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Creating a local mirrored volume on XP Pro

Posted on 2004-11-18
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2007-12-19
As a threshhold matter, is it possible to create a RAID-1 array in Windows-XP Pro?  At one point, when I first installed a second HD I was asked the question, but I was not interested at the time and cannot recreate the prompt.

If it is possible, I have 2 scenarios I would like to consider and I would love instructions or a resource on how to go about doing it.  All I can find in the MS knowledge base suggests that I can only mirror to a remote server, but I don't know why my MB would have the capability if that were true.  Anyway, here are the scenarios:

I have 2 Western Digital 7200 rpm drives, one 160 and one 80 gig.  I have the 160 gig drive partitioned into 2 80 gig partitions.  Can I mirror one partition onto the other physical drive (not the other partition on that drive, I know that isn't doable).

I have the 160 gig drive partitioned into 3 partitions, and 80 and 2 40s.   Can I mirror both of the 40s to the second physical drive?

Thank you for your help.
Question by:griffen
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12621499
the answer should be yes on both questions. BUT, you create a mirror using Disk administrator - and you must have RAW disk available at least in the size of the disk you want to mirror.

Expert Comment

ID: 12621801
You can not mirror with windows xp software

you will need a raid contorller
LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12621824
points to gjohnson99 - I was thinking RAID 0 - that's the only way to create RAID under the pro versions of 2000 and XP.
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Author Comment

ID: 12622071
Well, thank you, these answers are somewhat helpful, but I am not sure we are there yet:

1) I believe my motherboard is equipped with a RAID controller, it is a Gigabyte GA-K8NS and it says it supports RAID 0 and RAID 1.  Do I need a separate RAID controller?  Why would the motherboard claim to support RAID level 1 if I needed something else?

2) If XP Pro doesn't support RAID 1, then what does?

3) Does the RAW disk need to be the size of the drive or the size of the partition that I want to mirror?

4) In a test system, I have a raw disk that is smaller than the simple disk and there is an option to mirror the simple disk in disk management when I click on it, but it is greyed out.  How does this factor in/support the statements so far?

Accepted Solution

scott_tech earned 1000 total points
ID: 12622146
hi griffen, here is an answer to your question about the mirror option being greyed out.

Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Advanced Server, or Windows 2000 Datacenter Server , also 2003 of the same variants support mirroring and raid 5.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314343/EN-US/ here is a little more info about dynamic volumes on the different windows operating systems.

in regards to your motherboard. No you don't need a separate raid controller, your motherboard supports ATA raid. I suspect you would access these options just after your computer boots and passes it's post (the part that tells you about your hd etc) and before windows actually starts to load.

Even though XP dosn't support RAID 1 in terms of software this dosn't matter much to you because you can do it through your hardware. Which is a slightly better solution anyway. Well I suppose the only solution for Mirroring in XP :)

not really sure what you mean in question 3. Some hardware solutions would want you to use the whole drive while others would let you choose a partition of any size you wanted to create.

If it insists you use the whole drive and have say an 80 and a 60 you may loose 20 gig in the process but I'm not sure about this need to double check.

Hope this helps a little. sorry to rabbit on.


Expert Comment

ID: 12622167
newer mother broads come witg raid  on them.

promise makes raid card for like $40 thier many others out thier

for raid 1  your 2nd drive will to the same size or larger

Expert Comment

ID: 12626798
IF you go in to MMC help (press F1 while Disk Administrator is open) then go to search, there is a topic in there "mirrored volumes, creating" that answers your questions for the most part.
LVL 56

Expert Comment

ID: 12638010
Your motherboard supports both ATA and SATA RAID 1 so you should be able to mirror the disks, but you can't mirror the logical volumes under windows without third party software.

Mirroring one partition of the 160GB disk onto the 80GB disk will not be possible under hardware RAID, mirroring the 80GB disk onto the 160GB disk will be possible but you may not be able to use the rest of the 160GB disk depending on the onboard controller.

Author Comment

ID: 12639026
THank you all for your help.  AndyAlder, that last bit was really helpful, but I figured the majority of the question had been answered by Scott_Tech.  Thank you all.

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