Is it possible to set up RAID between an internal and external drive using Thunderbolt?

Nate December 16, 2011

Is it possible to set up a RAID 0 with an internal SSD and an external SSD connected by Thunderbolt and then install OS X, Parallels, and Windows 7 on the RAID? The benefit of this would be one of security as the computer will not function unless the external is connected.

  1. Mike
    December 16, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I'm afraid this won't be possible. RAIDs can be setup on two levels - Software and Hardware.

    For a hardware RAID all drives have to be connected to the same controller e.g. the SATA controller of the southbridge or some dedicated RAID controller.

    A software RAID is setup via the operating system or some third party software. In either case it is OS or software depended and won't be recognized by the others.
    If you setup a software RAID1 in Mac OS X (Disk Utility) for example it will be recognized on any other Mac OS X computer but for Windows it will still be two individual drives with an unknown file system.

    The second thing is stability. Although Thunderbolt is a fast platform a RAID across different interfaces is always considered risky and unstable. You will most likely see your RAID being degraded quite often.

    • Nate
      December 17, 2011 at 2:33 am

      Who can build me a dedicated controller in my mbp?

      • Mike
        December 17, 2011 at 7:58 am

        You can't, period. The MacBook Pro has a single logic board which does not offer an hardware raid controller.

        • Nate
          December 17, 2011 at 3:16 pm

          so it needs two logic boards and a dedicated RAID controller?

        • Mike
          December 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm

          Again, you simply can't...

          How do you want to build another logic board let alone a RAID controller into a MacBook Pro? 
          In case you didn't know this is how the MacBook Pro interior looks like. There simply is no place to build anything into it.

          The only Mac you can setup a hardware RAID with a controller is the Mac Pro. Any other Mac only supports software RAID.

  2. Anonymous
    December 16, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Boot Up From A Thunderbolt SSD Should Bring Some Benefits

    the only way to find out is to try it, maybe over the time you experience dawn of performance?

    Using Thunderbolt with Boot Camp and Windows 7

    Using Thunderbolt with Boot Camp and Windows 7

    LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt and windows 7

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    April 12, 2011 at 12:06 pm

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