Hardware

How to Create a RAID1 Mirrored Volume in Windows and Restore it When You Have a Disk Failure

Data redundancy the cheap and easy way!

RAID (Redundant Collection of Independent Disks) has been around for many years and provides a way for us to provide data redundancy by using several discs for one volume (drive) (drive). One of the simplest RAID methods or levels is RAID1 which is known as a mirrored volume. This means that we have two discs and one represents the other that when data is entered or deleted, it is written or deleted from one disc.

The downside is that we only get one of the discs’ storage space, because they both are used to store the same information. So if our mirrored volume uses two 1TB discs, we end up with only 1TB instead of 2TB of storage space. But if one disc fails, we can still access all our other data and can then add a new disc and reconstruct our mirror, and proceed as if nothing had happened.

The first step in the process is the installation of your two hard drives on the mirrored volume on your computer. You will then need to open the disc management when you start the machine and when you start, you will be prompted to initialise the new discs so that they can be accessed via Disk Management.

There are 2 options for your discs and they are the MBR and GPT partition types. If this is a modern Windows edition and you have disc sizes above 2TB, then you have to choose GPT.

After the discs are started, they will be identified online but not assigned in Disk Management. Now you just have to right-click one and select New Mirrored Volume.

Then the New Wizard will appear and you can click Next to start. The New Wizard will appear. The discs you choose to use for your reflected volume will have to be chosen next. In the Selected box, the disc you right-clicked on in the previous step. The other disc in the box available must then be highlighted and the Add Button pressed. You will also note that only one hard drive will have the maximum space available and not the same size. You can adjust the select amount of space in MB to a smaller number if you don’t want to use all the space on the drives.

You will add a drive letter to the mirrored volume when you click Next. You may exit the default typically the next available drive letter, or select some other unused drive letter.

Then you can enter a name (volume label) for your new mirrored volume and execute the new volume quickly or regularly.

A list of the changes you have made will then appear and you can press Finish to create the reflected volume. You will get an alert warning before the process is over and you should then press the yes button. You will have to turn your basic discs into dynamic discs.

Now you can see your latest mirrored volume in Disk Management made up of two red-looked hard drives. Now, by the previously assigreed drive letter, you can open File\Windows Explorer and access your new mirrored drive.

Restoration of a cracked reflector
If, for some reason, one of your mirrored volume’s hard drives is bad, you can see a failed status in the Disk Management for that mirror. And it does not only mean you have lost some data because one of the drives in your mirror failed. But before you instal your new disc and rebuild the mirrored volume, you should back up your files.

Thankfully, this is a fast fix, and all you need to do is replace the failing drive with a new drive, then go back into disc management and see the failed mirror on your new drive. And after you delete the incorrect disc, the missing status will still appear there.

You will have to initialise the new disc (disc 2), so that it can be used for our mirror, to restore your mirror with the new disc. Make sure you choose GPT if you used it before. Then, anywhere in the reflected volume you right-click and choose to delete the mirror.

Next, the missing disc will be selected and you will press the Enter Mirror button.

Now you must press the good drive which was already in your mirror, then select Add mirror, then go the way you did before your mirror was reconfigured.

Finally your mirror is added to the new drive and Windows will resynch your drives and your mirror stays intact.

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