I am having a new XPS 8300 system built/delivered. Comes with a single 1/5TB HD.
1. I want to install RAID-1 after it is delivered, this was not a setup option. I have survived previous HD crashes only because of RAID-1 and multiple BU ext HDs.
2. I will buy a second, identical 1.5TB HD and install in the machine.
3. How do I go about setting up RAID-1??
3a. I do not want to lose my Win7 Pro installation and setup on the original HD. I just want to migrate all the original HD to the new one after " creating/enabling" RAID-1 for two drives to create a mirrored drive system.
3b. My old Dell had RAID-1 setup on it, in Bios I believe.
3c. Is it possible, or advantageous, to set up the RAID-1 via bios rather than via Win7? And remembering that I do not want to have to re-install Win7 and re-setup the HDs.
Thanks for the feedback,
The Dell technology guide has this section on working with RAID. This includes instructions on how to migrate an existing setup to RAID 1.
Please post back and let me know if you need more help.
That guide linked in the previous reply is correct and what you should go by. Specifically
Read carefully on the steps and their order to keep from reinstalling your OS.
Make sure you have an identical drive size and speed. Brand is less important, a 7200RPM SATA WD drive will pair
with a 7200RPM SATA Samsung or Seagate drive. But matching them exactly if possible is ideal as
everything on both sides of the array is even and performs the same. And especially don't get a different
class of drive - no low power "green" drive to match a regular speed drive.
Of course, make sure you have a backup before your proceed just in case - whatever drive you buy for the
second one will likely have or allow you access to a drive cloning tool. Find a spare SATA hard drive and clone
to that for the simplest option, or use the built in recovery disk maker to blank DVDs if you don't have that option.
Since it's new reinstalling should not be a big deal, assuming you ordered the recovery disks or
have a bare metal backup available. You should make/have bare install disks in any case, adding RAID or not.
RAID 1 in hardware is preferred in most cases. That lets the storage chip and CPU do the mirroring
closer to the drives. You will also be told on boot that a drive is failing and have a chance to proceed
with one drive (RAID 1 only) and even remirror to a new second drive if done correctly. Doing it in
Windows is a little more complicated, and usually takes a little more CPU work to manage things,
but it not that tricky. Of course with an XPS 8300 you probably have CPU to spare unless you are going
to busy every core and thread with rendering or video encoding or something. But still - the Intel RAID
setup before the OS is very stable and easy to work with, no need to even get into Windows to handle things.