SSD w/ 2 HDD on RAID 0?

Hi Guys,
So I'm currently running my OS and keeping all my files on a samsung 128gb SSD, didn't have the cash on hand to purchase another drive at the time. I've been looking into some options for tossing in another TB of space into my desktop (for gaming space for older games, does not to be that THAT high of performance) and have been seeing a lot of suggestions about using a RAID 0 config with two 500 gb 7200 HDDs. My question is whether or not it is possible to run my OS as it is (without reformatting it) on my SSD and then install two additional drives that will be in RAID 0. Essentially, I'd rather get the increased performance of the RAID setup but purchasing another 128 gb SSD just won't cut it for my needs.

Thanks for any help.

4 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Mack, yes you can run a RAID-0 array without reformatting as long as your OS stays on the SSD. But you need to be aware that while performance will increase, you double your chances of losing your data to disk failure. What you are storing on the RAID-0 array does not require that kind of performance, and it may actually hinder performance due to file size vs stripe-size. Most files, especially in older games, are smaller than the 128k stripe-size that you would typically set up for RAID. So when a file is stored that is smaller than 128k in size, the entire file will reside on one disk and you lose the benefits of RAID-0 (it then only reads from that one disk instead of both). So my recommendation is to go with a single 1TB disk.
  2. Leave everything you currently have on the SSD. You can then (assuming you have available SATA ports and hardware support) install the two HDD’s in RAID 0. After the disks are installed and formatted. You can install your old games on the RAID array just change the install path during install. If your SSD is full you can also uninstall programs from there and install them to the array. you do not need to format and reinstall windows on the SSD.
  3. Best answer
    may/may not.
    You will need to change the BIOS control from AHCI to Raid.
    For example, as many have found out that if the Bios was set to say IDE and you change it to AHCI (or Visa versa) you will not be able to boot - the correction in this case is simple and does not require reinstall.

    If the SSD and the pair of HDDs are controlled separately, no problem.
    If they are on the same controller, SIMPLE test.
    Go to bios and change from AHCI to Raid, save reboot:
    .. If the system boots to OS then the ANSWER is YES do not have to re-install.
    .. If the system does NOT boot, then you will need to investigate converting AHCI -> Raid with out re-installing the OS.

    Added: did Not see your system. If AMD and you change the bios from ahci to Raid you will need to verify that TRIM will be passed - Just being enabled in the OS does NOT mean that it is passed to the SSD. Intel, using the Intel driver is No problem as with the newest driver TRIM is passed when the SSD is NOT a member of array. -With the 7Series Intel MB and the latest drive TRIM is passed EVEN if the SSD is a member drive of an array.
  4. Awesome responses thanks all!
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