I have bought Windows Server 2008, but I am not sure if I should install it now or wait until I get my third system disc.

I currently have 2x 32gb SSDs. I am going to buy another disc, because the recommended WS2008 space is 40GB and I want to have both system and programs on the SSDs.

Can I install the OS now on one of the SSDs, and then set up 3 SSDs in software RAID 5 without any problems?

  1. You can't install Windows Server onto a Software RAID-5 array. You can add a RAID-1 mirror after the OS is installed, but you can only install onto a basic disk. So you're going to be stuck with a single 32Gb partition for your Windows install. Nomatter what.

  2. If you abstract this away with a real RAID controller, most will do online RAID expansion and change the RAID level.

Conclusion: You're in a tough spot with Windows. You can take 2x SSD in RAID-1 and have 32Gb of space, or move to hardware RAID.

  • or 64GB in RAID 0? ;) – Tom O'Connor May 9 '12 at 21:46
  • @TomO'Connor Sure, if you like to live dangerously. Still going to need a real RAID controller for that though. – Mark Henderson May 9 '12 at 21:49
  • hence the ;) [;)] – Tom O'Connor May 9 '12 at 22:35

No it would not be a good idea to do that installation. Typically you cannot change the RAID configuration of a system after installation without wiping the system. You could extend the primary partitions on the server to incorporate the new drive but it would not allow it to be added to the RAID.

Here is a good overview of how RAID is implemented on Server 2008:


  • But i can do it under installation if i wait for the third disc? Would there be any problem running 3 ssd's in raid 5, is it recommandable? – NikolajSvendsen May 9 '12 at 18:49
  • Yes, you could install that with the third disk if you wanted. Just remember that as of now SSDs only have a limited number of read/writes before they go out without warning. Typically you can get around one year of constant use before the SSDs are rated to go bad. – Dresca May 9 '12 at 18:52
  • 1
    Also, just know that with 59GBs of usable space you will run out of room fast depending on what all you will be hosting on this server. – Dresca May 9 '12 at 18:57
  • Maybe i should just stick to linux. About the ssd's i will just return them when they die, we have 2 years automaticly warranty where i live. – NikolajSvendsen May 9 '12 at 19:02
  • Sounds like a good plan. Especially if you are not using them for any kind of production environment. – Dresca May 9 '12 at 19:05

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