As you all know hardware RAID solutions are fast stable and can effectively provide a high level of hard disk availability and redundancy. But the high prices are really daunting. But fortunately Windows 2003 provides an embedded software RAID function and software RAID can realize RAID-0 RAID-1 RAID-5. Software RAID is not only very convenient to implement but also saves a lot of valuable money. It is indeed a very useful new function of Windows 2003 Server. A RAID-5 volume is a fault-tolerant volume in which data and parity are intermittently distributed on three or more physical disks. If a part of the physical disk fails we can use the remaining data and parity to recreate the data on the failed part of the disk. For data redundancy in a computer environment where most activities consist of reading data RAID-5 volumes are a good solution. A hardware-based or software-based solution can be used to create a RAID-5' volume. Through hardware-based RAID the intelligent disk controller handles the creation and regeneration of redundant information on the disks that make up the RAID-5 volume. The Windows Server 2003 family operating system provides software-based RAID where the creation and regeneration of information on the disks in RAID-5 'volumes will be handled by 'disk management'. In both cases the data will span the disk arrays. All members are stored. Of course the performance and efficiency of soft RAID cannot be compared with hard RAID. Below we first talk about the creation of dynamic disks then explain how to implement software RAID in Windows 2003 Server and finally talk about the management of software RAID.
Second create dynamic disk
When installing Windows 2003 Server the hard disk will be automatically initialized as a basic disk. We cannot create new volume sets stripe sets or RAID-5 groups in basic disk partitions but can only create similar disk configurations on dynamic disks. In other words if you want to create a RAID-0 RAID-1 or RAID-5 volume you must use dynamic disks. After installing Windows 2003 Server you can use the upgrade wizard to convert them to dynamic disks.
After converting a disk from a basic disk to a dynamic disk the disk will contain volumes instead of disk partitions. Each of these volumes is a logical part of the hard drive and each volume can also be assigned a drive letter or mount point. But it should be noted that volumes can only be created on dynamic disks. Dynamic disks have the following advantages over basic disks:
Volumes can be expanded to include non-contiguous space which can be on any available disk.
There is no limit to the number of volumes that can be created on each disk.
Windows 2003 stores dynamic disk configuration information on the disk not in the registry or other locations. At the same time this information cannot be updated accurately. Windows 2003 copies these disk configuration information to all other dynamic disks. Therefore the damage of a single disk will not affect the access to data on other disks.
A hard disk can be either a basic disk or a dynamic disk but it cannot be both because multiple storage types cannot be combined on the same disk. However if the computer has multiple hard disks each hard disk can be configured as basic or dynamic.
1. Upgrade from a basic disk to a dynamic disk:
①Click 'Start' in turn -> 'All Programs' -> 'Management Tools'->\u0026ldquo;Computer Management\u0026rdquo; option display the\u0026ldquo;Computer Management\u0026rdquo; window.
②In the left console expand the \u0026ldquo;Storage\u0026rdquo;->\u0026ldquo;Disk Management\u0026rdquo; option to display all the disks installed in the computer.
③Right-click the hard disk to be set as a dynamic disk and select the 'Upgrade to Dynamic Disk' option in the pop-up shortcut menu and the 'Upgrade to Dynamic Disk' dialog box will be displayed.
④Select the disk to be upgraded and then click the \u0026ldquo;OK\u0026rdquo;: button and the “Disk to Upgrade” dialog box will be displayed where the user is required to confirm the hard disk to be upgraded to a dynamic disk. The reason for this is simple because this upgrade operation is irreversible. In other words basic disks can be upgraded to dynamic disks but dynamic disks cannot be restored to basic disks.
⑤ Click the \u0026ldquo;Upgrade\u0026rdquo; button and the \u0026ldquo;Disk Management\u0026rdquo; prompt box will be displayed and the system will ask the user to confirm the disk upgrade again. When the disk is upgraded to a dynamic disk operating systems such as Windows98/Me will no longer be able to boot from the disk.
⑥ Click the \u0026ldquo;Yes\u0026rdquo; button and the \u0026ldquo;Upgrade Disk\u0026rdquo; warning box will be displayed. Here it is prompted that the file system on the disk to be upgraded will be forcibly removed and the user is required to further confirm the operation.
⑦ Click the \u0026ldquo;Yes\u0026rdquo; button the system will start the disk upgrade process. When the upgrade is completed a ''Confirm' warning box will be displayed. Click the 'OK' button to restart the computer to complete the disk upgrade process.
When upgrading to a dynamic disk you should pay attention to the following aspects:
You must log in as an administrator or a member of the management group to complete the process. If the computer is connected to the network network policy settings may also prevent us from completing this step.
After upgrading a basic disk to a dynamic disk you can no longer change the dynamic volume back to a basic partition. The only way at this time is to delete all dynamic volumes on the disk and then use the 'restore to basic disk' command.
Before upgrading the disks you should close the programs running on those disks.
To ensure a successful upgrade any disk to be upgraded must contain at least 1MB of unallocated space. When creating partitions or volumes on a disk the 'Disk Management' tool will automatically reserve this space but there may not be this space on disks with partitions or volumes created by other operating systems.
A disk with a sector size exceeding 512 bytes cannot be upgraded from a basic disk to a dynamic disk.
Once the upgrade is complete the dynamic disk cannot contain partitions or logical drives nor can it be accessed by other operating systems other than Windows 2003.
2. Set the new disk as a dynamic disk
①After the computer installs a new hard disk when the first time you access the “Disk Management” tool in “Computer Management” the Automatically run the \u0026ldquo;Write Signature and Upgrade Disk Wizard\u0026rdquo; window.
②Click the \u0026ldquo;Next\u0026rdquo; button and the \u0026ldquo;Select Disk to Write Signature' page will be displayed. In the list select the disk to write the signature on. It should be noted that the disk must be signed before being installed on the system.
③Click the \u0026ldquo;Next\u0026rdquo; button and the \u0026ldquo;Select Disk to Upgrade\u0026rdquo; page will be displayed select the disk to be upgraded to a dynamic disk.
④ Click the \u0026ldquo;Next\u0026rdquo; button and the \u0026ldquo;Complete Writing Signature and Upgrade Disk Wizard\u0026rdquo; page will be displayed where you are asked to confirm the signature and upgrade the disk. If there is anything wrong you can click the \u0026ldquo;Previous\u0026rdquo; button to go back and reset.
⑤ Click the \u0026ldquo;Finish\u0026rdquo; button to complete the dynamic disk upgrade process.
3. Realize soft RAID
Soft RAID can also be realized in a multi-disk system. To achieve RAID-1 you must have at least two hard disks and to achieve RAID-5 you must have at least three hard disks. Normally the disk where the operating system is located is RAID-1 and the disk where the data is located is RAID-5.
1 the type of volume
simple volume consists of disk space on a single physical disk which can be composed of a single area or It consists of multiple regions on the same disk that are linked together. You can extend a simple volume in the same disk or extend a simple volume to other disks. If a simple volume is extended across multiple disks the volume is a spanned volume.
can only create simple volumes on dynamic disks. Simple volumes cannot contain partitions or logical drives nor can they be accessed by MS-DOS or other Windows operating systems other than Windows 2003. If the computers on the network are still running Windows 98 or earlier you should create partitions instead of dynamic volumes.
If you want to increase the capacity of a simple volume after creating it you can expand the volume by using the remaining unallocated space on the disk. To extend a simple volume the volume must be formatted with the version of NTFS used in Windows 2003. At the same time the simple volume that was used as the previous partition on the basic disk cannot be expanded. You can also extend the simple volume to the area of ??other disks in the same computer. When a simple volume is extended to one or more other disks it becomes a spanned volume. After extending a spanned volume you cannot delete any part of it without deleting the entire spanned volume. It should be noted that spanned volumes cannot be mirrored volumes or striped volumes.
With striped volume the free space of two or more disks (up to 32 hard disks) can be combined into one volume. When writing data to a striped volume the data is divided into 64KB blocks and distributed evenly on all disks in the array. An array is a collection of two or more disks. Striped volume can effectively improve the read performance of the disk