Sata drive backup question

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  #1  
Old 09-20-15, 04:27 PM
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Sata drive backup question

I have a Dell XPS desktop, Win 7, sata cable. Came with 2 500 drives but one went down.
I replaced it with a 1 TB hd, formatted it, named it, etc, it's ready to go.
I rebooted it again and nothing is happening with mirroring like it was when I got it from the factory.
To be on the safe side, I right clicked, went ahead and let Windows back up to the new drive.
But, am I supposed to be doing something different in BIOS or somewhere so that it's mirrored like it was when new?
I liked that feature to the fact that when one went down, I just replaced the other and kept on going.
Thanks,
Mark
 
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  #2  
Old 09-20-15, 05:10 PM
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Which is it, backup or mirroring? Is there a RAID card, in the machine? I presume that there isn't since mirroring would have taken place automatically.
 
  #3  
Old 09-20-15, 05:38 PM
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It's possible your drive controller doesn't like the different size drives for mirroring. May want to check the specs.
 
  #4  
Old 09-20-15, 07:24 PM
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THIS is the new drive. No specs came with it.
AT this point,it is backing up.
But like I said when I got it, it mirrored automatically.
 
  #5  
Old 09-21-15, 08:23 AM
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Is there a RAID card, in the machine?
Can you answer that question? ^^
 
  #6  
Old 09-21-15, 10:43 AM
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I don’t have RAID but the info below is from Dell. If I understand correctly it looks like the Dell XPS would not have a RAID card, RAID would be accomplished via an Intel chipset and the BIOS. Also it looks like their Question #2 “Can your System support a RAID configuration” is already answered in your case.

Carbide’s point may also be answered from that link

Note: Although any size drives may be used to create a RAID configuration using the Intel RAID Option ROM utility, ideally the drives should be of equal size. In a RAID0 configuration, the size of the configuration is the size of the smallest drive multiplied by the number of drives used in the configuration. (only 2 possible here.) In a RAID1 configuration, the size of the configuration is the smaller of the two drives used.
https://www.dell.com/support/article...9/SLN155274/EN

Seems like there is some confusing information out there with respect to how to get a new disk back into the RAID configuration on the Dell XPS. But it seems as though you might have something called the Intel Matrix Storage Manager and the Intel Matrix Storage Console (might be an icon in your tray at the screen bottom) that you should be able to call up. You then would see (possibly) your disk in question marked with a red X or something to indicate its status – not good. You would then enter a command to put the disk in the “Rebuild” state.

Can’t hurt just to see if any of that pertains to you- lol.
 
  #7  
Old 09-21-15, 06:10 PM
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diyntn -

I just remembered something that might be of interest to those Computer Historians out there should they read this thread. What is known today as the “All Software” RAID concept goes very far back. When I first started doing software way back in the 1960’s – long before PC’s, Internet, etc. – one of the tasks I was given was to modify a mid-size mainframe Operating System, the Burroughs B3500 OS, to mirror disk file writes to a redundant disk and also to a magnetic tape. (I worked for the Burroughs Corporation "Federal Space & Special Systems Group" so we owned the Source Code for the OS)

An Application Program in our custom systems would make OS calls to write data to disk files and then totally transparent to the Application the OS would mirror the writes to another disk and to tape. We did this in conjunction with our Recovery Software because it was absolutely imperative that a single hardware failure should NOT cause the loss of data (the 7th Army used the system and the data was highly critical communications).

Just thought it might be interesting to some folks.
 
  #8  
Old 09-21-15, 07:16 PM
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Yes, there is a raid in the machine.
I started thinking that maybe it is looking for the old drive letter that is bad and that I removed it.? To mirror to?
I did go back into BIOS and enable Sata 0.
I've reformatted the new volume F, and thought that it would give me a right click to create a new mirror.
It only gives me a right click to create a new simple volume, NTFS, and reassigns it to letter F.
I just want F to mirror C, so that if C fails I can simply replace it with the working drive like it used to be when I bought it.
Thanks for the help!
 
  #9  
Old 09-22-15, 12:02 PM
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diyntn-

But is it a RAID card that plugs into your PC as Pulpo asked? I don’t think it is. It seems as though the Dell XPS has on-board RAID. I think you have to start by setting up RAID in the BIOS, in other words, enabling SATA 0 in the BIOS doesn’t sound correct for what you want. There should be an option for RAID in setup in the BIOS.

It just sounds as though your PC does in fact know it has 2 SATA drives but is totally oblivious to the fact that you want to use those 2 drives in a RAID configuration. That’s why I’m pretty sure you have to state in the BIOS that you want a RAID setup. It doesn’t sound like when you lose a disk from the RAID, the system will automatically assume and take steps to resume the RAID, if and when you replace the failed disk as you have done. I could be wrong but I suspect that’s the case.

I think you should go back into the BIOS and look for a RAID option.
 
  #10  
Old 09-22-15, 07:00 PM
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Here's what I have..
The specs, from 9/22/08 when I ordered it simply say:
SATA 2 RAID with Dual 500GB Hard Drives.
I assume it's not a card as a card isn't listed.
Thanks!
 
  #11  
Old 09-22-15, 07:13 PM
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If you enable SATA 3, the drive may mirror.
 
  #12  
Old 09-22-15, 07:39 PM
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Enabled 3
It found the RAID, loaded drivers for it.
But now??
I don't see that new drive anymore??
 
  #13  
Old 09-22-15, 08:32 PM
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Could you see the drive before the crash? Click start, run, type diskmgmt.msc & press enter. Do you see the drive there?
 
  #14  
Old 09-22-15, 08:43 PM
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There was no 'crash'. One hd just stopped working and I replaced it. It was labelled E.
And no, it's not in there now.
But, before I enabled SATA3, it was visible in diskmgmt.
Then I endabled Sata3, rebooted, it loaded RAID drivers like the pic shows.
But it's not visible in my computer or diskmgmt.
 
  #15  
Old 09-23-15, 09:24 AM
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hi guys-

Maybe I’m missing something (to repeat myself loI I don’t have RAID) – but doesn’t post #10 show you have 2 Western Digital hard drives on ports 1 and 3 (SATA-1 and SATA 3)? It seems to me your RAID configuration shown in that post is not right. Shouldn’t you have SATA-1 and SATA-3 enabled and SATA-0 disabled under the RAID config? Why are you enabling SATA-0 but not SATA-1 and SATA-3? It looks like the top pic in post #10 shows there is no drive connected to SATA port 0 ? Or is that not correct?

Maybe I don’t understand the RAID BIOS menu concept but isn’t the goal to assign the 2 WD drives to the RAID array? So that would seem to be SATA-1 and SATA-3.
 
  #16  
Old 09-23-15, 10:51 AM
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Disregard what I said about disk management. I see that you did that already. BTW, which RAID is it?
 
  #17  
Old 09-23-15, 08:10 PM
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Ok, when I disable 0, enable 1,3 I get that screen.
And when I ENable all 0, 1, 3 I get same screen.
Only way to boot up is to enable 0, and leave the others disabled.

Now, I ctrl-N on boot and get this.
And there.....
I got nothing.
Looks like I select them and add to an array.
But past that IDK.
I escaped outta that ditch real quick like. lol.

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  #18  
Old 09-23-15, 10:11 PM
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Can you post a shot of the boot sequence screen?
 
  #19  
Old 09-24-15, 12:26 PM
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Well I guess you certainly don’t have that Intel Raid stuff. (I thought the Dell XPS used it – but looks like that was wrong.) The link below describes a BIOS similar to yours but probably a newer version. If you look at page 14 and compare it to your last screen it seems to me to say that the menu “Define a new Array” is saying neither of your hard drives is already assigned to an array so they are both available – and you have one drive on adapter 0 channel 1, and the other drive on adapter 1 channel 1. But neither disk is already assigned to an array.

Well how that adapter/channel relates to SATA-0 SATA-1 etc. I have no idea – so I was probably leading you a little astray – but how enabling one disk (SATA-0) under “Raid Config” to be available to be used in an array, even though you have no arrays currently defined, enables you to boot up seems bizarre to me.

If you look at page 19, if you ever do get to define the array you should be able to select just the new added-back-in disk to be REBUILT. But it looks like you did the right thing to back out of that “Define new array” menu – it looks like your disks would have been cleared – I think lol (page 18).

When you boot up do you get anything if you hit F10? If you hit CTRL-N and it jumps right to the “Define new array” menu, that would be consistent with the BIOS recognizing that no array exists and it wants to give you a chance to define one. So what’s up with this “Enable SATA-0” requirement and what does SATA-0 mean in that context? (lol – I know those are the questions not the answers). Maybe F10 (or another pair) might get you to the first level menu, maybe that would shed some more light.

Also maybe you have something like the NVIDIA Control Panel (p. 32) that you could call up. Just seems like there could be some RAID configuration menus/parameters at a higher level that might shed some light.

http://us.download.nvidia.com/Window...hield_UGv5.pdf
 
  #20  
Old 09-24-15, 02:25 PM
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Although the computer may support mirroring in the bios, I suspect that you were using windows to mirror your drive. See this article RAID 1 Mirroring with Windows 7 « Buildegg Articles that describes how it done. I think you want both drives enabled so that you can see them both in disk manager. Don't do anything with the Dell mirror config in the bios.

- Peter
 
  #21  
Old 09-24-15, 04:07 PM
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pjaffe that’s what I was thinking but then I wondered why in the world you would have to enable SATA-0 under “RAID Config” in the BIOS if this was set up with a purely Windows RAID. You would think there would be no need to do anything in the BIOS with respect to RAID.

But I guess it would be prudent to read the link you created first before opening one’s mouth lol. (Well I for one am going to read that article – looks pretty good.)
 
  #22  
Old 09-25-15, 11:21 AM
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Only way to boot up is to enable 0, and leave the others disabled.
Are you sure that’s the case?

Suppose you disable them ALL, including 0. (Although from the information below it seems as though no matter how HW RAID is set up, you first need to list the available disks for RAID in BIOS setup.)

The pages (32,33,34,35, …)linked here look like they fit your system. But it seems like from what they are saying about the RAID choices (p 170)) they would not have anything to do with booting. But IMHO this stuff is pretty messy- or maybe too complicated for me lol.

Setting Your Computer To Raid-enabled Mode; Using The Nvidia Mediashield Rom Utility - Dell XPS 720 Owner's Manual [Page 33]

Your menu for selecting RAID available disks (“RAID config” post #10) doesn’t really match the menu on p170 – but it looks like the idea is the same. As pjaffe says it might have been totally done with W7, yet you wonder why Dell would have bypassed the HW they include in their own system. But maybe they did.

Are you sure you don’t have the NVIDIA MediaShield on your system?
 
  #23  
Old 09-27-15, 07:27 AM
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Thank you for this great information. I have just enough knowledge of RAID to be dangerous. lol.
Well, as to the Nvidia media shield, I don't find it in the Nvidia settings. And when I type it into search on my Win 7 field, I get nothing.
But IMHO this stuff is pretty messy- or maybe too complicated for me lol.
Meeeee too! Especially when you get that 'erase all of your data' warning. lol.
Unless I hire someone to come do this, it maybe best to just stick with the regular Windows backup to the new drive that is scheduled for Sundays.
IDK, I sure would like it to be like it was. That one drive went out and I didn't even know it because the other drive just 'took over'.
pretty cool.
 
  #24  
Old 09-29-15, 09:54 AM
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diyntn -

I think your plan makes good sense. If you have spare time with nothing to do you can read this discussion. If you can stop laughing it may be interesting (fatboy is going at with folks there, some real creative insults - lol).

https://forums.geforce.com/default/t...e-is-it-33-/3/

But you could just jump to post #33 which sums it up I think. The original poster could not find the MediaShield Raid Management Utility on his computer because as it turns out it wasn’t installed when he installed the RAID drivers – but it should have been installed. Turns out he found that if he set all disks to RAID enabled, even ones he didn’t want to use for RAID, and then installed the drivers, the MediaShield Raid Management Utility was in fact then installed. He then simply went back and removed the disks from RAID that he never really wanted to include in the first place.

So I don’t know how you can spin that other than – it’s a flat out bug. I’m just bringing that up not to suggest you should go back and play with that anymore, but to suggest there is a good chance you could have been just fighting with some type of similar bug(s). However, using the disk as a backup sounds like a good idea IMHO.

Good luck!
 
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