hello i have 2 identical 320gb drives that i want to raid 0 to combine them to a 640 gb drive that has windows 7 installed on. Im not worried about data loss or anything like that. I have an ASrock 990fx extreme 3 board. could really use peoples advice who is RAID knowledgeable.
I've been using RAID for years and is a cheap way of getting decent performance. If you haven't used RAID before each motherboard has a slightly different set up and your best friend in this instance is your motherboard manual. If you don't have it then try the motherboard website for a download..
Usually though setting up RAID will go something like this (I'll use my boards set up process as a guide as most boards will have a similar set up)
To first set up RAID you obviously need at least two drives preferably of the same size. You'll need to create what is called a RAID array which is just a term to denote drives which have been set up for RAID. To create the array you will need to press a set of keys whilst booting (sometimes you'll see a prompt like 'Press ctrl+F to enter RAID bios utility') it can be easy to miss and can take a few tries before you get into the utility.
Once in the set up utility you'll see a menu which will have links for creating, deleting and viewing drive assignments. Your obvious choice will be to create an array and from there you'll see a numbered list appear. At this point nothing will be in the list as you have yet to create an array. If you highlight the number one spot and then press enter a new menu will appear. It's from here you will be able to configure which type of RAID you desire, either striped or mirrored. There are different types of Striped or mirrored RAID and they are denoted by using numbers. Your usual RAID set up, when two drives are combined to create one, is known as RAID 0, RAID 1 is mirroring, when two sets of the same data is written to both drives and a full list of what they are and do can be found here: RAID - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
As I said above your motherboard manual can be invaluable at this point or sometimes you'll get a separate booklet.
Once you've created your array and all is good you'll be asked to reboot, you'll need to change the boot order to boot from CD/DVD as is normal when doing a custom install. Windows installation is as usual although when you get to the screen to determine which drive you would like to install windows on, you may get the message that windows cannot find any drives. This is because the os needs RAID drivers to be able to see your drives. This is not always the case for every set up and as i said before this can differ from board to board. I keep my drivers on a usb stick but it is possible to pull them off a cd/DVD too.
Lastly when using RAID 0 it's an extremely good idea to keep a back up. If one drive goes down for whatever reason (a loose connection can do it and as happened to me although rare) then all data can be lost. I tend to just keep my third party apps,certain files/folders, emails and game saves backed up as reinstalling the os takes all of 20mins (even less under win 8).
I hope I haven't confused the issue for you and if you have any questions then please do ask.
Todays the day i try it have 1 question to make sure when i follow the way you told me does this take my 2 drives and make them 640gb not only in the logical drive part but during windows launch under my computer as my c drive will it make them 1 whole drive or still 2 320gb drives ?
Yup, once you have created the 'array' it will be seen as a 640GB HDD. Just to note this will mean that SMART function will be reduced and you won't be able to use it's error reporting capabilities but the performance outweighs the reduced funtionality.
I've just been looking through the booklet for setting up RAID on your MoBo. You can download a copy here:
You'll notice that the instructions want you to create a SATA3 boot diskette out of a floppy disk. Do you even own a floppy disk? I wonder if it can be done via thumb drive? Unless you do have a USB floppy or similar this needs checking on before proceeding.
ok did everything got it to work but am not satisfied with performance literally gained nothing...Is there a way to install windows 7 on a striped dynamic volume??? Using the create and format hard disk partition in win 7?