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I own a server that only had 1 hard drive installed. I saved up and now purchased 5 large hard drives all are sas drives. My server is supermicro amd and has a built in raid controller.

Here's the problem: I connected the extra 5 drives. I ran into the raid bios. However, when I create a new raid it asks if I want to continue and warns me about data loss.

I search online for tips on raid. Most have said that there's no option to migrate from a single drive to a raid setup. Most suggest to back up data from primary hard drive to a external hard drive. Then format the drive. Then create a raid and then dump the files from the external drive back to the primary drive.

This process is a pain for me and sounds like no possible. I do have a external hard drive but it's pretty old and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

I really don't want to go out and buy a new external drive just to be able to setup a raid. Some on the internet said there's possible solutions with microsoft os's to use a migration tool. Some said some intel raid controls do have options of migration. however, they always tell you to do a backup before because there's no error proof in the process.

Most articles suggest to not do a raid and just create partitions on the new drives and then instead of doing a raid 0 just do a backup of one drive to another.

Here's my goal. I have 6 hd drives total. 2 drives each. I want to mirror / backup each drive. The purpose of this is so if a drive goes bad in need the system to automatically switch to the backup in seconds.

I bought and own a server because I am in business and I cannot afford time to go offline. My assumption raid gives you either reliability or performance or both depending on the config. I assume raid 1 mirrors a drive and if that one drive fails the backup drive takes it's place instantly.

My understanding if I setup each drive by itself with no raid. Then if primary drive fails. I would have to manually restart the server and boot into the backup. Again I don't want to have to manually touch things. I want the system automatically if a drive fails to switch to a good working on that is a backup of that drive. I would think later on I can later on order a new drive and once it arrives. I can turn off my server. Take out the bad drive and then put the working on in the old drives place and then put a brand new drive in the backup position. So, the backup because the primary drive and that drive will get backed up to the new drive.

I need a system like this and I know data centers have this. I have seen facebook facilities where they have techs find a failed drive and they replace it with a brand new hard drive. They mirror their drives. They just take old one out put new in and put server back online but the servers are clustered.

I do plan on buying more servers to setup a cluster so when I need to turn a server off there's still a server online to service requests.

I just need to know what is the best way for me right now. I want to do a raid 1 on 2 drives. I got a total of 6. only have one drive with actual years and years of critical data. I thought I can setup a raid 1 for primary and secondary drive. the primary is the old with critical data and secondary is the brand new one. I thought raid 1 could easily be done without data loss. I don't get why they would need to wipe the hard drive. I thought mirroring means copying the partition from disk 1 to disk 2 and there's no need to wipe the data of disk 1. I understand raid 0 needing a disk wipe but raid 1 is just mirroring or copying the actual disk.

I want to make an exact copy of the disk so it will boot an os and contain the original files. I just want it so that if disk one fails disk 2 will be able to boot the os and run just like disk 1.

I mostly thought raid 1 is for me. The purpose is reliability. You copy / clone a drive not like a backup but it's an exact clone for the purpose in case a hard drive fails your system won't be down instantly.

raid and clusters in my opinion are the same. raid handles disks and clusters handle device / servers. However, the purpose is the same it's either performance or reliability. I am mostly shooting for reliability.

so I am asking can I do a raid 1 without data loss? I still will do a backup just in case but I get nervous because my external drive is old and in the past had close calls where mounting it sometimes worked.

I am just looking for the best solution. I might end up buying an external hard drive if I need too. My goal is to get my server to the point that 2 drives are the boot drives that are the same or exact copy. if one fails. I can at my own time replace the drive and make the backup the primary drive and the new drive the new backup.

However, if I add a new drive I don't want to have to backup all my drives and have raid format all drives just to add a brand new drive into the raid just to mirror the primary drive. if that's the case then there's really no difference between a raid and just partition each drive as their own.

i thought the whole purpose of raid 1 is to easily and quickly to run on backup drive if the primary drive has errors. I can then take out that primary drive and then put secondary as primary and then buy a new drive and put into secondary drive and it will clone that primary drive and the cycle repeats.

It was supposed to be a solution so there's no down time. right when a hard drive crashes or breaks the backup take's it's place instantly and a new drive added copy's that backup drive and becomes a backup to the backup drive.

again I know raid doesn't replace a backup because there's flaws like malware and spyware etc but raid's purpose is to keep a system running one a drive fails and still has a backup copy of all the files which allows it to run just like the original drive.

So, I have 6 drives total. 1 drive is old and 5 are brand new. I need solutions that avoid needing me to backup the old drive and needed me to format the old drive. The issue with this is that even if I back it up there's always that chance the data could be corrupted or have missing data. The old drive works fine right now and really don't want to mess things up.

I thought raid 1 can easily be setup with that old drive and a new drive and it won't format the old drive it will just copy that drive over to the new drive and setup a config where if old drive fails then use the new drive. I need to know if this is the case or not. If not why is it set up like that? why can't they have raid 1 just to copy over disk 1 to disk2 and just monitor both and if disk 1 fails then run disk 2 in place of disk one. I just don't get why disk 1 needs to be formatted to setup raid when raid 1 purpose is to mirror / copy disk 2. I assume the partitions on disk 1 needs to be copied over. So, even if you reformat it the copying part is going to be the same regardless if the partition is new or a used one where there's critical data stored on it.

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