Hello, so I'm trying to check the health of my hard drive with crystal disk info, but I read somewhere it doesn't work with raid..so could someone explain what raid is? I tried googling it, but it doesn't make much sense besides that it's a type for storage/hard drives? Also since I can't monitor my health because its raid, are there any other applications that I could use? I tried HDDScan and Disk clean up with no luck. Also my hard drive is about 4-5years old, should I replace it?..actually I'll probably be able to answer that after I get a health check. Would love any help or replies.
There are different versions of RAID the most common would be RAID 0 and RAID 1
RAID 0 taking 2 drives of the same size, combine it as a single large drive and performance doubles.
RAID 1 also takes 2 drives of the same size, combine it as a single drive, performance does not increase, but data is automatically backup to the 2nd drive.
The downside with RAID 0 is if one drive fails then data on both drives is lost
For RAID 1, it's meant for hard drive failures, so when one drive fails then the system can still boot with the 2nd drive, until the broken HDD is replaced and the RAID is rebuilt. RAID 1 does not protect from viruses or windows crashes because if one drive has a virus, that virus
will automatically transfer to the 2nd drive.
Have you looked at the pics on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_RAID_levels ? These basically visually describe data in each iteration of RAID. RAID is used mainly for servers to minimize downtime, offer on the fly replacement of Hard Drives without impacting users, and total redundancy that half the drives could fail and the server could still function and recover.
RAID at the user level is pretty useless normally because it also offers a higher risk then gain, and normally for the 'Geekier' folks to use. Normally for desktop it is RAID 0 or 1, which provides a larger hard drive by comibing two smaller drives OR offering redundancy that if one drive breaks the second one can restore things with a replacement drive with no data loss (theroretically). The problem is, with a system like Windows there is always a glitch and if you have one simple small ' glitch' with RAID, the data is totally LOST no recovery ever. The RAID is 'broken' and can't be in anyway restored.
Personally if you are running Windows you can retrieve the SMART info http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/disk_smart_view.html to view the health of the drive, but really when a drive is ready to go, it is like a light switch, it just fails. If you have a system over 4 years old you should replace it anyway, as it is incompatible with current hardware and software demands.