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RAID Without Additional Hardware: Do It Yourself With Windows 2000

Perfidies Of The Software RAID

So far, everything sounds very promising. However, we found that there is no way to run Windows 2000 itself on a software RAID array. After setting up a RAID array specifically for installing Windows 2000, the setup program did not recognize the stripeset drive. A possible reason is that the standard drivers do not support Windows 2000's dynamic drive model. If you still choose one of the RAID drives to install the OS, Windows 2000 will prompt you to format it.

It was quite interesting to see that Windows 2000 does not care about how you install the members of a stripeset, as long as they are present. For example changing a drive from tertiary master (that's the primary channel of any additional IDE controller) to secondary slave does not cause any errors; it has merely a little impact on performance. Removing any stripeset member will cause the whole array to remain inaccessible, so be careful!

Putting The Stripeset To Use

It would have been nice to be able to put Windows 2000 onto a RAID array, but that won't work, and anyway, there are other uses for a fast drive array. For one thing, you can assign the Windows swap file to it. Make sure that you do this before putting any data on it though. And also, be sure to specify the same numbers for initial and maximum size, so that the swap file won't be fragmented. Another use for the stripeset drive is to use it as a temporary drive for the more demanding applications, such as Adobe Photoshop, etc. If possible, also specify a particular size for the temp files.