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Another reason why I dislike nVraid

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    Another reason why I dislike nVraid

    Caveboy Sr's birthday was last week, and I got him a Geforce GTS250 to replace his 8800GS SLI. As part of working on his computer, I decided to swap out his 250Gb mirror pair of Seagate 7200.10's for my 400GB 7200.10's, so he'd have more room - he has a fair few games installed, a large iTunes library and WoW fully patched with some mods.

    I figured the move would be simple - I've got Acronis True Image, Disk Director for his PC, it'll be a snap. I figured I'd add the two new disks, make a mirror pair, fire up disk director and move the partitions, pull the old HD's out. I start on this project around 5pm, caveboy sr. is at work until 11 - I've got plenty of time.

    The first flaw in the plan came when after adding the new disks, Disk Director would fail on the reboot - move operation, with an error saying the partition information had changed. Booting back into windows, the 400Gb mirror pair was reported the same size as the 250Gb mirror pair. I deleted the mirror, created a new one, checked the size reported as 400gb correctly, rebooted - lo and behold, it's now a 250gb again. WTF?

    At this point I decided to move on to plan B. Backup using Acronis True Image the 250Gb mirror on to a seperate drive, power down, swap in the 400gb drives, boot and make a mirror, then boot from the Acronis True Image restore CD. Acronis True Image didn't detect any hard drives - no drivers for nvraid. Cavewoman interjects at this point its dinner time, and we're going to the chinese buffet. An hour and a half later we return, the backup has completed and now to continue restoration efforts. I dig out my old BartPE with Acronis boot CD, that I recall making last year with all my machines storage drives included. It doesn't detect any drives either.

    Plan B subplan A - make a Bart PE boot CD with Universal Restore and include nvraid drivers. I download the pebuilder, copy over the acronis plugin, copy in the drivers, build and go. This isn't too hard, just have to download the windows xp forceware drivers, extract the files, copy across. Then have to dig out my XP CD to use as the source image. Kick off the build process, and now I have an .ISO. burn it, boot it... still no damn drives . No floppy in this system, and no usb floppy (its at work) so can't use the F6 method.

    OK. deep breath. Plan B subplan B.
    I install all 5 drives - the original 250Gb mirror pair, the 1tb extra disk I've used to put the backup on, and the two 'new' 400Gb drives. Boot to windows, make a new mirror, fire up Acronis True Image and restore from the backup to new partitions on the new array. No drive letters, include the MBR, new drive signature, no new SID... off we go. Recovery takes about an hour and half, and once complete I power down, remove the 250Gb and 1Tb drives, power back on and boot from the Vista Recovery CD. I know that the OS isn't going to boot first time - I've changed the drive signatures, and this'll screw up the boot process. Select repair my computer, let the automatic thinger do its thing, and say Yes to repair and reboot.
    On reboot I hit F6 to get the boot options menu for Vista, and boot into safe mode. I let the machine finish autodetected new devices and reboot back into normal desktop. Everything is working well, the new 120Gb system partition has plenty of room and the 250Gb Games partition does too. Sigh of relief, job done. It's now 12:30 and caveboy sr. has been home for a little while, getting kinda antsy from WoW withdrawals. Deliver the system back and no complaints so far.

    One of these days I'll make a new BartPE CD with drivers for everything and a decent set of apps on it, so I can have it ready to go.

    I would have started with Plan B subplan B from the very beginning.

    Okay not really. Talk about having to jump through hoops. It's always the "this should not take long" projects that take 12 hours and 5 revisions before they work.


      The thing that annoys me is the completely arbitrary and undocmented 'feature' whereby the nVraid driver/firmware changes the partition of the new mirror pair to match the existing one. Worst part was that the BIOS firmware didn't list the mirror as anything except what it was supposed to be, but the windows driver would everytime after a reboot.

      Obviously something in the firmware/driver set didn't like how I was doing it; I wonder if it was because of the port #'s I was using for the new array? The original array was on ports 3 and 4, those being the closest to the end of the mobo. I added in the new mirror on the next set of ports, 2 and 5. This array was listed before the other array, despite being created after it. That's the only thing I can think of; I should have moved the original array to the lowest numbered ports and then added the second array to the next set of ports.


        I've often read that boards made by NV are usually very poor quality, and dont work with other manufacturers' components. Best thing is to avoid them.
        My 30 level compilation levels for Rise of the Triad!
        02:55 Mackey-IW
        No, PC has custom stuff like mouse control, text chat in game, and graphics settings.

        Steam's Logic on currency: $1 =€1
        The euro is just a european version of the dollar! ITS TEH SAME THING!!


          I find the major problem in Acronis True Image and Disk Director has lousy Raid and eSATA support from the boot CD. And doesn't let you pick custom addon drivers like Paragon Drive Backup and Partition Manager does.
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          Originally posted by Alientank
          I guess it works better if it's plugged all the ****ing way in.


            Yeah, their method around this is to use the BartPE plugin instead. I've had mixed results doing that, as evidenced above.