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This is a hypothetical question but first some context.

I'm looking at setting up a simple RAID 1 (mirrored) for storing data. I was looking at using Windows Disk Management tools on a Windows 7 machine to set up the RAID. It would be a non-system volume.

My questions are...

  • How/where is the RAID setup information stored?
  • Does is write the RAID configuration to the RAID disks and say "look for your buddies here" (using hardware IDs... maybe) or does it store the configuration on the system drive?
  • If it stores the RAID configuration on the system drive, what happens to the array if the system drive fails?
  • Can the array be recovered if the system drive fails? Assuming that the OS has been rebuilt new on a new drive after the failure.

We run offsite backups so if the answer to recover from the backup then that's ok. I just want to be prepared for the worst.

I thought of maybe using FreeNAS or similar on VirtualBox and setting up the array in that because I'm under the impression I can backup the configuration and import into a live boot if the system drive failed. Is there any feasibility in this?

I'm just interested to know what I'm getting myself into because if everything requires the system drive to be working then it's still a single point of failure.

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