Disk zero

The machine was set up with a Disk 0. C: was an actual real drive and it was showing D: as a logical drive. I poked and looked but despite my best efforts I couldn’t see how I could control it as anything other than a partition (as it was being called). As D: was an actual real drive too I wanted two drives to show.
Disk management did nothing for me except – admittedly with a few clicks from me – ‘unallocate’ the ‘logical’ drive. Not quite what I had in mind. I rebooted a few times changing this and that but tried not to do anything too scary in the RAID menu. No dice. No change. I figured that what I actually should do is take a drive out of sight of Windows then when I put it back the OS would say “Hey there! New drive! What shall we do with that then?”. Easiest way to do that is take the drive away. Take side off computer. See the 2 HD’s. Unfortunately one does not say on it “XP in residence”. I figured the top one had it so I removed a connector from the lower.
The computer instantly displayed a message along the lines of “tut tut tut…. you didn’t mean to see this message did you?”. I didn’t. Connecting it all back up got no joy. Into RAID menu and this time I boldly clicked to remove RAID. Exit. No boot, no nothing. Power down, up. It kept asking me for boot media. Oh dear. So I’m the one sitting here watching the drive being formatted before XP is reinstalled. And I forgot to make a SATA floppy so the final result could mean I do it all again.
Aren’t computers fun!

3 thoughts on “Disk zero

  1. If your drives were configured in a RAID array then it is very possible that they would appear to Windows as a single logical drive. The fact that the logical raid is then partitioned would potentially add confusion.

    If I had RAID with two drives, I would forego “safe” configurations such as RAID-1 (drives are mirrored, but only get capacity of one of the drives) and go for the performance of RAID-0, where the drives get bundled into one bigger logical drive – but the data is striped between both drives, so accessing a big file will get double the throughput as both drives will end up supplying data.

    But, if I had invested in a machine with RAID I would have had a minimum of three drives and gone for RAID-5, which gives you the capacity of all but one of the drives, performance where multipble drives contribute to large I/O, and redundancy so that you can lose any one drive without losing any data.

    By removing RAID and forcing Windows to see the two drives as C and D you will lose all of the benefits of RAID.

  2. David – you understand this way more than me :)
    I wanted 2 drives to backup data between them but it was never ‘mission critical’ stuff.
    In a minute I’m going to image C to F (I need to sort out the drive names). That will sort a reinstall. Following that I will set something up which will monitor certain folders only and copy changes there. The performance issues almost certainly wouldn’t be noticed by me and even then the parts I want speeding up – and change settings to achieve – are native XP functions.

    My essentials are: Photos, Music, certain docs. Aside from that it’s all disposable so it’s probably true to say RAID was always more than I wanted / needed.

  3. Ahh, so you really want RAID-1 then. Which is sort of like a magic monitoring tool that automatically copies everything on one drive to the other. Except, it’s instant. Oh, and doesn’t work well with user error – “Oops, just deleted my photos. Ahh, and my backup disk has just had all the photos deleted too”.

    But, for hardware failures it’s perfect. Either drive can fail, and the system will still boot and all your files will still be there.

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