Whereas many organizations opt for the idea of having a number of hardware RAID devices in their arrays and servers, some companies and individuals head down the root of having a Virtual Raid setup.
A Virtual Raid setup simply put is having one large drive partitioned off into a number of other drives that the computer recognizes only without having the use of more than one physical drive. It is a similar idea to partitioning the hard drive in a desktop computer and using part of that drive as a recovery partition whilst the rest of the drive is used for the storage of information and installation of applications.
Virtual Raid devices are created using a variety of different software packages and allow the user to create partitions of varying sizes on one drive without spending money on additional hardware but there is a risk inherent in this even though one might think the process is cheaper and more efficient.
RAID – or Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives to give it its technical term – is something that Windows can use or can be created using third party software.
Using Windows to create Virtual Raid drives is relatively easy to do and allows you to create the equivalent of Raid 0, 1, 5, etc. but will simply refer to them as spanned volumes. An example of this would be to take several 5GB hard drives and format them through the Windows operating system so that they appear as one large drive made up of individual 5GB units.
Although this is handy if you are not in a position to have a hardware array to handle the task for you there are downsides; one of the most obvious being a breakdown in a particular partition of the disk which then renders your Virtual RAID disk unusable. In doing so you may well lose valuable data or indeed access to your operating system, this is particularly important should you be using a dual boot operating system.
Again as we have touched on before there are a myriad of solutions available on the Internet but all of them carry a certain degree of risk. The biggest risk involved is that the information contained on the Virtual RAID drives becomes unreadable and therefore no use at all which leaves the user with no other alternative than to format in the hope of making the drive functional.
With 14 years experience behind us www.easyrecovery.co.uk can help you recover the information and data from your Virtual RAID device and may well be able to help you reconstitute the drive so that it can be used again as part of the other partitioned disk space.
Ask us for advice before rendering the partition to either a Windows or third party format or indeed simply having the disk replaced.