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To RAID or not to RAID

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August 3, 2009 7:11:48 PM

I've just built a new computer. I am considering of buying another SATA HDD and setting up a RAID 0 using the MB RAID controller to improve performance. I have never used RAID before and have a few questions. The first being how do I recover data if, for example, the RAID controllers are perfectly OK however I catch a nasty virus corrupting the OS to a point of no return.

In the past, I just take the HDD out, plug it into another computer to back to some files, format, and reinstall.

With RAID 0, I am wondering if I can you take the two RAID 0 HDDs out and plug it into another computer to backup the files? Must the other computer also be set up for RAID 0? What if it is a Non-RAID computer, can it read the RAID configurations? If not, what must I do to backup my data.

Also, is it possible to setup two HDD in RAID 0 and one HDD that is not in RAID to serve as a extra HDD to serve as back up to hold important files etc. Or should I save myself the headache and get an external HDD for that purpose.

Thanks you guys in advance

My Rig:
AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz w/
Scythe MUGEN-2 SCMG-2000 120mm CPU Cooler
ASUS M4A79T Deluxe
COOLER MASTER HAF 932
CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3
SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB
CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W
Western Digital Caviar Green WD7500AADS 750GB SATA
SABRENT CRW-FLP2 All-in-one USB 2.0 Floppy Drive

More about : raid raid

August 3, 2009 7:37:36 PM

to be honest, with the HDD you have already you would be better off getting a caviar black @ 7200 rpm, and using that for OS and apps, and using the green drive for storage. You will get about the same performance as doing a Raid 0....and to answer your question if you have a failure under Raid 0 you are screwed unless you have backed up to a third drive or dvd. You will have to reformatt...there is no way to get the info back because each data block is split evenly between the two drives, meaning each is unreadable by itself.
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a b G Storage
August 3, 2009 7:55:08 PM

You can remove a raid 0 and place it in another computer as long as the computers are running th same raid controller. Also the "host" machine must have it's HDDs installed in either a seperate controller or in SATA, ACHI or RAID mode.

With a RAID 0 it would be easier to have a large single drive which you could backup to incase of a failure. If the RAID 0 fails BEFORE you can backup then all data is lost and there is nothing you can do about it.

In short...
Q. With RAID 0, I am wondering if I can you take the two RAID 0 HDDs out and plug it into another computer to backup the files?
A. Pretty much no

Q. Must the other computer also be set up for RAID 0?
A. Not always

Q. What if it is a Non-RAID computer, can it read the RAID configurations? If not, what must I do to backup my data.
A. Sometimes yes. Use another drive or an external drive before failure to backup.

Q. Also, is it possible to setup two HDD in RAID 0 and one HDD that is not in RAID to serve as a extra HDD to serve as back up to hold important files etc. Or should I save myself the headache and get an external HDD for that purpose.
A. Yes



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a c 415 G Storage
August 3, 2009 8:39:14 PM

Meltdown08 said:
I am considering of buying another SATA HDD and setting up a RAID 0 using the MB RAID controller ... how do I recover data if, for example, the RAID controllers are perfectly OK however I catch a nasty virus corrupting the OS to a point of no return.
There are two very important things you need to understand here:

(1) - RAID 0 has NO REDUNANCY - if EITHER drive fails you will loose ALL your data.

(2) - RAID (of any type) is NOT A BACKUP. Even RAID 1 which keeps two copies of your data will not help you if you get a virus or accidentally delete your files. The RAID controller will very obediently update both disks so that your files are deleted or infected with the virus on both of them.


With RAID 0, I am wondering if I can you take the two RAID 0 HDDs out and plug it into another computer to backup the files? Must the other computer also be set up for RAID 0? What if it is a Non-RAID computer, can it read the RAID configurations? If not, what must I do to backup my data. said:
With RAID 0, I am wondering if I can you take the two RAID 0 HDDs out and plug it into another computer to backup the files? Must the other computer also be set up for RAID 0? What if it is a Non-RAID computer, can it read the RAID configurations? If not, what must I do to backup my data.
If you can find another system with an identical motherboard, firmware version, and OS version and drivers then you MIGHT be able to plug the drives into it. But I'd be very skeptical about this and I'd want to test it thoroughly before relying on it. IMHO you're better off just assuming it can't be done.

The way you make backups with RAID is the same way you make backups with any other disk - you plug in some external media (i.e., a tape drive or an external USB/eSATA disk drive) and use software to copy the contents from your internal drives to the external drive.

There are some enterprise-class storage solutions that allow on-the-fly backup by forming and breaking mirrored RAID sets, but those are specifically engineered to do that. The kinds of RAID solutions you'll see for desktop systems aren't designed with that in mind and IMHO you're skating on thin ice if you try to use them in that way.
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August 3, 2009 10:01:35 PM

Thank you everybody for your quick replies. From the sound of it, its probably better if I stick with a non-RAID system or upgrade to the Black edition of WD HDD. Not worth the headache IMO. My dumba$$ self didn't pay too much attention to what I was buying and bought the Green power saving drive instead of the performance Black drive. No wonder everything dealing with HDD access is taking its precious time.

Thank you again everybody for replying.
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a b G Storage
August 4, 2009 9:16:57 AM

I use RAID0 in all my main rigs - it raises the minimum spec of your pc by nearly double, and makes the system more responsive etc

Only RAID0 users will know what im talking about

As for risk of data loss - is it any different from a single hdd failure? Anyone stupid enough to keep important data in a single location deserves to loose all there data

BTW there is a tool out there called RAID2RAID which can read non native arrays and mount them to get your data off from another machine etc
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a b G Storage
August 4, 2009 1:14:00 PM

Don't let the negatives of RAID0 deter you from trying it out for yourself. Asking others for their opinion is well and good but nothing beats trying it out for yourself and seeing if it is right for you and how you use your machine. As long as you plan properly, take precautions to back up important data and files (which you should be doing anyway) you will see that using a RAID0 array is no different from a single drive.

apache_lives said:
I use RAID0 in all my main rigs - it raises the minimum spec of your pc by nearly double, and makes the system more responsive etc

Only RAID0 users will know what im talking about

As for risk of data loss - is it any different from a single hdd failure? Anyone stupid enough to keep important data in a single location deserves to loose all there data

BTW there is a tool out there called RAID2RAID which can read non native arrays and mount them to get your data off from another machine etc
I totally agree with this entire opinion. I too, have been using RAID0 with all my rigs for the past few builds. The only thing that gets installed on the array is the OS and applications. Any and all important files or data is stored on a separate drive(s) altogether.

As a matter of fact, am in the process of building a new i7 machine and plan on using a 4-160GB disks RAID0 array for the OS and apps. Why? Why not! It's all part of the shits and giggles of being an enthusiast builder. Plus the fact that it's actually cheaper to buy 4-160GB drives than 1-300GB Velociraptor and SSD's are just not large enough and too expensive for my taste.

The "I" in RAID stands for Inexpensive!!!!

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August 4, 2009 1:27:01 PM

I think you guys missed the point that his drive he would be raiding is a 5400rpm green drive. My point was even if he did raid two of those, he would see the same performance from getting a caviar black drive to use as his main drive, and use the green drive for storage/backup. I have nothing against raid 0, but in this circumstance it is not wise and there is better ways to get the same performance increase he is looking for.
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