.19
Action speed (MB/min) = 8429
Files copied = 1
 

angelkiller

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:evil: :evil:

OK, thanks for the great responses.

Now, I cannot adjust the stripe size. I cannot install Norton Ghost. (Because I was being stupid and bought WinXP x64, which registers as Windows Server 2003! :x ) Now I'm stuck.... and have another problem:

Near the end of March, I'm going to upgrade my system. I'm getting a GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3. Newegg says the board only supports Raid 0 and Raid 1. I'm also getting another gigabyte of memory, and plan to get a C2D in June. So now my questions are:

1. If I run a Raid 0 setup, will it be recognized on the Gigabyte board?
2. Since the Gigabyte board only supports Raid 0 and Raid 1, Would the best solution (with my same drives) be two Raid 0 arrays?
3. How do I move my data? Norton Ghost will not install on WinXP Pro x64.
4. Until March, what do you recommend that I do?

I'm thinking my best move (now) would be to back up my data (somehow) and rebuild a Raid 01 array until I upgrade. Then I should backup again, and build two Raid 0 arrays.

Sorry for asking so many questions and sounding so helpless :oops: ....
 

SomeJoe7777

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How much data is on your RAID 5 array currently? If it's less than 80GB, I might be able to come up with a procedure that will let you get back to RAID 0+1. If it's more than 80GB and you can't uninstall/delete enough to get under 80GB, then you will HAVE to have another hard drive to temporarily hold your data to transition back to RAID 0+1.

If you have to have another drive, that's not horrendous. The Western Digital 160GB SATA I've seen as low as $60 online.

Let us know how much data we're dealing with and we'll go from there.
 

Dante_Jose_Cuervo

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Well, being that quite a few people here have already beaten me to this I'll tell you something: RAID 5 runs BEST with a DEDICATED controller. Now some of those nifty integrated ones that Intel provides can be pretty good, I'll admit that, but a dedicated controller is much better for RAID 5. Also, 32KB? Dude, I'm using 128KB, it runs MUCH SMOOTHER (that, and I'm running U160 SCSI, got a few drives and a free controller from my CAD instructor). Also, have you thought about maybe bumping up your RAM? I mean, why do you even have a 64-bit OS if you're not even using enough RAM to take advantage of it?
 

angelkiller

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How much data is on your RAID 5 array currently? If it's less than 80GB, I might be able to come up with a procedure that will let you get back to RAID 0+1.
Really?? Ok then, I have two partitions. There is 8GB used on a 10GB C drive and 38.7GB used out of 100GB on my D drive. (The rest is not formatted) So that's under 80Gigs. I'm very intrested in your plans.

have you thought about maybe bumping up your RAM?
I'm also getting another gigabyte of memory,
Yea, I have.
I mean, why do you even have a 64-bit OS if you're not even using enough RAM to take advantage of it?
I told you,
Because I was being stupid and bought WinXP x64
I didn't know the difference between the two when I was buying compontents. Turns out this was the biggist mistake I made in building my system. (4 HDD's is the second biggest. :oops: )
 

darkstar782

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RAID 5 uses alot of processing power, proper hardware RAID cards have dedicated XOR engines of 400MHz or more, this is probably equivalent to 1.2GHz or so of general purpose CPU power.

RAID 5 on anything other than a fully hardware RAID card is a bad idea, unless it is for occasional access, you dont care about speed, and need both capacity and data security.

Anyway, you wont be able to perform a RAID level migration on that array. Only serious high end controllers can do that.

You wont find an application to do it, as the controller will be obfusticating the drives themselves and will show only one large drive to the application. All controllers impliment RAID slightly differently in terms of data structure, so any such application would have to be written for that specific controller and firmware revision. RAID 5 to RAID 1/0 would involve recognising and discarding all the parity data, resizing the NTFS partition, and moving a heck of a lot of stuff around. Short of it - No way.

Stripe size is NOT cluster size. Large cluster sizes lead to inefficient storage, large stripe sizes do not. Clusters are to do with the filesystem and are the smallest block that may be allocated to a file. All files are allocated a certain number of blocks, and all files will use a multiple of the cluster size on the disk.

The OS doesnt even SEE the stripe size, the controller deals with all that and presents the OS with a single drive. One file may end, and another may start, in a single stripe block.

Small stripe sizes mean that even small files are striped, and increase sustained transfer reads, at the expense of random seek times. With high queue depths and multiple files, a larger stripe size will be better.

Personally, I'd go RAID 0 for my C: drive, and have a "Storage Drive" that is RAID 5, RAID 0/1, RAID 3, single drive, or whatever for your important stuff. It has always seemed silly to me to put stuff that is easily replaced (massive game installs and dont need to be backed up when they can be replaced from the disks etc) onto inefficient storage, that is, anything that is loosing space for redundancy.
 

SomeJoe7777

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Really?? Ok then, I have two partitions. There is 8GB used on a 10GB C drive and 38.7GB used out of 100GB on my D drive. (The rest is not formatted) So that's under 80Gigs. I'm very intrested in your plans.
OK, I'm going to need some time to come up with the procedure and verify it works. I happen to have a 945G Intel motherboard at work that I can try this on.

The basic idea is that we're going to pull one drive out of your RAID 5 (making it a degraded array), reformat that drive as a non-RAID drive, copy your partitions to it, remove all the RAID 5 drives, insert the new non-RAID drive and make sure it boots your system, re-insert the 3 other drives as blank drives, and then perform a "RAID Ready" to RAID 10 migration through Intel Matrix Storage Manager.

I have to test whether this is even possible to do, and what freeware tools we can use that will work. You also have Norton Ghost (even though it won't install on XP64), but we might be able to get around that as well.

Some other questions:

1. Do you have a Windows XP (32-bit) CD-ROM? Even if you don't have an activation key for it?
2. Do you have a floppy drive?
3. Do you have a USB flash drive?

I'll have to do my testing this weekend at work when I have time, then I'll post back with the procedure if I can successfully do it.
 

angelkiller

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Thanks for the info darkstar. Since I wasn't being smart, I ended up with four HDD's. (80GB each) I thought that putting them in a RAID array would give me storage and performance gains. I knew that a Hardware solution was the best for performance, but I thought the software route would give me gains also, just not as much. But I had no idea that Raid 5 used so much processing power!! So now I'm stuck with 4 80GB drives in a slow RAID 5. I would personally try to avoid reformatting everything unless is is my only choice. I also plan to upgrade to a mobo that only supports Raid0 and Raid 1. My largest concerns were in my previous post.

What do you suggest I do in my situation??
SomeJoe7777 sounded like he had a good plan, but I'm stuck until I hear from him again.
 

angelkiller

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1. Do you have a Windows XP (32-bit) CD-ROM? Even if you don't have an activation key for it?
2. Do you have a floppy drive?
3. Do you have a USB flash drive?
1.) Yes, Win XP Home
2.) Yes, I can pull one from another system.
3.) Yes, a 2GB Corsair Voyager.

Sorry I missed your post the first time. :oops: I like your plan, and I really hope it works. Thanks so much!!
 

SomeJoe7777

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OK, this procedure took me way longer that I thought to come up with and test. I hope this works for you.

Please read through the entire procedure before proceeding. Make sure you understand what you're doing at every step.

RAID 5 to RAID 10 Migration Procedure

Initial Conditions

- Intel D945 system board w/ ICH7R south bridge
- 4-drive RAID 5 on the ICH7R
- Working XP64 installation on a 10GB partition on the RAID
- 100GB partition (D: drive) on RAID holding ~40GB of data

Final conditions

- Same installation of XP64
- RAID 10

Restrictions

- No additional money can be spent
- No additional hard drive space available
- No commercial utilities available

Assets

- Floppy drive
- USB Flash drive
- Internet connection
- CD-R recorder with blank CDs


Caveats and Warnings

1. I was incorrect, my motherboard at work is a DG965WH, not a DG945NT. The 945 (your board) has an ICH7R south bridge, while the 965 (my board) has an ICH8 south bridge. They each use a slightly different version of the Intel Matrix Storage Manager. Thus, the instructions I'm giving here may not exactly correspond to your versions, and thus, I can't say for sure that this procedure will work on your machine. I believe it will, as the ICH7R and the ICH8 are very similar, the main difference being USB support (8 ports vs. 10), number of SATA ports (4 vs. 6).
2. This procedure is risky. Data loss can result. You may end up needing to rebuild your array & reinstall Windows from scratch if something goes wrong. If you have any data that you cannot afford to lose (financial files/records, pictures, etc.) burn them to CD-R or DVD-R before continuing.
3. I did try this exact procedure as written, step by step, on the hardware I indicated, and it worked. If it doesn't work for you, sorry, but I can't take any responsibility for that. There's a million things that I don't know about your system that could affect this procedure. So, in short, caveat emptor/buyer beware.
4. On my motherboard, the SATA ports were labeled on the motherboard (in white lettering) with one set of numbers, but the Intel Matrix Storage Manager (both the ROM utility and the Windows Management console) labeled them a different set of numbers. SATA port 0 was consistent between the two, but the other ports' numbering was off. Be aware of this when looking at lists of drives in the Intel Matrix Storage Manager. If Intel Matrix Storage Manager is telling you that port 3 is a non-RAID drive, that may not be the port that is labeled "port 3" on the motherboard. For this reason, the important single drive that's going to be our pivot point for this migration is ALWAYS going to be in port 0.

Preliminary

1. Shut down your system, pull the floppy drive from another system and install it in yours. If necessary, go into your BIOS and make sure the floppy is enabled. Start your system back up, boot into Windows.
2. Make sure you have the correct version of Intel Matrix Storage Manager installed (go to Intel's web site, go to the drivers section for your motherboard, and download it and install it if you haven't already). This procedure depends highly on having the Intel Matrix Storage Manager installed. (I mean the full Windows installation of the Intel Matrix Storage Manager, with the console & everything. Not just the driver.)
3. Download Active@ Killdisk from http://download2.lsoft.net/killdiskfloppysetup.exe. Double-click on the downloaded .exe file to create a boot floppy for Active@ Killdisk. Set this aside.
4. Download Terabyte Unlimited's CopyWipe for DOS utility from http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/downloads/copywipe.zip. Unzip this file into a folder on your hard drive. Inside the folder is a utility called makedisk.exe. Double-click that to run it, select all defaults, select drive A: to make a floppy disk, insert a blank floppy, and create it. Once the floppy is made, set this aside.
5. Run Windows Explorer. On your data drive (the 100GB partition you have that's holding ~40GB of data), rename it to "Data 1". (Right-click the drive, select Rename).
6. Run Computer Management (right-click My Computer and select Manage). Go to Disk Management.
7. Create a new partition on your unpartitioned space by right-clicking the unpartitioned space and choosing New Partition. Create a 55GB partition (it wants the partition size in megabytes, so enter 55000), make it a primary partition, accept the drive letter default, and name it "Data 2". Make sure and check "quick format". Wait for the partition to appear in the top section of Disk Management, and it's status to change from "Formatting" to "Healthy".
8. Exit Computer Management. Run Windows Explorer. You will see your 100GB partition that has about 40GB of data on it (named Data 1), and the new 55GB partition (named Data 2) which is empty. Copy all 40GB of your files from Data 1 to Data 2.
9. When the copy is finished, close Windows Explorer, open Computer Management, go to Disk Management. You will see 4 sections of your hard disk: A 10GB partition (C: ), a 100GB partition (Data 1), a 55GB partition (Data 2), and some free space. Right-click Data 1, and select Delete Partition, select yes.
10. You will now see 4 sections of your hard disk: A 10GB partition (C: ), 100GB of free space, a 55GB partition (Data 2), and some free space. Right-click the 100GB of free space, and select New Partition. Create a 55GB partition (it wants the partition size in megabytes, so enter 55000), make it a primary partition, accept the drive letter default, and name it "Data 3". Make sure and check "quick format". Wait for the partition to appear in the top section of Disk Management, and it's status to change from "Formatting" to "Healthy".
11. Exit Computer Management. Run Windows Explorer. You will see your 55GB partition that has about 40GB of data on it (named Data 2), and the new 55GB partition (named Data 3) which is empty. Copy all 40GB of your files from Data 2 to Data 3.
12. When the copy is finished, close Windows Explorer, open Computer Management, go to Disk Management. You will see 5 sections of your hard disk: A 10GB partition (C: ), a 55GB partition (Data 3), some free space, a 55GB partition (Data 2), and some free space. Right-click Data 2, and select Delete Partition, select yes. The purpose of this whole exercise was to reduce the size of your data partition such that the combined partition size of the boot partition and the data partition is less than 80GB (the size of one of your drives).
13. You should now see 3 sections of your hard disk in Disk Management: A 10GB partition (C: ), a 55GB partition (Data 3), and some free space. Close Computer Management.


Procedure

1. Shut down your machine, disconnect any external drives or USB flash drives from the machine.
2. Open your case, you will see your 4 hard drives.
3. Disconnect 3 of them from the SATA connectors on your motherboard, mark which port each SATA cable goes in. We have to put them back the same way later. Leave one drive connected in the port marked "SATA 0".
4. Restart the machine, go into the Intel Matrix Storage Manager ROM by hitting Ctrl-I during the system POST.
5. Intel Matrix Storage Manager ROM will show one drive connected, and the array as "Failed". Delete the array using the menu option. Once the array is deleted, the disk will now show as a "Non-RAID" disk.
6. Restart the machine, start up from the Active@ Killdisk floppy. (Go into your BIOS and change the boot order if you need to so that the floppy is the first device in the boot order).
7. Once Active@ Killdisk is running, select the one lone hard drive and hit F10. (It will be listed as "Hard Disk Drive (80h)". Don't select any partitions that appear under it -- select the entire drive).
8. Once you hit F10, it will present you with a menu of options. Use the down arrow to go to the last option (leave all the rest at the defaults) and select "Confirm and Erase".
9. Type "erase-all-data" and hit enter. Killdisk will begin to erase the drive. This is necessary to wipe out all the RAID structure and partition information.
10. You do not have to wait for the process to complete. Allow killdisk to wipe the drive for about 3 minutes, then hit Escape to stop it. Once it stops and goes back to the main menu, hit Escape again to exit.
11. Once you're back to a DOS prompt, power off the machine.
12. Reconnect your other 3 hard drives to the same SATA ports they were connected to in step 3.
13. Power on the machine, go into the Intel Matrix Storage Manager by hitting Ctrl-I during the system POST.
14. When the Intel Matrix Storage Manager ROM starts up, it will show the array as "Degraded", and will also detect the now blank hard drive, and automatically ask you if you want to rebuild the array. Hit Escape to cancel the rebuild, we do NOT want to do this.
15. You should see 4 drives connected, 3 that are array members and one non-RAID disk. The array should show as "Degraded".
16. Hit Escape to exit the Intel Matrix Storage Manager ROM, and boot the Terabyte Unlimited Copywipe for DOS floppy. (Go into your BIOS and change the boot order if you need to so that the floppy is the first device in the boot order).
17. When Copywipe starts up, you'll be at the main menu. Select Copy a Hard Drive.
18. The next menu is the source drive selection. Select the first option, BIOS HD.
19. The next selection should show 2 hard drives in your system, hard drive 0 and hard drive 1. While hard drive 0 is highlighted, press F6. This will show you the partitions on that hard drive, which is how you will properly identify it. Your degraded RAID array should show a 10000 MB partition (boot), a 55000 MB partition (Data 3), and free space. If the partitions look correct, hit Escape, and then select Hard Drive 0. If the partitions don't look correct, hit Escape, and then highlight Hard Drive 1 and hit F6 and see if they look correct. Whichever hard drive is your degraded RAID array, that's the one you want to select.
20. The next selection that comes up asks for the target drive selection. Select the first option, BIOS HD, and from there this is the same process. You'll select the lone non-RAID 80GB drive, which should be blank and not have any partitions on it, since we erased it with Killdisk. If perchance there happens to be any residual partition information on it, you can delete the partition by hitting F4. Do that if you see any residual partitions, but be careful and DON'T erase any partitions on your array. (Look at the free space listed in the partition list to tell which drive is which. The array should have >100GB of free space, the 80GB will have at maximum, 80GB).
21. After you select the correct target drive (the non-RAID 80GB), you'll then get the Options menu. Select Straight Copy. Copywipe will then proceed to copy your partitions from the degraded RAID array to the non-RAID 80GB.
22. When the copy finishes, hit Escape to exit the program. Power off the machine.
23. Unplug the 3 drives that comprise the degraded RAID 5 array (the same 3 you disconnected back in step 3 and reconnected in step 12). Leave only the non-RAID drive connected to SATA port 0.
24. Power on the machine, boot to Windows to make sure it works. Everything should be exactly the same as it was when it was booting off the RAID array.

This is your abort point. Up to this point, we can back out of this procedure and return to a working RAID 5 by erasing the lone 80GB, connecting all 4 drives back up, booting the degraded array, and telling Intel Matrix Storage Manager to do a rebuild. So make sure everything is cool at this point. Once you continue past here, you're committed.

25. Shut down the machine. Unplug the non-RAID 80GB from SATA port 0. Reconnect the other 3 drives as they were connected before.
26. Power up the machine, go into the Intel Matrix Storage Manager ROM by hitting Ctrl-I during the system POST.
27. Delete the degraded RAID volume using the menu. After the deletion, all 3 drives should show as non-RAID disks.
28. Exit the Intel Matrix Storage Manager ROM by hitting Escape, then power down the machine.
29. Connect the non-RAID 80GB back to SATA port 0. Power up the machine, and see if it boots into Windows.
30. If it doesn't boot into Windows, it's because one of the now-blank drives is set to be the boot drive instead of the 80GB drive that has your partitions on it. You'll need to go into the BIOS to make sure the 80GB you just reconnected is set as the boot drive. However, since all the drives are the same model (Seagate 80GB), they all look alike in the BIOS, so you may have to repeatedly try to change the boot order one drive at a time until the correct drive is at the top. Fortunately, since the drive that we want to be the boot drive is in SATA port 0, this shouldn't be necessary, the machine should put that drive at the top of the boot order by default.
31. Once back in Windows, run Intel Matrix Storage Manager from the Start Menu.
32. Select the Intel RAID Controllers node at the top, and then on the Actions Menu, do Create RAID Volume from Existing Hard Drives.
33. Click next, give the volume a name (I chose "RAID10"), select RAID 10 as the RAID level, select 64K as your stripe size, click next.
34. It then asks you which hard drive is the one we're preserving. Select port 0 and then click next. (I recommend you verify the given serial number of the drive that it says is in port 0 with the physical drive you know is the one holding your partitions - the one plugged into port 0. It is imperative that you select the correct drive here).
35. It then asks you to select member hard drives that will become part of the new RAID array. Select the other 3 drives and click Next.
36. It then asks you the volume size, keep the default of 100% and click next.
37. Click Finish, and it will then say a RAID migration is in progress. The migration will take a few hours.
38. After the migration finishes, you'll need to reboot. At that point, go into the BIOS and make sure the new array is set as the boot device.

That should do it. You're back to a RAID 10.

Optional:

You can extend the size of your data partition back to 100GB (or more) if you want at this point using the Windows DISKPART command-line utilty. If you want to do this, post back and I'll post the procedure.

As far as your other question about moving this RAID when you get a new motherboard: If the new motherboard has a different chipset, then not it won't work at all. If the new motherboard has an ICH7R or ICH8, it might actually come up.
 

mguilicutty

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Sep 19, 2006
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Your problem with battlefield2 is probably your ram. Look at task manager during gameplay and you will probably find that you are using over 1gb of memory and that is why your drives are cranking away. May not have been a problem with your old video card because your video settings were turned down and the game used less ram.
 

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