How to replace a raid controller without losing data

Written by larry simmons
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to replace a raid controller without losing data
Multiple drives can hold the data making up a single RAID drive array. (two computer hard drives image by Elnur from

Making a RAID array takes multiple drives connected into a single unit and controlled by a RAID controller. With built-in redundancy, the loss of a drive won't lead to a loss of data in most RAID setups. The loss of a RAID controller, however, leaves the drives inaccessible until you're able to install a replacement controller. Different controllers use different set-up instructions for the RAID arrays, meaning that the replacement controller needs to be of the same make and model as the old controller or a newer model that is compatible with it. Once an adequate replacement card is found, you'll be able to replace the old one quickly. After successful replacement, you can access your RAID array without any loss of data, continuing with its normal use.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Masking tape
  • RAID controller card with set-up CD

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Turn the computer off and disconnect its power cord.

  2. 2

    Open the case by removing the case cover. Remove the screws holding the cover in place and then slide the cover back from the front case panel and lift it away. Locate the RAID controller card in the expansion slots at the rear of the motherboard.

  3. 3

    Unplug the RAID drives from the controller card. Remove the data cables from the controller card and attach a piece of masking tape to each data cable, marking each according to the data port in which it was located.

  4. 4

    Remove the screw holding the controller card in place. Pull the card from the motherboard. Align the notch in the bottom of the replacement card with the notch in the expansion slot. Push the card into the slot and secure it to the case using the screw removed from the old card.

  5. 5

    Plug drive cables into the RAID card in the same order removed, matching the number of each drive cable with the marked drive slot. Remove any masking tape.

  6. 6

    Replace the case cover, securing it with the case screws. Reconnect the power plug to the power supply.

  7. 7

    Turn the PC on and allow it to load the operating system. If the replacement card is of the same make and model, the RAID drive should boot right up. If the card differs but is compatible with the older RAID card, run the set-up software for the card located on the CD-ROM that came with the card to set up the new card to use the existing RAID drive.

Tips and warnings

  • Back up all data contained on the drive with verify enabled, to protect yourself from a loss during the transfer.
  • Always ground yourself before working inside any computer. Static electricity can damage electronic components.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.