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RAID 1 Want to return drives to normal

Vanteer
Beginner
460 Views

I have two drives that are setup with RAID1.  They are my Windows 7 boot disks.  I have read that I should be able to "Delete RAID Volume", and I should end up with two identical disks, both bootable with no data loss.

The drives are partitioned as "C", then 3 other partitions. (Not sure that matters).

I would like to understand the difference between the option to "Delete RAID Volume", and "Reset Disks to Non-RAID."  Which is the best/safest  option to use and why?

If I remove one of the drives, and put it in a USB external case, would I be able to see the data on the drive?  I am assuming that I must get rid of the RAID1 first.  Can anyone confirm?

In Article ID 00000618, it states "You should be able to delete a RAID 1 mirror without losing data if the RAID 1 volume is "The one volume on the array".  What exactly does that mean?  I assume mine is, but its not clear to me what that means.

Thanks for your assistance.

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AndrewG_Intel
Moderator
429 Views

Hello @Vanteer

Thank you for posting on the Intel® communities.

Regarding your questions, we would like to provide you with the following details. However, we highly recommend first backing up all your data before attempting any operation or change with RAID arrays/volumes and your disks.


1- "I would like to understand the difference between the option to "Delete RAID Volume", and "Reset Disks to Non-RAID." Which is the best/safest option to use and why?"

Since your RAID Volume is bootable, Delete RAID Volume is not favorable in this case since it will delete all the information.

For this scenario, the recommended option is to Reset Disks to Non-RAID since the disks are bootable. This way, you can use one of the disks to boot up and you may use the other disk for a different purpose.


2- If I remove one of the drives, and put it in a USB external case, would I be able to see the data on the drive?

Yes, but you need to first "break" the RAID structure by resetting the disks to Non-RAID.


3- In Article ID 00000618, it states "You should be able to delete a RAID 1 mirror without losing data if the RAID 1 volume is "The only* volume on the array". What exactly does that mean? 

An array is a collection of two or more SATA disks in a RAID configuration and is the highest element in the hierarchy of a storage system.

A volume is the storage area on two or more disks. Once a volume is created, the disks you used to create that volume form an array.

An array can include one or two RAID volumes if the hardware allows it. The statement in the article means that the option is possible if only one RAID volume exists in the array.


We hope this helps.

Best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician


Vanteer
Beginner
419 Views

Andrew,

Thanks for the info.  As you suggested I plan to "Reset Disks to Non-RAID" option, as I want to be able to boot from the drive, and access the data on the C partition along with the data on the 3 other partitions.  

But I am still confused in regards to the info in Article ID 000006189 where it states:

You should be able to delete a RAID 1 mirror without losing data if the RAID 1 volume is:

  • The only volume on the array."

Followed by:

How do I access the data after I delete a RAID 1 volume?

After you delete a RAID 1 volume or reset the hard drive members of the RAID 1 volume to non-RAID, you can access your data with one of the following options:

  • If the RAID 1 volume has an operating system, boot to either of the hard drives.

This is contrary to your statement that the "Delete RAID Volume" will delete all the information.

Do you plan to update the article to clarify the two options?

Thanks again for your assistance.

Vanteer

Vanteer
Beginner
409 Views

Andrew and Everyone else interested in this issue - 

First off I was successful in returning the drives to normal independent drives, but not the way Andrew suggested.  I did more Googling and found an old post (2007) on the Dell Community boards.  

https://www.dell.com/community/Storage-Drives-Media/RAID-Free-Changing-from-RAID1-to-non-RAID/td-p/2...

It covered exactly what I was attempting to accomplish with a post from keithg2.  He stated that he has done this many times without issue.  Also, the member who originally posted the question was successful following keithg2 steps.  Steps that keithg2 suggested and I followed are as follows:

1. At boot up use CTRL-I to enter the Intel ROM Utility.  Use option 2 "Delete RAID Volume", ignore the warning that all data will be lost, as this is not true for RAID1 mirrors, as Keithg2 confirmed, and as is stated in the Intel Article ID 000006188. (With the warning that it must be the only volume on the array, or the first volume in a matrix RAID config).  Most of us DIYers likely have just a simple two disk Single RAID 1 setup.

2. So I picked option 2 "Delete RAID Volume", and held by breath.  I exited out of the ROM Utility and let the system continue to boot up. The system came up to Windows 7, and all seemed fine, all of my drive partitions were as expected (drive was partitioned into 4 partitions).  What was interesting was that I only saw one drive, I had expected to see the other drive partitions as well.  

3.  I then shutdown, removed the second drive, and during the next boot, I reset the system BIOS SATA mode from "RAID" to "ACHI".  I supposed that if I had left in the other drive, I would have seen the second drive at that point.

4. I tested the second drive in a USB external drive case, and I was able to see all the data on the 4 partitions.  So I now have a bootable Windows 7 clone drive.

5. As to the difference between Delete and Reset.  In that same Dell Board, a user posted:

"RE: RAID-Free: Changing from RAID1 to non-RAID

if "Delete Array" option is unavailable just use "Reset disk to Non-Raid" for both disk (one at the time) ignoring warnings about data loss.

It worked for me on Vostro 410."

I also found a post where a user attempted the "Delete", but that was after one of his RAID1 drives had failed, so he did not have a healthy RAID 1 setup.  He lost all of his data.  So lessen here is that this may only work with a healthy RAID 1 setup.  Perhaps this is where "Reset" may have worked better.  I have no idea.

In any case, if you want to return your RAID setup to normal, it's possible with no data loss (with a healthy RAID 1 setup).   I did have all my data backed up before I started this, but I did not want to have to spend the time to reload Windows and all my programs.  Plus now, if I want, I could attempt to update my 8 year old system to Windows 10.  My Googling told me that upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is pretty much is a disaster with a RAID1 setup.

V

AndrewG_Intel
Moderator
379 Views

Hello @Vanteer

Thank you very much for your response and for the feedback which is really appreciated.

We are glad to know that you were successful in returning the drives to normal independent drives.


Regarding your concerns, the best option will be Reset to Non-RAID since this will just delete the structure of the volume. Since this is a RAID 1, we always recommend that option.

By deleting the RAID it may erase data so, based on the volume configuration choosing reset to non-RAID would be recommended, making sure that we have previously backed up all data.

It is also recommended to contact your Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for assistance before attempting any operation or change with RAID arrays/volumes and your disks so they can assist with data backup steps and options available on the system's Intel® RST Option ROM.


Since you mentioned you had all your data backed up and successfully returned the drives to normal we will proceed to close this thread now. If you need any additional information, please submit a new question as this thread will no longer be monitored.


Best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician


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