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Switching from Single Drives to RAID-0

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March 30, 2010 10:25:50 PM

I currently have 2 Hitachi 2TB 7200RPM 32MB Drives in my system that are configured as separate drives.

I have documents on both drives, and I am looking to combine them into 1 large drive via RAID-0 using the onboard RAID.

So my question is, will I need to backup all of these files elsewhere before merging the drives or can I do this while the files are still on the drives?

Thank you in advance,
Robert Clark
a c 415 G Storage
March 30, 2010 10:46:33 PM

While a RAID controller could in principle perform an on-the-fly conversion, it would be very dangerous if interrupted and AFAIK no controller can actually do it.

So that leaves you with having to either back up all the data to another drive first, or buy another couple of 2TB drives to use to create a NEW RAID set and then copy stuff over to it.

You should be aware that there are issues with RAID volumes larger than 2TB - you can't boot from them unless you have an EFI motherboard, and old versions of Windows (XP or earlier) won't be able to deal with them at all.

And there are issues with RAID 0, too. You loose ALL your data if EITHER drive fails, and with 2 drives you've doubled your chances for drive failure. 4TB of data is an awful lot to loose...
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March 30, 2010 10:49:49 PM

sminlal said:
While a RAID controller could in principle perform an on-the-fly conversion, it would be very dangerous if interrupted and AFAIK no controller can actually do it.

So that leaves you with having to either back up all the data to another drive first, or buy another couple of 2TB drives to use to create a NEW RAID set and then copy stuff over to it.

You should be aware that there are issues with RAID volumes larger than 2TB - you can't boot from them unless you have an EFI motherboard, and old versions of Windows (XP or earlier) won't be able to deal with them at all.

And there are issues with RAID 0, too. You loose ALL your data if EITHER drive fails, and with 2 drives you've doubled your chances for drive failure. 4TB of data is an awful lot to loose...


Thank you for the quick response.

I am not looking to boot off of the drives, simply use them for storage. I am considering a RAID-0+1 setup so everything would be mirrored onto the other 4tb RAID setup.

Would this be the best route to take or would you advise just keeping them as separate drives and use other available space to backup the files?

Thank you again,
Robert Clark
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March 31, 2010 12:23:09 AM

Are you trying to get better performance out of your storage drives? If not then raid 0 isn't really where you want to go. Seems like you're taking a larger risk than you need too by putting your storage infrastructure in raid 0.
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a b G Storage
March 31, 2010 12:37:52 AM

Quote:
I am not looking to boot off of the drives, simply use them for storage.


AID0 is not a good storage solution. Leave the drives separate.
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March 31, 2010 12:39:55 AM

trnddwn33 said:
Are you trying to get better performance out of your storage drives? If not then raid 0 isn't really where you want to go. Seems like you're taking a larger risk than you need too by putting your storage infrastructure in raid 0.


I was looking to get better performance from the drives, but weighing the risks I think I will just keep them separate and possibly purchase some more drives for backup purposes.

Thank you everyone,
Robert Clark
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a c 415 G Storage
March 31, 2010 1:02:22 AM

From a data protection point of view you're better off with additional drives in external enclosures used for backup than you are by putting those same drives in RAID 1 (or RAID 10). RAID 1 is good for situations where downtime is costly, but it doesn't eliminate the need for backups because it only protects against drive failure, not from the myriad of other risks to your data.
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March 31, 2010 1:09:03 AM

sminlal said:
From a data protection point of view you're better off with additional drives in external enclosures used for backup than you are by putting those same drives in RAID 1 (or RAID 10). RAID 1 is good for situations where downtime is costly, but it doesn't eliminate the need for backups because it only protects against drive failure, not from the myriad of other risks to your data.


Thanks for the replies sminlal......now if only hdd's weren't so expensive.....or I had more money
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a c 415 G Storage
March 31, 2010 4:18:26 AM

Backup always seems like overkill until you need it.

Kinda like insurance...
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April 4, 2010 3:47:35 AM

I just installed Active SMART to check for errors with the drives, and one of the drives came up with some errors and is now telling me to backup my files as soon as possible and that failure may be imminent.

I am backing up the files now, and am attempting to get the drive replaced.

I am losing confidence with the Hitachi drives very quickly as this is the first drive that I have ever had problems with, and after only 2 months....

Any suggestions for a brand to replace this with?
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a b G Storage
April 4, 2010 4:02:31 AM

I tend to stick with Seagate and WD. Failure rate is probably the same for all drives however. I like WD, and I've lost two of them. I haven't had any problems with my 7200.10 drives.
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