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New build HARD Drive Question

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January 17, 2008 8:44:35 PM

I have a question about my Hard drive set up. I built my new setup and you can see it in new build thread on here. I got one 500GB seagate hard drive and put it in my new build, would of got two right off the bat, but money was a issue. My Question is this, I got the windows vista 64 software that is a builders pack, one time install and only one computer. I have already installed Window vista 64 on the harddrive but want to upgrade to a second 500GB when I have the extra $120. and run them in Raid 0 setup. Heard this will be way faster and better. I have read that it must be on setup on two clean harddrives that are the same size. Can this be done with my set up of one harddrive already installed with the builders pack Vista I got?? And if so can I Back up all the programs I have installed on the currant 500GB hard drive and reinstall it all on the Raid set up of two?? Any help?? or info,

Thanks guys.
January 17, 2008 8:58:52 PM

I'm not entirely sure you can can move an existing stand-alone disk into a RAID 0 array. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure it requires two clean disks. (Although, they can both be formatted, but they cannot contain any other data)
January 17, 2008 9:05:12 PM

So Can I tranfer my data on the one I already installed to a portable usb stick or a external and then wipe the hard drive clean that I already installed then hook it up with the new one and activate the raid 0 in bios and reinstall everything?? The builders pack that I got from newegg(windows vista 64) says it can only be installed on one computer.
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January 17, 2008 9:19:51 PM

Yep. Just adding a second hard drive and building a RAID array does not make it a new computer. Theoretically, you can install Windows on the same computer as many times as necessary (though eventually you will have to call Microsoft to get it re-activated).

-Wolf sends
January 17, 2008 9:33:14 PM

ok Wolfshadw,

It says to do this that both Hardrives have to be clean, i have already installed about 150GB of games and files so can I back this up on a external Harddrive minus the OS(Windows 64) or leave it on there, I have the Install disc for the OS, and if I delete everything off this hard drive should I have any problems doing so. I have heard that everything speeds up when using a Raid 0 set up, do you know if this is true??

Thanks wolf
January 17, 2008 9:43:45 PM

I've heard that going RAID 0 does improve load times, but I have no personal experience with it.

I'm not sure attempting to back up your installed programs/games would be a good idea as you will be re-installing Windows. All the registry settings currently on your system will be wiped when you format and build the array.

You would probably be better served by just backing up your data/media files, but no installed programs. Re-install them after the RAID array is built and Windows is re-installed and updated.

-Wolf sends
January 21, 2008 9:46:24 PM

Thanks so much for your advice Wolf. Does anyone else have anything to add??
January 21, 2008 10:35:16 PM

medjohnson77 said:
I have already installed Window vista 64 on the harddrive but want to upgrade to a second 500GB when I have the extra $120. and run them in Raid 0 setup. Heard this will be way faster and better.
You heard wrong. RAID0 is half as reliable, with no appreciable increase in speed. Better off with multiple drives, one for the OS and apps, one for data.
January 22, 2008 1:51:09 AM

Ok then what about Raid 0+1 which would require 4 hard drives ?? And are you sure about the speed being not much better?? My seagate is great but I only wished I would of gone with the one with 32mb cach instead of 16mb.
January 22, 2008 6:11:33 AM

Thank you Supremelaw for summing that up for me. I am glad that there is some out there who are willing to elaberate on there statements. I am going to go with the raid but not sure yet if i will do the Raid 0 or 0+1. Is the latter a better way to be safe? From what I have read, it seem so. Thanks again for your time and comments.
January 22, 2008 12:43:24 PM

Quote:
I object!
Object all you want - benchmarks do not necessairly translate into real-world performance. See AnandTech: Raptors in RAID-0.

Two disks in RAID0 simulate a single disk. A single disk is single access, you can't read from two places (an OS or application and data) at the same time. With two independent disks you have simultaneous access to both disks. In practice this results in a huge performance increase as one disk can be accessing the OS and applications while the other is accessing data. If you've ever used a partitioned disk and sat there while it is grinding away trying to do two things at once, you will find that multiple independent disks provide a tremendous increase in performance.

In order to acheive the performance gains of multiple independent disks (simultaneous access) in RAID0 you will have to set up at least 4 disks in two arrays. Keep in mind that the failure of a single disk in a RAID0 array will wipe out all the data in that array.


January 22, 2008 1:26:16 PM

All I can say is from my experience and from a few other people I know, Raid has failed, resulting in a big lose of data. But that could have been due to cheap onboard controllers. I think I used a pci controller and still had issues eventually.

But thats just me.

I would rather have multi drives for different tasks. I bet if someone could come up with some tests and benchmarks to show certain tasks on raid vs multi drives for each task, it would be close. But the edge would be to non-raid because of no chance of blowing out the array.
January 22, 2008 1:49:21 PM

nhobo, supremelaw, I believe that both have valid point.

Here what I agree:
1) Read/Write a file: RAID-0 will be faster
2) Read/Write multiples files by two different app: Dual disk will be faster, if they are separate. Example: The swap file, loading a game.
3) RAID-0 with two disk is not double the chance of loosing data.
4) If a drive fail, you loose your data. :pt1cable: 
5) Always have a good backup procedure. I highly recommand an off-site (on-line) backup. I use I-Drive.
6) Real word vs Benchmark are not really the same. But in some case, like video editing, will be close to benchmark where a big file is generated and saved to the HD.

May be the answer is two RAID-0 where the OS, apps, games, SwapFile would be separate? :)  Eternal battle.

What do you think guys?
January 22, 2008 4:39:47 PM

LoneEagle said:
1) Read/Write a file: RAID-0 will be faster
... in benchmarks.

LoneEagle said:
3) RAID-0 with two disk is not double the chance of loosing data.
The failure of any drive in a RAID0 array will destroy all the data on that array. Doubling the number of components statistically doubles the chance of failure.

LoneEagle said:
5) Always have a good backup procedure.
Agreed, much more important than saving a millisecond on loading times.
January 22, 2008 8:57:11 PM

Thanks for the points guys, I am still debating this and will keep looking around for more info.
January 22, 2008 9:37:44 PM

nhobo said:
... in benchmarks.

The failure of any drive in a RAID0 array will destroy all the data on that array. Doubling the number of components statistically doubles the chance of failure.

Agreed, much more important than saving a millisecond on loading times.



Another thing to realize is the HIGH failure rate of HDDs.
A large Google study of HDDs show that there is about a 15% HDD Failure rate after 2 years.
http://209.85.163.132/papers/disk_failures.pdf

The more drives you add the greater the chance of being bitten increase.
!