I wish to remove the RAID setup on my Windows 7 Dell 9200 in order to install a new SSD system drive, plus a high capacity SATA III drive for data. The 9200 has only ever had one Sata II hard drive, which under Dell's factory configuration is controlled by the RAID Bios.
In the Bios settings, my only choices are RAID ON, or RAID AUTODETECT/ATA. (There is no AHCI option - the 9200 apparently doesn't support it.) Since I need the two new drives to operate independently, I'll have to choose RAID AUTODETECT/ATA, and then somehow disable the existing drive's RAID "signing" before I clone it to the SSD, so that the SSD won't get picked up by the Autodetect as a RAID drive at boot time.
So, my basic challenge is how to disable RAID, while hopefully preserving all my files on the existing hard drive.
Most advice I read online says that I will need to reinstall Windows 7 in order to change the drive's "signing" to non-RAID. It's been so long since I did a Windows 7 install that I can't remember what steps were needed to assign the drive to RAID in the first place, or figure out how to change that.
Does anyone know a way to disable RAID so I can clone the drive without losing all the files? It seems to me that if I do a complete system backup and disk wipe, I would still need a fresh install of Windows 7 in order to change the RAID config. That could make restoring the system backup problematic.
Does anyone have some expert advice on this? Thanks!
No responses? Maybe I'm asking the wrong question... If I turn off RAID in the bios, does the HD still retain the RAID signing? Or is there really no RAID signing in reality, just a bios setting? Is AHCI actually there, but hidden in the RAID option on Dells? Any info will be helpful before I jump into this. Thanks.