Today’s Tech Question: Partition Managment With RAID 1

Following the near-debacle of the previous post (see the comments), Ed Bott makes the following very kind offer:

I promise to chat with Professor Froomkin before I write about complex legal issues here. In exchange, I offer my technical expertise on Windows and Windows security advisories to my favorite law professor the next time he thinks about writing another Windows-related post.

Alas, he didn't send along his email address. But I'm never one to pass up the chance of free advice from a real expert. So, Ed, here's a question that's bugging me:

My home computer runs Win XP, with RAID 1 provided via the ASUS motherboard [for the non-techies, RAID 1 is when your hard disk is mirrored by another identical hard disk]. The machine came from the suppliers with XP on one huge partition, and I'd like to repartition my hard drive(s) into several smaller partitions — not necessarily all for Windows — without losing any data.

I had thought to use partition magic to do the job, but apparently Partition Magic 8.x doesn't' support RAID 1 .

Can it be done? How about if I

1. Turn off RAID mirroring.
2. Use Partition Magic or something else like it.
3. Start RAID mirroring from scratch (will it catch all the partitions? will it faithfully copy all the changes to each one?).

I did a Google search, and all I know now is that I'm not the only one who wants the answer to this one…

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5 Responses to Today’s Tech Question: Partition Managment With RAID 1

  1. Pingback: Ed Bott - Windows (and Office) Expertise

  2. Ed Bott says:

    Happy to help out, Prof!

    I’ve answered your question over at my blog. Check the Trackback for the link or just click here.

    Also, if you check the Comments interface for Movable Type, you’ll find my e-mail address there. When a commenter includes a URL and an e-mail address, MT defaults to the URL when you click the commenter’s name in the public version of the comment. But as the site owner, you can see both details.

    If anyone else wants to send me a question, there’s a contact form on my blog. I can’t guarantee a response, but I try…

  3. in terms of labor cost,i think that it would be far cheaper for you to just go buy two more cheap hard drives and set those up to do the other things that you want and let the raid array alone.

  4. Ed Bott says:

    I agree with Jeremy. For that matter, all you really need is one extra drive, which you could then partition as needed for experimenting with Linux or what have you…

  5. Phill says:

    You really do not want to do RAID in hardware with anything other than identical drives with no partitions. Not unless you really like sticking on the end of customer support lines.

    It might work but you can be reasonably sure you will be the only person who is trying that particular set of code paths out for the first time.

    Like do you really need to save yourself the $100 for a new disk?


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