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RAID 1 - Mirrored Volume with Windows 7

May you worry loss all of your data if there is a physical failure on your hard drive? In Windows 7 Professional Edition and Ultimate Edition, you could consider using mirroring volume (RAID 1) for your important data. Mirrored volume is attractive feature of Windows 7 compared to earlier Windows XP and Vista.

Mirroring is implemented to fault tolerance. In a mirrored volume (it must consist of two disks), all of the data will be duplicated across two hard drives automatically, so if one of the drive dies, the data still can be accessed from another drive.

To set up a Mirrored Volume in Windows 7/8, here are steps.

  • Install two hard drives to your computer. For an instance, I installed two 80GB drives to my virtual pc.

  • Boot up Windows 7/8, open the Windows Explorer, right click on the My Computer and chose Manage. When Computer Management Snap-in opens, navigate to the Disk Management, and then you should see there are two new the hard drives available in the computer.

  • You may be asked to initialize them. Please tick at the two drives and init them as MBR (Master Boot Record).

  • Now lets create the RAID 1: right click on one of the drives, and choose Now Mirrored Volume…, please see below.
    Create New Mirrored Volume
    Create New Mirrored Volume

  • A series of prompts will tell you some details of the new mirrored volume, such as which disks are to be mirrored, the volume size, drive letter, volume label. In my test, I choose Disk 2 and Disk 3. the volume size specify 1024MB as follows.
    Set parameters for the mirrored volume
    Set parameters for the mirrored volume

  • Continuously click Next button until appearing the following window. The program will prompt you confirm to convert the selected basic disks to dynamic disks. (We do not suggest converting system boot disk to dynamic) Please click the Yes to set up your mirrored volume (RAID 1).
    Convert Basic Disk to Dynamic Window

  • OK! Copy all of your important files to your new mirrored drive, and not have to worry about your data. Here is my Mirrored Volume G and you will find the two disks have been converted to Dynamic Disk.
    RAID 1 - Mirrored Volume with Windows 7

Due to some other requirements, you may want to covert the dynamic disk to basic one. However, you will find the Windows 7 does not allow doing the operation unless you first delete the Mirrored Volume G:. For more information, please refer to "Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic with three ways". I recommend a dynamic disk conversion software - AOMEI Dynamic Disk Converter. It can directly and safely convert mirrored volume disk to basic disk. Below is it’s a screen shot.

Software to Convert Mirrored Volume Disk to Basic with Losing Data
Software to Convert Mirrored Volume Disk to Basic with Losing Data

With windows disk management snap-in and the third-party tool help, all dynamic disks and dynamic volumes can be managed more effectively. You now can practice the mirrored volume (RAID 1) but note that it is unavailable under Windows 7 Home Edition operating system.



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