So many hard drives so little time

Ok I guess I'm pretty lucky to have this problem but it is still a dilemma. I've got too many drives and I'm not sure how best to use them. These were previously used in a variety of testing applications which are now over.

I've got:

4x 160GB WD SATA's
1x 400GB WD SATA
2x 320GB WD PATA
1x 200GB WD PATA

I was thinking of using the PATA drives in an SC101 which is empty, don't start about how crappy the thing is I know, and using the 200GB PATA in a basic file server I'm building.

What I'm wondering is what I should do with the 4 160GB's. Should I put my OS and apps on a RAID5 or use 2 for a RAID0 and 2 for a RAID1 or all 4 for RAID0+1. I'm leaning towards having the 400GB SATA as a storage drive as there is a fairly large collection of video files and iso images to store.

Some comments on the pros and cons of the various options would be great.
6 answers Last reply
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  1. A JBOD setup maybe?
  2. Quote:
    A JBOD setup maybe?

    Make that two votes for JBOD's.

    I have some hard drives in a removeable rack so I can swap and not have them running all the time.
    Better data security when they are not in the computer also.
  3. The board I'm using is an Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe so I've got 8x SATA supported.

    I was planning on using the 80GB for a mate's upgrade I'm doing, he's still using a Celeron 366 and a 8GB drive.

    I've already got two DVDRW's as primary master and secondary master on the IDE channels and planning on keeping it that way.

    What really is the point of a JBOD array other than to have a single drive letter?
  4. get external enclosure for the pata drive and use them as USB or firewire removable devices.
  5. Firstly, for the 4x160Gb drives and the 2x320GB drives, are they the same model or different ones?

    As well, you never mentioned what goals you were trying to achieve with these drives. There are a ton of options with different results. Pure drive speed, data integrity, easy of use?

    For the 4x160 drives, I would recommend against using them in a RAID 5, especially as the drives where the OS is installed. Without a dedicated hardware controller, RAID 5 can be quite expensive on the CPU and slow things down. If you'd use them purely for storage of often read, but rarely changed / infrequently added to, then RAID 5 might be something to consider if you want data integrity.

    Don't know how much data you have to store / space you're willing to waste, but a RAID 0+1/10 solution with the 4x160s is also an option.
  6. Sorry for the lack of details. All 4 160's are the same model, as are the PATA's. Don't worry about the PATA's though they have now been used.

    In order to keep data integrity I thought I'd use 2x 160's in RAID1 for the OS and installed apps. Then put the swap file and "temp" data on a RAID0 array with the other 2 160's. I could then leave the 400 as a storage drive and at a later stage add another 400 in RAID1 because I really don't want to risk losing too much data and I can't be bothered backing up all that data to DVD's.

    This leaves the 80GB SATA which I might put in an external enclosure and use as travelling storage.
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