Software & Apps

What Is a RAID Controller?

What Is A Raid Controller

Windows laptop and desktop computer systems are not immune to system crashes. If you are worried about the safety and security of your stored data, you should consider using RAID controllers.

Quick Answer

A RAID controller is a software program that manages your data stored across various hard disks and provides an extra layer of protection and performance. It is a layer of abstraction between the operating system and physical data storage.

We have put together a comprehensive guide for you elaborating on what is a RAID controller and how you can easily configure it on Windows 10 with easy step-by-step instructions.

What Is a RAID Controller?

RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. The RAID configuration stores a second copy of all your data across several hard disks for safekeeping. On the other hand, the controller manages all the drives and provides an added layer of protection and performance.

Serving as a layer of abstraction between the operating system and physical disks storing data, a RAID controller presents groups of disks as logical units for applications. As a result, it can access multiple copies of data on several physical devices, improves performance, and adds another layer of security in case of a system crash.

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These controllers can be either hardware or software-based. A hardware-based RAID uses a physical controller to manage the array as a PCI or PCI Express card. The software one uses the hardware resources of the host, like the CPU and DRAM.

Configuring RAID in Windows 10

If you are wondering how to configure RAID in Windows 10, our 2 step-by-step methods will help you perform this task without much hassle.

Method #1: Using the Storage Spaces Utility

Here are the steps you need to follow to set up RAID using the Storage Spaces utility provided by Windows 10.

Step #1: Access Storage Spaces From the Control Panel

In the Windows search box at the bottom, type control and choose “Control Panel” from the search results. Find the “View by” option at the top and change it to “Large icons”. Next, select “Storage Spaces” among all the icons on your screen. Click “Yes” in the pop-up window to access the app.

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Step #2: Create a Storage Pool

Click “Create a new pool and storage space link”. All the hard drives in your computer will be checked by Windows 10, and it will finally select the disks you wish to use for configuring RAID. Click “Create pool” at the bottom.

Step #3: Finish the Process

You can now give the storage pool a name of your choice and choose a “Drive letter” and a “File System” from the drop-down menu. Next, go to the “Resiliency” section in the pop-up window and select the RAID type. Select any of the four options (i.e., “Simple”, “Two-way mirror”, “Three-way mirror”, or “Parity”) from the drop-down menu.

What Are the RAID Types?

The “Simple (no resiliency)” option is known for pooling the disks, both the “Two-way mirror” and “Three-way mirror” are similar to RAID 1, and “Parity” is like RAID 5.

Once you choose the resiliency type, click “Create storage space” at the bottom. Wait until the process completes.

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Method #2: Setting Up RAID in BIOS

Here are the steps you need to follow for setting up RAID based on the Intel motherboard in BIOS.

Step #1: Enter BIOS Storage

Restart your PC and press Delete or any function key (according to your model) to enter BIOS. Press F7 in the BIOS Utility window to open the “Advanced Mode” and choose the “PCH Storage Configuration” from the available options.

Step #2: Enable SATA Controller 

Click the “SATA Module Selection” in the “Advanced” tab and set it to “Intel RST Premium With Intel Optane System Acceleration (RAID).” Now, select “Enabled” from the drop-down menu next to “SATA Controller(s)”.

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Select the “Boot” tab from the top and choose “Disabled” from the bar next to “Launch CSM”. Finally, press the F10 key and click “OK” to restart your computer.

Step #3: Create the RAID Volume

Once your PC reboots, access the “Advanced Mode” in BIOS and click “Advanced” at the top. From all the options listed before you, select “Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology”.

Click “Create RAID Volume” on the screen, set the “Name” and “RAID Level”, and choose the disks you wish to use by setting them to “X”. Set the RAID capacity and click “Create Volume” to save the changes successfully.

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All Done!

You have successfully configured the RAID in Windows 10.

Keep in Mind

Before configuring RAID in Windows 10, you need to insert at least 2 hard disks into your PC. It is also important to back up all the data on your hard drives before initiating the configuration process.

Summary

In this guide, we’ve discussed what a RAID controller is and how you can use simple step-by-step methods to configure it easily in Windows 10.

We hope one of these methods has worked for you, and you can now easily create a data backup for yourself to prevent any data loss in case of a system crash.

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