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My system is asus p5k-e/wifi-ap with ich9r chipset.

I am running windows7 64-bit ULTIMATE on my boot drive.

I recently got an identical drive.

I want to enable raid 1 without reinstalling windows.

Is this possible? And what would be the best way to go about it?

edit: i did the software raid 1 thing: converting disks to dynamic + mirroring.

windows will not boot now from any of the drives...

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You have two options:

  1. Software RAID
  2. Fake RAID.

As Chris wrote, this last is not to be possible without reinstalling, but you can make a backup and avoid most of the hassle.

The other option in is disk management. Right click on the new drive and use 'Add mirror'.


  • This depends on the windows version you have. You write Win 7 x64, but which win 7 x64? There is a whole range from win 7 starter to win 7 ultimate.
  • That would make your data redundant and give you the read-speed advantages of a mirror. It will not duplicate the boot sector. Thus if the first drive fails you will still have a copy of all your data, but you will have to do a repair from DVD in order to boot.

enter image description here

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its windows 7 64 ultimate – eyaler Feb 27 '13 at 19:17
Win 7 ultimate has that option. I will add a screenshot showing its location. – Hennes Feb 27 '13 at 19:18
i know how to do it :) – eyaler Feb 27 '13 at 19:19
Ah, good. Still added since it still makes it easiest for other who may find this post at a later time. Also, I am suggesting Chris' answer if you need a full backup (including boot-sector etc) and if you have a spare system which understands IRST in case of a motherboard failure. If you do not that the generic 'add mirror' will work on any win7 version without motherboard support. – Hennes Feb 27 '13 at 19:25
unfortunately after converting to dynamic windows will not boot. any experience with this? – eyaler Mar 4 '13 at 9:25

If you are using Windows 7 Ultimate, you can using the built in imaging to create an image and store that on an external device.

You can then set up the RAID set in the system BIOS and then restore the image.

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You can do this using the motherboard RAID or in software using a Mirrored Volume in Windows. To use the motherboard RAID (assuming your BIOS is currently using ACHI) you will need to fix download and install the Intel Matrix RAID drivers. Then switch the BIOS to RAID mode. Last time I did this it required a couple of reinstalls and reboots for it to work correctly.

For a Mirrored Volume you can go to the Control Panel -> System and Security and click on 'Create and format hard disk partition'. On the new Disk right click and select 'New Mirrored Volume...'

enter image description here

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This will work but you temporarily need a third drive.

Add two identical drives to be used as your new RAID volume that you want to boot from. Leave the original boot volume intact for now. Set up the 2 added volumes as a single mirrored raid volume and format them. I would suggest a low level format; this is a very slow process prior to the actual formatting that writes zero's to the entire drive.
(You can typically get by without doing this on a Mirrored volume but on a raid 5 or 10 etc it's pretty much a must do or you'll have disk errors down the road.)

Then "clone" (freeware clone software is available for both Macs & PC's) the boot drive to that new mirrored volume. In doing it this way the boot sector etc are copied to the new volume.

Now remove the original boot volume and you'll be able to boot from the new mirrored volume. This works great on both Macs and PC's.

As a further note 2 drive and 4 drive Raid enclosures are available to day for 200 bucks or less that are decent but not enterprise.

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