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Tip: Create a Striped Volume in Windows

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. 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 striped volume will determine.

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A striped volume is faster than a simple volume because reads and writes happen across multiple disks at the same time. However, this additional speed comes with an increased risk of catastrophic failure leading to data loss when compared to a volume residing on a single physical disk because the failure of any disk involved in the spanned volume will make the entire volume unavailable. Therefore, it is critical to regularly back up striped volumes.

Before you proceed with this, be sure to back up any data on your hard disks.

To create a striped volume:
1. Open the Disk Management console.
2. Right-click a segment of free-space that you want to include in the striped volume and click New Striped Volume.
3. The New Striped Volume Wizard appears. Click Next.
4. On the Select Disks page, select from the available disks and then click Add to add the disks to the striped volume.
5. Set the amount of space to use on the disks for the striped volume and click Next.
6. On the Assign Drive Letter Or Path page, the default is to assign the next available drive letter to the new volume. You can also mount the volume on an empty NTFS folder on an existing volume. Click Next.
7. On the Format Volume page of the New Striped Volume Wizard, choose the format¬ting options for the new volume. Windows Vista and Windows 7 support only NTFS formatting from the Disk Management snap-in. (To format with FAT or FAT32, you need to use the command line.) Click Next.
8. Click Finish on the summary page to create the volume. If the disks are basic disks, you’ll be warned that this operation will convert them to dynamic disks. Click Yes to convert the disks and create the striped volume.

From the Microsoft Press book The Windows 7 Resource Kit by Mitch Tulloch, Tony Northrup, Jerry Honeycutt, Ed Wilson, and the Windows 7 Team at Microsoft.

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