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RAID 0... Without data loss?

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June 2, 2014 5:10:14 AM

Hi all,

I own two identical 500Gb WD Blues (full of lovely data), and may own a small ssd in the future.

My windows 7 installation is installed on one of the drives along with archives of old games, the other is for game storage and recording gameplay.

I wondered if it would be possible to create RAID 0 with the two 500Gb drives, without having to back anything up, as I don't have a simple way to back up 1Tb of data. If this isn't possible, I wondered what other alternatives there are to setting up RAID 0.

Thanks in advance!

More about : raid data loss

a b G Storage
June 2, 2014 5:21:15 AM

It's not reliable, you will need back ups. If one drive fails, you will lose all of your data.

Your only options are to either backup daily to a 1TB disk (although a brand new SATA6 1TB disk will probably read/write faster than two older SATA3 drives in RAID0) or to use a RAID-10, which would require 4 disks.
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a c 86 G Storage
June 2, 2014 5:26:24 AM

You can't set it up without formatting(initializing) the drives as raid 0. You would have to back-up your data before creating the raid.
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a b G Storage
June 2, 2014 5:27:51 AM

Just run the two drives as two separate drives. Set up Sync Toy, Allway Sync, or some other sync tool to sync important folders between the drives. That way if one fails then your important data (family photos, documents, etc) are on two drives which should keep them safe from anything barring a fire or someone stealing your machine. RAID0 is really not worth the risk, and anything on the volume should be assumed to be lost at all times in order to keep any data safe it should be backed up at all times in that scenario.

RAID0 is more for times when you have something that seriously needs the throughput just while you are working on it, and then you move it to a safe storage when you are done. It's not really meant for a working drive, especially when they are consumer level drives. Some people use them for a gaming drive because it will load things faster ... and lets face it, who really cares if you lose the volume and have to reinstall a few games.
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a b G Storage
June 2, 2014 5:39:15 AM

Short answer, it's possible, depending on the RAID controller being used.

Better answer, no. You're better off migrating the data from the two drives to another drive, creating the RAID0 array from the two 500's and re-installing or ghosting your Windows image to the new RAID.

Note that RAID0 DOES NOT provide redundancy, so if one drive fails the entire array is lost.

Ultimately, what are your trying to do? Realize a drive speed increase by doing RAID0?
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June 2, 2014 8:07:13 AM

chunkymonster said:
Short answer, it's possible, depending on the RAID controller being used.

Better answer, no. You're better off migrating the data from the two drives to another drive, creating the RAID0 array from the two 500's and re-installing or ghosting your Windows image to the new RAID.

Note that RAID0 DOES NOT provide redundancy, so if one drive fails the entire array is lost.

Ultimately, what are your trying to do? Realize a drive speed increase by doing RAID0?


Essentially yeah, I wanted to improve the performance of the drives and have a single larger storage method. I'm not bothered about the doubled failure chance, as no important information is saved on the two drives (I just wanted to remove some of the hassle, i.e having to re-download everything).

I'll be using Windows 7's built in RAID system; I saw somewhere that it was fairly easy to set up. If it means reinstalling Windows then I won’t bother, I'll wait til I have an SSD and muck around with RAID then, knowing I won't potentially damage my Windows installation.

If I can back up my data, is this something worth doing?
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a b G Storage
June 2, 2014 8:50:37 AM

aliensarecoming said:
chunkymonster said:
Short answer, it's possible, depending on the RAID controller being used.

Better answer, no. You're better off migrating the data from the two drives to another drive, creating the RAID0 array from the two 500's and re-installing or ghosting your Windows image to the new RAID.

Note that RAID0 DOES NOT provide redundancy, so if one drive fails the entire array is lost.

Ultimately, what are your trying to do? Realize a drive speed increase by doing RAID0?


Essentially yeah, I wanted to improve the performance of the drives and have a single larger storage method. I'm not bothered about the doubled failure chance, as no important information is saved on the two drives (I just wanted to remove some of the hassle, i.e having to re-download everything).

I'll be using Windows 7's built in RAID system; I saw somewhere that it was fairly easy to set up. If it means reinstalling Windows then I won’t bother, I'll wait til I have an SSD and muck around with RAID then, knowing I won't potentially damage my Windows installation.

If I can back up my data, is this something worth doing?


Not really. Especially with drive not meant for RAID arrays. If you had an SSD for your boot and programs/games and the second drives are just for storage it would probably be better just to use one for storage and keep the second one completely clean for when you want to record videos or work on anything that's using sequential access, this would ensure that no other access was happening and all of the data would be written without any drive seeking.

It doesn't even have to be a complete drive failure. If one of your drives has a read error at some point and your raid controller/software makes the drive as unavailable then suddenly your raid is essentially gone and you need to rebuild it or recover the data somehow. Unless you have some very specific use that you know for sure a RAID is the solution, it's best to be avoided.
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a b G Storage
June 2, 2014 9:57:13 AM

aliensarecoming said:
chunkymonster said:
Short answer, it's possible, depending on the RAID controller being used.

Better answer, no. You're better off migrating the data from the two drives to another drive, creating the RAID0 array from the two 500's and re-installing or ghosting your Windows image to the new RAID.

Note that RAID0 DOES NOT provide redundancy, so if one drive fails the entire array is lost.

Ultimately, what are your trying to do? Realize a drive speed increase by doing RAID0?


Essentially yeah, I wanted to improve the performance of the drives and have a single larger storage method. I'm not bothered about the doubled failure chance, as no important information is saved on the two drives (I just wanted to remove some of the hassle, i.e having to re-download everything).

I'll be using Windows 7's built in RAID system; I saw somewhere that it was fairly easy to set up. If it means reinstalling Windows then I won’t bother, I'll wait til I have an SSD and muck around with RAID then, knowing I won't potentially damage my Windows installation.

If I can back up my data, is this something worth doing?

I do not recommend using the RAID built into Windows, it's just adds overhead and slows it down. Using the RAID option on the motherboard is a better option. Check your motherboard chipset and determine if RAID is onboard, you will be required to change the BIOS settings to enable onboard RAID.

I'm going to presume that Windows and all your data is stored on one of the 500GB drives. If so, you can create an image/clone of the drive, then create the RAID0 with both 500GB drives, and re-image the array.

Check out Acronis True Image .

Please note that this is high level over view, the specifics depend on your set up. Briefly, you can create a boot CD with Acronis on it, so your computer boots to the CD and Acronis True Image loads. Then access Acronis and create a image of the 500GB drive, save the image file to a separate drive, make the appropriate BIOS changes to enable RAID, install the 2nd 500GB drive, boot into the RAID utility, create the RAID array, the boot back into Acronis on the CD and restore the image from the separate file location onto the RAID array. Again, this is high level, take the time to research the specifics.

PS - it never hurts to back up and copy any files/data you do not want to lose!
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a b G Storage
June 9, 2014 5:49:03 AM

Traciatim said:
Not really. Especially with drive not meant for RAID arrays.

A little history for you. The whole point of RAID was to take advantage of cheap/small hard drive space to increase disk access or overall drive space. The "I" in RAID does stand for "inexpensive" and/or "independent". Back in the day when drive were no larger than several MB, RAID was created to "string" them together to get more space as still have the OS see the multiple drives as a single disk. Hard drives specifically designed for RAID are a recent development, within the past 5 years. Even then, the only thing that is different between a "regular" hard drive and a "RAID" hard drive is tweaks to the disk controller (the BIOS on printed circuit board) on the hard drive itself; otherwise there is essentially no difference between a regular hard drive and another labeled RAID.

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