I have 2x640gb drives. [Yes I know my drives are really smaller b/c of giga v gibi, but I'm ignoring that in this post.] I am thinking of making two 600gb striped partitions (1200gb total striped) and two 40gb mirrored partitions (40gb total). This would let me, in theory, run everything off the striped section, and back important things (documents, a few pictures) up into the mirrored section. If one drive failed, I would lose all my replaceable files - programs, etc - but keep anything that was in the mirrored section. It seems to good to be true...thoughts?
I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this, but what if I did a striped partition for OS, a striped partition for general use, and a mirrored for backup: would that allow me to reinstall the OS without losing my programs? I suspect that wouldn't work because of registry keys and the like...
I've spent the better part of today playing with this, and I have what I think is the perfect solution to all of this.
What works/what to do:
I have a gigabyte ep45-ud3p mobo. In the bios, enable raid. When it's booting, enter the raid utility. FIRST create your mirrored partitions. THEN create your striped partitions. Install windows on your striped partitions. Your striped partition (i know i am using that word technically wrong, but you get the idea) will be your boot disk, your c:/ etc. Your mirrored disk will show up as d:/. You can take one drive out, hook it up to another computer (even if it doesn't have raid), and the mirrored section will be recognized with no special effort. All the mirrored files are intact and accessible. The striped portion is, of course, gone.
What doesn't work/what not do: create the striped partition first. windows will not recognize the mirrored part on another machine, at least not with zero effort (i didn't find a way, but imagine there is one somehow). you can not (at least with my mobo) create more than two raid partitions. eg, you can't have striped swap partition, striped os/data/programs partition, and mirrored backup partition. it will force you to put all size not used in partition 0 into partition 1.
As far as the "raid 1 is not for backup" critics:
i will be using backup software to backup files from striped to mirrored. this way, if a file is corrupted on striped i have an old copy (or ten or twelve) on mirrored, and if either mirrored fails, i still have the other mirrored.
now wth stripe size i should have used, who knows. i maxed it out (128kb), since i watch tons of movies. all legally obtained, of course.