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I have a domain controller running windows server 2003. Its running on a basic entry level server.

I would like to improve redundancy by converting the disk to software raid 1.

I'm looking for any pitfalls i might encounter.

Is software raid 1 worth it?

Do i need equal sized disks ?

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2 Answers 2

You can add a newer, larger, disk directly to the machine and use Disk Management from the System control panel to add mirrors of the existing partitions to the new disk. There will be a performance hit as the disks sync, and then a slight tax in normal operation, but having tolerance for a disk failure is easily worth it, as long as this doesn't need to be a high-performance system (for which you would definitely want hardware RAID.)

Hope that helps.

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+1 - Windows software RAID-1 is easy to setup after-the-fact and is a really, really cheap insurance policy against single disk failure. Take a backup of the machine before you convert the existing disk to a dynamic disk, just to be safe, but otherwise proceed as @Kerry suggests. (And remember, of course, that RAID isn't backup.) –  Evan Anderson Aug 12 '11 at 23:51

EDIT- this applies generally for hardware raid or NON OS level software raids that are setup in the bios

identical size disks is recommended, but not critical, you will lose the extra capacity on the bigger disk though

safest and quickest way to do this is to do a full windows backup, and then create your new software raid and restore your windows backup onto the new raid array.

you can do hard drive cloning in the same fashion but that will need an extra disk for the move (just like the backup process unless you already have backups done - Hint, you should have)

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