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  Add HDD to existing HDD for RAID1 w/o data loss? 
 Date Written 
Seth Hoffman Mar 21, 2014, 09:42am EDT Report Abuse
In my home server I have several SSDs and HDDs. The largest drive being a Seagate Barracuda 2TB. I have data on this 2TB drive I want to protect. I was going to buy two WD Red 3TB drives for a simple RAID1. However since I already have the Seagate 2TB I got to thinking if I bought another Seagate 2TB could I just add the new drive to the existing drive in RAID1 and have the controller copy the data for the mirror. All of my other drives are full so copying the data on the 2TB out, and starting a fresh RAID1 will be a pain transferring everything around.

I've never tried this before and I'm seeing conflicting reports via searches. Some say you can at the controller BIOS level, and some say you can only do it on an Intel controller via the RST within Windows.

Anyone know if this is possible and what the right approach is?


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john albrich Mar 21, 2014, 11:34pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Add HDD to existing HDD for RAID1 w/o data loss?
No matter what procedure you end up using, if my data are important/irreplaceable) I would never do ANYTHING like that without a full backup of the files to be migrated/integrated into a RAID array.

Even if someone told me it was '100% safe' and they'd done it dozens of times without a problem...

I'd use something like Macrium Reflect Free Edition to backup the source partition(s). It provides excellent compression (dependent on the type of source files...already compressed source files (e.g. some video filetypes) will be less effectively compressed).
(the small 'downloader' executable lets you choose options (e.g. which version of MRFE you want (OS and 32bit/64bit), whether to include PE components, etc)
If you do download the installer, I recommend you verify the MD5 hash (using 'DigestIT 2004' or similar hash check program) to ensure there were no download errors. The MD5 hash values for MRFE are found here.

Naveen Goud Mar 24, 2014, 02:12am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Add HDD to existing HDD for RAID1 w/o data loss?

It's better if you go for such experiments after you have the available data as a backup. Please do not experiment without that . Rest your wish.




Seth Hoffman Mar 24, 2014, 09:34am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Add HDD to existing HDD for RAID1 w/o data loss?
Thank you for the feedback.

I'd like to clarify that; Although I would like to protect the data on the current 2TB drive, if there were to be a data loss it's not that important. Of course if this data was very valuable I would not be attempting such a risky process.

I may just purchase two WD Red 3TB drives and configure them for RAID1 and then try this process in question. I could use the extra storage anyway.

If anyone does know if the RAID1 conversion works and if there are any "gotchas" please let me know.




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