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I am setting up a "new" dev server with Win 2008 on an older dell that has been retired from production. I am planning to put server core hyperV on the bare metal, then set up several VM servers running on that.

The box has one 80GB drive and two 1TB drives. There is no hardware raid. My plan is to install to the 80GB drive, then use software RAID to mirror the two TB drives. What potential problems or gotchas am I heading for?

My biggest worry is that if the 80GB system drive crashes, will I be able to recover the date from the array by moving the drives to another box, or with a new server install on a replacement system disk.

Thanks for any input or advice

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can move a Windows software RAID set to another box or another Windows install and read it. You'll have to "import" these "foreign disks" into the destination machine using "Disk Management", but it's not bad to do at all.

I think Windows software RAID-1 actually works pretty well-- especially when you're not booting off of it. Since these drives are probably SATA (and thus on dedicated controller ports and not "slaved" like older IDE drives) you'll get pretty decent performance, too.

Gotchas? Hmm... There aren't really a lot. In that kind of application it really ought to "just work".

Try to avoid unclean shutdowns and you shouldn't have problems with needing the mirror to "resync". (That's gotten better in recent versions of Windows anyway.)

If you're using it for some kind of business critical use be sure to configure some kind of notification in case a drive dies (event log notification, etc).

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Thats what i needed to know. I googled the keywords import foreign dynamic disks and found the msdn article that covers how to do it. Thanks =) –  shimonyk Jul 24 '09 at 19:50

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