Basic, Dynamic & Striped - Server 2008 R2


We have a running installation of server 2008 R2 which has been up for several months now. There is a single 1TB hard drive in use.

This drive is currently a basic disk and has 2 partitions -
#1 - System Reserved
#2 - The main C: drive

We have a second identical 1TB drive which is not in use (yet).

Would it be possible to convert the first disk to Dynamic then pair it with the second disk as a striped volume? All without data loss or any risk to the system?
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Yes, but there are rules.  Below is the MSFT KB article that reveals them.
But DO NOT DO THIS.  Mirror the data.  You'll almost double read performance by mirroring anyway, and in many cases you'll get better performance on a mirrored disk than striped.

(You'll have to be able to free up space to do this, and use a scratch drive in process -- meaning backup, build RAID0, restore).

And there will always be risk.  In fact, by definition, your current config and RAID0 inherently has risk, and converting to RAID0 doubles risk of data loss since either disk fails and you lose 100%.  Go to RAID1 instead.

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Daniel HelgenbergerCommented:
Do yourself a favor and migrate to a hardware RAID controller if possible for a server.

Please note that MSFT does not recommend using dynamic disks as mirror for data protection on boot volumes. Use a RAID controller for that. If the 'primary' disk fails, your server will not able to boot again without manual interference. And, dynamic disks make data recovery harder in case of a drive failure.

More here on EE, a recent post concerning the matter:
Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer LindowsCommented:
Totally agree with dlethe, striping a server is like playing russion roulette.
If you want the performance increase look into raid 10 and buy some more disks.
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KTBerwickAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the replies.

I only ask because we had a spare disk and I thought why not make use of it. We don't have any performance issues at the moment so I can't justify moving everything to a H/W RAID Controller.

Will probably use it as a mirror instead. Can never have too many backups.
Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer LindowsCommented:
good decision!
You can't stripe the boot volume anyway since Windows needs software drivers loaded before it understands what striping means, it's a catch-22 situation. It would read the first stripe element from disk 1 and not understand to go to disk 2 for the second stripe element.
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Windows Server 2008

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