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I'm getting Windows-7 in the next couple days to install on a home-built 2-disk system. The motherboard supports fake-raid, so I'll be setting up some RAID0 and RAID1 volumes. My hope is to make the OS super-fast to boot. Nevertheless, I want to have some mechanism to recover the OS within 20-40 minutes of a disk getting replaced.

Here is my proposed partition setup:

001GB WinRe Recovery Environment RAID1
100GB Main OS RAID0  Fastest
012GB Swap Disk RAID0  Next fastest
360GB Data, configurations, apps RAID1

Can anyone comment on whether this makes sense? Secondly, when one drive dies & gets replaced, how would I use WinRe (Recovery) & install DVD to re-establish the Main OS.

Some relevant links:

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itproinstall/thread/51442b60-c2dc-457d-92a7-a49cbbcbbf2f

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itproinstall/thread/196d4a95-9ae0-442e-a946-dd4cf282a970

http://superuser.com/questions/55585/how-do-you-recreate-the-system-recovery-environment-in-windows-7

http://superuser.com/questions/59102/software-mirroring-raid1-versus-fake-raid-for-new-windows-7-install

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/winre/archive/2007/01/12/how-to-install-winre-on-the-hard-disk.aspx

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My guess, is promptly after adding the replacement drive, the Mobo will begin reconstructing the WinRe and the Data partitions copying RAID1 primary disk to the RAID1 new disk. So recovery will be performed in relation to writing the two RAID0 disks (Swap Disk should be trivial)... leaving recovery effort to focus purely on what is placed in the Main OS partition (should be 100% Windows 7, and possibly frequently used apps). –  Rolnik Oct 20 '10 at 20:44
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Based on your config above, it looks like you are running eight drives. Since you're already using a bit of $ worth of hardware, maybe instead consider a Windows software RAID1 of SSDs for a recoverable, fast Windows system drive.

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Actually, the proposed configuration would be accomplished with 2x500GB drives. I'm going to partition each drive identically, but only the RAID1 partitions will be redundant and not additive (as in the RAID0). So each drive would be something like this: –  Rolnik Oct 20 '10 at 20:37
    
001GB WinRe; 050GB MainOS; 006GB Swap; 360GB Data. –  Rolnik Oct 20 '10 at 20:39
    
By having all the various RAID partitions on one set of spindles, you'll lose a lot of potential performance advantage. Also, upon disk failure, recovery might be pretty complex for the controller. It's a ballsy config, I wouldn't feel comfortable running it myself. –  phoebus Oct 20 '10 at 20:41
    
In fact, I'd probably consider using Windows Software RAID instead of the fakeraid, but again, that's just me. –  phoebus Oct 20 '10 at 20:42
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