We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

We've partnered with Certified Experts, Carl Webster and Richard Faulkner, to bring you a podcast all about Citrix Workspace, moving to the cloud, and analytics & intelligence. Episode 2 coming soon!Listen Now


Make Raid 1 works in windows XP PRO

jcorodrigues asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I´d like to Know if I Can make Raid 1 in windows XP Profissional only by software that came with windows.

I trie to make this http://www.babooforum.com.br/idealbb/view.asp?topicID=480743
bou I can not acess the options to make raid 1

Watch Question

RAID 1 is a mirror, and YES, XP PRO can do this, but it is all done in software -- there is no hardware RAID that is transportable for one setup to another.  SO if your windows setup dies, then the RAID is totally lost, you have NO backup of your data.  

We have found it it more reliable to use a second hard drive as a PERIODIC backup of the operating drive.  WE install a dual boot scenario -- so for the purposes of backup, you boot to the second OS on the first drive every week or more), and backup the original OS with a simple XCOPY command --

XCOPY C:\ *.* D:\ /s/k/h/r/c/e

That will completely clone your original C:\ setup to the D drive (as long as you are booting from a second OS installation, a second copy of XP or say 98 SE), and if you do this regularly, it is more reliable than a windows RAID 1 mirror, which cannot be booted from if the RAID 1 drive dies.
RAID 1 is NOT available in XP.  Believe me, I remembered the hard way: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Q_21972462.html

As to booting a broken RAID 1 set:  Let's assume NT4 for a second since RAID 1 was available in the OS back then (still available in Win2003 too, but who's gonna run that at home?  and if can afford it, then why wouldn't you have hardware RAID?) - all you need do is to boot from floppy with an edited boot.ini poiting to the mirrored drive.

details may be found here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/102873/

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts
I'd recommend using a hardware RAID solution instead of a software one as it's superior in terms of performance and reliability. I bought an IDE RAID card a year or two back for only a few pounds, and many modern mobos support SATA solutions, so it's inexpensive, and won't soak up CPU cycles from your system.

The only thing to remember when using hardware RAID is that you'll most likely need to load the drivers during installation of the OS if you're using it for the system drive (so make sure you have a floppy drive!), and also keep them handy any time you have to do a recovery boot using ERD Commander or similar.

Raid 1 is supported, but NOT advised , on XP, at least in Many Experts Point of View :)

If you really want to mirror in XP you must first Upgrade both disks to Dynamic.

More info can be found here : " http://www.petri.co.il/software_mirror_in_windows_xp.htm "

I strongly advise you to buy a cheap controller boaard with Mirror capability and do it, Mirror, in Hardware Mode. Less CPU consumption and much more reliable !

Best Regards !

Sorry mcp_jon, you are mistaken.  From the very page page you cite:
"How do I create a mirrored volume in Windows XP (or Windows 2000 Pro)?  You don't."
"Notice that the "Add Mirror" option is grayed out:"

Microsoft themselves also state the same in thier KB: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=314343
Notice the line beneath the 'NOTE' in the Dynamic Disk Storage section: "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."

The only way to do RAID 1 in XP is to hack some of the system files with a HEX editor.  I certainly wouldn't recommend this route and haven't been brave enough to try it (although I guess an experiment in VMWare migh tbe worthy).  If you ARE keen, the follwing link explains the how:

XP does NOT natively support software RAID 1 (or anything other than RAID 0 actually).  Your best bet is always hardware RAID 1 - however, this will be a destructive process and the author specifically  asked if he/she could "make Raid 1...only by software that came with windows".  The answer is most definately NO.

Disorganise, thanks for letting me know that I'm wrong !

Any way, I'd strongly advise you to buy a cheap controller board with Mirror capability and do it, Mirror, in Hardware Mode. Less CPU consumption and much more reliable !

Best Regards !
Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.