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RAIDing Windows XP:
How to Install Windows XP
on a RAID Array of Hard Disk Drives

Last updated: 1/18/2004

DISK MANAGEMENT

42. Login as the Administrator or as a Member of the Administrators Group (Control Panel, User Accounts...).

43. Click Start, right-click My Computer, select Manage, Disk Management.

That will open the Computer Management window.

44. Under Storage in the left pane of the Computer Management window, click Disk Management.

 

 

 

 

45. In the lower-right pane, right-click the Unallocated space on Disk 0, and choose New Partiton.

That will open the New Partition Wizard welcome window.

46. Click Next.

You can have four primary partitions on the hard disk drive or three primary partitions and one extended partition.  The extended partition can be divided into logical drives (which have drive letters like actual drives).  The total number of drive letters a system can have is equal to the number of letters in the English alphabet, or 26.  That includes floppy drives, mapped network drive, etc.  The drive letters or logical drives in an extended partition are assigned automatically by Windows.  With exception of the C: drive, the drive letters of primary partitions and CD-ROM drives can be changed by the user.

I usually select Primary partition. 

47. Click Next.

On large drives, I usually make the second partition about half the remaining disk space or about 40 GBytes (as shown), whichever is smaller.  I use it for digital camera images, downloads, backups (from other computers), junk, etc.

48. Enter the partion size and click Next.

The CD-ROM drive is Drive D: This letter and the CD-ROM drive letter can be changed later, if desired.

49. Next.

If you need to access the partition with Windows 9x or Me you may want to format the Partition for FAT32.  Otherwise, NTFS is the best choice for several reason.  See NTFS, FAT32, FAT16 File Systems and Windows 95, 95 OSR2, 98, Me, NT, and XP for details.

Microsoft states that the Quick format should not be used on a drive that hasn't been formatted before.  The regular format scans the drive for bad sectors and that can take a lot of time.  The quick format can be used and the drive can be checked later with the chkdsk /r command.  I usually check drives with the manufacturer's diagnostics before installing Windows. That can also be done later.

The volume label can be changed now or later.  I usually do it later.

Compression reduces the size of files, folders, etc. on an NTFS partition.  It also reduces performance.  Given the relatively low usage of this partition, I have opted to compress it.  I have not had problems compressing Windows NT, 2000, and XP volumes.  I have seen a lot of problems using compression with windows 95, 98, 98 Se, and ME.  Details on compression are presented in HOW TO: Use File Compression in Windows XP.

50. Repeat the procedure, now of later, for any additional partitions. I usually don't make any more partitons until I need the space.

51. Rerrange hard disk and CD-ROM drive letters, if desired, by right-clicking the drive or partiton in Disk Mangement and selecting Change Drive Letter and Paths. If you want the CD-ROM drive to be your last drive, temporarily give it a very high letter to move it out of the way, assign letters to your partitions, and then reassign the CD-ROM the next open drive letter.

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Copyright, Disclaimer, and Trademark Information Copyright © 1996-2006 Larry F. Byard.  All rights reserved. This material or parts thereof may not be copied, published, put on the Internet, rewritten, or redistributed without explicit, written permission from the author.