I was wondering if it is possible to setup a hardware RAID 1 array on 2x1TB drives for the installation of Ubuntu 12.04 whilst leaving some space free outside of the RAID array to install Windows XP on? Am I completely wrong in thinking this could be possible or even a viable way of doing things? The Windows XP part would just be used to play a few games very rarely, whereas the Ubuntu side would contain all of the important stuff. If this is possible and a good idea, can someone recommend a way of setting this up? I've never implemented a RAID before.
If it is a hardware RAID, the device will be detected as a single disk by the OS.
Maybe what you intend is to create volume groups on top of logical volumes. That will allow more flexibility in order to have part of the physical volumes working as RAID 1 while other part of the devices can be used just in plain mode (no RAID).
Taking into account that your Windows XP partition will be used occasionally only for games it may be worth considering a non-standard approach:
With this config for sure you will be notified if a drive is failing. Then during Windows installation choose one of the small partitions. I believe you can get software RAID0 in Windows for the 2x100GB.
The disadvantage is that your on-board RAID won't be used, but at least you will be notified for drive troubles. Same for Windows.
I see three options:
Software RAID can be used on part of the drives. For Linux you want to look at
Assuming two 1TiB drives you could then do something like this:
1TiB drive 1: 0MB-900MB part of linux mirror -- 900MB - 1000MB free for windows 1TiB drive 2: 0MB-900MB part of linux mirror -- 900MB - 1000MB free for windows
You would use something like this to create the mirror:
That would put all the Linux stuff in a mirror called
The remaining space (sda2 and sdb2) could be used to install windows. E.g. as two simple volumes, one containing the OS, one containing the data you use under windows.