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Using NVIDIA RAID Utility (Windows Vista)

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This document applies to HP and Compaq Desktop computers using NVIDIA RAID utility and RAID controllers.
This document can be used to change RAID levels (migrate from zero to 1 or 1 to zero).

Before you begin

HP and Compaq desktop computers using NVIDIA RAID technology are pre-configured as either RAID 0 or RAID 1. No RAID setup or configuration is required.
CAUTION:You should not change the RAID setup. Changing the RAID configuration can destroy data on the hard drives. Create recovery disc(s) before performing the steps in this support article.
  1. Click Start , All Programs, PC help & Tools, and Recovery Disc Creation.
  2. Follow the onscreen instructions and create your recovery discs before proceeding further.

About RAID

RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) technology allows several hard disk drives to function as one storage area (the array) to provide either data redundancy (backup security) or faster performance (striped reading/writing data from or to the disk drives).

RAID 0 (Striping)

The information (data) stored on a RAID 0 array is split (shared or striped) between the two hard drives. This setup improves system performance by reducing the time needed to write a data file to and read a data file from the drive array. The drives share storing and reading the information, allowing overall faster access to the information.
The maximum amount of available hard drive space for a RAID 0 array is twice the size of the smallest drive in the array, because the usable space on the drives must match in size. On your system, the two hard disk drives in the RAID 0 array appear as a single icon, and the size lists the total available capacity of the array. For example, if the array has one 100GB drive and one 80GB hard disk drive, your maximum array drive space is 160GB. Only 80GB can be used on the 100GB hard drive.

RAID 1 (Mirroring)

The information stored on a RAID 1 array is duplicated (mirrored) on the two hard drives. The data files are written to both hard disk drives and read (retrieved) 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.
The maximum amount of available hard drive space for a RAID 1 array is the size of the smallest drive in the array. On your system, only one of the two hard disk drives in the RAID 1 array appears as a single icon, and the size lists the total available capacity of the smallest drive in the array; the mirrored drive is not shown.

Available NVIDIA Control Panel options

The NVIDIA Control Panel allows monitoring and limited configuration of the RAID settings. Do one of the following to open the NVIDIA Control Panel:
  • Click Start , All Programs, NVIDIA Corporation, NVIDIA Control Panel, and select Storage.
  • Right-click anywhere on the desktop, select NVIDIA Control Panel from the menu that opens, and then double-click Storage from the NVIDIA Control Panel that opens.
Many RAID functions are available from the control panel. These functions differ depending on the RAID configuration in use.
Functions for RAID 0 configuration:
  • View configuration and status.
  • Configure SMART (self monitoring analysis technology).
Functions for RAID 1 configuration:
  • Migrate: Change RAID configuration and reorganize data from RAID 1 to RAID 0. Refer to the section Migrate RAID 1 to RAID 0 for details.
  • Rebuild: If one of the hard disk drives in the array fails, replace it, and use Rebuild to add it to the RAID configuration and synchronize the data.
  • Synchronize: Validates and ensures the data on both hard disk drives are identical.

Migrate RAID 1 to RAID 0

To change the RAID configuration and migrate the data from RAID 1 to RAID 0, do the following:
WARNING:This procedure may destroy data on the hard disk drives if problems occur. Make sure you have created a set of recovery discs before proceeding.
  1. Open the NVIDIA Control Panel: Right-click anywhere on the desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel.
    The NVIDIA Control Panel opens.
  2. Double-click Storage.
  3. Click Migrate array.
    The NVIDIA Migrate Array Wizard displays.
  4. Click Next.
    Figure 1: Migrate Array Wizard
  5. Select the RAID to migrate (only one is available) and click Next.
  6. Select the new RAID mode (only striping is available), click Next and Finish.
    The migration takes place silently. Depending on the size of the hard disk drive migration may take several hours. The computer may used during migration; this may increase the migration time. Open the NVIDIA Control Panel to view the progress.
    Figure 2: Migrating progress
  7. After migration is finished (100%), use the recovery discs to recover data and access the full capacity of the second hard disk drive.

Change RAID 0 to RAID 1

It is not possible to migrate RAID 0 to RAID 1. Do the following to delete the RAID 0 configuration, create a new RAID 1 configuration, and recover the data:
WARNING:This procedure destroys all data on the hard disk drives. Make sure you have created a set of recovery discs before proceeding.
  1. Restart the computer.
  2. When the HP startup screen displays, press CTRL + N repeatedly until the NVIDIA MediaShield Utility screen displays.
  3. Press Enter.
    The Array Detail window displays.
  4. Press D to delete the array. Press Y to confirm.
    The current array is deleted and the Define a New Array window displays.
  5. Use the arrow and select both hard disk drives to be in the new array.
  6. Use the arrows to change the RAID mode to Mirroring.
  7. Press F7 to Finish and press Y to Clear disk data.
    The Array list displays.
  8. Press B to set the array to boot.
  9. Press Ctrl + X to exit.
  10. Use the recovery discs to install the operating system and recovery the data.

Rebuild a RAID

HP and Compaq RAID systems using two hard disks in a RAID 1 (Mirrored) configuration: If one hard disk stops working, RAID can be rebuilt by replacing the hard disk drive and using the Rebuild function in the NVIDIA Control Panel. The data on both hard disk drives are identical and can be copied (synchronized) to the new hard disk drive.
It is not possible to rebuild RAID 0 (striped) configurations. In a striped RAID configuration, data is split between the two hard disk drives. If one hard disk drive stops working, the data cannot be retrieved. It is critical to create recovery discs and have a strategy for backing up data in case issues arise.

Stop using RAID

It is not possible to stop using RAID. HP and Compaq systems using the NVIDIA RAID controller are pre-configured as RAID in the BIOS and should not be undone.

Related support

For more information, go to the NVIDIA MediaShield Web site (in English).

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