RAID on the Cheap: Windows 7 Software RAID vs. inexpensive ‘fake RAID’

How good is Windows 7 software RAID? Is it faster or slower than a cheap hardware controller (aka “fake RAID”)?

This past month I’ve realized the simultaneous need to add more hard drive storage and decrease the probability of losing the data stored within. While I fully realize that redundant hard disks are not a substitute for a backup, I do want to use a RAID array to reduce the likelihood that I have to restore that data from a backup. Also, I plan to put data on that disk that I would be annoyed to lose, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world (i.e. music, movies, etc.).

Disk drives are cheap (1.5TB is currently running around $100), but industrial-grade RAID controllers are not. Being that I’m cheap, have an old (4 years is old, right?) system, and just need a bare-minimum amount of reliability I’m looking for the cheapest way to add a couple of mirrored drives. That basically means that I use a “fake RAID” hardware controller or a solution managed completely by Windows. There are various pros and cons to each, but I’ll tell you up front that Windows 7 software RAID was what I chose because of performance & trust. After the break I’ll get to the details as to why.

Continue reading RAID on the Cheap: Windows 7 Software RAID vs. inexpensive ‘fake RAID’

Where to find CHKDSK results in Vista, Windows 7


My recent hard disk failure made me realize that I had no idea where to find the CHDSK logs that are created when Windows runs CHKDSK at boot. In my case, I had just installed a drive that had a bunch of NTFS corruptions caused by a different computer.

Below I walk though what I think is the easiest way to find the CHKDSK logs (and more) which are available in the Windows Event Log.

Continue reading Where to find CHKDSK results in Vista, Windows 7

Windows 7 Beta available Friday 1/9


On January 9th, the Windows 7 Beta will be available for Windows enthusiasts to download via the Windows 7 page on The Windows 7 Beta is going to be available download-only (we’re not sending out physical media) and available for a limited time to the first 2.5 million people who download the beta.

I’m super excited about this.  Like, compeltely ecstatic.  I’ve been talking up Win7 now for months to my friends and now we really get to show it off and have a ton of people try it.  Yes, I’m pimping out my work because I’m damn proud of it!

Most important, “Give Feedback”!  Everyone who uses Windows 7 will have the opportunity to give Microsoft feedback on pretty much everything. It’s the best way you can help Microsoft understand your experience with Windows 7. And, yes, we’re listening. :)  There’s an easy lil button for you to click that sends us your comments and thoughts and musings.  So, if you find bugs, report them!

For more information, see the Windows 7 page here (  If you want to get it as soon as it comes out, there’s an RSS feed that will let you know as soon as the public Beta becomes available (feed here: