Software RAID5

Hi there,
now Im missing my sandbox, so lets ask you:
If I have server with one drive, where is system (W2008)  - it is single dynamic drive If I add three more drives to server can I create RAID5 array from the system disk and the other ones? Or I must do a bit-copy of disk, create array and restore the bit copy? Do you anybody know?
Thank you!
Jan Vojtech VanicekIT SpecialistAsked:
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you have to create raid with other three disks... but why you want to add sys drive as well...?
Jan Vojtech VanicekIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
why not? (it will improve speed, fault tolerance)
Dynamics are problematic.  If at all possible, I'd recommend you use hardware RAID if you need RAID.
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Jan Vojtech VanicekIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
What is wrong with dynamics? Im using it for years on some cheap servers... I understand the benefits of hardware RAID but sometimes it isnt posible...
Dynamic disks are greate provided you understand what they can and can't do.  Under 2003, there were limitations which have now been resolved in 2008.

I know that you can create a software mirror on the the fly under 2008 but not sure about a software raid 5.  If I get chance later, I'll fire up a VM and try for you (no promises though)
Yes, you will have to either drop the OS drive, or backup/image the drive.  After that, you will then have to got to your RAID BIOS, delete the exisiting RAID, and then re-create the RAID that includes the new drive and then install the image of your OS that was created at the beginning.

After that is fished, you will have to reboot and check your RAID configuration.
Jan Vojtech VanicekIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
to jakethecatuk: I will try It myselves... I dont want to bother you. I just ask if someone know it from experience on Windows 2008

ti tribus: Im using SOFTWARE RAID functionality provided by W2008, not BIOS or hardware!!!
actually what i mentioned what that you cannot use sys drive with other drives in raid either you have hardware raid or else use other three drives.....
Jan Vojtech VanicekIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
That are four drives with the same capacity and speed connected thru classical SATA, no hardware raid. One drive is active with system. I want to create RAID5 volume where the system is stored by a simply task like create mirror from two drives...
Server is DELL T100 without the RAID capability
ok initialize the disks convert them to dynamic and then create software raid...
Bawer - I don't think you are quite understanding the question.

Suggest you re-read the question again before you post any further answers that aren't relevant.
Jan Vojtech VanicekIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
I have test it now on VM and it is not possible - only thing that can be done with the system volume is add a Mirror, but I cant find way to do RAID5 with the active system disk... Even if I run installator, there is impossible to create RAID5 and install system on it.

May be Im wrong, but I cant see any way.

I will buy new raid adapter... May be in new Windows Server there will be this functionality :-)
just looking into this now...give me a minute or three
If you think about this, doing RAID 5 using the OS will work - but RAID 5 spreads the data across multiple disks to ensure you have parity.

Doing this to the main OS drive would never work.  When the machine boots it would need to know how the software RAID5 was set up - but how can it know this if it's done in the OS.

It's amazing that none of us thought of this earlier - would have saved a lot of time :)

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Jan Vojtech VanicekIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
There can be way - software can suprise :-)
But it doesnt now. Thank you for your time!
From what I have read, the T100 is was sold with a RAID option.  So the server is capable.  Last time I played with software RAID it was short lived because we had to double the RAM to get close to the performance from hardware RAID.

My suggestion double check the server config and if needed contact Dell.  Some Dell servers are as simple as a jumper on the motherboard to enable the RAID.
Jan Vojtech VanicekIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
I though that the mainboard supports only RAID0 and RAID1... I will look over that.
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Windows Server 2008

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