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HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Setting Up RAID Using AMD RAIDXpert Storage Technology

This document applies to HP and Compaq Desktop computers using AMD RAIDXpert Storage Technology and RAID controllers in Windows 7 and Vista.
AMD RAID technology
The term "RAID" stands for "Redundant Array of Independent Disks." With RAID, you can combine two or more hard disk drives into one logical unit or drive.
This document contains information about common RAID configurations and procedures to set up your system to various RAID configurations.
  caution:
If your computer is RAID Ready, you are not required to change to another RAID level. HP recommends keeping your hard drives configured as RAID Ready. This document is provided as a courtesy to HP customers and should not be taken as a recommendation by HP to change the level of RAID.
  note:
You will need two drives for RAID 0 or 1, and at least three drives for RAID 5. For optimal performance, install identical drives of the same model and capacity when creating a RAID set.
Choosing a RAID configuration
Use the following information to choose your RAID configuration:
  warning:
This document covers migrating between RAID Ready, RAID level 0, and RAID level 1. Making the decision to switch to RAID is a serious matter. Migrating from RAID level 0 or RAID level 1 back to RAID Ready is not supported nor recommended and can cause serious startup problems if not done correctly.
  note:
RAID level 5, RAID level 10, and JBOD do not apply to most HP desktop PCs as they require several hard disk drives. While it might be possible to migrate to one of these RAID levels, these topics are not discussed in this document as doing so can be risky and might cause serious startup problems.
RAID Ready describes a system that is currently not in a RAID configuration but can be migrated to RAID if needed.
RAID 0 (Data Striping) combines two or more hard disk drives so that all data is divided into manageable blocks called stripes. This improves the read write performance by allowing data to be accessed from more than one hard disk drive simultaneously. However, data stored in a RAID 0 volume is not redundant so that if one hard disk drive fails, all data on the volume is lost. Example: two 500 GB drives properly set in RAID 0 appear as one 1000 GB (1TB) volume in Windows that performs slightly better than RAID Ready.
RAID 1 (Data Mirroring) duplicates information from one hard disk drive onto a second hard disk drive. The data files are written to both hard disk drives and read from one drive. This setup provides data protection and security by minimizing the reliability risks; if one drive fails completely, no data is lost. Once the failed drive is replaced, the data is copied to the new drive. Example: two 500 GB drives properly set in RAID 1 appear as one 500 GB volume in Windows and offers better data protection than RAID Ready.
RAID 5 (Striping with Parity) combines three or more hard disk drives so that all data is divided into manageable blocks called stripes. RAID 5 also stores parity, a mathematical method for recreating lost data on a single drive. The data and parity are striped across the three or four hard disk drives.
RAID 10 (Stripe Mirroring) uses four hard disk drives to create a combination of RAID levels 0 and 1. The data is striped across a two-disk array forming a RAID 0 component. Each of the drives in the RAID 0 array is mirrored to form a RAID 1 component. This provides the performance benefits of RAID 0 and the redundancy of RAID 1. The RAID 10 volume appears as a single hard disk drive with a capacity equal to two of the four drives. The remaining two drives are used for mirroring.
JBOD (Just a bunch of drives) combines several hard disk drives into one large volume.
Before you begin
Before setting up a RAID configuration, back up important files, create recovery discs, create a bootable recovery tools disc, and turn off sleep mode (as sleep mode can interfere with the RAID migration).
For help creating recovery discs, use one of the following HP support documents, depending on your Windows version:
Follow these steps to turn off sleep mode:
  1. Click Start , and then click Control Panel.
    Control Panel opens.
    Figure : Control Panel
  2. Click Hardware and Sound.
    The Hardware and Sound window opens.
    Figure : Hardware and Sound
  3. Click Power Options.
    The Power Options window opens.
    Figure : Power Options
  4. Click Change when the computer sleeps.
    The Edit Plan Settings window opens.
    Figure : Edit Plan Settings
  5. Select Never from the Put the computer to sleep drop-down list.
  6. Click Save changes.
Logging in and setting up RAIDXpert
  1. Shut down the computer.
    Click Start , click the arrow on the toolbar, and then click Shut Down.
  2. Connect a second hard disk drive to an available SATA port. The second hard disk drive must be equal to or larger than the original hard disk drive in the system.
      note:
    If physical drives of different capacities are used, there will be unused capacity on the larger drive. For example, if the first drive is 500 GB, and a 750 GB disk drive is added to the computer, only 500 GB of the second disk drive will be used. The remaining 250 GB on the second drive is not used.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. Click Start , All Programs, AMD, RAIDXpert, and then click RAIDXpert.
    AMD RAIDXpert opens.
  5. When the login screen displays, type admin the Login ID field. Then type admin in the Password field.
      note:
    The RAIDXpert login and password are case sensitive.
    Figure : AMD RAIDXpert
  6. Click the Sign In button.
    The Welcome screen displays.
    Figure : Welcome screen
    Welcome screen
  7. To change the language, click the Language dropdown menu, and highlight the language you want.
    Figure : Choosing the language
    Choosing the language
Configuring the computer from RAID Ready to RAID 0
Use the following steps to configure the computer from RAID Ready to RAID 0.
  1. Shut down the computer.
    Click Start , click the arrow on the toolbar, and then click Shut Down.
  2. If your computer has only one drive, connect a second hard disk drive of equal or greater capacity to an available SATA port. The second hard disk drive must be equal to or larger than the original hard disk drive in the system.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. Click Start , All Programs, AMD, RAIDXpert, and then click RAIDXpert.
    AMD RAIDXpert opens.
  5. Under AMD RAIDXpert, click the plus sign next to Physical Drive View to view the drives in the computer. Make sure the second drive displays in the information.
    Then click the plus sign next to Logical Drive View to view the logical drive. The logical drive (the drive that was already in the computer) is already configured to RAID Ready.
      note:
    Do not change the drive you just added to RAID Ready. If the original drive is not configured to RAID Ready, select it under the Logical Drive View, and click the Create tab. Follow the steps to configure the original drive to RAID Ready.
      note:
    If you have already created a logical drive using a second disk drive that you just added, you must delete that logical drive before you can migrate to RAID 0 or RAID 1. Select the second logical drive and click the Delete tab. Follow the instructions to delete the second logical drive.
    Figure : Checking the logical drive
    Checking the logical drive
  6. With Logical Drive 1 selected in the tree view, click the Migration tab.
    Figure : Migration tab
    Migration tab
  7. Select RAID 0 in the RAID level box, and then click Start Now to start the migration process.
    A migration status bar appears. The migration process can take several hours. If necessary, you can pause and resume the migration.
    Figure : Migration progress
    Migration started
    When the migration is complete, the second drive shows as part of the logical drive, and shows the combined size of both drives. If the computer is using hard drives of different capacity sizes, then you should use the next section to format the unused space.
Setup unused hard drive space after migrating to RAID 0 (optional)
After migrating a system from RAID Ready to RAID 0, the RAID volume contains the combined capacity of all the hard disk drives, but the migrated partition leaves unformatted space at the end of the RAID volume. For example, if the computer had two hard drives, one 500 GB and one 750 GB, then you can use the following procedure to regain the 250 GB that was not used in the migration to RAID 0. This newly formatted space will not have the benefits of RAID 0.
  note:
This post migration procedure is not necessary when migrating from RAID Ready to RAID 1.
To use this space, use Windows Disk Management to create another partition by following the steps below:
  1. Click Start , right-click Computer, and then click Manage.
    The Computer Management window opens.
    Figure : Computer Management
  2. Click Disk Management under Storage.
  3. Right-click the unallocated space and click New Simple Volume.
    Figure : New Simple Volume
  4. Click Next in the New Simple Volume Wizard welcome screen.
    Figure : New Simple Volume Wizard welcome screen
  5. Specify the volume size, and then click Next.
    Figure : Specify Volume Size
  6. Assign a drive letter, and then click Next.
    Figure : Assign Drive Letter
  7. Format the partition to make it usable:
    1. Enter a Volume label, select a File system type, and then click Next.
    2. Make sure Default is selected for the Allocation unit size.
    3. Type a Volume label. A good label represents the purpose of the drive, such as "Pictures" or "Shared Work".
    4. Click Next.
    Figure : Format Partition
  8. At the finish screen, click Finish to start the formatting process.
      note:
    Formatting the partition may take several minutes. Do not turn off your computer until the New Simple Volume has been completely formatted.
    Figure : Completing the New Simple Volume Wizard
    You can now use the formatted space. Remember that this newly formatted space will not have the benefits of RAID 0.
Configuring the computer from RAID Ready to RAID 1
Use the following steps to configure the computer from RAID Ready to RAID 1.
  1. Shut down the computer.
    Click Start , click the arrow on the toolbar, and then click Shut Down.
  2. Connect a second hard disk drive to an available SATA port. The second hard disk drive must be equal to or larger than the original hard disk drive in the system.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. Click Start , All Programs, AMD, RAIDXpert, and then click RAIDXpert.
    AMD RAIDXpert opens.
  5. Under AMD RAIDXpert, click the plus sign next to Physical Drive View to view the drives in the computer. Make sure the second drive displays in the information.
    Then click the plus sign next to Logical Drive View to view the logical drive. The logical drive (the drive that was already in the computer) is already configured to RAID Ready.
      note:
    Do not change the drive you just added to RAID Ready. If the original drive is not configured to RAIDReady, select it under the Logical Drive View, and click the Create tab. Follow the steps to configure the original drive to RAID Ready.
      note:
    If you have already created a logical drive using a second disk drive that you just added, you must delete that logical drive before you can migrate to RAID 0 or RAID 1. Select the second logical drive and click the Delete tab. Follow the instructions to delete the second logical drive.
    Figure : Checking the logical drive
    Checking the logical drive
  6. With Logical Drive 1 selected in the tree view, click the Migration tab.
    Figure : Migration tab
    Migration tab
  7. Select RAID 1 in the RAID level box, and then click Start Now to start the migration process.
    A migration status bar appears. The migration process can take several hours. If necessary, you can pause and resume the migration.
    Figure : Migration progress
    Migration started
  8. When the migration is complete, the second drive shows as part of the logical drive.
    Figure : Completed migration from RAID Ready to RAID 1
    Completed migration from RAID Ready to RAID 1
Configuring the computer from RAID 1 to RAID 0
To use RAID technology to create one large drive from two separate drives, migrate the logical drive from RAID 1 to RAID 0. This combines two or more hard disk drives so that all data is divided into manageable blocks called stripes. This improves the read write performance by allowing data to be accessed from more than one hard disk drive simultaneously.
  caution:
Data stored in a RAID 0 volume is not redundant so that if one hard disk drive fails, all data on the volume is lost. Make sure to back up important information regularly.
Before you can migrate to RAID 0, you must migrate the logical drive to RAID 1 using the steps in the previous section.
  1. Click Start , All Programs, AMD, RAIDXpert, and then click RAIDXpert.
    AMD RAIDXpert opens.
  2. Under AMD RAIDXpert, click the plus sign next to Logical Drive View. The logical drive is already configured to RAID Ready.
    Figure : Checking the logical drive
    Checking the logical drive
  3. With Logical Drive 1 selected in the tree view, click the Migration tab.
    Figure : Migration tab
    Migration tab
  4. Select RAID 0 in the RAID level box, and then click Start Now to start the migration process.
    A migration status bar appears. The migration process can take several hours. If necessary, you can pause and resume the migration.
    Figure : Migration progress
    Migration started
  5. When the migration is complete, Logical Drive Information show the capacity as the size of the combined drives and displays both physical drives as part of the logical drive.
    Figure : Completed migration from RAID l to RAID 0
    Completed migration from RAID Ready to RAID 1

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