Configuring RAID Windows

Configuring a software RAID array under Windows has its own particular features, unlike configuring it under Linux-based systems.

Software arrays can only be created on dynamic disks. Windows can only be installed or loaded from a dynamic volume if this disk was converted from a system or boot volume. That means that if several OS instances are installed, once you convert the disk to dynamic you can only load the instance on the boot partition. For boot and system volumes, it is only possible to create a mirrored RAID (RAID1). Other types of arrays cannot be created, as they entail installing the system on a previously created partition.

Working with software arrays and dynamic disks occurs through StorageDisk Management in the Server Manager:

  1. To convert disks to dynamic, right-click and select Convert to dynamic disk in the window. You can convert several disks at once.

    Please note that this operation is irreversible. It is impossible to re-partition the boot disk, because after the operation it ceases be one. You can expand the volume due to a non-partitioned space.

  2. To create an array, right-click on the desired volume and select the corresponding option from the drop-down menu. There will be one option for system and boot volumes: a mirror.

  3. Select a disk to host the mirrored volume. Resynchronization will begin as soon as the array is created.

  4. You can combine several disks into a separate volume or create RAID 0, 1, or 5.

BIOS

The following procedure describes how to manually configure disk mirroring (RAID1) in the Windows Server OS:

  1. Go to StartControl PanelSystem And SecurityAdministrative Tools.
  2. Select Create and format hard disk partitions.
  3. Right-click on Disk 0 and select Convert to dynamic disk.
  4. Repeat these steps for Disk 1.
  5. In Disk Management section, right-click on disk C: and select Add mirroring from the drop-down menu.
  6. In the next menu, select Disk 1 and click Add mirroring.

After completing these steps, disk syncing will begin. Synchronization will take some time depending on disks size.

UEFI

Each system with UEFI has a UEFI System Partition. This partition cannot be mirrored using automatic Windows tools and requires manual copying and configuration on the second disk:

  1. Create a UEFI System Partition on the second drive and format it in FAT.
  2. Copy UEFI System Partition data from the first disk to the second.
  3. The remaining partitions can be mirrored as described above (Disk ManagementAdd mirroring).