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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Disk Managemente in NT 6.1

Windows XP Professional did not natively support any form of software RAID, although server did. 
There was a hack floating around to enable it in Professional, but later service packs have probably broken it.
Windows 7 Solution Center
Windows 7 Pro and up allows for software RAID 1. 
Windows 7 Home Premium does not support drive mirroring.
Only the Professional or Ultimate level of Windows 7 supports RAID 0 or 1.  
If you are a Home user, you can't set up either RAID 0 or 1, just like in Windows XP Home.
During Windows 7 installation phase, there is an option to allow you to "Load Driver", you should first download the RAID driver and put it in a USB thumb drive or CD-ROM or floppy disk which allows Windows 7 to "load" it before the installation.
Since you are setting the RAID 1 in the data disk, you could also install Windows 7 first and then load the RAID driver later in Windows 7 !

 Windows 7 and Raid1 .
My Hardware (I am doing a fresh install):
DELL PowerEdge 1800 Server with
1GB Memory
LSI 1020/1030 SCSI Controller
2 x Seagate ST373207  SCSI Disks
Adaptec 39160 SCSI Controller
73GB Tape Drive

Installed Windows 7 Professional 64 on Drive0 without adding any drivers .
NOTE Special case with this DELL Server :
When I had the “OS Installation“ Switch set to ON in the BIOS I got a message at bootup that I only had 256KB left to work with, which in turn ended the installation shortly after it began  with a blue screen. I set it back to OFF, then the installation went all the way to the end.
Used a blank Seagate ST373207 as Disk0.
When everything looked fine I converted Disk0 to Dynamic and tried to add RAID1 functionality by using another blank Seagate ST373207 as Disk1.
But that option was always greyed out, no matter what Disk1 was set to. After reading thru the net for hours I finally gave up. The Windows Help offered only striping as an option…..
Got me a 30 days evaluation copy of “Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 Suite” and created a full Disk0 copy into an archive on Disk1, which was by now my drive D:, and also burned a Recovery CD and had it checked by the program afterwards. All green.
Then I discovered that there is a simple disk cloning function in that program suite as well.
I decided to test that too, but on a different drive in the Disk1 slot.
Shut down the computer and replaced the drives in the Disk1 carrier with the same model.
Powered on again and had now 3 entities showing up:
Disk0 dynamic   ==> my drive C:
Disk1 basic        ==> new disk with 2 volumes of different sizes, one small DOS, one big nothing
Disk2 dynamic   ==> my former drive D: with Status MISSING
I deleted the 2 volumes on Disk1 and also deleted the Disk2 entry.
For curiosity sake at this point I right clicked on Disk0 and there it was:
Did that right away before Windows 7 Professional would change its mind ;-)
It took about 20 minutes to resync and all looks fine now. Resyncing rate in this configuration was something like 3GB/min on a single SCSI channel with 320 Transfer Rate drives.
My best guess is that Windows needs to know about more than 2 drives at start up to even consider offering mirroring.
Just one more strange behaviour of W7:We tried to install an older version of the program “Weight Watchers FlexPoints” and failed.W7 denied the installation.
Workaround:After setting the Desktop View to “Windows Classic” the installation went thru and resetting back to W7 style afterwards did do no harm, still working. But W7 installed it in "Program Files X86 ". Copied the personal databases from the old XP PC into this new location on W7 and the program wouldn’t find any personal data and kept asking to create a new user first.
Workaround:Moved the whole directory over to "Program Files ", changed the settings in the desktop icon and all is thumbs up now
I'm running Windows-7 ULTIMATE (64-bit), Quad processor (3.0 GHz), 8GB ram, 1TB system disk (basic disk [SATA]), four 2TB drives [SATA] (all four drives are IDENTICAL model drives).
Each drive will format perfectly as basic drives, but when I build them as Mirrors (using Disk Management) - two mirrored 2TB pairs - I get the "Failed Redundancy" error (although the drive letters mount, and the mounted drives appear to be functioning [can read/write data on those drive letters]).
A: If your motherboard southbridge chipset supports RAID functionality, I would suggest you to use the motherboard's software RAID feature.
I just set up a mirrored volume on Window 7 Ultimate 32-bit using 2 identical 1Tb Seagate SATA drives and the whole process took less than 90 seconds.
The native "help" files are not very helpful, but with a little luck I found this:
followed the instructions, and badda-bing - one mirrored volume.
Tip: (don't recall if they mentioned this) format both drives, then remove the volumes from both in the DiskManager.  Right click on the first drive and you will get the option to create a mirror and get asked for the location of the mirror (the second drive).

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