This step-by-step Windows Vista tutorial provides instruction on how to create a striped volume to optimize disk performance.
Creating a striped volume can double your hard drive throughput and significantly speed up your PC. It is especially well-suited for high end gaming, graphics manipulation, video editing, and databases, as well as websites that are on a server. A striped volume is supplemental to the hard drive that Vista runs from.
A striped volume is made up of two or more hard drives of the exact same capacity and speed, which are combined to create one virtual hard drive. When a file is saved to a striped volume, half will be saved to one of the drives and the other half to the other drive. Your hard drive will read the file from both drives simultaneously, significantly speeding up disk read/write.
NOTE: this option is only available on Vista’s Ultimate and Business editions.
Tip #1: Create a Striped Volume
Obtain two identical hard drives and install them into your computer. These will be separate from the hard drive on which you already have Vista installed.
- Open the Start Menu and right-click Computer. Select Manage.
- Click on Disk Management in the left-hand column. Your two additional hard drives will be displayed in Disk Management.
Right click on the first one, then click on New Striped Volume. This will open the New Striped Volume Wizard.
- Click the Next button, which takes you to the Select Disks page. Select the two new hard drives. Click Add. This will add the drives to the striped volume.
- Indicate the amount of disk space that is to be used in your stripped volume. Click Next.
- Assign a drive letter to the volume, then click Next.
- Choose the formatting options that you want (ideally NTFS). Click Next.
- Click on the Finish button on the summary page. You have now created a new striped volume.
Using Your Striped Volume
Once you have created your striped volume, it will be displayed in your system by the Drive letter that you assigned it, for example E: drive or F: drive. You will be able to save pictures, music videos, and other files in your new striped volume, or edit them from this location. You can run video games from this drive – simply create a folder and call it Games, and then choose this folder as the your installation path to install the game.
While a striped hard drive doubles the available disk space of one drive, it also doubles the risk of losing your data. This is because if one of the disks crashes, the whole volume will crash too, and you will lose all saved data. Thus, a striped drive is not a substitute for a good backup plan.