RAID, a Redundant Array of Inexpensive (or Independent) Disks is a technology that allows computers to have increased drive speed and data redundancy. It combines two or more disks into one logical drive. This can be done on both hardware and software levels.

To connect two physical hard drives into a RAID system, they need to be the exact same. Creating a RAID array using two external disks, or drives, requires the use of software. It also requires the use of the two external drives.

Before you start, both external hard drives need to be connected to your computer. Make sure your computer knows they are there by going into My Computer and making sure they show up. They should be listed under your hard disk drives.

Now, to start this process, you will first click on the start button in the lower left of the Windows screen. Now you want to enter the text “compmgmt.msc” into the run box. Now press the “Enter” key.

Once you’ve opened the computer management window, click on the “Disk Management” heading in the left-most frame. Now right click one of the external disks you want to connect into an array. Select the “Convert to dynamic disk” heading.

From the dialog box that appears, select the other hard drive you want to add to the array. Now click on the “Convert” button. When prompted on whether or not to proceed, click “Yes”. Doing this combines the two external drives into one RAID disk.

This is accomplished through Windows’ dynamic disk service programmed in the operating system. Depending on the size and speed of the drives, the process may take several minutes. Once it has finished your computer will now be using RAID for these disks.

You must always use both hard drives together in RAID; they can no longer be separated. Be aware that any information previously on the external disks will be erased during this process. Make sure you only used a matched pair of drives, same manufacturer, same model, and same capacity.

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