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Questions about "RAID".

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#1
I have had recent.. issues with my system and I read that my motherboard supports something called RAID when using a harddrive. Since I mostly use my computer as a tool, for work - I was thinking, is this something useful? I am not very good with these deep computer-tech things however..

First, what is "RAID"?
What do I need to use RAID, I read that I need one more drive (2 a minimum). But must the harddrives be same brand, volume and even model?? The manual doesn't say that much.

Are there any known issues with this RAID thing that I should be aware of?
Will I need a better power supply unit? Running an unknown brand - 550w.

What are differences in RAID 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6??

Tried to find the answer on Wikipedia, but it was too technical for me (not that good with computers..)
 

FordGT90Concept

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#2
RAID is a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives/Disks. Basically, the controller saves data to more than one drive in a specific manner to gain an adantage be it redundancy, performance, or both.

RAID0 and RAID1 requires at least two drives. RAID 5 requires at least 3 drives. RAID 2, 3, 4, and 6 are rare/very expensive corporate-level RAID systems. This site explains the various types in layman terms (ignore the "recommended products portion):
http://www.acnc.com/raid

The drives don't have to be the same brand, volume, or model but it is recommend that they are. The reason being that a RAID is only as big/fast as it's smallest/slowest drive. For example, if you have a 5400 RPM 160 GB drive and a 7200RPM 500 GB drive in RAID1, you'll only see 160 GB worth of storage capacity and read/writes are likely to be limited to how fast the 5400 RPM drive can handle it (because it's the slower of the two).
 
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#3
Thanks for the information. I think this "Mirror" thing in RAID would fit perfectly. Say, can I use more than 2 disks for that? 4 perhaps?? All equal volume, brand and "speeds"?

So that if I would have 2 disks, then it would show up as 1, thus installing windows on "one", would make that the other one gets windows aswell? I think I have to talk to the techies, and let them do this for me (question now, why didn't they think of this first?).
 

FordGT90Concept

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#4
If you're going to use more than two, I would recommend RAID5. If you had 4 1TB drives, you would get:

RAID1: 2 TB, up to 2 drives can fail before data is lost
RAID5: 3 TB, only 1 drive can fail before data is lost

RAID5 would also have better read performance than RAID1.

The most ideal situation is having the same manufacture, same model, same capacity, and same read/write performance but different dates of manufacture so they're less likely to all fail at once.

No matter how many drives are used in a RAID, only one drive letter shows up per array. For example, if you had 20 drives in RAID5, you'd only see one drive letter for that array.

Yup, anything read from or written to the array is coming from multiple drives and going to multiple drives. The controller takes care of the specifics.

RAID can be difficult to set up on Windows XP because of the SATA drivers required. Windows Vista and Windows 7, it isn't very difficult. Just beware that all data on the drives will be lost when the array is created.
 
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#5
Would I still need to do RAID if I'm planning on using more than one HDD for over-all drive space? It'll be SATA and I don't know anything about RAID. So should I leave RAID off so I can have the other drives be seperate drive letters?
 

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#6
Would I still need to do RAID if I'm planning on using more than one HDD for over-all drive space? It'll be SATA and I don't know anything about RAID. So should I leave RAID off so I can have the other drives be seperate drive letters?
No, you would not want to use RAID if you want each drive to show up as an individual drive.

What RAID would do is make all the drives appear as one single drive to the system while using various methods to increase reliability/redundancy and/or increase performance.
 
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#7
No, you would not want to use RAID if you want each drive to show up as an individual drive.

What RAID would do is make all the drives appear as one single drive to the system while using various methods to increase reliability/redundancy and/or increase performance.
Alright so when I have both 1TB HDDs being shown on Windows installation with the comupter I'm building, or motherboard, set RAID to off? The motherboard is an 890GX and I shouldn't do RAID due to the terms stated in my previous post.
RAID I take it would be more optimal for servers I take it.

EDIT: Motherboard is an ASUS 890GX M4A89GTD PRO/USB3
 

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#8
Alright so when I have both 1TB HDDs being shown on Windows installation with the comupter I'm building, or motherboard, set RAID to off? The motherboard is an 890GX and I shouldn't do RAID due to the terms stated in my previous post.
RAID I take it would be more optimal for servers I take it.

EDIT: Motherboard is an ASUS 890GX M4A89GTD PRO/USB3
Servers or workstations that contain data that is important, yes.
 
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#9
Servers or workstations that contain data that is important, yes.
Okay thanks! Extremely helpful too. I'll pass on RAID then unless if it has to do with what's on the motherboard, in the BIOS or set-up. For people such as myself who've only had pre-builts and are building their first computer tower, visual guides would be very beneficial.
 
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#10
Don't forget that Raid 1 (Mirroring) is NOT a good backup solution. Errors, problems, deletions, etc will be written to both drives. Incremental backups on single drives is the way to go, in my opinion anyways.
 
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#11
Don't forget that Raid 1 (Mirroring) is NOT a good backup solution. Errors, problems, deletions, etc will be written to both drives. Incremental backups on single drives is the way to go, in my opinion anyways.
Howabout if I get a "NAS"? They have one at the local store, Seagate blackarmor, 2Tb. It has been on display and I can get it for $150.