If such a machine landed here I'd remove the failing raid, pop in a single good drive and install the OS I have a license to.
I don't discuss how to save an OS that we don't have the CD or license for.
I've got a slightly out of date computer that fell into my hands (P4 running windows 2000 with an 8-disk RAID array attached - the obsolete controller drivers for the RAID array is probably the most crucial part on that computer... I can't find them anywhere on the web) that has some important stuff on it for my research lab, it's just stuff that's been set aside for a while.
After a day or so of moderate exploratory use, I started running some video capture to see if that functionality was still working (what the system was partly designed for) and apparently it was too much for the computer. The hard drive shut itself down. A couple of attempts to restart had the hard drive powering on for a while (long enough to boot windows fully once or twice), but within progressively shorter time-spans, the drive cut out (could hear it whine down) each time.
To be clear, I'm not talking any clicking or hitching noises from the drive. It just simply powers up for a little while (hear the disks spin) and then a little while later you can hear the spinning go back to nill.
Obviously my next step was to stop completely before I destroyed it (if it wasn't already).
I was thinking one possible next step would be to remove the drive from the computer (remove other possible sources of bad influence), put it in an external enclosure (I only have one) and clone it to another drive if I can get it to power up again.
Problem is, I can't put a blank drive in my own desktop, (a horrible little unmodifiable shiny thing) and I don't have another modifiable desktop.
I've read up on procedures for doing a basic clone (acronis... ghost... etc.), where you have a HD on it's way out but still functioning, but that is not the case here. It seems to me that I need three hard drives together; the failing one, a blank one, and one that is fully functional and able to manage the transfer.
Assuming I can even get my failing drive to power up in the enclosure, could it be possible for me to buy another enclosure and blank hard drive, and use my desktop to clone from one enclosure out to another?
Thanks for any advice you can offer.