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Hi , quick synopsis of my situation. Built my 1st computer 10 years ago. Asus Striker Extreme and 2 SATA drives in RAID mirror. Motherboard went bad last year so I bought an identical used one to get up and running. Had difficulty setting up the RAID again, and I don't think its been mirroring the second drive. Running Windows Vista Home Ultimate. The replacement board went bad.

If I buy a new computer that will accept the drives, can I simply plug them in, and after setting up the bios/settings, will the computer boot up on the drive? Can I plug in each one individually, or change to boot alternately one or the other, to see what is on each drive to determine if there is a difference and which is more current?

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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As long as the new computer's SATA cable fits your old drives it will be able to use them. However, Windows will get confused if you have a new drive in the new computer which has Windows and your older drive which also has Windows installed. Windows may rearrange the boot mechanism and it may use either the new or old Windows to boot with. It is recommended that you back up the data and format the old drive before placing it into the new machine.

To find out the Windows version number, press start button and type "winver" . This will tell you which Windows is newer.
 

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They probably won't boot in a new computer because the drivers will not be compatible but you could format them and use them again for data.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As long as the new computer's SATA cable fits your old drives it will be able to use them. However, Windows will get confused if you have a new drive in the new computer which has Windows and your older drive which also has Windows installed. Windows may rearrange the boot mechanism and it may use either the new or old Windows to boot with. It is recommended that you back up the data and format the old drive before placing it into the new machine.

To find out the Windows version number, press start button and type "winver" . This will tell you which Windows is newer.
As long as the new computer's SATA cable fits your old drives it will be able to use them. However, Windows will get confused if you have a new drive in the new computer which has Windows and your older drive which also has Windows installed. Windows may rearrange the boot mechanism and it may use either the new or old Windows to boot with. It is recommended that you back up the data and format the old drive before placing it into the new machine.

To find out the Windows version number, press start button and type "winver" . This will tell you which Windows is newer.
Thanks for the response. What I was thinking was to actually remove the new drives and put my old drive(s) in place of them so I could boot with the Vista version. Would there be too many issues with drivers, etc and enatries in my old registry to get them to work,? Thanks again.
 

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If you used the onboard raid function of the sata controller, you are pretty much out of luck. If you used a real raid card, it is a simple matter to install the raid card in the new system and use the drives [storage only NOT booting windows]
This is just one of the reasons why I say onboard raid is useless. If you did use the onboard raid, then connect the drives and see if you can access them.

Next issue would be that vista is not supported by modern motherboards ie there are no drivers AND vista is not going to have native drivers for modern hardware. In short, you can use your drives for storage, backup, etc however you are not using the operating system.
 

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The BIOS RAID is a lower level than software RAID that is in Windows. Chances of taking the drives from one system and using another are low. I don't think it is wise to use the drives in another computer because geometry calculations from one controller to the next is different and the BIOS RAID software is different. It's best to treat this as a data recovery process. Since you used RAID-1 or mirroring, there might be a chance to get the data off. You will need another drive greater than the capacity of one of the drives. Next, you will need Linux and some programs. Use dd to do a sector by sector copy of the drive to a file. This will create a disk image that is created in a file. Then run photorec to scan through the created file image. Hopefully, the valuable data can be retrieved. Do not run photorec or any data recovery programs on your source drives. The following are some examples that I have done in the past, but I don't remember the additional options that I have used.

Example for Advanced Format drives
dd bs=4096 if=[device node] of=/mnt/dumpdrive/AsusStrikerExtreme.dump

Example for legacy drives
dd bs=512 if=[device node] of=/mnt/dumpdrive/AsusStrikerExtreme.dump

I haven't used photorec to recover files. I was lucky that running a file system repair fix my problems. I didn't use BIOS RAID or software RAID in the OS. The drives were failing. The above is what I used, but with more options. I have used ddrescue or dd_rescue because I had some problems imaging the failed drive.

I recommend do backups, so you don't lose your data from controller failure. RAID is not a backup of your data, especially if its a mirror.

If you are not comfortable doing the data recovery yourself, you can take it to a data recovery service.
 
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