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RAID 0 with a desktop and notebook harddrive?

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October 9, 2009 3:09:03 PM

Since no one was able to help me with my other thread, I came up with a new plan. I have a 320GB Internal harddrive in my desktop. I also have a 320GB Internal notebook harddrive that is currently in an enclosure. Both are SATA-300 and 7200RPM. Can I connect the notebook drive to my desktop internally? Could I set up RAID 0 on a desktop and notebook drive?
a c 357 G Storage
October 9, 2009 3:36:14 PM

Well, you would need an adapter to be able to connect a 2½" notebook HDD to a standard desktop mobo's SATA port - notebook and desktop HDD's use different connectors and pinouts for both data and power. Then you'd need some adapter system to help you physically mount the smaller notebook unit in the desktop's drive slot. Once that is done you would have use of the notebook just as if it were a desktop type of unit.

At that point hypothetically you should be able to create a RAID0 array from the two drives. Although everyone says the ideal situation for RAID anything is matched identical drive units, you already have a match on speed and capacity, so maybe that's enough to get it to work OK. But you will have two things to address before committing to this plan. One is how you will get the data on your current desktop drive migrated to the new RAID0 array. Your RAID system utility software may help you with this, or not. Consult your RAID system manual on how this must be done.

The other item is, how do you boot the machine? If you have a third drive from which you boot now, and the new RAID0 array will just be for data, no problem. But if you plan to boot from the RAID0 array, you will probably have to "start from scratch". This is because, to boot from a RAID0 array, Windows will have to be freshly re-installed on that array to include RAID drivers (may need a floppy drive and disk for driver loading during Install). That means backing up all your current data. Then you create the array, Install Windows with the required RAID drivers, Install all your old application software and configure it, then restore from backup all your data files. Not quick and easy, but can be done if you understand and plan ahead.

By the way, what motivates you to go RAID0? Is it worth the effort?
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October 9, 2009 5:05:33 PM

From what I've been reading, notebook SATA drives use the same connecters as their desktop counterparts. Are you sure that they are not the same? The main concern that I've found is the power difference between 5v and 12v. Some people have problems others don't. I put some links at the bottom.

I think that RAID should work since they are similar drives. I know that I'll have to do a fresh install, but that's fine with me. I also have a second external harddrive that I can back up data on to. I will be booting of off the RAID 0. My main concern is whether the drives will perform the same since they're made for different types of computers.

I have not set up RAID 0 before, so I am a little worried that I'll run into trouble. But I enjoy messing around with computers and have always wanted to try RAID. I have a second external harddrive for backup and a laptop in case things get messy. Still, I would like to make sure that I've done my research going into this.


http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/245289-32-connecting-...
http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/general-hardware-discus...
http://techreport.com/articles.x/9378
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a c 127 G Storage
October 9, 2009 5:26:54 PM

A notebook HDD of 320GB and a desktop HDD of 320GB are not similar at all, and couldn't be more different from eachother. Putting them in RAID0 would yield near-zero actual practical benefit.

*whispers* es-es-dee *whispers*
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October 9, 2009 5:47:34 PM

Sub Mesa: Would you mind expanding on that answer? They are both 320GB, 16MB, SATA-300, 7200RPM drives. What makes them so different? Why is RAID with them so unpractical?

Desktop Drive: Seagate 7200.10 ST332062

Notebook Drive: Seagate Momentus 7200.3 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 127 G Storage
October 9, 2009 5:55:13 PM

A notebook drive and desktop drive are very different in design and have totally different figures for latency and performance behavior, firmware, etc. They are totally different disks.

The cache size, capacity and interface are irrelevant. Things which are important: platter data density, spindle speed, firmware. None of these are the same, as 7200rpm for a notebook drive is different than 7200rpm for a desktop drive. The latencies will differ totally and in a RAID0 configuration one will slow down the other.

Also, with the current availability for high-performacne SSDs, using RAID0 to enhance the performance of HDDs is kind of futile. So you get 60% improvement if done properly; sure, but that's nothing compared to 12000% improvement an SSD can offer, because of their very low latency. While you may know performance as MB/s, actual performance is expressed in ns or ms - time. These latencies are basically non-existent for SSDs; which is something wonderful.

Also, note that many REAL PERFORMANCE INDICATORS are obfuscated and hidden from consumers. Else consumers could say instantly: hey product X is faster than product Y. Manufacturers don't want this and benefit from the lack of deep technical knowledge of consumers, to promote their inferior products and to make money even if your competitors are objectively a better choice. Be careful what you believe when you hear manufacturer's claims. MB/s means nothing...
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October 10, 2009 12:10:35 AM

Thank you for the explanation.

So, you think that SSD would be the way to go in terms of performance? Would it make sense to get a 64GB SSD drive for OS and programs, and keep my 320GB SATA for data?

Many SSD's offer about 100MB/s read and 80MB/s write. Would this give a noticeable improvement in load times over my current drive? I don't care about power or heat, it only needs to be fast.
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January 21, 2010 12:45:31 AM

Update: I finally got around to trying this. It works beautifully.

Desktop: 62MB/s, 13.4ms
Laptop: 69MB/s, 16.6ms
RAID 0: 110MB/s, 13.0ms

The burst rate on the drives was 97.7 and 77.4, but the burst rate on the RAID setup was 75.1MB/s. Does it make sense that the burst rate is lower than the minimum transfer rate (74.8MB/s) for the RAID set up?
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a b G Storage
January 21, 2010 4:54:17 AM

Paperdoc said:
Well, you would need an adapter to be able to connect a 2½" notebook HDD to a standard desktop mobo's SATA port - notebook and desktop HDD's use different connectors and pinouts for both data and power. Then you'd need some adapter system to help you physically mount the smaller notebook unit in the desktop's drive slot. Once that is done you would have use of the notebook just as if it were a desktop type of unit.

A note: this is completely false. Desktop and notebook SATA drives use exactly the same types of connector and the exact same pinouts as well. They are completely interchangeable, unlike PATA drives (notebook and desktop PATA use the same pinout, but different sockets).
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January 21, 2010 2:50:15 PM

Yes, you can connect a 2.5" drive the exact same way you connect a 3.5" drive. The only thing different is that there is no place in most cases to mount the drive. I have mine sitting on the bottom of my 5.25" bay, because I have gotten a mounting kit yet.
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