Disk mirroring with Intel Matrix raid vs Windows OS level.

Posted on 2006-05-16
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I'm installing W2k Server on a new machine that has Intel Matrix Raid and 2 SATA Drives. I want to use mirrored drives (RAID1) for max recoverability if a drive dies.  In the past, on machines without the Matrix RAID, I've setup the mirroring at the Windows level (ie create a partition on each drive then use Disk Management to create the mirror).  I'm assuming that the general idea is that it's better to create the mirror at the BIOS/Matrix level (faster and Windows has less to do).  Also, presumably Windows will only see 1 drive and the fact that there are really 2 physical drives that are being mirrored is handled out of sight to Windows.

So my (2-part) question is:
1. Should I install the machine using the Matrix RAID setup to handle the mirroring, or do it the old way and create the mirror in Windows?

2. In the past, when a drive died I've been able to just remove the dead one (even it wasn't the primary) and Windows booted ok, then later I could pop in a new drive, recreate the mirror and all was well.  Should recovery still work like this with the Matrix RAID setup.

Question by:ianto39
    LVL 48

    Expert Comment

    Hi ianto39,

    hardware raid any day of the week! windows mirroring is ok but i would never take it over hardware raid

    basically the same recovery concept yes, you just have to configure it in the RAID BIOS

    Author Comment

    Thanks Jay, so does Windows just see 1 hard drive?
    Is everything necessary for Windows to boot up stored on each mirrored drive, MBR's etc, so recovery can be fast and straightforward.
    LVL 48

    Accepted Solution

    yes and yes

    just one drive shows, and its basically an identical mirror

    Featured Post

    Gigs: Get Your Project Delivered by an Expert

    Select from freelancers specializing in everything from database administration to programming, who have proven themselves as experts in their field. Hire the best, collaborate easily, pay securely and get projects done right.

    Join & Write a Comment

    NTFS file system has been developed by Microsoft that is widely used by Windows NT operating system and its advanced versions. It is the mostly used over FAT file system as it provides superior features like reliability, security, storage, efficienc…
    Many companies are looking to get out of the datacenter business and to services like Microsoft Azure to provide Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions for legacy client server workloads, rather than continuing to make capital investments in h…
    how to add IIS SMTP to handle application/Scanner relays into office 365.
    Access reports are powerful and flexible. Learn how to create a query and then a grouped report using the wizard. Modify the report design after the wizard is done to make it look better. There will be another video to explain how to put the final p…

    745 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    15 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now