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Can you RAID 1 or RAID 0 a boot drive in windows 7 using dynamic disks

Posted on 2011-09-05
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi,
I've seen conflicting threads about wether it's possible to set up a mirror or Striped Array using Windows 7 Software RAID on System Drives.

Can anyone point me to official confirmation on wether it's possible to RAID 1 or RAID 0 a system (an already formatted BASIC boot drive with OS on it) using WIndows 7 software RAID?  Using two drives of course... :-)

Please note I'm not looking for info/comparisons with HW RAID & backup comparisons, just to clear up whats possible with WIndows 7 Dynamic disk RAID.
Thanks!
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Question by:jmsjms
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:n2fc
ID: 36485962
The Professional/Enterprise/Ultimate editions of Windows 7 officially support the following dynamic disk modes:
 •Simple
 •Spanned
 •Striped (RAID-0)
 •Mirrored (RAID-1)
 
These are the officially supported modes. It has been possible in previous Windows releases to enable unsupported modes through DLL modifications and/or registry changes, and this will probably be the case in Windows 7 as well. At your own risk, of course.

RAID-5 dynamic disks are only available in Windows Server editions.

Note that dynamic disks are not available in the Standard/Home editions of Windows 7.

Source/reference:

http://www.dynamic-disk.com/resource/resize-dynamic-disk-partition-volume.html

http://www.dynamic-disk.com/resource/raid1-mirrored-volume-windows-7.html

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Expert Comment

by:rdudek101
ID: 36486492
It won't let you do the software with the system drive.  You can convert the disk to be dynamic, but it wont make the RAID.

Is there a reason you want to go software RAID instead of hardware RAID?  If your motherboard doesn't support it, you can get a PCI-E controller card that will allow you to boot hardware RAID.
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Author Comment

by:jmsjms
ID: 36487904
n2fc  - Thanks.  I know Pro+ supports RAID 0 and RAID 1, but I'm concerned with wether it supports having the boot OS in the Array.  There's comments on the web saying yes and no and I'm looking for clarification.

rdudek101
I'm trying to confirm this for my MS 70-680 Exam.    I'd use HW RAID where possible but if it is possible it may be useful especially as it seems as fast as some Motherboard implementations.

So can anyone confirm this one way or another?

Cheers
John

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Expert Comment

by:rdudek101
ID: 36492671
It cannot be done.  You can convert your system drive to dynamic but it won't do RAID.  You can add additional drives and RAID them though.

If you add additional drives and RAID them, when you try to install windows on it, you'll get an error.
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Author Comment

by:jmsjms
ID: 36495116
Thanks for the comment. Seen any official MS confirmation?  As I mentioned in my question I've seen conflicting statements but not any official confirmation.

Cheers
John
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Accepted Solution

by:
rdudek101 earned 500 total points
ID: 36496095
Correction,  you can't do RAID 0 with system drive.  You can do RAID 1  =]

I just did a virtual lab with Windows 7 Ultimate and 3 virtual disk drives and here are my results:

RAID 0 = impossible to do software with system drive.  Main reason behind it is the way RAID 0 works by having data split between drives.

RAID 1 = works with system drive.  In disk management, you convert to dynamic, right click drive and select Add Mirror, it will prompt you to add another drive to mirror your system drive.

RAID 5 = works when I changed the OS to Windows Server 2008.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jmsjms
ID: 36496116
Why didnt I think of using a VM to check.  Welldone and many thanks.

John
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