I have successfully installed Windows 8 Pro x64 on an ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe board on a SSD under UEFI/secure boot mode. Used the following settings:
SATA Mode = AHCI
Fastboot = enabled
CSM = enabled
Secureboot = Windows UEFI
Everything works fine. Qcode = AO, performance is excellent etc. System information shows:
BIOS Mode = UEFI
Secure boot state = ON
SSD partitioned to GPT
I now want to create a RAID1 volume on which to store my data. I understand that ideally one has to set SATA mode to RAID before installing windows in order to make the creation of RAID volumes possible.
However, is it possible to convert my present AHCI system to a RAID system without re-installing windows? I heard that some registry settings will do the trick.
A possible alternative kind of RAID1?
I have been checking the user manual and on page 3.39 there is a description of Drive Expert Mode. It can be set to Normal Mode, Super Speed or EZ Backup, where EZ Backup means: "Allows you to use the EZ Backup function that copies and maintains an identical image of data from the SATA6G_E1 drive to the SATA6G_E2 drive". How different is this from the RAID function set up with Ctr-I? Is it better or worse in terms of fault tolerance and performance?
If you just installed it would be better to do a reinstall.
Given that, you may try to make a system image of your windows. Put this on a separate HDD. Disconnect everything but the drives you plan to RAID. Set the RAID up in BIOS. Next connect the drive with the disk image (this cannot be the original boot drive) and then do a of Windows. After you boot into windows do not hit the Install now option but look for a repair option. When you get to the screen that gives you the options to repair windows choose the option listed as restore windows from disk image. Let the Windows disk restore your system. The problem is that it will create an exact replica of your original installation (including partition sizes), which may or may not be your intent.
This method may work, but there is no guaranty.
Raid 1 is used in (almost exclusively) enterprise setups where the risk of hardware failure is very costly. RAID 1 is, strictly speaking, NOT a backup, but a hardware redundancy. If you have any malware that infects your boot drive it is automatically mirrored onto the RAID mirror drive.
Backups, differ in that they establish restore points for the system. If you backup your system weekly then you should always be able to restore to a point of a week before. The advantage to a backup is that you should be able to restore your system to a point prior to a malware infection.
I never RAID 1 home machines because it is a waste of resources. I do RAID 0 my home machine because I have a pair of Samsung 840 Pros and want the blistering speed. But I do backup the RAID 0 array.