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Windows 7: Hardware RAID 1 to Windows 7 RAID 1

10 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 
Hardware RAID 1 to Windows 7 RAID 1

I need some advice on a hardware/software issue. The basics: I have Win 7 Pro 64 bit installed on an ASUS P7P55D LE motherboard which supports RAID 0,1,5 and 10 using Intel Matrix Storage Technology through an on board Intel P55 chip set. The system was assembled in Nov 2009 using two Western Digital Caviar Black 750Gb drives in RAID 1 as Drive C:\. (I now know from Western Digital Customer Service that I shouldn’t have done that, but let’s move on from there). Last December, an error message informed me the RAID array was broken and identified one of the 750 Mb drives as needing replacement. I happened to have a spare 1.5Tb WD Caviar Black at the time, so I pulled the 750Mb drive and replaced it with the 1.5Tb drive. Life was once again ‘good’. Then on July 4th (wouldn’t you know) there was a repeat of the December 2011 error message telling me to replace the other original 750Gb drive. Okay so I had another 1.5Tb WD Caviar Black laying around (please don’t ask) and did a similar swap out. That’s when I emailed WD Customer Support asking about the 750 since their diagnostic software said the drives were fine. That’s when I learned that I should be paying lots more for enterprise quality drives if I want/need RAID. Well that’s not what ASUS says in their advertising, but live and learn. All that’s prologue, because my real question is whether it’s possible to break the hardware-based RAID 1 array and set up a Windows 7-based RAID 1 with the two 1.5Tb WD Caviar Black drives without having to reinstall Windows 7. I really don’t want to do that if I don’t have to.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Jul 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

You might be able to break it if it is truly RAID1, but I would think you'd need to run a repair to get it booting again. But, we can back up a step. Why bother with RAID at all? It's wasted on a single user desktop, especially for mirroring. It isn't a good backup method, so why use it?

If it was my system, I'd run one drive internally, cut into C and D partitions, then stick the other drive in an external housing to use as a backup drive. No need to overcomplicate a system setup, and no need to mess with dynamic drives.
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 Hardware RAID 1 to Windows 7 RAID 1




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