Install Windows Server 2003 to Dynamic Disk RAID-5

By andy ·
Is it possible to install Windows Server 2003 to a software RAID 5 on dynamic disks? I have 4 320 GB HDs and I want to have a single RAID 5 volume with 1 spare drive. I tried installing to one basic disk, then converting to dynamic, but it would only let me create a RAID 5 volume on the 3 drives that windows was not installed on. Any help you can give will be really appreciated.

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You need to create the RAID Array

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Install Windows Server 20 ...

At the first step in the Windows Install so when the very First Blue Screen appears press the F6 key and have a copy of the RAID Drivers copied to the root of a Floppy, when asked push in the floppy and press enter and the RAID Drivers will be installed and at that point you should be able to setup the Array the way that you want it to work.

At least that's how it's supposed to work but as I've never used a Software RAID ever I'm not sure how well it will actually work.


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by dj4904 In reply to You need to create the RA ...

Windows 2003 Server "Dynamic Disk" RAID implementation is not dependant on the controller driver type (other than simply to access the storage device).

You are describing the method for installing Windows 2003 Server onto a system that uses a storage controller whose driver not included in Windows 2003 Server. This has nothing to do with RAID.

The answer to the original poster's question is No. You cannot install Windows 2003 Server to a RAID5 Windows Dymanic Disk array, or any Dymanic Disk for that matter.

In the Windows Pre-Execution environment, Dymanic Disks appear as "Foreign" and not candidate for installation of Windows 2003 Server without reformatting to "Basic" mode.

More information can be found in this Microsoft Knowledgebase Article:


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The answer is NO

by power zhu In reply to wrong

An old topic, you cannot install windows to software RAID5. When you install the OS by installation disk, you can see the dyanmic voumes, but you cannot choose it to install. In fact, you can only install OS in a basic disk and convert to dynamic in disk managment later. In other words, the system can only be in Simple Volume or Mirror Volume, it won't be in Striped/Spanned/RAID5 volume forever. This is the Windows limitation. Contrarily, if someone wants to convert dynamic to basic, they have to delete the dynamic volumes. But fortunately, this problem can be solved now, simply copy the dynamic volume to basic disk.

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