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Can Windows 7 do software RAID 10 (or RAID 1+0 depending on terminology)?

There appears to be a lack of information about software RAID for Microsoft Windows products. Even a search of the microsoft.com offers zero articles about the subject, just a few forum posts.

It appears that the disk manager can create dynamic volumes and that you can organise striped or mirrored sets. But it is unclear whether it is possible to take two independently mirrored volumes and then stripe them (i.e. use 4 disks).

Anybody with experience running software RAID 10 using Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7?

Update: this link implies that Windows 7 Home Premium cannot even do RAID 1 (mirroring). That's not mentioned on the Windows 7 comparison chart. I may make a complaint to the advertising standards authority even though I bought Professional.

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IIRC the desktop versions of Windows are not capable of software RAID 10, but I'm leaving this as a comment because this is just off my memory. –  phoebus Feb 18 '10 at 16:08
    
I'm pretty sure that no desktop version of Windows will do anything but RAID-0 in software. –  ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Feb 18 '10 at 16:29
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Finding documentation on Microsoft's site re: Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate supportind RAID-1 is proving to be impossible (for me), but I clearly see the feature available on a Windows 7 Ultimate machine. –  Evan Anderson Feb 18 '10 at 17:05
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I don't think so. Desktop versions of Windows will only support RAID-0 in software, mainly for applications like editing streaming media. Windows 2003 (and IIRC 2008) will support RAID-1 and RAID-5 in sofware but not RAID-10.

Note that Software RAID support in Windows is generally poor - much poorer than that found in Unix or Linux. You are much better off buying a RAID controller card with Windows; entry level U320 or 4/8 port SAS or SATA RAID cards can be purchased quite cheaply off ebay.

As an aside, I went through this exercise some time ago and wound up going with hardware RAID; this worked well, and there are many, many secondhand RAID controller cards of various specifications available on Ebay. With secondhand cards you are best advised to get a branded one like Adaptec, LSI or 3Ware, and these tend to be reasonably cheaply available. Make sure you get wone wih the right type of interface - Many PC Mobos only have PCI-ex1 slots and most are aimed at 64 bit PCI or PCIe x4/x8 slots.

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Windows Server versions support software RAID-0, RAID-1, and RAID-5. Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise support RAID-0 and RAID-1. My experience w/ Windows software RAID-1 has been very good, and it's been a great cheap "insurance policy" against single disk failure on small server deployments. It's nice to have a RAID-1 set that isn't tied to a particular proprietary RAID controller, either. For RAID-5 or RAID-10, though, I'd be hard pressed not to use a hardware RAID controller. –  Evan Anderson Feb 18 '10 at 17:04
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