Ever since I installed Vista Ultimate on my home machine, I've had grand visions of setting up Windows Media Center with my lifetime collection of media on a terabyte RAID5 array. Windows NT used to include a software RAID5, so if you weren't too concerned about performance, you could run a RAID array without having to buy any extra equipment.

Of course, my hardware purchases of late have been predicated around this. I bought three Samsung HD501LJ 500 GB SATA drives. Cheap, well reviewed, I knew I'd be in for a treat. They arrived a few days ago, and I got my first ugly surprise: not enough SATA power leads on my power supply to power them all. A quick trip to the local computer shop got me a standard-to-SATA power connecter adaptor, and I was back in business. I installed and powered up the new drives, and went to the disk manager to set up the RAID array.

Hmmm, that's odd - no option for 'stripe with parity.' I did a web search and got some instructions for using the command line to set up the RAID array. My sole reward was a pithy message informing me RAID5 was no longer supported by the utility.

Very... Disappointed!

Ah well. So much for doing it on the cheap. I'll order an SATA-based hardware RAID5 controller and set up my dream system.

In the mean time, though, doff your caps and join me in a moment of silence for Windows Software RAID5 support. It will be missed.