Setup Raid on Your Computer

Edited by Pia Marie Villamante, Eng, Robbi, Lynn and 4 others

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How to Increase Computer Performance with RAID

Setting up RAID is one of the best ways to increase overall system performance.

RAID is a terminology that initially meant Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks, but that was back when hard drives were very expensive. In those days, it was less expensive to set up a RAID Array, or group of hard drives, using smaller hard drives to achieve the same storage capacity as one larger drive. It had the added benefit of preventing catastrophic failure, as a failed drive would just roll over to a working drive, and the system would keep working.

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These days RAID means Redundant Array of Independent Disks, but it still works the same, using multiple disks to improve overall performance, increase storage capacity, and provide a higher level of fault tolerance. This is because RAID data is able to be mirrored on other disks in the same array. Because of this, if one disk fails, system data is still preserved, and your computer keeps running.

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The Different Types of RAID

RAID comes in different types, offering enhanced performance, data protection, or even both.

There are many types of core RAID Arrays. Here are some of the few RAID levels:

  1. 1
    RAID0
    :
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    is simply a data striped on several disks. This setup gives hard-drive performance advantage by striping drive data across two different drives.
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  2. 2
    RAID1
    :
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    is known as mirroring. The RAID1 setup protects the drives from failure by writing information to two drives.
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  3. 3
    RAID2
    :
    is theoretical. This theoretical performance is high but very expensive to implement and as a result, few use it.
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  4. 4
    RAID3
    :
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    is when a block of data is striped on an array of disks then parity happens.
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  5. 5
    RAID4
    :
    is when data is written in blocks onto the data disk.
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Things You'll Need for a RAID Array

  1. 1
    Floppy disk
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  2. 2
    Tools, such as screwdrivers
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  3. 3
    Hard drives
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  4. 4
    RAID software
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  5. 5
    RAID controller
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  6. 6
    A backup
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Steps to Setup RAID on Your Computer

Window Vista and Windows 7 both offer RAID software.

Here are the steps:

  1. 1
    Click the start menu.
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  2. 2
    Right click on "Computer" and choose "Manage".
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  3. 3
    Select "Storage", then click on "Disk management".
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  4. 4
    Right click on the drive icon that lies to the left for operations that will affect the whole disk
    .
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  5. 5
    What's available on your version and your disk setup will be enabled
    .
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  6. 6
    A guide will appear for some core RAID levels
    .
    Follow the instructions that it offers. If your disk isn't dynamic, this step will help you to automatically convert it.
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  7. 7
    With dynamic disks, you can right click on the volume and use the option to mirror it
    .
    • NOTE: It can take a long time for Windows RAID mirrors that are new to sync up. This depends on the existing data. Because of this, disk performance can suffer until the process is completed.
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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please post in the comments section below.

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Article Info

Categories : Hardware

Recent edits by: Dougie-1, Rob, JMA

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