RAID 1 of partitions: Intel Matrix Storage Manager ?

Hello All,

Does anyone know if I can use Intel Matrix Storage Manager to achieve the following?
I want to add a 1 TB to my PC which currently houses one 320 GB HD. This HD has 2 partitions; C (system) and D (data). I would like to use 320 GB of the new 1 TB disk to make a RAID 1 with the old HD. The rest of the 1 TB disk's space (~ 680 GB) I would like to use as a new partition (E) without RAID.
I know that using RAID 1, the usable space is the minimum of the two disks and the extra space of the largest HD is wasted. However, with Intel Matrix Storage Manager it should be possible to make a mixed RAID 0 & RAID 1 system. Part of a HD can be used in RAID 0 and part in RAID 1. So can I also use this to make a RAID 1 of 1 HD and a partition? And does anyone know if I can do this without reinstalling windows, or losing my current data?
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  1. You cannot do it with the Intel Matrix Storage Manager AFAIK. You "could" do it using dynamic disks in windows itself, the question is why would you want to ? Unless the remaining space off the TB drive is used stricly for storage, drive contention would be a big problem. In theory, the matrix controller is capable of "split seeks", but I doubt if windows dynamic disks would play nicely with that feature, only matrix managed volumes. If you really want RAID 1 on your system disk, just pick up another 320GB and call it a day. I personally would rather protect my user data before my OS first...Programs can be reinstalled, archived files lost cannot.

    Edit: long day at work....don't know what I was thinking...I don't believe windows will let you software RAID ( dynamic ) a boot drive anyhow without some serious hacking. There were a few registry hacks in years past that I played with, but they are unpredictable to say the least........
  2. split seeks aren't really faster, since the seek time is about 90% the time the HDD spends on finding information, the actual retrieval of the information once the head is positioned is quite fast. So using split I/O will not make things faster.

    In theory, maybe you can create a RAID1 or RAID0 of only one disk, if the Intel RAID setup utility allows you to do that, you could indeed make a single-disk RAID for the extra space on your larger drive. If you can't, then just keep two seperate disks its probably easier in the case of recovery.
  3. split seeks do not benchmark faster (unless you play with queue depth ), but used on an OS/System drive, the gains can be big in multiple random reads. I use RAID 1 all the time for OS drives, and it gives more real world responsiveness to RAID 0 IMHO....The first random read may not be faster, but any subsequent reads stand an increasing chance of seek time improvements, because the heads are "staggered" thus one head can be much closer to it's destination than the other. While this is random behavior, this can actually be "felt" by the user. The advantage of the opposite head moving towards the next request BEFORE the first head has finished it's request should not be ignored either, as this will definately provide quicker apparent seek times to the user. Most people tend to overlook this important characteristic for OS drives.
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