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Windows 7: Software raid 0 on Boot disk


11 Jun 2011   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Software raid 0 on Boot disk

Hi, this is my first post in Windows seven Forums.


I am building a laptop for college with two identical drives, and unfortunately no on-board raid controller. They are 2 120gb ssd's and I feel like they would be alot more useful as one drive rather than 2 small drives. I have Windows 7 professional x64

After doing a ton of research, I believe it is impossible to boot Windows 7 from a software striped array, correct? The only thing I have found to combat this is "Native VHD Support". Unfortunately I don't understand VHD at all. Is this exactly what I am looking for?

My only other option (as far as I know) is to install windows 7 onto as small a partition as possible on one of the drives, and then stripe the rest of that drive with the other drive. The only real problem I have with this is I have used a computer with a small drive and a storage drive before, and it is very annoying, 1 drive is much simpler. Is it possible to move many important (and large) windows files onto a secondary drive (the striped array in my case) and "convince" windows that the "D:" drive is the OS drive? essentially have everything naturally install to, be on, and run from the "D:" drive?

Better yet is it in any way possible to run a small program pre-windows boot that will software raid the 2 drives? Or can Windows set up the software raid, and then boot from said raid array?

Basically I have 2 drives, no hardware raid controller, and I don't want the hassle of having to deal with 2 drives, 1 is much easier (and faster and a more useful size). I want everything on the software raid array (or as close to everything as possible) Whats the best way of accomplishing this?

Thanks!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Jun 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64,Windows 7 Professional x64, Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by derekkg2 View Post
Whats the best way of accomplishing this?

Thanks!
Don't. You're not going to gain much speed increase, especially if you try a software solution.

If you want a little more speed, see if your laptop will can use a SSD. Go that route if it does.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2011   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by derekkg2 View Post
They are 2 120gb ssd's and I feel like they would be alot more useful as one drive rather than 2 small drives.
They are ssd's, The speed increase is a nice plus, but I'm mainly doing it because I want to combine their space
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Jun 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

I personally would stay away from RAID, as it seems to more problems than it is worth.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64,Windows 7 Professional x64, Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
I personally would stay away from RAID, as it seems to more problems than it is worth.

Not always; it depends on the reason and use. In this application, I wouldn't use it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64,Windows 7 Professional x64, Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by derekkg2 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by derekkg2 View Post
They are 2 120gb ssd's and I feel like they would be alot more useful as one drive rather than 2 small drives.
They are ssd's, The speed increase is a nice plus, but I'm mainly doing it because I want to combine their space
Sorry I didn't read that (guess it was too late and I was too tired). Use one as the boot drive and replace the other with a larger (slower) drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
I personally would stay away from RAID, as it seems to more problems than it is worth.

Hello derekkg2, welcome to Seven Forums!


You are asking for real problems and possible data loss using SW RAID, I would not do it and the very slight speed increase is not worth the trouble, if size is an issue, have a look at this tutorial at the link below.

User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installations


You would be a lot better off with important data on a non-OS partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2011   #8

Windows 7 32-Bit, Gentoo Linux
 
 

I know this thread is a few months old, but in case anyone else searches and finds this.

A better solution would be to use Windows' Dynamic Disk function rather than RAID. You can make a logical partition span more than one drive, thus combining multiple drives to appear as one under Windows. However it still has the drawback of concatenated RAID (or RAID JBoD) in that if one drive fails it all fails.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Software raid 0 on Boot disk




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