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RAID 1 setup with two WD Green drives

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January 2, 2014 7:42:26 AM

I'm building a new pc and I am trying to pick two HDD's for a RAID 1 setup, just automatically duplicate files for acceptable risk of one failing. Would two of these be good?

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-h...

Why WD? It seems like a widely used and more reliable brand. Why green? The Blue line is small storage and Black and Red lines I feel are more than I need (and $$$).

Also, since I have never done this before, how difficult is it? I've read that this can be set up from within Windows 7 without needing to set up in BIOS. I plan on installing Windows 7 Pro on an SSD first btw. Thank you.
a c 750 G Storage
January 2, 2014 7:46:03 AM

Do not use WD Greens for a RAID. Never ever.

They spin up and down, supposedly to 'save power'. Hence Green in the name. Your RAID situation will choke on these.
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a b G Storage
January 2, 2014 7:47:51 AM

I see an issue with the Green drives - mainly because if either drive goes into power savings mode (this is what the green drives are designed to do), you will have read/write errors in RAID. It is not recommended to use them for this purpose.

The Red and Black drives are designed to work with RAID.

BTW - For most home setups, it is more reliable to have two drives installed, and use a software like SyncBack Free to backup the data from one drive to the other nightly (only updated and/or new files are backed up), so it isn't a long process. With RAID, when one drive fails, you have to purchase another drive, insert it into the RAID and rebuild before you have full speed connectivity to that array. With the two drives and SyncBack Free, if either drive fails, you just point to the 2nd drive....

In most of the systems I build, I put in a small OS drive (usually SSD), and two drives - one for data and one for backup. In a network, they can have two drives, and one of the PC's will have the 3rd that backs up the data.

RAID is NEVER a replacement for backup....
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January 2, 2014 7:49:02 AM

I think far preferable to a RAID1 would be to put one in an external enclosure and just use software like AllWay Sync or other syncing software to backup your data every night or so. Unless you very much need to data redundancy to be instant, and in that case you probably wouldn't be using el-cheapo drives anyway.
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January 2, 2014 8:07:45 AM

ronintexas said:
I see an issue with the Green drives - mainly because if either drive goes into power savings mode (this is what the green drives are designed to do), you will have read/write errors in RAID. It is not recommended to use them for this purpose.

The Red and Black drives are designed to work with RAID.

BTW - For most home setups, it is more reliable to have two drives installed, and use a software like SyncBack Free to backup the data from one drive to the other nightly (only updated and/or new files are backed up), so it isn't a long process. With RAID, when one drive fails, you have to purchase another drive, insert it into the RAID and rebuild before you have full speed connectivity to that array. With the two drives and SyncBack Free, if either drive fails, you just point to the 2nd drive....

In most of the systems I build, I put in a small OS drive (usually SSD), and two drives - one for data and one for backup. In a network, they can have two drives, and one of the PC's will have the 3rd that backs up the data.

RAID is NEVER a replacement for backup....


That system setup of the OS on an SSD and two HDD's, one data and one backup, is just what I am wanting to do. Would this do the job?
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-h...
Or what else would you recommend? Thank you.
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a b G Storage
January 2, 2014 8:14:49 AM

If you purchased two physical hard drives - it will work. The purpose of a backup is to have a duplicate copy of the data on a second physical (not virtual) drive.

This is what I typically buy (or similar):
SSD: Samsung EVO 128GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA2W0...
HDD1: WD Black 1TB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA2W0...
HDD2: WD Black 1TB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA2W0...

SyncBack Free: http://www.2brightsparks.com/freeware/

If you are backing up multiple computers (like I am), the 2nd drive needs to have enough capacity to back up the other drives as well. I back up 4 computers on my network, so the 2nd drive is a 4TB drive.

I setup SyncBack to "MIRROR" the drives daily at night - this will take all new and changed data during that day and synch it to the backup folder.

If my data drive fails, I can immediately change my library to access the 4TB drive, and instantly have access to my data (from the last backup - data not backed up is gone). In the other computers, if the data drive fails, I simply change the library to point to the 4TB drive, and they have instant access to their data as well.

If you have room - make a image of your SSD to the backup drive as well - it will save you a few hours if you lose your SSD.
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January 2, 2014 8:32:34 AM

I do my backups almost exactly like Ronintexas. When I design my machines I always include a second drive that's just for backing up important things and as I get new PC's the data can by put on multiple computers. I use Allway Sync to sync my important data between the drives each night, and then anything I really want to keep (like family photos) will also sync between computers.

RAID1 really isn't the answer to backing up data.
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