Does my motherboard support RAID 1?


Just bought a new Dell XPS8700, 4th gen i7. The motherboard says Intel 8 Series C220. Does it support RAID 1? It looks like it would, because I was reading the manual online and it looks like I have a Z87? I just want to make sure.

Also, I just have one HD in the system, no RAID yet. I can't get into the Ctrl+I screen. Is that normal? What do I have to do to start that screen? Install the two hard drives?

One last question - I have a RAID 1 in an older system w/two hard drives. The old Gateway system is FX530, running on Vista. It also has Intel's Rapid Storage Tech software.

new Dell mobo shows Haswell Z87.

old Gateway mobo shows i975x 82801GB (ICH7/R).

If I pull out both HDs from the old Gateway and put it in the new Dell, do you think that the RAID 1 system will work intact with no additional steps? Should I just plug them both in the new computer, would it somehow corrupt the data? If this is not a good solution, how do you suggest I do it? Do I put one of the HDs in the new Dell, and then bring over the 2nd HD afterwards?

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  1. Best answer
    Yes your motherboard does support raid as stated in the specifications manual and yes, your chipset is z87.

    The Ctrl-I hotkey is used for Intel Rapid Storage Tech. Unless you have this enabled and raid configured, I do not believe this hotkey is enabled.

    Two things you will have to consider here. The first and most important, to configure any RAID, you need to use two empty and formatted drives. Seeing as you have the OS installed already, this means you have to backup all of your files and reinstall the OS once the raid is configured. The second is, the RAID array will only be as fast as your slowest drive. For this reason I would not take old/degraded HDDs from your old computer and put them in your new computer for your RAID array. Along with that, you will not be able to take two drives that are in a RAID array on your old machine, put them in your new machine, and have RAID working already. RAID needs to be configured in your new computers BIOS.

    All that said, is there a specific reason you are going with a RAID 1 array? If you are looking for data security why not go with an External HDD and schedule daily backups? Only downfall is it wouldn't be real-time mirroring. The upside is you wouldn't have to do a quarter of the setup as a RAID array.
  2. Thank you. Since I wrote this, I found out that the new Dell had a faulty mobo (bios saw the HDs but Windows didn't see them in ports 2,3,4, which was weird) and the dell tech confirmed it and replaced the mobo. And you are right, this is ending up to be a monumental task. I am still working on redoing the raid but am at a point to give up and do external HD backups, as I was doing before. The only reason I was doing Raid was because this data HD (OS is on a different HD) has all our kids' photos and videos from their birth... So I can't afford to lose that...
  3. I see; In terms of data security, an external HDD is not any less capable than RAID 1. Arguably its better for maintaining data because it only runs when you have it plugged in and in the event of an electrical problem there isn't any chance of destroying the drive while it's unplugged. Either way, I do like the idea of using RAID arrays (personally more for the performance than the data security), but if you are just backing up files that you have had/will have for a long time I would think an external is the appropriate option. Just plug it in, run the CD and you are backing up all the files you want.
  4. Thank you. I'll just stick with external HD for now. If I have some free time in the future, I may venture to set up the RAID 1.
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