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We have a server that is being used in production, but it was not originally meant to. The main thing I want to add to it is a Dell PERC S300 RAID Card to have the main hard drive (Windows Server 2008 R2) mirrored on another hard drive. I can not initialize the disk and wipe the the OS to create the array and then re-install. Is there a way to create the array with a current hard drive, without affecting it, and just mirroring the drive? If that card is not an option, is there a card that would allow that? The server is a Dell PowerEdge T110 II.

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Before you do anything, please for the love of god back your data up. – ErnieTheGeek Jun 28 '12 at 19:11

If you are looking to create a RAID 1 from an existing disc. The following procedure has worked for me.

  1. Use Acronis to clone the drive to another drive.
  2. Use Acronis to backup the drive as a recoverable image and store it on an external drive.
  3. Install the RAID card of choice.
  4. Install new drives or reuse the original with another drive.
  5. Create a RAID 1 on the drives.
  6. Use Acronis to restore the image we made in Step 2.
  7. Boot system on new RAID 1.

Steps 1 is critical if you choose to reuse the original drive in the array. IF anything goes wrong you will still have a copy of the OS you can simply put back in the system and continue as if nothing happened.

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We do not have a controller that supports what you are wanting to do. The SAS5/6, H200, and S100/S300 auto-initialize when an array is created. Any data on the drives would be deleted during this process.

The PERC 5/6 or H700/H710 may allow you to perform what you are wanting to do. It is not a supported function, so I am not sure of the exact outcome. It may still wipe the data, but you can try this.

Create a single drive RAID 0 with your current drive. Then install Openmanage Server Administrator in the operating system. Within OMSA is an option to reconfigure an array. It will allow you to reconfigure the RAID 0 drive to a RAID 1 array if there is another compatible drive present. It will then copy the contents from the original drive to the new drive.

I am not sure if the initial creation of a stripe/RAID 0 on the drive will make the data inaccessible or corrupt it. Just be sure that you do not select the option to initialize the array during this process.


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With Windows 2008 you can do a baremetal recovery of the system, so backup sytem, reconfigure the RAID and to finish, with the Windows DVD boot the system and select recover a system from a backup.

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