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Breaking a RAID 1 array
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justMongo Offline

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Post: #1
Breaking a RAID 1 array
I have two 1TB WD Black HDDS in RAID 1 mirror.
They are SATA 3, 6 Gbps.
My OS lives on the array.
The mobo has an INTEL Z87 chipset.
RAID was setup in BIOS; and the array is controlled by IRST.
The driver is iaStorF by Intel. I'm not sure, but, I think this is software RAID. It is quite slow.

In BIOS, there is an option to "break" the array.
If I do that, will I still be able to boot using a single drive?

Probably have to keep it in RAID mode as the AHCI driver is not loading.

Assuming I can do the above... Can I then boot and set the msahci driver to load; shutdown; reboot into BIOS and change the mode to ACHI?

Mongo

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03-14-2015 09:39 AM
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Post: #2
RE: Breaking a RAID 1 array
Looks like a post that belongs on "hackers life" or something. Smile

A RAID 1 array results in two identical disks and is intended to allow the computer to start and run normally with no data loss in the event of a complete disk failure of one of the mirrors. You should be able to break the array and designate the primary or boot disk. You lost me at ACHI, so can't help there.

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03-14-2015 09:50 AM
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justMongo Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Breaking a RAID 1 array
(03-14-2015 09:50 AM)Sleeprider Wrote:  Looks like a post that belongs on "hackers life" or something. Smile

A RAID 1 array results in two identical disks and is intended to allow the computer to start and run normally with no data loss in the event of a complete disk failure of one of the mirrors. You should be able to break the array and designate the primary or boot disk. You lost me at ACHI, so can't help there.

I know, but we have some experts on the forum, like Herb and Surferdude.

ACHI = Advanced Host Controller Interface

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Host_Controller_Interface

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03-14-2015 10:09 AM
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LanceC Offline

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Post: #4
RE: Breaking a RAID 1 array
First off, that is a hardware RAID setup since it is done in BIOS. Software raid is done within the OS.

But I can't tell you why it's running slow.

If you break the array you will have two identical drives that are no longer in sync and the PC will boot from which ever drive is attached to the lowest number port (SATA0, SATA1, etc.) unless a different boot device is selected in BIOS.

HTH

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03-14-2015 07:16 PM
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justMongo Offline

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Post: #5
RE: Breaking a RAID 1 array
(03-14-2015 07:16 PM)LanceC Wrote:  First off, that is a hardware RAID setup since it is done in BIOS. Software raid is done within the OS.

But I can't tell you why it's running slow.

If you break the array you will have two identical drives that are no longer in sync and the PC will boot from which ever drive is attached to the lowest number port (SATA0, SATA1, etc.) unless a different boot device is selected in BIOS.

HTH

That's the way I think it should work.
After breaking the array, I'd like to set the BIOS mode from RAID to AHCI. I fear just setting the BIOS to AHCI will make the SATA drive 0 not boot because msachi.sys is not set to start in the registry current control set.

So, I have to get in the the right order. Somewhere in the sequence, I need to set msahci.sys to start; and iaStorF.sys to not start.

In the end, I intend to clone a single disk OS in AHCI mode over to a Samsung 1TB 850 Pro SSD. Then install a spinner as a data drive.

I know the ideal way is to install the SSD, clean install Win7 64 pro, then carry on from there. But, I will lose some preloaded SW that I do not have activation keys for since the OEM preloaded them -- Adobe XI Standard, Adobe PS elements 12.

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03-14-2015 09:51 PM
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LanceC Offline

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Post: #6
RE: Breaking a RAID 1 array
I've created and broken mirror sets many times and never had an issue with having to change drivers. I've actually used mirrors to clone PCs by breaking a mirror and then putting the second drive into new hardware. Worked fine.

I never paid attention to it but perhaps Windows PnP resolves the driver issue without the need for intervention.

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03-14-2015 10:07 PM
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justMongo Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Breaking a RAID 1 array
I just issued this command:
driverquery /v >drivers.txt
I see that msahci.sys is loaded; just not running.
iaStorA and iaStorF are loaded, running and start at boot.

I'll take one drive out. Use my stand-alone drive cloner to clone it to the SSD. Disconnect the second RAID drive. Put the SSD on SATA-0 and change the BIOS option from RAID to AHCI on boot. If it boots after I close BIOS setup, should be good. If not, perhaps I can get into safe mode and edit the registry current control set to start msahci and not start iaStorA and iaStorF. Binary 3 is not start on Windows 7. Binary 0 is start.

Perhaps W7 is smart enough to change the start status of msahci. It did so when I originally went to RAID mirror.

I have another machine built with an ASUS Z87 Pro MOBO. I used an SSD in that build; and it boots so fast that The Windows animated flag never forms.

I should have gone to an SSD in this machine instead of RAID.
As far as needing RAID for data integrity; I do not need it.
I backup with both Win7's backup utility; and I wrote a script that uses Robocopy to do frequent backups to NAS of all data files.

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03-15-2015 09:03 AM
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LanceC Offline

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Post: #8
RE: Breaking a RAID 1 array
(03-15-2015 09:03 AM)justMongo Wrote:  Perhaps W7 is smart enough to change the start status of msahci. It did so when I originally went to RAID mirror.
^THIS^

I've had a hard time getting an AHCI driver to load if the machine was built without it in the first place. For example, the BIOS was set to IDE mode during initial setup. If the AHCI driver wasn't there to start, you'll likely never get it to load correctly. But if it was built AHCI to start with, you should be able to switch modes to what ever you need and then switch back.

Here's an example:

I have a tool that you can boot from USB and access the Windows installation to repair corrupt files or registries but it doesn't have AHCI drivers built in so it won't see AHCI devices.

To use it, you switch the drive type to IDE in BIOS and then the tool works fine. Once done, you just switch the drive back.


I think your plan is a good, safe idea. You can test the scenario without risking the integrity of your mirror set.

Please let us know how it goes.

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03-15-2015 10:43 AM
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Crimson Nape Offline

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Post: #9
RE: Breaking a RAID 1 array
I did what you described a few months ago. When I changed to AHCI in the BIOS, my drive wasn't recognized during bootup. Fortunately, I had a fresh ghosted image and blew it back in to the SSD while the Mobo was operating with the AHCI on. My 'puter has been puttin along ever since.

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03-15-2015 11:08 AM
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LanceC Offline

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Post: #10
RE: Breaking a RAID 1 array
Let me know how it goes. Good luck!

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03-15-2015 11:11 AM
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