View Full Version : 2 RAID Arrays Across 4 Disks

08-17-2011, 12:11 AM
Hello everyone. I have four 2 TB hard drives. I want to create two striped arrays (RAID 0) across all four disks. One 7 TB array and one 1 TB array (I know the actual formatted capacity will be less). I was told to this this in Disk Management under Computer Management in Windows 7, but I can't figure this out. How do I do this?

Thanks! :)

Paul Komski
08-17-2011, 02:25 AM
The Disk Management Route. (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732422.aspx#BKMK_WINUI)

You may or may not be able to make an array larger than 2TB depending on the specific motherboard or host controller card as well as the specific version of Windows 7 - details you have not provided.

Are you sure you mean RAID 0 (http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/perf/raid/levels/singleLevel0-c.html) or do you just want to be able to first span all the disks into what is sometimes also called JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) and then partition them because RAID 0 is best done using RAID hardware and then by adding a number of whole hard drives (best if all of the same size) to create an array. Such arrays are created for performance reasons but never used them if any important data is stored on them (unless well backed-up elsewhere) since data recovery will be extremenly unlikley in the event of any hardware or software failure.

08-17-2011, 12:05 PM
First of all, you're not going to be able to make arrays that are 7TB and 1TB, since your disks are 2TB each.

What you can do is set up software RAID0 on all four disks (though I'd highly recommend using hardware RAID if at all possible), then create a 7TB volume and a 1TB volume. Be aware that RAID0 provides NO fault tolerance, so the failure of one drive means you lose all data stored on the array. Best keep up-to-date backups. Also, using software RAID means that if you are unable to boot into Windows, you will not have access to your data.

A much more robust solution (while I realize may not be possible due to cost) would be to acquire a RAID controller and an extra 2TB hard drive. Then, set up hardware RAID 5 on all five drives, and create your logical volumes as you see fit (7TB + 1TB). This will give you both a performance increase over software RAID, as well as fault tolerance--if one drive fails, the array will continue operating without data loss.

Paul Komski
08-17-2011, 06:08 PM
A much more robust solution (while I realize may not be possible due to cost) would be to acquire a RAID controller
Not all host controller cards are expensive and also when the OP post's back we may well discover that the mobo has on-board hardware RAID, which I agree is a much better way to go. Personally I wouldn't go near RAID0 myself at all except for special purposes and only then with the OS on another drive altogether.