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If you are looking for a way to speed up your computers read and write speed and you like taking chances, then Striped Volumes are the way to go.

A striped volume uses the free space on more than one physical hard disk to create a bigger volume. Unlike a spanned volume, a striped volume writes across all volumes in the stripe in small blocks, distributing the load across the disks in the volume.

How does it work ?

A striped volume will for the most part speed up your computer. This is because reads and writes happen across multiple disks simultaneously. Another name for this is RAID 0 (zero) which in truth isn’t real RAID, but gives you some of the same functionality – SPEED.

No Fault Tolerance

However, the additional speed also means there is an increased risk of catastrophic failure leading to severe data loss. The simple explanation is that we place the available space in an array. If ONE of the disks fail, the array breaks, and the data residing on that disk, will be unavailable or lost. The Zero (Raid 0) therefore stand for Zero Backup and Zero Mirroring. Which is why regular backups are essential.

Also, the portions of disk used to create the volume need to be the same size; the size of the smallest free space included in the array will decide how much available space you can use. For example, if a 120 GB disk is striped together with a 100 GB disk, the size of the array will be 200 GB (100 + 100).

So if the above sounds good, then…

Before you go ahead, make sure to back up any data on your hard disks.

Converting a Volume

Striped Volumes require that you have Dynamic Volumes. You can choose to do so before you start or letting the Striped Volume Wizard do it for you. To convert a volume from a Basic Volume to a Dynamic one you have to delete the volume first.

  • Right Click Volume to convert, Choose DELETE
  • Right Click the unallocated volume and choose CONVERT TO DYNAMIC

Repeat steps for all disks you want to convert.

Setting up the Striped Volume

  1. Open the Disk Management console.
  2. Right-click the unallocated space to include in the striped volume and click New Striped Volume.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  4. On the Select Disks page, select from the available disks and add them to the list.
  5. Set the amount of space to use on the disks and click Next.
  6. Assign a drive-letter or choose the default setting, Click Next.
    (You can also mount the volume on an empty NTFS folder on an existing volume)
  7. On the Format Volume page, choose the formatting options for the new volume.
    Windows Vista and Windows 7 does only support NTFS formatting. Click Next.
  8. Click Finish  to create the volume (If the disks are basic disks, you’ll be warned that this operation will convert them to dynamic disks).

Want to know more ?


About Thomas

Computer geek from the age of 7, which amounts to 30 years of computer experience. From the early days (when every computer company had their own OS) of DOS, Windows 1.0 through Seven...

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  1. Pingback: Speed Up your Computer using Striped Volumes [How-To] | Programming Blog

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