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I have two 500GB hard disks configured in raid 1 (mirroring) on Windows 7. It is being labelled as 'Healthy' in Windows. As you know, these are accessed as one partition of 500GB.

Is there any tool which can physically check just one hard disk, to see the actual contents? Would the contents of just 1 HD be readable on any computer? Or does the Windows 7 format use any proprietary format for Raid 1? Guessing that Raid1 should be fairly basic as implementation, it shouldn't be that different.

Basically, I would like to confirm that everything is working well and the backup is actually being done from time to time, so that should one HD fail, I'm covered.

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If you are using RAID1 there is no "backup from time to time". As you write data on your partition it gets written on the two disks simultaneously. see wikipedia - raid

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