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About to RAID

Discussion in 'Storage' started by Tsiap, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. Tsiap New Member

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    Hello once again guys, I need your help once more.
    Just build my new rig and I'm about to re-install my OS (put 32bit windows on it by mistake) and I'm really thinking to RAID to get the faster speeds possible.

    But I feel I'm totally lost, I have read through some threads in here and on the internet, I even checked Wikipedia but It didn't much.

    First of all, I'd like to get some info about RAID. From all I've read, there are several type of raids, some preferred for speed, others for data safety, with some you "lose" disc space, also there is hardware and software raid.

    So, how many RAID types are there really? And what does each one of them do? Which one is the fastest, and also which one uses all your space?
    Do I need to have identical hard drives to RAID?
    What is the difference between hardware and software RAID, and how do I do each one of these?
    Any help would be awesome, thanks!
  2. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    A bunch, but there are really only 4 types used today.

    RAID0 = Spans the data across multiple drives to improve performance with no redundancy.
    RAID1 = Mirrors the data across 2 drives for redundancy with a minor performance improvement.
    RAID5 = Uses parity to provide data redundancy against one drive failure. Requires a minimum of 3 drives
    RAID6 = Uses parity to provide data redundancy against two drive failures. Requires a minimum of 4 drives.


    The answer to both question is RAID0. However, with RAID0 if one drive dies, the data on all the drives is lost.


    No, but it is preferred. And if you use drives with different sizes, they all will be treated like they are the size of the smallest drive. So if you have a 1.5TB and a 500GB, both drives will be considered 500GB, so your total space will only be 1TB.

    Hardware RAID uses a hardware controller, either on the motherboard or an add-on card, to manage the RAID array. This is the method you want.

    Software RAID uses software inside the OS to manage the RAID. You don't want to use this, and I don't think you even can with Win7 if you want to boot from the RAID array.
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  3. linuxGivesPower New Member

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    To get an overview over the different raid-levels i simply recomend to look at the first chapter of the wikipedia artticle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID

    For personal use I suppose a RAID 5 configuration would fit your needs. It makes sense with 3 disks that should be same size. You loose 1/3 of your overall capacy but you gain a significant performance improve (nearly double read/write speed) and one of your disks may fail and you go without data loss.

    Everything depends on your hardware setup.

    Do you want a software Raid (more flexible and hardware independent but difficult to set up)?
    Or a hardware RAiD managed by the SATA Controller? This is very easy to maintain - Windows will only see one device as if you only had one disk.

    How many disks do you want to use. If you alredy have them - are they same size/speed?
    How are they connected - I assume SATA?

    For installation instruction I cannot tell a lot since I'm only experienced in setting up software RAIDs within Linux.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  4. alexsubri

    alexsubri New Member

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    My setup is like this:

    RAID 0 = 640GB (Samsung 320GB each @ 7,500 RPM) Origin, non-steam gaming/Editing/Movies/Music
    Single HDD = 1 TB (Seagate Barracuda 7,2001TB) - Data for programs/steam games

    If you do a lot of editing/gaming, I would recommend Raid 0 because it will help you improve speeds as for as encoding,saving/editing raw data files
  5. Tsiap New Member

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    So I have two different opinions, but with RAID5 I lose some disc space, which is something I don't want..
    Which is faster RAID0 or RAID5?
    I have 2 1TB HDDs tho the one is Hitachi and the other Seagate, does this matter? Also do I have to format them to RAID?

    How can I say if my drives are 100% healthy before doing anything, so I can be more secure and more sure that they wont fail in a long term (I'll still backup tho)
  6. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    RAID5 with most modern controllers offers a good balance of performance and redundancy. However, RAID0 is faster than RAID5, but lacks redundancy.

    No, the different brand doesn't matter, it is preferable that they are the same brand, actually the same model, but it is ok to mix and match as long as they are the same size.

    Yes, all data on the drives will be erased when you create the RAID array.

    There are a few tests you can run to check drive health, however nothing will ensure that one of the drives won't fail tomorrow. Hard drives are the computer's ticking time bombs, I've seen drives test completely healthy one day and be dead the next.
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  7. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    If you want speed, go with RAID 0. Just make sure you backup the data in case of a failure of either drive.
    RAID 1 gives you protection against a single HDD failure, but it is not a backup. If one drive corrupts it will be copied to the other. You still need a backup.

    My two drives in RAID 0 have been running for a long time ( a couple of years), but that does not mean they won't die in the near future. Either way you have to have backups.
  8. Tsiap New Member

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    The project kinda suspended, my main HDD where I store all my files, is probably bricked, if so I wont be dealing with PCs for a long time

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