Space not used by RAID

Say I have a 4-disk RAID 5 set-up. One disk is about 100g larger than the others. Is that extra space (not usable by Raid array) accessible to the OS as a separate, non-RAID hard drive, or anything to that effect?
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  1. Not with most controllers as far as I know of. Might be possible with Intels matrix controller, but I don't remember if that supports RAID5.
  2. So the extra space is gone then?
    I want to add a fourth disc to my RAID 5... preferably same model.
    Unfortunately, it is sold out, and I want the disc in time for my break.
    So I'm looking at a larger capacity model here at TigerDirect
    Ironically, it's actually cheaper here for the larger model.
    Same series-ish, same cache size and everything. The thing is, it's "green" instead of "black"

    Am I in the clear if I buy the model from Tiger, or should I wait for the Newegg (in terms of RAID performance, compatibility, ect.?)

    Finally, I've read about having windows installed on a non-RAID partition rather than the RAID. The size will be just under 2TB, so it would be able to boot, so why wouldn't I want to just boot off the main RAID array?

  3. Black = performance. Green drives don't spin at 7200RPM, so they don't perform as good. Remember that with raid they all perform at the speed of the slowest drive. Adding a green drive can make it perform worse.

    A problem with onboard raid is they have a tendency to lose the driver. If/when the driver is lost, there can go your data at worst, or having to rebuild the array in your case. This can cause down time, slow performance while rebuilding, and possibly needing to reactivate programs. A far simpler solution would be to have windows on its own drive, and use the RAID array for whatever your using it for.
  4. Hey I didn't notice the RPM difference. They have a tendency to hide it if the HD is only 5400. Thanks for pointing that out! I guess I'll have to wait for Newegg or go for the Black 1TB or something.

    On booting... the motherboard looses the RAID driver? I'm not clear on the problem here... Windows crashes and I loose my data? How does this occur? When you say onboard you mean 'OS on RAID' not "RAID on Mobo' right?

    So you are suggesting that I have a small, separate SATA disc for windows? What about installing programs to? The purpose of RAID 0/5/10 is for increased performance, so wouldn't installing to a NON Raid array defeat the purpose? Don't your programs have to be installed on the same drive as the windows registry, operating system?
  5. Best answer
    It doesn't happen every time, it just can. When you use the RAID found on the motherboard (onboard) and you have X happen, its possible to lose the driver/array. Could be a power spike or improper shutdown. It seems to happen less often with a controller card.

    I do. A single modern drive for the OS, and then the array for anything that requires the speed. No you don't have to install programs on the same drive as windows, nor do you need to keep the swap file on the same drive its installed to. I'm also willing to bet you don't need the array. I doubt you do anything that really needs it.
  6. Alright, I'll take this into consideration, thanks a lot for your help!
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