Raid or mirror XP/2000 Pro system disk

Posted on 2003-03-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-04
I would like to set up a software mirror of my system disk/volume
in XP or 2000, but the option is grayed out in Disk Manager, no
matter if they are dynamic or not.
I found out in XP help that it's not supposed to work on anything
but servers, still I have seen so many answers to this here at EE.
I saw something about using NTServer Resource Kit to be able to do
this on a NT4 WS. Is it a similar workaround for XP?
I'm have two identical 4.3Gb SCSI disks.

Question by:roggamogga
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Expert Comment

ID: 8136031
What version of XP are you using... this is not possible with XP home...

Author Comment

ID: 8136120
I have tried on XP Pro. If it's easier in 2000 Pro, I could use that too. (Or WinMe, but I guess that's even
less likely to work)


Author Comment

ID: 8136141
I have tried on XP Pro. If it's easier in 2000 Pro, I could use that too. (Or WinMe, but I guess that's even
less likely to work)

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Expert Comment

ID: 8136195
somebpdy correct me if i am wrong.
u cannot put striping on system partition...

Expert Comment

ID: 8136229
Here is a great link that contains alot of information about mirroring.  There are many ways to go about what you are looking to do, using RAID, adding additional drives versus using a partition magic software to ad a second partition to mirror to, etc.  Check out this link and first, determine exactly what your looking to acocmplish, what volume of data your talking about, the critical nature of the data and what expense are you willing to spend.  This will give you a great starting point.

LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 8136680
There's no mention of striping that I saw...

You can't mirror the system partition in NT4 from within NT and expect to boot from the mirror. Well, you CAN - BUT Microsoft does NOT guarantee the ability to start from a mirrored drive without the use of a Windows NT Fault tolerant boot disk.  Check out:

You could with a RAID HBA.
You can in 2000 and XP(pro).


Expert Comment

ID: 8137266
You can never make a software set from system partition. No matter what Windows version do you have.

Expert Comment

ID: 8139773

If I remember right, all things being equal, if you are running Pro, the second disk must be unformatted and unknown in the system manager. Here it is from Windows Help:

To create a mirrored volume
Using the Windows interface

Open Computer Management (Local).
In the console tree, click Disk Management.

Computer Management (Local)
Disk Management
Right-click the unallocated space on one of the dynamic disks on which you want to create the mirrored volume, and then click New Volume.
In the New Volume Wizard, click Next, click Mirrored, and then follow the instructions on your screen.

I hope this helps!


Expert Comment

ID: 8140931
My understanding is, that the only Windows OS's that support disk mirroring/stripping are NT4 and Win2k SERVER. WinXP has the mirror option in disk manager, but only to remote support systems that can mirror.
Unless you use a hardware raid controller, I believe you are out of luck.

Expert Comment

ID: 8144251
I've never tried with xp, but I'm pretty certain you can use RAID w/ Win2k. Have you ever watched the text mode of the install process? 1 of the first things it mentions is "press f6 if you need to install a 3rd party RAID or SCSI driver" The only version of windows I can think of which has a disk option greyed out that is NEVER available is Win NT 4.0 WS (defrag). Usually options are greyed out as in conditionally unavailable. If it is never available, why would the opton be listed to be greyed? Since I don't work with XP I admit I'm probably wrong, but I do know that you are prompted for your RAID drivers during the install....

Author Comment

ID: 8150507
First of all, thanks for all replies!
Then the comments;

I don't want to buy a hardware raid card or third party SW to a 5 year old PC, thats why I want it OS based.

Phil/ascension1014:  As SlyDog mention it is possible to use the XP client to do this remotelly on a 2000 server, when I try it on local system disk I don't have that option.

chicagoan: I have no intention to use NT4 WS, but I do comply to the spec on the Microsoft link, the disks are identical so that should work. They are attached to the same Adaptec SCSI controller if that makes any difference.
You say that it do work on W2k and XP Pro. So, back to the question, how?

msa2003: I'm getting more and more convinced that you're right. Anyone who has another opinion?


Expert Comment

ID: 8164729
you must promote your disks from basic to dynamic disks
so you can use all “ride 0 1 5 “ options.

Author Comment

ID: 8165921
OK, here's my toolbox:
  Compaq desktop EP PII 450MHz 256MB
  2 (identical) Adaptec 2940 SCSI cards
  2 to 4 (identical) Seagate 4.3Gb discs
  Any of Win2k Pro, WinXP Pro, WinXP Home

Is it possible to set up OS fault tolerance
of the SYSTEM disk with the specified OS-es,
and if so, how?


Expert Comment

ID: 8166536
Here are some discussion documents on Fault tolerance.  It give you alot of reference about feasibility, how tos, etc.http://citeseer.nj.nec.com/cristian93understanding.html

Accepted Solution

SlyDog earned 150 total points
ID: 8167168
The answer is NO. You can't setup OS based mirroring with anything but server verisons of Windows. XP Pro has the mirror option, BUT ONLY FOR SUPPORTING REMOTE SERVER MIRROR SETS.

You have two option, hardware level RAID, or using a server OS.


Author Comment

ID: 8172736
OK, I give up. Thanks for taking your time!

Expert Comment

ID: 10557856
I just tried to create a mirror using XP Pro and couldn't. What puzzled me is that "Help" gives the steps to do so, which, it turns out, is very misleading.

Unfortunately, the definitive answer is NO.

Here's the quote:
"You cannot create mirrored volumes or RAID-5 volumes on Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, or Windows XP 64-Bit Edition-based computers. However, you can use a Windows XP Professional-based computer to create a mirrored or RAID-5 volume on remote computers that are running Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Advanced Server, or Windows 2000 Datacenter Server. You must have administrative privileges on the remote computer to do this."


Here's the source (article #314343):

Expert Comment

ID: 14957584


You *can* create mirrored volumes in WinXP PRO, but it involves tweaking a couple of system files and is NOT supported by Microsoft.

See article here:


Worked fine for me, but I'd make 200% sure you've got a data backup first!

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