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How to configure hard disks for use with RAID

Posted on 2009-04-02
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I am in the process of rebuilding a forensic machine. Originally it was configured for RAID 5. I am at the point in Windows XP setup where I need to enter the partition information. Right now I have a C:\partition that shows up as 40MB, (CODEMETER), [MBR]. <FAT32>
-I am not able to delete the C:\ partition for some reason. Then I have unpartitioned space totaling 953868MB. Where should I install the OS, and how big of a partition do I need. Or does it matter? Does anything at all need to be done to the other hard drives, or is it done automatically? Sorry for the lack of knowledge.
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Question by:Wincit
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BigSchmuh earned 500 total points
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I think your C partition is handling some diag tools and should be left like that.

You mentioned "for use with RAID" which suppose you have more than 1 drive.

Usually, at MB Bios or add-on hw raid card Bios level, you can setup an array (operations depending on your mb embedded raid or hw add-on raid card) :
-1 drive : no raid ability but you can set the BIOS to AHCI mode (allowing NCQ feature for example)

-2 drives : RAID 1 for redundancy and performance (except sequential write perf which will stay at 1 drive level)

-3 drives + usage = concurrent user mode with many writes expected : NoGO for RAID 5 !

-3 drives + usage = single user mode : RAID 5 using a stripe size of 32KB + aligned your partition to 64KB using Diskpart.exe + NTFS 64KB cluster size

-3 drives + other usage = concurrent user mode with very few writes expected : RAID 5 using a stripe size of 64KB + aligned your partition to 128KB using Diskpart.exe + NTFS 64KB cluster size

-4 drives : RAID 10

-5 drives : RAID 5 using 64KB stripe + Diskpart 256KB aligned partition + NTFS 64KB cluster size

-6 drives : RAID 6 (2 loss) or RAID 50 (2 loss) or RAID 10 (50% loss)


The Win installer will detect the physical devices (=arrays OR standalone disks), and allows to use DiskPart to partition and format the booting physical devices.
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by:Wincit
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Excellent. You are correct. This is a frensic evidence machine, and the software had locked the C:\. I installed the RAID utility software that came with the machine, and once I booted up into Windows, the software pretty much set the drives up for me. I am using RAID5. Thanks alot!!
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