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RAID 0

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March 25, 2010 4:22:15 AM

So I just bought an SSD for my laptop and I wanted to use the extra harddrive to set up a raid 0 in my desktop, but I don't know too much about it.

First off, I have 3 7200rpm harddrives, a 300GB 2.5in laptop (probably sataII since I bought the laptop in August), a 500GB SataII 3.5 in and a 500GB SataI 3.5in. I have about 250GBs of music and movies that I want to keep on the 3rd drive that will not be in the raid, so preferably one of the 500's. So can I run raid 0 on a 300GB 2.5in and a 500GB 3.5in or will that cause issues? If that is out then I am assuming it won't be a big deal putting a sata 1 and 2 together since neither drive can max out a sataI anyway. Any suggestions or good ideas?:) 

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a b D Laptop
a c 415 G Storage
March 25, 2010 5:45:09 AM

You can generally RAID any drives together - the physical size of the drives (2.5" vs. 3.5") is irrelevant. Depending on the controller, there may be some wasted space if the drives have different capacities. For example, if you put a 300GB and a 500GB drive together, you may only be able to use 300GB on the larger drive for a total usable capacity of 600GB.

You should have a good reason for RAIDing the drives before going ahead and doing it. It's a more complicated setup, and you risk loosing ALL the data on the volume if EITHER drive in the RAID set fails.
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March 25, 2010 2:24:36 PM

Well I have the extra drive lying around and I will store my important stuff on the 3rd drive and if I lose the OS it will be no big deal. I can always reinstall it.
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a c 99 G Storage
March 25, 2010 5:32:32 PM

What sminlal said is correct!

If you do set up for RAID, you WILL have to reinstall your OS, as the intial set up of RAID 0 will erase all of the info on both drives. You will have to reformat, which you can do upon OS install.

Note, any pre-Windows 7 install will require a RAID (third party) driver install during set up. Make sure you get this first. Put it on a flash drive for Vista, or floppy for XP (Windows 7 has most RAID controllers included). You can get it from your Mobo driver disk or website, or intel (if you have that controller).

Read other posts about RAID set up, and they will help you. They helped me!

This seems to be the trend, 2 (smaller) RAID 0 drives for OS and applications only, and a 3rd (huge) non-RAID drive for storage.
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March 25, 2010 5:55:44 PM

Well lucky for me I have win 7 and I was going to use raid off of my mobo. A fresh install is no big deal for me. I keep most of my important stuff on a seperate HDD anyway.
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March 31, 2010 5:08:09 PM

So for a straight forward answer, should I give raid a try or should I just set that extra hard drive in my closet and leave it be?
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a b D Laptop
a c 415 G Storage
March 31, 2010 7:10:32 PM

Your best use for that extra drive is to put it into an external enclosure and use it to make regular backups.
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April 1, 2010 4:47:56 AM

I have so little to back up that I have 2 flash drives and both hard drives that all have copies of my important stuff, so that isn't worth it to me.
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a b D Laptop
a c 415 G Storage
April 1, 2010 5:50:02 AM

Are your flash drives large enough to hold an image backup of your system? Because if your drive crashes it's a lot quicker to restore from an image backup than to reinstall everything.

If you're not doing anything else with the second drive that might be a worthwhile use for it.
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April 1, 2010 3:19:33 PM

I guess that's true. I never thought about backing up the entire OS. I just have some game files and some school work.
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April 2, 2010 12:40:11 AM

Is there a program I can use to make an exact copy of my 500GB sata 2 HDD? I would like to make a full copy of my OS and everything onto the 500GB sata 1 HDD and then I will go ahead and raid the 2 sata 2 drives and see if whether I will like it or not, just for fun.

Oh and with the exact copy I would like it to be able to be so exact (I guess that's a way to put it) that I will be able to just plug the copy in and use it.
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a b D Laptop
a c 415 G Storage
April 2, 2010 12:43:29 AM

I don't use cloning utilities myself, so I'll defer to someone else to answer the question.

For image backups I use the Windows 7 backup utility, which seems to work just fine for me. But the backup it creates isn't something you can use directly, you have to restore it using a recovery CD.
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April 2, 2010 12:53:10 AM

I have a question about setting up the RAID0 itself. I have 6 sata ports and it looks like in my bios it breaks them up in 1-4 and 5-6. Do I have to put the 3rd HDD and my CD drive on 5-6 or will it be ok to have everything on 1-4? When I go into the RAID options after post, it says something about setting up and "LD". When setting that up besides picking RAID0 and the 2 drives I wish to RAID, is there any other settings I should adjust? As far as using RAID0, when I go to install Windows 7 will it just recognize them as a single drive? Thanks for your answers.
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April 5, 2010 3:59:50 PM

So I just went to install windows 7 on the raid 0 and it said the cd key was invalid. I have used it 2 or 3 times before and I verified that it was right several times. In fact I just finished installing it on one of the drives individually and it gave me no trouble at all. Any ideas on this?

EDIT: Well it worked the second time around. I guess something must have went wrong in the install or something because I tried that password at least 10 times, carefully walking through it and everything.
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April 6, 2010 5:01:58 PM

So I have a question... I have the 3 HDD's right, well I looked up their models numbers and it turns out they are all SataII and they all have a 16Mb cache. They are a 3.5in 500GB Samsung Spinpoint T166 (HD501LJ), a 3.5in 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (ST3500630AS) and a 2.5in 320GB Seagate Momentus (ST9320421AS). Which would be fastest as a single drive OS? I'm guessing the 2 500GB's will be about the same but will the 320GB be faster due to it's smaller form factor or storage size or maybe because it's newer?
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a b D Laptop
a c 415 G Storage
April 6, 2010 6:12:47 PM

Go to the Samsung web site and have a look at the specifications for each drive. For the OS the most important metric is access time (sometimes known as "latency"). For drives with a similar access time, transfer rate will be the next most important factor.
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April 7, 2010 2:47:02 AM

Well testing on my raid and and the leftover drive, access time for the single drive was about 1ms faster but all other factors were pretty much double.
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April 14, 2010 7:11:26 PM

Best answer selected by BradyT88.
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