Does My Computer Support RAID ?

by Abhishek Bhatnagar on May 17, 2010


If you are confused what is RAID, let me tell you in very brief what it means.


What is RAID ?


RAID or Redundant Array of Identical Disks is a technology that allows high levels of storage reliability from low-cost and less reliable PC-class disk-drive components, via the technique of arranging the devices into arrays for redundancy. (source – wikipedia)


In Simple Words, it helps to protect data from disk failures or Improve performance based on the type of configurations you use it for. I wanted to set up RAID for data safety purpose and so I wanted to know can I setup RAID on my computer.

In this article I will tell you how to check whether your computer can support RAID or not.

RAID support is mainly provided at hardware level by the Disk controllers which are present on the computer’s motherboard. The easiest way to tell whether your computer can support RAID is to check the Motherboard Manual. If you can not locate the Manual for some reasons, you can do the same by searching the specifications of your computer’s motherboard on its manufacturer’s website. To know the motherboard type and model, you can use tools like – PC Wizard.


If you are not able to know the build of your motherboard for some reasons, there is another way. You can check the Disk controller type on your computer. To check the disk controller, press “Windows Key + R” ot go to Control Panel > Device Manager In the run prompt, type “devmgmt.msc”.



This will open Device Manager, on Device Manager, browse to “IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers


Here check the family of the controller circuit, in above case, its “ICH7”, which does not support RAID. Corresponding chipset which support RAID is “ICH7R”, in this name, the suffix “R” represents RAID support. There are more chipsets like ICH10 and ICH10R, usually R suffix will tell you whether there is RAID support or not. If the chipset name is something which is confusing you, just Google about the chipset name and you will get the information on the chipset manufacturer webpage.


If you want to setup RAID even when your computer does not have RAID support in-built on the motherboard, you can purchase a PCI RAID card which will be an add-on hardware with RAID controller chipsets and will allow you to setup RAID. If you are not aware of the internals of your computer, please seek some professional help.

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