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n00b Mirroring question - which hard drives are best?

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November 6, 2006 9:16:59 PM

Right, after the second hard drive failure in a month (well both disks were over 3 years old) i have decided it is time I moved from my trusty IDE dependance to SATA and hence onto using RAID.

Fortunately the HD failures were not too disastrous as I have always utilised a rolling hard drive system where when I format my system, I do it to a clean hard drive and having the pre-format drive hooked up post format for the extraction of data and any drivers ive lost CDs for or cant be bothered hunting the web for. So the weekends work wasnt too disastrous as all i had done was get to the stage of finally installing BF2142 when after restarting, the system failed to boot... anyway I digress....

Basically i want to set up a RAID1 (so obviously I'll need 2 disks), using my mobo's raid controller. My mobo is a Gigabyte GA-K8NF9 Ultra.

What woudl be the most ideal disks to use bearing in mind I will be keeping all data on other hard drives, but I will be installing all programs onto the system drive. So the HD doesnt need to be too big.... around 80-100GB???

And how easy is it to set up a hardware raid? the only raid's i have set up have been windows/software based. If my mobo was to die, is the data still usable with another raid controller? And will i need the drivers on windows setup where you need to press f6? My mobo didnt come with a floppy disk like i have seen some mobo's (like a-bit)....

Cheers for any help :) 
November 6, 2006 9:51:34 PM

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What woudl be the most ideal disks to use bearing in mind I will be keeping all data on other hard drives, but I will be installing all programs onto the system drive. So the HD doesnt need to be too big.... around 80-100GB???

Depends on your budget. If you want fast access, get Raptors; otherwise, get whatever is on sale.
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And how easy is it to set up a hardware raid? the only raid's i have set up have been windows/software based.
Should be easier than that.

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If my mobo was to die, is the data still usable with another raid controller?
Maybe, maybe not. This is where a drive/RAID controller on a plug-in card comes in handy.
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And will i need the drivers on windows setup where you need to press f6?
Yep
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My mobo didnt come with a floppy disk like i have seen some mobo's (like a-bit)....
The drivers should be available for download at the MB maker's web site.
November 7, 2006 1:12:00 PM

Cheers for your reply. I am leaning more towards the raptors, it just depends on how much they actually cost vs Seagate.

And with hardware re-mirroring, is it automatic or do I have to go into the RAID setup to kick off a re-mirror? Just in case I ever whipped out a hard drive and replaced it with another... Woudl the disks have to be identical? Or woudl the second disk just need to have at least as much space as on the first?

Im not a n00b honest....
November 7, 2006 6:36:39 PM

Typically, once you've installed the replacement drive, you go into the RAID controller's BIOS and have it start the "rebuild".

Not sure on how much leeway there is on drive configs -- I'd check with the RAID chip/board manufacturer's website.
!