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I want to use RAID 1 on my workstation configuration at work, and I've been looking at using the build in mirror functionality in Windows 7. When you click on the add mirror option it presents you with the following warning.

enter image description here

I've done some Google searching and the consensus seems to be that you cannot boot from a dynamic volume, but some forum posts seem to indicate that people have tried this with success (e.g. here).

With Google searches producing contradictory information I thought I'd ask you guys for an authoritative answer. Can I use the inbuilt Windows 7 mirroring for my boot partition? Or as I suspect, will it make it unbootable due to it being converted to a dynamic disk?

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It is not supported by Microsoft. Whether it's possible is less important than whether it's sensible. I'd look at hardware RAID, and many boards already come with controllers, though you could buy one for cheap that supports SATA drives now. –  user3463 Jun 18 '12 at 17:34
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Hardware RAID is great except when you are a home user and only have on RAID card and no 24/7 service contract. Then you suddenly change the risk of a disk failing with the risk of the RAID card failing. (Mind you, it is great in enterprise environments). For home users software RAID might be better, which is what the OP is trying to do. The OP could use fake RAID since most motherboards come with IRSST or similar. Windows should be able to boot from that but you will need a motherboard with the same capability if the original motherboard fails. –  Hennes Oct 12 at 13:56
    
@Hennes, that's what I ended up doing. I've got a motherboard with intel matrix raid built in. It does the job quite nicely and runs in my system tray so I can see if there are any problems. –  Doctor Jones Oct 13 at 9:40

1 Answer 1

This message is telling you that if you turn the disk to dynamic, you'll only be able to boot that Windows installation. If you don't have other OS installed on your computer, don't worry about it.

More: with a dynamic disk you'll be able to do software RAID 1, but no RAID 0 to a Windows installation volume. You can get RAID 0 with a hardware controller o to another two disks that doesn't contain Windows installation.

enter image description here Windows Software RAID 0.

If you're buying a new PC, an optimal configuration is:

  • 1 SSD drive for Windows.
  • 2 HDD identical drives (optional) in software RAID 0 for installing software, games, files...
  • 1 HDD/USB for backing up important files, RAID 0 doesn't have fault tolerance. You can get it with RAID 10 (4 drives).
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