How does one go about mirroring (RAID-1) the OS partition without third-party hardware/software?

Discussion in 'Windows 64bit' started by Dennis Pack, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. Dennis Pack

    Dennis Pack Guest

    Homer:
    I can't answer about built in mirroring. I have the Asus A8N-E
    motherboard on two systems using the NF4 raid 1 arrays without any problems
    or errors. There were problems with the NF4 raid drivers during Vista beta
    but that was corrected in a later build. Have a great day.

    --
    Dennis Pack
    XP x64, Vista Enterprise x64
    Office2007
    "Homer J. Simpson" <root@127.0.0.1> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I'm running XP x64 on an ASUS A8N-E motherboard.
    >
    > I'd like to RAID a pair of small-ish 80GB IDE drives on which I'd run the
    > OS. I have a bunch of larger SATA and IDE drives (of various sizes) for
    > my own data; these don't need to be RAIDed.
    >
    > Judging from various posts in various forums it seems the consensus is
    > that my motherboard's nForce4 RAID solution isn't the greatest, so I'd
    > like to stick with the OS's own mirroring capabilities. I've done it
    > before for data drives on other machines, and it seems to work pretty
    > well, so I'd like to do the same thing on this box for the OS itself.
    >
    > I've done a clean XP install on one of the 80GB drives, set up with a
    > single partition; once the OS has booted, I've converted both drives from
    > Basic to Dynamic with Disk Manager...now when I right-click on the drive
    > that contains the OS, I see the "Add Mirror" option, but it's grayed out.
    >
    > Is it not possible to use the built-in tools to mirror the OS drive? If
    > it is, what's the general procedure?
    >
    >
    Dennis Pack, Mar 19, 2007
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. I'm running XP x64 on an ASUS A8N-E motherboard.

    I'd like to RAID a pair of small-ish 80GB IDE drives on which I'd run the
    OS. I have a bunch of larger SATA and IDE drives (of various sizes) for my
    own data; these don't need to be RAIDed.

    Judging from various posts in various forums it seems the consensus is that
    my motherboard's nForce4 RAID solution isn't the greatest, so I'd like to
    stick with the OS's own mirroring capabilities. I've done it before for
    data drives on other machines, and it seems to work pretty well, so I'd like
    to do the same thing on this box for the OS itself.

    I've done a clean XP install on one of the 80GB drives, set up with a single
    partition; once the OS has booted, I've converted both drives from Basic to
    Dynamic with Disk Manager...now when I right-click on the drive that
    contains the OS, I see the "Add Mirror" option, but it's grayed out.

    Is it not possible to use the built-in tools to mirror the OS drive? If it
    is, what's the general procedure?
    Homer J. Simpson, Mar 19, 2007
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. XP doesn't support software mirroring - it is a Server only feature, I'm
    afraid. You can use the motherboard's RAID controller, since that doesn't
    have any dependency beyond drivers on the OS.

    --
    Charlie.
    http://msmvps.com/xperts64


    "Homer J. Simpson" <root@127.0.0.1> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I'm running XP x64 on an ASUS A8N-E motherboard.
    >
    > I'd like to RAID a pair of small-ish 80GB IDE drives on which I'd run the
    > OS. I have a bunch of larger SATA and IDE drives (of various sizes) for
    > my own data; these don't need to be RAIDed.
    >
    > Judging from various posts in various forums it seems the consensus is
    > that my motherboard's nForce4 RAID solution isn't the greatest, so I'd
    > like to stick with the OS's own mirroring capabilities. I've done it
    > before for data drives on other machines, and it seems to work pretty
    > well, so I'd like to do the same thing on this box for the OS itself.
    >
    > I've done a clean XP install on one of the 80GB drives, set up with a
    > single partition; once the OS has booted, I've converted both drives from
    > Basic to Dynamic with Disk Manager...now when I right-click on the drive
    > that contains the OS, I see the "Add Mirror" option, but it's grayed out.
    >
    > Is it not possible to use the built-in tools to mirror the OS drive? If
    > it is, what's the general procedure?
    >
    >
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Mar 19, 2007
    #3
  4. Correct.

    --
    Charlie.
    http://msmvps.com/xperts64


    "Homer J. Simpson" <root@127.0.0.1> wrote in message
    news:...
    >> XP doesn't support software mirroring - it is a Server only feature, I'm
    >> afraid. You can use the motherboard's RAID controller, since that doesn't
    >> have any dependency beyond drivers on the OS.

    >
    > Even XP x64, despite being derived from Server 2003?
    >
    >
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Mar 19, 2007
    #4
  5. RE: How does one go about mirroring (RAID-1) the OS partition without

    Homer:
    NForce 4 raid is safe to install in both XP x64 and Vista x64.
    That's the way it is running (RAID 0, stripping) in my PC.
    XP x64 install needs the F6 floppy.
    Vista RTM has embedded drivers, so RAID is automatically detected during
    install.
    Of course, RAID has to be set up in BIOS first of all.
    One more thing that brought me a lot of headaches.
    When installing your OS's, unplug any other non-RAID hard disks present.
    Plug them back once you have done with your RAID.
    Don't know why but the presence of those additional disks would make install
    stall after the first reboot of the process.
    I unplugged them and install quite happily did its job.
    BTW, my mobo is an ASUS A8N-SLI (NForce 4 chipset), socket 939.

    Carlos
    "Homer J. Simpson" wrote:

    > I'm running XP x64 on an ASUS A8N-E motherboard.
    >
    > I'd like to RAID a pair of small-ish 80GB IDE drives on which I'd run the
    > OS. I have a bunch of larger SATA and IDE drives (of various sizes) for my
    > own data; these don't need to be RAIDed.
    >
    > Judging from various posts in various forums it seems the consensus is that
    > my motherboard's nForce4 RAID solution isn't the greatest, so I'd like to
    > stick with the OS's own mirroring capabilities. I've done it before for
    > data drives on other machines, and it seems to work pretty well, so I'd like
    > to do the same thing on this box for the OS itself.
    >
    > I've done a clean XP install on one of the 80GB drives, set up with a single
    > partition; once the OS has booted, I've converted both drives from Basic to
    > Dynamic with Disk Manager...now when I right-click on the drive that
    > contains the OS, I see the "Add Mirror" option, but it's grayed out.
    >
    > Is it not possible to use the built-in tools to mirror the OS drive? If it
    > is, what's the general procedure?
    >
    >
    >
    =?Utf-8?B?Q2FybG9z?=, Mar 19, 2007
    #5
  6. Re: How does one go about mirroring (RAID-1)...[long but more detailed]

    > Homer:
    > I can't answer about built in mirroring. I have the Asus A8N-E
    > motherboard on two systems using the NF4 raid 1 arrays without any
    > problems or errors. There were problems with the NF4 raid drivers during
    > Vista beta but that was corrected in a later build. Have a great day.


    Dennis,

    I'm glad to hear that the Nvidia RAID drivers are working out for you (are
    you now on Vista and using corresponding RTMed RAID drivers?). I've been
    reading a lot of bad things about Nvidia's native RAID support, and I've had
    bad experiences with it myself (eg, NVRAID.SYS would cause BSODs, and the
    array would be broken after rebooting...that sort of thing). When I first
    toyed with it, I've had to rebuild my system three times within a month, and
    have sworn off using Nvidia's RAID solution, at least until they sorted out
    their driver issues. Mind you, this was on XP 32-bit--I'm now using XP
    64-bit. Have you used either of these? If so, what driver version? Did
    the installer complain about two missing .CAT files on the floppy?
    (nvraid.cat and nvata.cat, which ultimately don't seem to stop the
    installation from completing successfully)...


    In any case--and this isn't directed at you specifically, so anyone please
    jump in--this is what I'm now trying.

    I've temporarily put both drives in a secondary machine and I'm trying to
    set it up there just for tinkering--I'm not gonna do this again on my
    primary machine until I'm comfortable with the procedure. Thing is, my
    secondary machine's CPU is 32-bit only, while I'd prefer to stick with XP
    x64 on my primary one. So I'm making the assumption that whatever procedure
    works on XP x86 will be the same (or very similar) with XP x64.

    I've made a single partition using the drive's full 80GB capacity, and
    reinstalled XP x86. Both drives show up in XP's Disk Manager as two
    individual 74.53GB drives. I know all about the 80 gigabit vs gigabyte
    issue, yada, yada...I'm not questioning the size discrepancy.

    I then converted both drives from Basic to Dynamic.

    After rebooting, I'm now seeing two partitions on the primary master drive
    (Disk 0): a 74.52GB NTFS partition, and another 8MB unallocated one. I
    don't know why this tiny partition got created, but there it is. So be it.

    The second disk, Disk 1, is still one single unallocated 80GB partition.
    Actually, unallocated space.

    Disk 0's first partition's right-click menu displays a grayed-out 'Add
    Mirror' option, as well as 'Extended Volume'. 'Extended Volume' is
    selectable, but selecting it only displays a message saying "This selected
    volume is a system or boot disk or was created on a basic disk in an earlier
    version of Windows and cannot be extended".

    Granted, it was created on a Basic disk, but that's because you don't have
    the option to select Basic or Dynamic disks during the actual OS
    installation. The 'earlier version of Windows' part is just plain bogus.

    At this point I can select either the 8MB partition at the end of the first
    disk, or Disk 1's unallocated 74.53GB space, select New Volume, and be
    presented with choices of Simple, Spanned, and Striped. Reading from the
    description, Striped is the mirroring option. The next dialog box lets me
    select the 'other' drive and add it to the striped set. However, I can only
    allocate 8MB to it--matching Disk 0's unallocated space.

    If I go through with it, then great, I end up with one single E: drive
    mirrored across both physical disks. So it kinda works. I suppose if I got
    this far, I could restart the installation, resize the OS partition to the
    bare minimum and stripe the rest. But that's not what I want--I want the OS
    partition itself to be mirrored, not the free space beyond it. When I used
    Nvidia's native RAID (which had no problem mirroring the OS partition), I
    saw a *tremendous* speed increase, and this is what I'm ultimately after. I
    suppose the catch is that in Nvidia's case, you get to load a RAID driver
    from a floppy (with the F6 key) before the OS partition gets set up...

    So what's the catch?
    Homer J. Simpson, Mar 19, 2007
    #6
  7. > XP doesn't support software mirroring - it is a Server only feature, I'm
    > afraid. You can use the motherboard's RAID controller, since that doesn't
    > have any dependency beyond drivers on the OS.


    Even XP x64, despite being derived from Server 2003?
    Homer J. Simpson, Mar 19, 2007
    #7
  8. Re: How does one go about mirroring (RAID-1) the OS partition without

    Carlos,

    Thanks for replying, but whether NForce4 is safe to use or not is not in
    question. I still wanna know whether XP x64 can do it (the OS partition,
    that is) without third-party drivers. See my other posts--I've had terrible
    luck with NF4 in the past, and I'm wary about using it again on my primary
    machine.
    Homer J. Simpson, Mar 19, 2007
    #8
  9. I've now tried the procedure on Server 2003...

    It's pretty obvious to figure out (just a couple of clicks), so it doesn't
    look like I've missed anything at all while trying it on XP...I would have
    to conclude that indeed mirroring the OS partition is not supported on
    XP--either 32- or 64-bit versions.

    I'd love to understand the rationale behind that decision though. If
    RAIDing a data drive is gonna be supported on XP, why not include the OS
    drive as well? For a home user, I would think it makes more sense to RAID
    the OS drive than any data drive. I don't need quick access to huge
    database files, but I would love to see the OS benefit from the increased
    throughput. I have no need to RAID my data drives.

    What I'll probably end up doing in this case is to RAID the drives, but
    install all my programs on it instead of letting them default to C:\Program
    Files. I won't get the benefit of having the OS RAIDed, but at least it
    might help a little for launching applications and games.

    Thanks to all who contributed to this thread.


    (I still wouldn't trust the NF4 drivers with my life) :eek:)
    Homer J. Simpson, Mar 19, 2007
    #9
  10. Re: How does one go about mirroring (RAID-1) the OS partition with

    Homer:
    Sorry for the misunderstanding.
    You want to do the RAID thing from WITHIN the OS while I was speaking of the
    install.
    BTW, the install allowed me to partition and format at will.
    ASUS Nforce4 F6 disk was needed indeed for XP x64 in order to see RAID
    properly.
    Carlos

    "Homer J. Simpson" wrote:

    > Carlos,
    >
    > Thanks for replying, but whether NForce4 is safe to use or not is not in
    > question. I still wanna know whether XP x64 can do it (the OS partition,
    > that is) without third-party drivers. See my other posts--I've had terrible
    > luck with NF4 in the past, and I'm wary about using it again on my primary
    > machine.
    >
    >
    >
    =?Utf-8?B?Q2FybG9z?=, Mar 19, 2007
    #10
  11. Dennis Pack

    Dennis Pack Guest

    Re: How does one go about mirroring (RAID-1)...[long but more detailed]

    Homer:
    I have Vista Enterprise x64 setup and running without problems using
    the NF4 raid in a mirror configuration. There was one raid update offered
    through Windows update that trashed the system and raid arrays but it was
    pulled very quickly. If you are using BitLocker it won't encrypt the raid
    array but it will hide the vista partition from XP. It's been quite a while
    since I've had both the operating system and data files on the same hard
    drives. Currently I have a system with the operating systems on a raid array
    and data on a separate hard drive, I also have a system where the data is on
    a raid array and the operating systems are on a separate hard drive. I'm
    starting to lean towards having data on a raid array and the operating
    systems separate as the preferred method. Backup images are still maintained
    for the data more often than the operating systems.

    --
    Dennis Pack
    XP x64, Vista Enterprise x64
    Office2007
    "Homer J. Simpson" <root@127.0.0.1> wrote in message
    news:%...
    >> Homer:
    >> I can't answer about built in mirroring. I have the Asus A8N-E
    >> motherboard on two systems using the NF4 raid 1 arrays without any
    >> problems or errors. There were problems with the NF4 raid drivers during
    >> Vista beta but that was corrected in a later build. Have a great day.

    >
    > Dennis,
    >
    > I'm glad to hear that the Nvidia RAID drivers are working out for you (are
    > you now on Vista and using corresponding RTMed RAID drivers?). I've been
    > reading a lot of bad things about Nvidia's native RAID support, and I've
    > had bad experiences with it myself (eg, NVRAID.SYS would cause BSODs, and
    > the array would be broken after rebooting...that sort of thing). When I
    > first toyed with it, I've had to rebuild my system three times within a
    > month, and have sworn off using Nvidia's RAID solution, at least until
    > they sorted out their driver issues. Mind you, this was on XP 32-bit--I'm
    > now using XP 64-bit. Have you used either of these? If so, what driver
    > version? Did the installer complain about two missing .CAT files on the
    > floppy? (nvraid.cat and nvata.cat, which ultimately don't seem to stop the
    > installation from completing successfully)...
    >
    >
    > In any case--and this isn't directed at you specifically, so anyone please
    > jump in--this is what I'm now trying.
    >
    > I've temporarily put both drives in a secondary machine and I'm trying to
    > set it up there just for tinkering--I'm not gonna do this again on my
    > primary machine until I'm comfortable with the procedure. Thing is, my
    > secondary machine's CPU is 32-bit only, while I'd prefer to stick with XP
    > x64 on my primary one. So I'm making the assumption that whatever
    > procedure works on XP x86 will be the same (or very similar) with XP x64.
    >
    > I've made a single partition using the drive's full 80GB capacity, and
    > reinstalled XP x86. Both drives show up in XP's Disk Manager as two
    > individual 74.53GB drives. I know all about the 80 gigabit vs gigabyte
    > issue, yada, yada...I'm not questioning the size discrepancy.
    >
    > I then converted both drives from Basic to Dynamic.
    >
    > After rebooting, I'm now seeing two partitions on the primary master drive
    > (Disk 0): a 74.52GB NTFS partition, and another 8MB unallocated one. I
    > don't know why this tiny partition got created, but there it is. So be
    > it.
    >
    > The second disk, Disk 1, is still one single unallocated 80GB partition.
    > Actually, unallocated space.
    >
    > Disk 0's first partition's right-click menu displays a grayed-out 'Add
    > Mirror' option, as well as 'Extended Volume'. 'Extended Volume' is
    > selectable, but selecting it only displays a message saying "This selected
    > volume is a system or boot disk or was created on a basic disk in an
    > earlier version of Windows and cannot be extended".
    >
    > Granted, it was created on a Basic disk, but that's because you don't have
    > the option to select Basic or Dynamic disks during the actual OS
    > installation. The 'earlier version of Windows' part is just plain bogus.
    >
    > At this point I can select either the 8MB partition at the end of the
    > first disk, or Disk 1's unallocated 74.53GB space, select New Volume, and
    > be presented with choices of Simple, Spanned, and Striped. Reading from
    > the description, Striped is the mirroring option. The next dialog box
    > lets me select the 'other' drive and add it to the striped set. However,
    > I can only allocate 8MB to it--matching Disk 0's unallocated space.
    >
    > If I go through with it, then great, I end up with one single E: drive
    > mirrored across both physical disks. So it kinda works. I suppose if I
    > got this far, I could restart the installation, resize the OS partition to
    > the bare minimum and stripe the rest. But that's not what I want--I want
    > the OS partition itself to be mirrored, not the free space beyond it.
    > When I used Nvidia's native RAID (which had no problem mirroring the OS
    > partition), I saw a *tremendous* speed increase, and this is what I'm
    > ultimately after. I suppose the catch is that in Nvidia's case, you get
    > to load a RAID driver from a floppy (with the F6 key) before the OS
    > partition gets set up...
    >
    > So what's the catch?
    >
    >
    Dennis Pack, Mar 19, 2007
    #11
  12. It's not a question of data or OS drive, Homer. Mirroring, _at the OS
    level_, is simply not supported. There are lots of reasons for this, some
    possibly valid, some clearly not. But I think the simple thing is that MS
    has never supported this in a client OS. They have only supported striping
    (RAID0) and a sort of odd JBOD implementation. In other words, no fault
    tolerance at all.

    My suggestion? Get an inexpensive RAID card for the box if you're not
    willing to trust the nvidia RAID.

    --
    Charlie.
    http://msmvps.com/xperts64


    "Homer J. Simpson" <root@127.0.0.1> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I've now tried the procedure on Server 2003...
    >
    > It's pretty obvious to figure out (just a couple of clicks), so it doesn't
    > look like I've missed anything at all while trying it on XP...I would have
    > to conclude that indeed mirroring the OS partition is not supported on
    > XP--either 32- or 64-bit versions.
    >
    > I'd love to understand the rationale behind that decision though. If
    > RAIDing a data drive is gonna be supported on XP, why not include the OS
    > drive as well? For a home user, I would think it makes more sense to RAID
    > the OS drive than any data drive. I don't need quick access to huge
    > database files, but I would love to see the OS benefit from the increased
    > throughput. I have no need to RAID my data drives.
    >
    > What I'll probably end up doing in this case is to RAID the drives, but
    > install all my programs on it instead of letting them default to
    > C:\Program Files. I won't get the benefit of having the OS RAIDed, but at
    > least it might help a little for launching applications and games.
    >
    > Thanks to all who contributed to this thread.
    >
    >
    > (I still wouldn't trust the NF4 drivers with my life) :eek:)
    >
    >
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Mar 20, 2007
    #12
  13. Dennis Pack

    Guest

    Re: How does one go about mirroring (RAID-1) the OS partition without

    On Mar 19, 12:40 pm, "Homer J. Simpson" <r...@127.0.0.1> wrote:
    > Carlos,
    >
    > Thanks for replying, but whether NForce4 is safe to use or not is not in
    > question. I still wanna know whether XP x64 can do it (the OS partition,
    > that is) without third-party drivers. See my other posts--I've had terrible
    > luck with NF4 in the past, and I'm wary about using it again on my primary
    > machine.


    I'm running raid 10 on Nforce4 with x64 using 4 hard drives. No
    problems. It's a gigabyte ga-k8n ultra-9. It has a second silicon
    image controller that I haven't used yet.
    , Mar 20, 2007
    #13
  14. Dennis Pack

    Agent86 Guest

    Re: How does one go about mirroring (RAID-1)...[long but more detailed]

    On Mon, 19 Mar 2007 12:43:10 -0500, "Homer J. Simpson"
    <root@127.0.0.1> wrote:

    >> Homer:
    >> I can't answer about built in mirroring. I have the Asus A8N-E
    >> motherboard on two systems using the NF4 raid 1 arrays without any
    >> problems or errors. There were problems with the NF4 raid drivers during
    >> Vista beta but that was corrected in a later build. Have a great day.

    >
    >Dennis,
    >
    >I'm glad to hear that the Nvidia RAID drivers are working out for you (are
    >you now on Vista and using corresponding RTMed RAID drivers?). I've been
    >reading a lot of bad things about Nvidia's native RAID support, and I've had
    >bad experiences with it myself (eg, NVRAID.SYS would cause BSODs, and the
    >array would be broken after rebooting...that sort of thing). When I first
    >toyed with it, I've had to rebuild my system three times within a month, and
    >have sworn off using Nvidia's RAID solution, at least until they sorted out
    >their driver issues. Mind you, this was on XP 32-bit--I'm now using XP
    >64-bit. Have you used either of these? If so, what driver version? Did
    >the installer complain about two missing .CAT files on the floppy?
    >(nvraid.cat and nvata.cat, which ultimately don't seem to stop the
    >installation from completing successfully)...
    >
    >
    >In any case--and this isn't directed at you specifically, so anyone please
    >jump in--this is what I'm now trying.
    >
    >I've temporarily put both drives in a secondary machine and I'm trying to
    >set it up there just for tinkering--I'm not gonna do this again on my
    >primary machine until I'm comfortable with the procedure. Thing is, my
    >secondary machine's CPU is 32-bit only, while I'd prefer to stick with XP
    >x64 on my primary one. So I'm making the assumption that whatever procedure
    >works on XP x86 will be the same (or very similar) with XP x64.
    >
    >I've made a single partition using the drive's full 80GB capacity, and
    >reinstalled XP x86. Both drives show up in XP's Disk Manager as two
    >individual 74.53GB drives. I know all about the 80 gigabit vs gigabyte
    >issue, yada, yada...I'm not questioning the size discrepancy.
    >
    >I then converted both drives from Basic to Dynamic.
    >
    >After rebooting, I'm now seeing two partitions on the primary master drive
    >(Disk 0): a 74.52GB NTFS partition, and another 8MB unallocated one. I
    >don't know why this tiny partition got created, but there it is. So be it.
    >
    >The second disk, Disk 1, is still one single unallocated 80GB partition.
    >Actually, unallocated space.
    >
    >Disk 0's first partition's right-click menu displays a grayed-out 'Add
    >Mirror' option, as well as 'Extended Volume'. 'Extended Volume' is
    >selectable, but selecting it only displays a message saying "This selected
    >volume is a system or boot disk or was created on a basic disk in an earlier
    >version of Windows and cannot be extended".
    >
    >Granted, it was created on a Basic disk, but that's because you don't have
    >the option to select Basic or Dynamic disks during the actual OS
    >installation. The 'earlier version of Windows' part is just plain bogus.
    >
    >At this point I can select either the 8MB partition at the end of the first
    >disk, or Disk 1's unallocated 74.53GB space, select New Volume, and be
    >presented with choices of Simple, Spanned, and Striped. Reading from the
    >description, Striped is the mirroring option. The next dialog box lets me
    >select the 'other' drive and add it to the striped set. However, I can only
    >allocate 8MB to it--matching Disk 0's unallocated space.
    >
    >If I go through with it, then great, I end up with one single E: drive
    >mirrored across both physical disks. So it kinda works. I suppose if I got
    >this far, I could restart the installation, resize the OS partition to the
    >bare minimum and stripe the rest. But that's not what I want--I want the OS
    >partition itself to be mirrored, not the free space beyond it. When I used
    >Nvidia's native RAID (which had no problem mirroring the OS partition), I
    >saw a *tremendous* speed increase, and this is what I'm ultimately after. I
    >suppose the catch is that in Nvidia's case, you get to load a RAID driver
    >from a floppy (with the F6 key) before the OS partition gets set up...
    >
    >So what's the catch?
    >

    The catch woud appear to be "basic disk". Arrays can only be built
    under windows using dynamic disks. Right clicking on the root of the
    drive in disk management should give you the option to convert your
    boot disk to a dynamic disk, then do the same for the other drive then
    you should be able to create your mirror.
    Paul
    Agent86, Mar 20, 2007
    #14
  15. Dennis Pack

    Agent86 Guest

    Re: How does one go about mirroring (RAID-1)...[long but more detailed]

    On Tue, 20 Mar 2007 10:09:09 -0500, Agent86 <>
    wrote:

    >On Mon, 19 Mar 2007 12:43:10 -0500, "Homer J. Simpson"
    ><root@127.0.0.1> wrote:
    >
    >>> Homer:
    >>> I can't answer about built in mirroring. I have the Asus A8N-E
    >>> motherboard on two systems using the NF4 raid 1 arrays without any
    >>> problems or errors. There were problems with the NF4 raid drivers during
    >>> Vista beta but that was corrected in a later build. Have a great day.

    >>
    >>Dennis,
    >>
    >>I'm glad to hear that the Nvidia RAID drivers are working out for you (are
    >>you now on Vista and using corresponding RTMed RAID drivers?). I've been
    >>reading a lot of bad things about Nvidia's native RAID support, and I've had
    >>bad experiences with it myself (eg, NVRAID.SYS would cause BSODs, and the
    >>array would be broken after rebooting...that sort of thing). When I first
    >>toyed with it, I've had to rebuild my system three times within a month, and
    >>have sworn off using Nvidia's RAID solution, at least until they sorted out
    >>their driver issues. Mind you, this was on XP 32-bit--I'm now using XP
    >>64-bit. Have you used either of these? If so, what driver version? Did
    >>the installer complain about two missing .CAT files on the floppy?
    >>(nvraid.cat and nvata.cat, which ultimately don't seem to stop the
    >>installation from completing successfully)...
    >>
    >>
    >>In any case--and this isn't directed at you specifically, so anyone please
    >>jump in--this is what I'm now trying.
    >>
    >>I've temporarily put both drives in a secondary machine and I'm trying to
    >>set it up there just for tinkering--I'm not gonna do this again on my
    >>primary machine until I'm comfortable with the procedure. Thing is, my
    >>secondary machine's CPU is 32-bit only, while I'd prefer to stick with XP
    >>x64 on my primary one. So I'm making the assumption that whatever procedure
    >>works on XP x86 will be the same (or very similar) with XP x64.
    >>
    >>I've made a single partition using the drive's full 80GB capacity, and
    >>reinstalled XP x86. Both drives show up in XP's Disk Manager as two
    >>individual 74.53GB drives. I know all about the 80 gigabit vs gigabyte
    >>issue, yada, yada...I'm not questioning the size discrepancy.
    >>
    >>I then converted both drives from Basic to Dynamic.
    >>
    >>After rebooting, I'm now seeing two partitions on the primary master drive
    >>(Disk 0): a 74.52GB NTFS partition, and another 8MB unallocated one. I
    >>don't know why this tiny partition got created, but there it is. So be it.
    >>
    >>The second disk, Disk 1, is still one single unallocated 80GB partition.
    >>Actually, unallocated space.
    >>
    >>Disk 0's first partition's right-click menu displays a grayed-out 'Add
    >>Mirror' option, as well as 'Extended Volume'. 'Extended Volume' is
    >>selectable, but selecting it only displays a message saying "This selected
    >>volume is a system or boot disk or was created on a basic disk in an earlier
    >>version of Windows and cannot be extended".
    >>
    >>Granted, it was created on a Basic disk, but that's because you don't have
    >>the option to select Basic or Dynamic disks during the actual OS
    >>installation. The 'earlier version of Windows' part is just plain bogus.
    >>
    >>At this point I can select either the 8MB partition at the end of the first
    >>disk, or Disk 1's unallocated 74.53GB space, select New Volume, and be
    >>presented with choices of Simple, Spanned, and Striped. Reading from the
    >>description, Striped is the mirroring option. The next dialog box lets me
    >>select the 'other' drive and add it to the striped set. However, I can only
    >>allocate 8MB to it--matching Disk 0's unallocated space.
    >>
    >>If I go through with it, then great, I end up with one single E: drive
    >>mirrored across both physical disks. So it kinda works. I suppose if I got
    >>this far, I could restart the installation, resize the OS partition to the
    >>bare minimum and stripe the rest. But that's not what I want--I want the OS
    >>partition itself to be mirrored, not the free space beyond it. When I used
    >>Nvidia's native RAID (which had no problem mirroring the OS partition), I
    >>saw a *tremendous* speed increase, and this is what I'm ultimately after. I
    >>suppose the catch is that in Nvidia's case, you get to load a RAID driver
    >>from a floppy (with the F6 key) before the OS partition gets set up...
    >>
    >>So what's the catch?
    >>

    >The catch woud appear to be "basic disk". Arrays can only be built
    >under windows using dynamic disks. Right clicking on the root of the
    >drive in disk management should give you the option to convert your
    >boot disk to a dynamic disk, then do the same for the other drive then
    >you should be able to create your mirror.
    >Paul



    er: mirroring is not available under client operating systems. Stripe
    sets can be raid 0 or possibly raid 5 (stripe with parity), but I am
    not 100% sure raid 5 is supported on client operating systems.
    still, to create any array, the disks must be dynamic.
    Paul
    Agent86, Mar 20, 2007
    #15
  16. Re: How does one go about mirroring (RAID-1) the OS partition with

    RAID0 still runnin' on my (trusty) NForce4 chipset...
    :)
    Carlos

    "Charlie Russel - MVP" wrote:

    > It's not a question of data or OS drive, Homer. Mirroring, _at the OS
    > level_, is simply not supported. There are lots of reasons for this, some
    > possibly valid, some clearly not. But I think the simple thing is that MS
    > has never supported this in a client OS. They have only supported striping
    > (RAID0) and a sort of odd JBOD implementation. In other words, no fault
    > tolerance at all.
    >
    > My suggestion? Get an inexpensive RAID card for the box if you're not
    > willing to trust the nvidia RAID.
    >
    > --
    > Charlie.
    > http://msmvps.com/xperts64
    >
    >
    > "Homer J. Simpson" <root@127.0.0.1> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > I've now tried the procedure on Server 2003...
    > >
    > > It's pretty obvious to figure out (just a couple of clicks), so it doesn't
    > > look like I've missed anything at all while trying it on XP...I would have
    > > to conclude that indeed mirroring the OS partition is not supported on
    > > XP--either 32- or 64-bit versions.
    > >
    > > I'd love to understand the rationale behind that decision though. If
    > > RAIDing a data drive is gonna be supported on XP, why not include the OS
    > > drive as well? For a home user, I would think it makes more sense to RAID
    > > the OS drive than any data drive. I don't need quick access to huge
    > > database files, but I would love to see the OS benefit from the increased
    > > throughput. I have no need to RAID my data drives.
    > >
    > > What I'll probably end up doing in this case is to RAID the drives, but
    > > install all my programs on it instead of letting them default to
    > > C:\Program Files. I won't get the benefit of having the OS RAIDed, but at
    > > least it might help a little for launching applications and games.
    > >
    > > Thanks to all who contributed to this thread.
    > >
    > >
    > > (I still wouldn't trust the NF4 drivers with my life) :eek:)
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    =?Utf-8?B?Q2FybG9z?=, Mar 20, 2007
    #16
  17. Dennis Pack

    Guest

    Re: How does one go about mirroring (RAID-1) the OS partition without

    On Mar 19, 12:40 pm, "Homer J. Simpson" <r...@127.0.0.1> wrote:
    > Carlos,
    >
    > Thanks for replying, but whether NForce4 is safe to use or not is not in
    > question. I still wanna know whether XP x64 can do it (the OS partition,
    > that is) without third-party drivers. See my other posts--I've had terrible
    > luck with NF4 in the past, and I'm wary about using it again on my primary
    > machine.


    I created my partition with Partition Magic. Once you have the driver
    installed, the raid array looks like one big hard drive as far as
    windows is concerned. Actually, there is one nuance in that the hard
    drives do appear to be individual units in the "remove hardware
    safely" program. I suspect removing a drive in that manner is not a
    good idea. ;-).

    Maybe I don't understand the question.
    , Mar 21, 2007
    #17
  18. Re: How does one go about mirroring (RAID-1) the OS partition with

    Yeah, I know. I currently having it running on one machine, my VM server.
    But that's ONLY because I wanted to get some work done before my RAID drives
    arrived. 8x72gb 15k, 2.5" SAS drives. :D They shipped last night, along with
    the second 5130 for it, so we'll shortly be up and running big time on that
    server.

    --
    Charlie.
    http://msmvps.com/xperts64


    "Carlos" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > RAID0 still runnin' on my (trusty) NForce4 chipset...
    > :)
    > Carlos
    >
    > "Charlie Russel - MVP" wrote:
    >
    >> It's not a question of data or OS drive, Homer. Mirroring, _at the OS
    >> level_, is simply not supported. There are lots of reasons for this, some
    >> possibly valid, some clearly not. But I think the simple thing is that MS
    >> has never supported this in a client OS. They have only supported
    >> striping
    >> (RAID0) and a sort of odd JBOD implementation. In other words, no fault
    >> tolerance at all.
    >>
    >> My suggestion? Get an inexpensive RAID card for the box if you're not
    >> willing to trust the nvidia RAID.
    >>
    >> --
    >> Charlie.
    >> http://msmvps.com/xperts64
    >>
    >>
    >> "Homer J. Simpson" <root@127.0.0.1> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >> > I've now tried the procedure on Server 2003...
    >> >
    >> > It's pretty obvious to figure out (just a couple of clicks), so it
    >> > doesn't
    >> > look like I've missed anything at all while trying it on XP...I would
    >> > have
    >> > to conclude that indeed mirroring the OS partition is not supported on
    >> > XP--either 32- or 64-bit versions.
    >> >
    >> > I'd love to understand the rationale behind that decision though. If
    >> > RAIDing a data drive is gonna be supported on XP, why not include the
    >> > OS
    >> > drive as well? For a home user, I would think it makes more sense to
    >> > RAID
    >> > the OS drive than any data drive. I don't need quick access to huge
    >> > database files, but I would love to see the OS benefit from the
    >> > increased
    >> > throughput. I have no need to RAID my data drives.
    >> >
    >> > What I'll probably end up doing in this case is to RAID the drives, but
    >> > install all my programs on it instead of letting them default to
    >> > C:\Program Files. I won't get the benefit of having the OS RAIDed, but
    >> > at
    >> > least it might help a little for launching applications and games.
    >> >
    >> > Thanks to all who contributed to this thread.
    >> >
    >> >
    >> > (I still wouldn't trust the NF4 drivers with my life) :eek:)
    >> >
    >> >

    >>
    >>
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Mar 21, 2007
    #18
  19. RE: How does one go about mirroring (RAID-1) the OS partition without

    Hello Homer,

    If you like you can set up a RAID 1 on the data drives or a RAID 5 that
    would include an OS drive Fault tolerance is there and the speed. Need four
    HD's for this.

    "Homer J. Simpson" wrote:

    > I'm running XP x64 on an ASUS A8N-E motherboard.
    >
    > I'd like to RAID a pair of small-ish 80GB IDE drives on which I'd run the
    > OS. I have a bunch of larger SATA and IDE drives (of various sizes) for my
    > own data; these don't need to be RAIDed.
    >
    > Judging from various posts in various forums it seems the consensus is that
    > my motherboard's nForce4 RAID solution isn't the greatest, so I'd like to
    > stick with the OS's own mirroring capabilities. I've done it before for
    > data drives on other machines, and it seems to work pretty well, so I'd like
    > to do the same thing on this box for the OS itself.
    >
    > I've done a clean XP install on one of the 80GB drives, set up with a single
    > partition; once the OS has booted, I've converted both drives from Basic to
    > Dynamic with Disk Manager...now when I right-click on the drive that
    > contains the OS, I see the "Add Mirror" option, but it's grayed out.
    >
    > Is it not possible to use the built-in tools to mirror the OS drive? If it
    > is, what's the general procedure?
    >
    >
    >
    =?Utf-8?B?Sm9l?=, Mar 22, 2007
    #19
  20. Re: How does one go about mirroring (RAID-1) the OS partition without

    > Maybe I don't understand the question.
    [...]
    > Once you have the driver installed,


    That's the key right there. I've had terrible luck with Nvidia's RAID
    driver; I've already mentioned somewhere in this thread that at one point
    NVRAID.SYS repeatedly caused BSODs and it got to a point where I had to
    rebuild my machine from scratch 3 times within a month. I just don't trust
    that driver of theirs on a critical machine.

    That's why I wanted to use Windows's own built-in software mirroring
    capabilities instead of relying on a third-party driver.
    Homer J. Simpson, Mar 26, 2007
    #20
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