There is a lot of confusion in regards to running an ssd in raid1. This post will walk you through the steps and answer any questions that you may have about this topic.
First and foremost, it is important to understand that not all ssds are created equal. In order to run an ssd in raid1, you need to have two ssds of the same make and model. This is because raid1 mirrors your data across both drives, so if one drive fails, you will still have access to your data.
If you do not have two identical ssds, then you can still create a raid1 array, but it will not be as effective as using two identical drives. When creating a raid1 array with different drives, the drives will essentially act as one large drive. So if one drive fails, you will lose all your data.
The first thing you will want to do is install your operating system on one of the ssds. Once this is done, boot into your bios and set your ssd as your primary boot drive. Then shutdown your computer and remove the other ssd that has not been installed in your computer yet. You should now have two ssds with only one drive being recognized by your bios at a time.
Next, all you need to do is plug in both drives and turn on your computer. Boot into windows, go to device manager , find “disk drives”, right click on it, select “create raid volume” from the drop down list and follow the steps. It will come up with a screen asking you how you want to set it up and what drive letter you want the raid1 array to be. You can assign your second drive any letter you want, but make sure that both drives have different letters as this will avoid future issues when creating the raid volume. After all those steps are done, one of your drives will now be recognized as a “raid” disk and windows should automatically install a driver for it.
After that is finished, you will now see two listed disks in device manager and windows should treat both ssds as one large ssd with double the capacity of your original ssd(s). The only down side of having both ssds installed is heat and noise. The extra acoustics of having two ssds installed will make your computer sound like a jet engine. I also recommend not using any power saving options or sleep options when running raid1 as it can cause issues with the drive not waking up properly.
Now that you have successfully created a raid1 array, you are now ready to clone your operating system onto it if you want to. Cloning will save you time and bandwidth during the process of reinstalling windows on one of the ssds. If you do not care about cloning anything, then go ahead and install windows on both ssds so they are exactly the same. The next step is verifying that everything is working properly before putting your computer back again.
You want to go to control panel, system and security, select the drive that windows is installed on and run a full chkdsk. Do not interrupt it or shut your computer off during this process as it can cause issues with loading certain parts of windows. This will take multiple hours depending on how many gbs are in your raid1 array. Then you will want to download hard disk tester pro from hercules website . Run their software which will give you a list of errors that need to be corrected on each drive individually whether they are partitioned or formatted. Also at this time make sure to look for any file errors. If everything looks good after running hd tester, then shutdown your computer and install your ssd back into the computer and boot up.
After this process, if your computer starts normally and you have not received any errors from hd tester, then the raid1 profile is working properly. Now it is time to clone one of the ssds onto the other ssd so they are identical again. You can now configure a backup schedule if you want as well. That’s all there is to creating a raid1 array on an ssd! I hope this has been informative for those who might be interested in doing it themselves.