wtorek, 17 września 2013

Restore HP system image to hardware RAID volume (LSI MegaRAID SAS 9271-4i)

When there are no native OEM Windows installation discs included..

This is the story how I succeeded with restoring HP system image to RAID Controller. HP workstation comes only with "their" system image (and restore software) on DVDs and there is no way to restore it to RAID volume directly as there is no RAID controller driver included.

This is full list of hardware used in this case:

  • HP Z420 Workstation
  • LSI MegaRAID SAS 9271-4i 6Gb/s PCIe 3.0 (native LSI, not branded by HP)
  • 2x Intel 530 240GB SATA SSD disks
  • Multi-lane SAS (SFF-8087) to 4x SATA cable
  • HP restore discs with Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

At first I've just tried to connect disks into RAID controller, create RAID1 volume (this is called "virtual disk" in LSI) and to restore system from HP DVD. Failure. PC rebooted after splash screen.

After some hours..

Finally, complete solution

  1. Plug first SSD into SATA (at mobo).
  2. Restore system from HP restore discs into that SSD.
  3. Download and install LSI controller driver (from LSI site).
  4. Plug second SSD to RAID controller (I've used P2 connector on multi-lane cable; they were labelled P1..P4)
  5. Under RAID controller BIOS: Create RAID0 volume using second SSD disk.
  6. Under RAID controller BIOS: Set RAID0 volume as bootable one.
  7. Clone first SSD (connected to SATA at mobo) into second SSD (connected to RAID controller).
  8. Unplug first SSD and try to boot from RAID0 volume.
  9. Reconnect first SSD to RAID controller (I've used P1 connector this time).
  10. Change RAID level from RAID0 to RAID1 adding first SSD to the pool. (LSI need some time to regenerate RAID but it happens in background - you can even reboot).

A word about good software

Cloning was done with Macrium Software FREE Edition (v5.2.6377). It snapshots system partition so you may clone system disk to empty one. Intel gives free edition of Acronis (called as Intel Data Migration Tool), but it does not want to clone into Intel SSD connected under RAID controller (support may help you as branded Acronis in known to have some unlock codes).