Build a RAID on a home PC

A Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) setup in a PC will greatly increase capacity, reliability and speed. Setting up RAID in a PC is straightforward. RAID uses multiple hard drives a create a single storage solution and will protect against drive failure using it’s inherent ‘redundancy’.

First thing to decide is either ‘data striping’ which spreads your information across multiple drives (minimum three) for efficiency or ‘striping and mirroring’ which protects data by mirroring it across multiple disks. There are many RAID levels and it’s useful to know which level is preferred before starting this process.

How to configure a RAID 5 array (data striping)

1. Open Settings from the Windows Start button, then select System and storage

2. Look for More storage settings > Manage storage spaces

3. In the new window select Create a new pool and storage space, select the drives and click Create pool

4. Enter the necessary information under the name and drive lettering

5. Click the resiliency type and select Parity

6. Under Size, enter the desired capacity and size settings

7. Click Create storage space and activate the array

How to configure a RAID 10 array (data striping and mirroring)

1. Follow steps 1 to 3 above

2. From the drive selection menu create two separate pools

3. Select a pair of drives and click Create pool to setup the first mirror

4. Enter the necessary information under name and drive headings

5. Under resiliency, click Resiliency type dropdown and select Two-way mirror

6. Enter the desired size capacity

7. Click Create storage space to activate the first mirrored drive pair

8. Repeat to create a second mirrored drive pair

9. Visit Windows Disk Management by pressing Windows + X keys at once

10. Click the first pair and select Delete volume to clear out file systems. Repeat as necessary

11. Right click one of the drive pairs and select New striped volume. Select other mirrored pairs wanted for the array and click Next

12. Click Finish

Further reading

How to install a new hard drive in your computer

Fixing a degraded RAID

Cloning a SSD to hard drive