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I have this HP ProLiant DL320 G5, acting as a domain controller, running Windows Server 2008 R2. The server has 2 SATA disks, which were configured in a RAID 1 volume using the system's onboard RAID controller (Intel-based).

Then, the server motherboard got fried, and was replaced by a clueless technician which didn't enable RAID in the server BIOS before booting it. Amazingly, the O.S. was able to actually boot, and then it changed its hardware configuration to reflect the different disk controller it was seeing now, detected two physical disks instead of a single RAID volume, and started working off the first disk. This has been going on for a while, and the second disk is currently out of date and completely unused.

Now I have cleared the second disk and I want to re-enable RAID in the server BIOS, but I fear this operation will wipe out all current disk contents (and the BIOS actually warns me of this when trying to do it).

Can I enable RAID mode for the onboard controller without losing current disk contents (of the first disk, the second one is now emtpy)?
Can I create a RAID-1 volume by cloning the first disk on the second one while not losing anything?
Will the O.S. be able to do its magical plug-and-play again and reconfigure itself to boot from the RAID configuration it was using before?

Of course I have a backup of the server, and I a pinch I can even reinstall it from scratch (it's only working as a domain controller), but I'd really like to avoid that.

  • Have you considered pulling the wiped drive, enable RAID1, then plugging it in hot? That should make sure it's not considered the primary copy. – Felix Frank Aug 7 '14 at 10:43
  • I already pulled the wiped drive, now the system is running on a single drive. I just want to be sure it will not be erased or damaged if I enable RAID on the controller and mark it as a part of a RAID array. – Massimo Aug 7 '14 at 12:49
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Raid1 is just a mirrored disk, so if you enable raid1 and have your 1st disk as primary and the 2nd as the mirror, no you wont loose any data.

Did this yesterday on a dl320 and it was fine

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    Ok, I'll try that, but if I lose my server you'll owe me at least a beer ;) – Massimo Aug 7 '14 at 12:48
  • It actually worked; as soon as I enabled RAID in the BIOS, the controller detected the broken array (RAID info were presumably present on the member disks) and started rebuilding it. – Massimo Sep 3 '14 at 22:32

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