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Different capacity HDDs with RAID 1 setup

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May 27, 2009 9:47:11 PM

I recently purchased a 500GB WD 3.0 SATA hard drive as an additional drive for my 250GB WD 3.0 SATA hard drive because I needed added space for all of my movie and music files. However, I'm tired of manually backing up my data to my new 500GB drive, and I want to try a RAID 1 setup which mirrors the data so that I don't have to manually copy important files. However, since the drives are of different sizes, the RAID array will be the smallest drive size of 250GB. Is it possible to set up a separate 250GB partition on the 500GB drive and be able to access it and save data to it? I would use that space for game installs and other files that are not absolutely critical to back up.

Thanks in advance for any help!
May 28, 2009 4:52:41 AM

Don't know of anything that will do what you want, at least easily and cheaply. Although both Intel and JMicron controllers have something that allows for a backup drive and is similar to RAID-1 (Intel calls it "rapid recover" vs. RAID-1), I don't think it allows you to use the rest of the space for something else.

Is there a reason you don't simply automate the backup process? It's generally pretty simple. Maybe not quite as simple as recovering with a decent RAID-1 setup, but at least your data is safer.
May 28, 2009 5:03:25 AM

youngku said:
I recently purchased a 500GB WD 3.0 SATA hard drive as an additional drive for my 250GB WD 3.0 SATA hard drive because I needed added space for all of my movie and music files. However, I'm tired of manually backing up my data to my new 500GB drive, and I want to try a RAID 1 setup which mirrors the data so that I don't have to manually copy important files. However, since the drives are of different sizes, the RAID array will be the smallest drive size of 250GB. Is it possible to set up a separate 250GB partition on the 500GB drive and be able to access it and save data to it? I would use that space for game installs and other files that are not absolutely critical to back up.

Thanks in advance for any help!


In theory, what you want to do is not impossible. Should be as easy as building your raid, setting the partition sizes, etc. In practice, it will depend on your controller, and your BIOS options.

Edit: It should be noted, however, that GIGO still applies. If something 'bad' happens to your build, that 'bad' will also apply to your mirror.
a b G Storage
May 28, 2009 4:30:45 PM

Check out GParted, a disk partitioning utility. GParted should recognize the two disk in the RAID1 as a logical drive as well as the extra 250GB space on the 500GB drive. If GParted does recognize it, you can partition the space and format it as NTFS to be recognizable by Windows.
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