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Windows 7 RAID advice

Last response: in Storage
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January 16, 2012 4:24:12 PM

Hello everyone!

I have a few questions regarding the RAID capabilities of Windows 7 (the ones offered in disk management, not via the motherboard chipset). I have been using my motherboard's fake hardware raid for the past 3.5 years and as I am about to make a new system I have to make some decisions concerning my data migration. My motherboard has the intel ICH9R chipset and has been working fine with no problems whatsoever. I have made two RAID1 volumes there both for data, the first is made of 2x640GB drives and the second of 2x1TB drives.

What I want to do:

I want to use windows' RAID because of compatibility regardless of the mobo chipset. I am going to purchase a 2TB drive, and mirror that with my two existing 1TB drives. I would ideally want to do this by moving all my data into a single partition on the 2TB drive, making a RAID1 volume out of the 2x1TB drives and using that volume as a mirror for the 2TB drive. I have searched google for quite some time and i haven't found an answer on whether this is possible (having a RAID1 volume as a member of a RAID0 volume). Otherwise I would break the 2TB drive in 2 equal partitions and mirror each one with one of the 1TB drives (this is possible if i am not mistaken. I would really like some enlightenment on the first option as I find it to be the ideal solution.

I also have a question about dynamic disks. It is my understanding that you cannot convert them back to basic disks and keep the data, unless you use some risky method (like partition wizard), and that you also cannot access them from other operating systems (although I have found some elaborate ways to make them usable under linux). So my question is whether the dynamic disks are portable from computer to computer and if there are any severe disadvantages to using them.

Thank you for your time :) 

More about : windows raid advice

January 16, 2012 4:50:21 PM

There are tons of tutorials for this in Google. However, I recommend caution RAID array's should be set as follows, external card if possible, mobo array in necessary, software array if all else is not available. If it were me I would leave it on the board. I have never trusted windows to mind raids and I have cleaned up quite a few messes from people that have. Recovering from fails is messy because the drive does not show up as raid in other machines it shows up as Dynamic. Putting it short it turn into a PITA if you have to recover. Again this is just me though.
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