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Disk mirroring with Intel Matrix raid vs Windows OS level.

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.

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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
ianto39Author Commented:
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.
yes and yes

just one drive shows, and its basically an identical mirror

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