Clean Install of Win 7 64 Bit - Goal OS and Programs in RAID1

I have two 128 GB SSD's I would like too use in RAID1 as my C: drive for my operating system and program files.

1) Will my new Crucial 550's need to be high level formatted for Win 7 or should they be 'ready to use?"

2) My Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3P (Rev. 2.1) MOBO came with Intel Matrix Storage Manager or Intel Rapid Storage Technology. I've downloaded the 64 bit driver. I understand that Win 7 can also be used to establish RAID1. I've seen confusing information about the best way to accomplish my task. Some even talk about 'fake RAID' if it is software based. Are they talking about the Intel software or perhaps Win 7?

3) Will I screw up if I just install one SSD and run through the clean install or do I need to get the RAID1 set up first? My experience with the Intel software suggests I can add a second drive because I've replaced some in the past when one failed, but the custom builder set up the RAID before he delivered the machine.

4) I have been gathering drivers and programs like SeaMonkey in a folder so I don't get caught in a Catch 22 of not being able to access the web to download them. The browser install seemed especially important to have available once the OS is running. (Funny, today I noticed that my Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor Report failed to say anything about my Mozilla browser. I guess it was an oversight?)

5) Lest I be chided, I clearly understand that RAID1 is not a backup. Once this new OS is up and running I will next be wanting advice about the best way to be backed up, but I will ask then, not now.

6) Is there something I missed?


4 answers Last reply
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  1. If you have a valid backup, why bother with a RAID 1?
  2. I don't like being down for days while I hunt up a new drive, reinstall the OS from an image, bring back whatever is in my most recent backup, and reconstruct what was lost since the backup.

    In the limited experience of our house since 1985, data loss has been a hardware, not a software problem.

    I've come close a few times. I like ZTree. When I'm using it to clean up I often use F4 to turn off the Recycle Bin so I don't have to delete things twice. It is a way of courting disaster.

    Has there ever been a Discussion/Poll of members of this community regarding their experience regarding the underlying causes of data loss?


  3. 1) I found this related post which describes using the install disk to format the drive during installation:

    Wouldn't it be preferable to format the SSD's prior to the install? I can easily attach them as ESATA devices and use XP to format them. That's one less thing to go wrong during the install. Clearly I want to use NTFS as the formatting choice.

    I want leave my current boot drive disks unaltered until I am comfortable that the Win7 64bit install has gone to completion. If something goes wrong I can always revert to them in the short term while I sort things out.

    I understand that with an upgrade disk I can’t be using both the XP OS that is being upgraded and the Win7 OS that is being installed. Certainly my strategy of saving XP as a fallback position is OK, isn’t it? I plan a ‘clean install’ of Win7:


  4. Here is another good reason for RAID1.

    I've seen comments that Win7 upgrade media won't reinstall on a drive installed to replace a failed one. Prompt installation of a replacement in a RAID1 allows the rebuilding of a functioning double copy.

    I know, this does not cover corruption due to other causes, but this is peace of mind enough.

    I'd love to see answers to the questions I posed instead of comments questioning my conservative approach to maintaining my system.


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