I'm new to Raid..........


Mar 15, 2012
I recently bought/built this system:

ASRock 990FX Extreme4 Socket AM3+ ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD PHENOM II X4 840 Boxed Processor

2x Crucial Ballistix Sport Series 8GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL10 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Two 4GB Memory Modules) 16GB total

Patriot 60GB 2.5" SATA III 6Gb/s Pyro Solid State Drives (SSD) with SandForce 2281 Controller

3x Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB Desktop Hard Drive WD20EARX

Zotac ZT-50403-10L NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1024MB GDDR5 PCIe 2.0 x16 Video Card

Vantec NexStar SE Dual 2.5" SATA Mobile Rack with Memory Card Reader and USB Ports

2x Scythe Ultra Kaze 120mm 3,000RPM Case Fan

2x Scythe Slip Stream 120mm 1,900 RPM Case Fan

Pioneer Electronics USA BDR-2206B5PK BDR Optical Drive - Retail

OCZ Technology ZX Series 1250 Watt ATX Modular Power Supply

Cooler Master Elite 430 Mid Tower Computer Case

Windows 7 Ultimate

The motherboard says it supports running Raid 0, 1, 5 and 1+0. I am trying to run my operating system on the solid state drive and run the three 2TB hard drives in Raid 5, to hold everything else. I have been having trouble doing so.
I called Asrock and they told me that it is not possible to run Raid 5 for your storage, that you have to run Raid 5 with the operating system on the three drives.
My teacher says it can be run with the os on the ssd and the 3 hdd for storage, he thinks I will need a separate Raid controller card.
Now I contacted Microcenter's online tech support to ask them. They say that the motherboard should be able to, but he thinks I will need two Raid controllers and that I may only be able to run Raid 0 or 1.

So far no one can answer me as to weather or not I can run it the way I would like to.

SO my first question is can you run your operating system on a ssd and use three hdd in Raid 5 for everything else? And does anyone have a clue how to begin to do this?


Also.......I would like to say sorry if it was a long read. I just want to give all info possible to get the answer and help I need.

Thanks in advance :)


3x Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB Desktop Hard Drive WD20EARX - Will not run reliably in a Raid 5 set, they are only supported for Raid 0 or Raid 1.

I didn't look very closely, but I don't see a reason you couldn't do exactly what you asked if you had drives that supported it. That isn't a very uncommon setup at all. Normally you would put the ssd on slot-0 and the other drives on the other ports, make sure the controller is set to raid in your bios, then access the raid bios to configure the 3 2tb drives into a raid 5 set.

Again those drives are a terrible choice for Raid 5 and should not be used, as they will continually drop out of the set. Research WD and tler if you want to learn more about this.


Dec 24, 2011
Onboard Raid 1,0 and 1+0 is fine
But I have found onboard Raid5 to be kinda meh, without dedicated cache performance can be a bit lacking.

Green drives will work in Raid5 but not very reliably if they encounter even the slightest error your Raid is going to drop a drive.
generally if you want to use Raid5 stick to Black series drives (much faster will help a lot) or get the RE series or any that are rated for higher performance or server usage.


Dec 25, 2010
You won't be able to run RAID 5 in the OS, consumer versions of Windows do not support software RAID5. I would not recommend this anyway. Any onboard controller that supports RAID 5 is most like not going to fast and will utilize your CPU for parity calculations. You have 2 options I think, create a RAID 1 array and leave the 3rd drive as a standalone for less important data, or spend the money you would spend on a RAID controller to get a 4th drive, run RAID 10 and you'll have the same amount of usable storage, it will be more reliable than RAID 5 (and more recoverable if you have a problem) and much faster especially for writes.


The only WD drives that will work properly in a raid 5 set are the RE line, the wd blacks will do exactly as mentioned above and continually drop out of the set. I have 3 of them, and can verify that is exactly what they do in raid 5.


Mar 15, 2012
Raid card didn't work :( Microcenter doesn't sell one compatible with windows 7, their website says they do but the boxes themselves say upto windows vista. Ended up running one set raid 1 and one set raid 0, in windows. No option to run raid 10. Hopefully this works. If anyone has any ideas on how to run raid 10 in windows, please let me know.