Dell raid questions

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I'm a software developer but when it comes to hardware I get lost in the
I have a few dell Precision machines I got cheap at the auctions, I'm using
as cheap web servers with Win2003 and one with WinSBS 2000, I also have one
with Vista.
They have SATA 80 gig hard drives in them, they are configured in the bios
raid section to use combination mode.
I have several Sata hard drives of the same make and model and I want to set
up a simple raid 1 system for redundancy.
If I try to change the raid configuration to the default auto detect raid, I
get a warning that I may not be able to boot and that I may need to
reinstall, so I have not done so.

My questions are
Will I lose my data if I switch to raid auto detect?
What is raid Auto detect?
Is this a built in raid system?
If so what do I need to do, just plug in 2 disks?

If anyone has any info on Dell precisions and raid I would appreciate any
info you can give

Re: Dell raid questions

Just the Facts wrote:
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There is an active Dell group at which is probably a  better place to ask this

Re: Dell raid questions

Just the Facts wrote:
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The first thing you do with a new computer, is review the hardware resources
inside. For example, an Ebay listing says the Precision 670 has an E7525
Northbridge and ICH5R Southbridge. There is also a SCSI controller of some
sort (PERC U320).

The "SATAOS Setup" (blue text) here, describes moving a non-RAID SATA install to
an add-in SATA card, installing RAID driver, changing ICH5R BIOS settings,
then moving back. Once the drive is moved back, once booted back into Windows,
you can use the Intel RAID management software to do a RAID migration from one
"RAID ready" drive to two drives. The necessary data movement then happens in
while the system is running.

There might be another procedure for doing this, but I can't find it right
now. I seem to remember some site came up with a shortcut method (something
that would not be supported by Intel).

The problem is, when the ICH5R BIOS settings are changed, they change the
enumeration of the Southbridge. When that happens, the old driver no longer
loads. In order to be able to fix this in one step, both drivers would
have to coexist on the disk. Normally, you cannot install the RAID driver,
unless the enumeration shows RAID mode, which is a "Catch-22". So, to
do a more straightforward procedure, would require both drivers to exist
already, and the proper driver to engage after the BIOS setting has been
changed. The trick would be finding a reference to how that was done. Otherwise,
the procedure (as shown in the blue text above) is a bit messy.


Re: Dell raid questions

Just the Facts wrote:
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Why don't you avoid expensive and unreliable opsys and install
Ubuntu.  You can get a free installation CD at <>

 [mail]: Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
 [page]: <
            Try the download section.

Posted via a free Usenet account from

Re: Dell raid questions

It is best to create a RAID array using disks with same size empty partitions.
Create the array and then install your operating system. The dire warning is for
people who have a disk with an OS installed and then expect to function as part
of a RAID array.

Just the Facts wrote:
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                   Mike Walsh

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