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Create a RAID 5 array on windows 2003 server

mrpc_cambodia
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Last Modified: 2010-04-18
Hi,

In my system I have 3 harddisks of the same size. I install windows 2003 enterprise server on harddisk 1. I wonder if I could create a RAID 5 array with the other 2 harddisk?


Thanks,
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
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Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Not a FULL RAID 5 - The boot and system partitions cannot be setup in a Software RAID 5.  Hardware, sure, but not software.  Only software RAID 1 (mirror).
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Top Expert 2006

Commented:
Hi mrpc_cambodia,

what kind of disks are they SCSI? SATA   do you have a RAID controller

Cheers!

Author

Commented:
thanks for your comment!

first i want to clearify what u mean by FULL REAID 5? what is that?

I want to use a software RAID which is available on Windows 2003 server. Erhh, my harddisk are SCSI harddisk, hotplug.


Thanks,

mrpc_cambodia
Can you not use hardware RAID 5? This is far more reliable and faster than software RAID 5.

Most SATA, SCSI controllers support RAID 5.

Author

Commented:
Actually I also consider hardware RAID 5 a good option. but due to budget constraint, I decided to use software raid instead.


Thanks,

mrpc_cambodia
Since you installed the OS on the first disk, the best you can do is Mirror (RAID 1) the other two disks and keep all your important data on them. It is also a good idea to backup your system to DVD or tape as well.

You need to make those two disks "Dynamic" first, then you can make a RAID 1 mirror out of them.
Technology and Business Process Advisor
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Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
As I said:
The boot and system partitions cannot be setup in a Software RAID 5.  Hardware, sure, but not software.  Only software RAID 1 (mirror).

Further, a RAID 5 requires 3 DISKS MINIMUM - so the answer to your question "could create a RAID 5 array with the other 2 harddisk?" is No.  You need AT LEAST one more disk to do this.  What I meant by FULL RAID 5 was that you cannot use the full disk space of all three disks to create a RAID 5 because the system/boot drives cannot be RAID 5.  So if these are 36GB drives, you could create a 12 GB C: drive and mirror it, leaving 24 GB empty on two drives.  Then you can create a software RAID 5 of 3x24GB (Becaue RAID 5's must use the EXACT SAME amount of space on EACH disk).  This would leave you with 12 GB of unRAIDed space on the 3rd disk  Which is fine - I often do that and put things like a software and WSUS updates in such spaces (may be a little small for WSUS).  Basically, i put things there that if the disk fails, I don't care if I lose because I can rebuild it relatively easily.

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