[quotemsg=9482858,19,49412]This needs a bit of further explanation. Any RAID setup is going to be formatted such that only the RAID controller that created the RAID can read it. This can be the following:
1. Hardware RAID card- you need to get an identical or nearly-identical (same manufacturer, probably the same model line) hardware RAID card to read your array if your original hardware RAID card dies.
2. Motherboard/BIOS-based RAID- you will need to get a motherboard with a similar southbridge chip to run your array if your original motherboard dies, since the southbridge chip runs the array.
3. Non-hardware SATA controller/RAID card- identical to the hardware RAID card. The only difference between an add-in hardware and non-hardware RAID card is that the hardware card offloads XOR calculations for RAID levels 4, 5, and 6 while non-hardware RAID cards let the CPU do this.
4. OS-based RAID (Linux md, Windows Dynamic Disks)- you need to put the disks in a computer running the same kind of OS that is at least as new as the OS on the old, dead computer. The hardware does not matter except that you need enough SATA ports to attach all of your disks- the OS does not care if the ports are on a motherboard or an add-in card.
If you want to have the easiest way to recover from hardware failure, go with an OS-based RAID. I run Linux md arrays and have moved the disks in the array from one machine to the next without issue. The real advantages of a hardware RAID card have to do with performance rather than data integrity.[/quotemsg]
I find it interesting that you have had such success with moving your arrays around to multiple machines. I on the other hand have not. Luckily i was only moving arrays around just for the sake to see what would and would not break the array.
Here are the results that i got when i was playing around
RAID controller on MB: This one was the most surprising, i created a raid on a MB controller under vista and then swapped the MB with the exact identical model MB and the array still worked. I figured as much. However i then installed xp as my os to see what would happen and the array was still intact. Then switched back to the original MB and the array was still in place. Very surprised at this however if you are having to replace your MB because it died more than likely you will not be able to purchase that same model again. Hopefully it would be using the same onboard raid controller like you mentioned, that would/should probably still work.
SATA add on card: This was the worst of my experiences. windows 7 os raid array setup then took the card and drives out and put into another windows 7 machine and the array was unrecoverable. I rebuilt it and then installed vista. array was broken. rebuilt the array with vista as the os. I then reinstalled vista and the array was broken again. This one seemed to like any changes at all.
Hardware raid card: I was using the Areca 1231ML that i purchased for the above project that i am doing. This one i could not break no matter what i did to it. Switched computers, reinstalled OS's windows and linux, changed from 32 and 64 bit systems, nothing i did would break it. As long as the drives were plugged into this card it didnt matter what the host pc or os was.
Software raid in OS: This one i did not have luck with either. I am curios that you have had it work for you though. i would build it in 7 using dynamic disks in the disk management utility and everything would work fine. But then i reinstalled windows 7 and tried to reinitialize the array with no success. I tried this under 7, vista and xp with the same results.