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is raid 0 really that unsafe?

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August 11, 2013 8:16:07 PM

i didnt know anything about RAID until a few days ago when i watched some videos on youtube about them, (i've heard about them all the time) and it seems a pretty intresting way to increase performance of HDDs when you dont need absurds ammout of space, but i keep hearing how raid 0 is unsafe this, unsafe that, but is it really? i know if one hard drive fails you lose everything, but i havnt had a hard drive fail on me yet, exept the ones that were supposed to, like my first 750gb HD back when that was one of the largest you could get, and it ran for almost 10 years before it showed any signs of failure.

long story short, does raid 0 tax the hard drives more then normal? or is it just as "unsafe" as running a single hard drive?

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August 11, 2013 8:21:30 PM

I've had a raid 0 array going on two 160GB Maxtor Drives for 8? years now. No problems, although the drives make a lot of noise. I don't expect them to last much longer. I've another one that's 4+ years with no issues. Of course, both PC's are used for gaming and I don't care if I lose the data...must be why they last so long. Raid 0 longevity is inversely proportional to the value of the data contained within the array
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August 11, 2013 8:24:15 PM

Not really, you just have 2 places that can fail instead of one. I was running raid 0 with a backup onto another harddrive for awhile just in case one of the drives in my raid did fail.
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a b G Storage
August 11, 2013 8:26:51 PM

I have had one RAID 0 set fail and I have had multiple rigs running them for years. I still run them, but then I back up data regularly too. If I can use SSDs though, I won't even run spinners.
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a c 89 G Storage
August 11, 2013 8:26:54 PM

It's not that it's not safe, or is bad for the drives, but when you look at the different types of raid, this is probably the one with the most likelihood for losing data because if 1 drive fails you lose everything that was on both drives. As long as your data is backed up, or you can recreate it easily then it's not a real problem.
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August 11, 2013 8:27:07 PM

RAID 0 has never been a problem for those who perform regular backups.
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a b G Storage
August 11, 2013 8:28:36 PM

Raid 0 does not tax hard drives more than normal. In fact, it would be less because the workload is split across 2 or more drives. People say it's unsafe because typically, raid setups are used in commercial applications where a degree of failsafe is required. In that environment you need something more like Raid 5 for example. If all you are doing is going to be using a raid setup at home, where you want an extra boost of performance then raid 0 is the way to go, unless of course, you want the redundancy then you go with 5. Anyways, I've been running the same Raid 0 setup with no problems for about 2 years now, hasn't given me problems unless I did something wrong of course. Usually tinkering with something and end up crashing windows lol Also, the quality of the hard drives and controller should be taken into account. Don't buy a no-name brand raid card, or a motherboard that has one built in. I have had lots of problems with those. Adaptec and Intel make great cards/chips. As far as hard drives, stick with popular ones, like seagate and western digital. People will say one is better than the other and blah blah blah. But, when it comes down to it, they make great hard drives, once in a while a lemon does indeed pop out, in that case, send it back for replacement, simple.
Have a good one.
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Best solution

August 11, 2013 8:34:41 PM

It is more dangerous than a single drive. But as-per the people before me, not by a huge amount. The odds of a failure are 1−(1−r)^n (Thanks Wikipedia) Where r is the failure rate, and n is the number of drives.

That is, if a drive has a 1 in 100 chance of failing, 1 drive: 1-(.99)^1 = 1% chance of failing, 2 drives: 1-(.99)^2 = ~2%
3 : ~3%

What if the failure rate were higher? I don't know the odds of a give disk failing, ask Google for those numbers. 1 : 5%, 2: 9.75%, 3: ~14.3%

My math could be wrong, but I blame Wikipedia. It seems right to me. As you can see, you really start gambling when you get to higher storage levels. If you are alright with risking losing everything (other than what is already backed up) I say go for it. Personally, I am all HDD, no RAID. Don't have the money to spend on SSDs, especially since I just don't need that performance yet.
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August 12, 2013 4:32:23 AM

Robert Pankiw said:
It is more dangerous than a single drive. But as-per the people before me, not by a huge amount. The odds of a failure are 1−(1−r)^n (Thanks Wikipedia) Where r is the failure rate, and n is the number of drives.

That is, if a drive has a 1 in 100 chance of failing, 1 drive: 1-(.99)^1 = 1% chance of failing, 2 drives: 1-(.99)^2 = ~2%
3 : ~3%

What if the failure rate were higher? I don't know the odds of a give disk failing, ask Google for those numbers. 1 : 5%, 2: 9.75%, 3: ~14.3%

My math could be wrong, but I blame Wikipedia. It seems right to me. As you can see, you really start gambling when you get to higher storage levels. If you are alright with risking losing everything (other than what is already backed up) I say go for it. Personally, I am all HDD, no RAID. Don't have the money to spend on SSDs, especially since I just don't need that performance yet.


Ok, makes sense, raid 0 had the same failure chance as two hard drives, but with the added fact that all data goes if one disk goes. Just the way people put it makes it like they could blow up any second if you don't back them up every day.
Thanks all for the answers.
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