Thursday, January 18, 2007


I've been wanting to setup our desktop computer to act kind of like a server for the laptop. Basically, we'll store all important data on the desktop and the laptop will access it through the network and use Windows' offline folders capability to make sure the laptop also has a local copy. I figured that before switching to this approach, I would change my current setup of 2 independent serial ATA (SATA) hard drives into a mirrored set (RAID 1) which provides automatic backup of data in case of a hard drive failure.

Sounds simple enough...I found a cheap PCI card (from Rosewill) that supports SATA RAID and tried to install it. As Windows is booting, I got a blue screen and then an automatic restart. It didn't even give me time to read the data on the blue screen. I tried everything I could think of to get it working without success and the best part is that when I returned everything to the original configuration, Windows still wouldn't boot properly. It took several attempts and the painstaking process of reloading Windows including all patches before I could successfully restore my backup. So a week later, I'm back where I started!

It appears that all of the reasonably priced cards use the same RAID chip so I'm not confident that just trying a different card will help me and I can't upgrade my motherboard without replacing a bunch of other, I'm still trying to figure out my next step. I'm open to suggestions.

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