How to Create a RAID in Windows

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To gamers, a raid usually means you and your friends go and conquer an adventure. In terms of Chia, Raid means that you use drives together to act as one. RAID is an acronym for a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. There are many different types of RAID configurations. These are RAID0, RAID1, RAID10, RAID5 and RAID6. Each raid has its own benefits and downsides. In Chia, we use RAID in order to speed up plotting. In this post, I’ll go over how to configure a RAID0 in Windows 10.

In addition to there being different RAIDs, there are different ways to activate it. There is Hardware RAID and Software RAID. Hardware RAID means that you have an add-in card in your computer with its own processor that does the heavy lifting of the RAID. Software RAID means that the operating system or some piece of software does the RAID using the CPU. Windows 10 has a method of activating a software raid without other software. To do this, do the following:

  1. Right-click on the Windows logo down at the bottom left. Then select Disk Management.
  2. Once the new window opens, you will see all of your disks. Find the two disks that you want to RAID. They will probably show up with drive letters like this:
Disk Manager Window

In my example, the drives are E: and G:. These are my NVMe drives. Before doing this next step, make sure you save any data you need to save from the drives. Since these are used for Chia farming, there is no data to save.

3. Right-click in the white area of each disk and select Delete Volume for E and G. You will see the white area turn into diagonal lines when you do it right:

Disk Manager Window — Delete Volumes

Once complete, both disks will go from blue to black to show that the drives are unallocated.

Disk Manager Windows — Unallocated Volumes

4. Next, Right click the white part of the first disk and select New Striped Volume as shown below:

Disk Manager — New Striped Volume

A new window will pop-up when you do this.

5. Click Next in the new window. In the next window, you will be displayed both of your disks. Select the second disk and then click the add button as shown below.

New Striped Volume Wizard

After you click Add, both disks should show up on the right side of the window and the Totale volume size should be double:

Once you verify this, click next

6. On the next screen, pick the drive letter you want and then click next

7. The next window will display options on how to format the volume. Make sure to select NTFS, the default allocation size and label your new volume. I’m currently experimenting with a 64k allocation size, so you can try that as well if you wish. I don’t know what impacts it will have though. In my testing, 64k did speed up a single plot by a few minutes. Also make sure that Perform a Quick Format is checked. Then click Next.

8. The final window displays all the settings you have chosen. If this is correct, click Finish.

9. A new window will appear asking you if its ok for the disks to be dynamic. Click Yes on this box. We are using these as a temp drive for Chia so there are no operating systems on it.

That should be it. Windows will take a little time to activate the raid. You will now see that the disks show up as Green in the disk manager and have the same drive letter associated with each one:

RAID0 has its advantages. It combines the performance of both drives into one. Look below at the before and after in speed:

Before – Single NVMe
After — RAID0 NVMe’s

From the data above you can see that not every number is doubled when doing a RAID. I’m currently doing RAID testing to see if its even worth doing it for Chia versus using the NVMe’s as separate drives. But, this guide is for someone that wants to activate RAID. Good luck to every one! For historical reasons, I’d like to catalogue the NetSpace. The current NetSpace is 2 EiB.

8 thoughts on “How to Create a RAID in Windows

  1. Based on my tests, if you are plotting 8 plots at a time, the disk read/write speed never goes above 1.2GB/s. So I’m not sure if there is any significant benefit in using raid0 if the extra speed overhead cant be used. Maybe it makes sense for SSDs, but NVME drive are already so incredibly fast. An interesting thing to test would be whether or not using a RAID0 NVME drive would allow you to use shorter stagger times?

    1. there might be a use case for NVMEs that are suffering on sustained write speed.
      Interested to know the result of your testing!

      1. I dont think there is such a thing as NVME drives that suffer on sustained speed. Even the worst NVME drives should be able to do 1GB/s, and 99% of consumer drives operate between 3GB/s and 8GB/s on a single drive

    2. I think RAID 0 should lessen the stagger time since you have 2 disks now that both read or write the data in 50/50 capacity of that data. meaning 256GB od plot is split in 128GB each which will halven the stagger time by half, at least in theory.

      I’d also reckon to say that RAID 0 provides you with speeds that enable the lots to be created sooner than others by each of the disks taking one part in reading or writing the data.

      Meaning in this exmaple (purely an example)
      if one NVME got one plot in 10 minutes.
      then two NVMEs can make one plot in 5 minutes in RAID 0 mode, meaning you could potentially start your operations 5min ahead of non raid version where you would start with 2 plots after 10 minutes. meaning one plot is still ahead 5 minutes.

      Got a little philosophical :v

  2. Maybe a RAID 0 has better performance by hardware instead of software?

  3. idk where my comment is but i’ll write it again-

    Imagine having 2 NVMEs and one plot takes to create 10 minutes.
    You will get 2 plots after 10 minutes.

    If you raid 2 NVMes you will get 1 plot within 5 minutes.
    You will be overhead 2nd plot for 5 minutes.

    Meaning instead of 2 plots starting to be copied after 10 minutes
    you start with 1st plot within first 5minutes. you spare on time.

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