How to Create Software RAID in Windows Server

Read this article to find out how to create software RAID in Windows Server. We describe methods of creating RAID inside Windows Server and with the help of Intel Rapid Storage Technology.

How to Create Software RAID in Windows Server

In one of our previous articles, we explored what is RAID, how to build a computer for RAID systems, and how to create such a system using the BIOS features integrated into your motherboard. In today’s article, you will read how to create a RAID system within the operating system Windows Server with a graphical interface.

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Creating a RAID array in Windows Server

It is very easy to create a software RAID array in Windows Server. First of all, you should decide what RAID type you want and make sure you have the sufficient number of disks to use with that type. Once you’ve settled this issue, start configuring the RAID system.

I’ll show you how to create a RAID 5 array, but setting up other RAID types is very similar except for certain architectural differences, so this example is quite versatile.

Open Disk Management by right-clicking on the Strat button and choosing this line from the list.

Disk Management

With built-in operating system tools, you can create a RAID 0 (striped volume), RAID 1 (mirrored volume), RAID 5 and JBOD (spanned volume) array. To create the RAID type you want in Disk Management, right-click on one of the unallocated disks and choose the type you prefer.

Disk Management

Add all necessary disks and click Next.

Disk Management

Assign a drive letter to the new volume and format it.

Disk Management
Disk Management

When the New Volume wizard closes, there will be a message saying that disks need to be converted, which will erase all data irreversibly. As the disks used in our example are empty, click «Yes».

Disk Management

If you have any important or necessary data on your disks, save it elsewhere before you proceed.

After the disks are converted and RAID 5 is created, the resynching process starts. It can be quite long and the actual time needed to complete all operations depends largely on disk capacity.

Disk Management

When resynching is finally over, your RAID system is ready to use.

RAID system is ready to use

Such method for creating a RAID array is also available in Windows 10, and an alternative solution could be using the option «Manage Storage Spaces».

Check another article in our blog to read more about creating a software RAID system in Windows 10.

RAID

How to create a RAID system with the help of Intel Rapid Storage Technology

Also, there are special utilities to help you create and maintain a RAID array. For example, Intel Rapid Storage Technology.

Download, install and start the application.

Intel rapid storage technology

The «Status» menu displays the condition of the system and your disks.

The «Create» menu lets you set up a RAID system consisting of your disks.

Click “Create” and select your RAID type. You are free to choose between flexible data protection, RAID 1, 0, 5 and 10. There is a brief description for every type. Select the one you prefer and click Next.

Intel rapid storage technology

Give the volume name and select the disks that will make up your RAID. Check the disks and settings you need and click Next again. Configure advanced settings if necessary. I leave «default settings» for Volume Size and Array allocation.

Intel rapid storage technology

You will see the warning that «This action will permanently delete existing data on the following disks…». If you have any important data there, save it to another location before you move on.

Intel rapid storage technology

Check the option «Proceed with deleting data» and click Create Volume.

The volume is created. However, the utility informs you that it’s necessary to partition the new volume with Disk management before adding any data there.

Intel rapid storage technology

That is why you need to open Disk Management. Immediately, you are informed that the disk must be initialized for Logical Disk Manager to access it. Select partition style and click «OK».

Disk Management

Right-click on the disk and select «New Simple Volume». Follow the wizard directions.

Disk Management

Now your RAID system is ready to use.

Disk Management

When you open Windows Explorer, you can see the new disk.

RAID

The utility shows that the disk is still being initialized – the duration of this process depends on disk capacity.

Intel rapid storage technology

Using this tool makes it much easier to monitor your RAID status, And should any of the disks within this system fail, you will notice it at once. This utility lets you see which particular disk has failed by using its serial number. On every disk, there is a sticker with that number.

HDD

In the «Settings» tab, you can configure notifications in case of any problems and even specify an email address to send notifications automatically,

Intel rapid storage technology
Intel rapid storage technology

and set up automatic rebuild for cases when you need to replace a faulty disk, or schedule automatic verify and repair operations.

Intel rapid storage technology

Other settings let you decide on cleaning cache and use of caching options, verifying and checking any data inconsistencies, and more.

Intel rapid storage technology

This is how you can create any of the available software RAID types in Windows Server operating system, in an easy and effortless way.

Vladimir Artiukh

Author: Vladimir Artiukh, Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices. Read more

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