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Windows 7: Do I need to format to RAID-0


15 Aug 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Do I need to format to RAID-0

I currently am using one hard drive. My second hard drive arrives next week. When trying to do a RAID-0, will I need to format my first drive and re-install everything (including the OS).

I am running Windows 7 Pro, and I am planning to use Windows 7 to control my RAID.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Aug 2010   #2

Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

When you create the RAID 0, unless you have a *very* high-end controller, it's going to whack the partition information and data on both drives when it creates the RAID array. You will lose everything on any disks you add to this array, so you should be backing up your data now and planning for a reinstall onto the new array.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Aug 2010   #3

Windows 7
 
 

In my case, would Windows 7 be my controller? If so, then I am going to loose all the data on all of the drives that are going to be on the array.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Aug 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

You should be able to convert your simple disk to a dynamic disk without data loss. Then create a RAID volume adding both the drives.

You should backup your data just to make sure this does not work or if your drives have problems. Scanning the new drive for errors before creating the RAID is a good idea.

Update: seems like you can only do RAID1 (mirror) without formating
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #5

Windows 7
 
 

So in-other words, since I am doing RAID0, I will need to format. This makes sense as Windows will need to split everything between the two drives.

So how would I format a drive that already has Windows on it, and then set RAID0 up? Do I somehow go into DOS before I load up Windows and format from there? Then I insert my Windows 7 DvD, install Windows7, and somewhere before the installation process somehow configure RAID0 ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #6
Microsoft MVP

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center 64 bit
 
 

First you set the RAID array up in the BIOS. Then you boot from your windows 7 install disk and do the install just like you normally do. If the RAID array is setup correctly Windows will see it as one drive and you can partition it and formate it during the install. You may have to load the RAID driver so have it handy on a thumbdrive or optical disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

If I can make a suggestion, to save you a ton of grief...don't bother with RAID0 on a desktop...especially if you are using mechanical drives and are expecting to use the OS to handle the array. RAID0's performance gains in a desktop environment are largely a myth (been proven for years now), and that's with a dedicated, hardware controller. You won't be seeing any performance gains, but you WILL be taking a much larger chance of losing data or having data corruption. Never let software do the job of hardware.

Save yourself a lot of grief, and just use one drive for OS and apps, and the second for your data storage.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #8

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
If I can make a suggestion, to save you a ton of grief...don't bother with RAID0 on a desktop...especially if you are using mechanical drives and are expecting to use the OS to handle the array. RAID0's performance gains in a desktop environment are largely a myth (been proven for years now), and that's with a dedicated, hardware controller. You won't be seeing any performance gains, but you WILL be taking a much larger chance of losing data or having data corruption. Never let software do the job of hardware.

Save yourself a lot of grief, and just use one drive for OS and apps, and the second for your data storage.

Agreed i used a raid0 with my first build and it ended very badly
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2010   #9

Windows 7 x64
 
 

[QUOTE=soulstealer1984;903398]
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
Agreed i used a raid0 with my first build and it ended very badly
Guys, guys, I have the same question to you as in other posts: What about RAID 01? You get a) the fastest possible performance AND b) protection for your data.

ChiefRA

P.S.: You have to spend more money on the HDD's as you need at least 4 of them, but it's more reliable to buy lety's say 4 x 640Gb SATA III HDD's than to buy 1 x SSD of 64 Gb. A Lot more space for the RAID0 configuration ( ~ 1,2 Tb) instead of keeping a 64 Gb of fast SSD to keep your OS and normal Apps on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2010   #10

 

I have two mechanical drives in raid 0, and there really isn't much difference in everyday use, except for the time it takes to install games and large applications or start a virtual machine is about the same or a little quicker than with an SSD. On second thought, yeah there is a big difference.

I don't think there's any way to avoid having to do a clean install, as most hardware changes mean windows won't boot any more if you try to use a system image backup
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 Do I need to format to RAID-0




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