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Write-back cache + raid 0 = reliable/safe?

Last response: in Storage
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April 12, 2010 4:55:38 PM

I recently started reading posts about write-back caching and some of the pro's and con's. When you enable it, there is this scary error message that says the world will explode if i lose power.

I have tried it both ways (enabled/disabled) and enabled on benchmarks certainly is substantially faster.

I use my raid 0 (dual gen 2 74 gig raptors in raid 0) solely for my OS and the two games I play. never is there anything important stored on this drive and if it failed.. so be it.

The flip side is that I also don't want to reformat frequently due to OS corruption because I'm amazingly lazy.

I'm on an UPS currently but it doesn't shut down the computer automatically.. i still have to be home.

So my question here is, how frequently does the OS write important information that if lost would be unrecoverable and corrupt my win7 x64 install?

I overclock my i7 930 to 4.2 right now and am pushing it further day by day.. but occasionally I get a BSOD or a freeze-up when I'm pushing it with trail and error.
a c 126 G Storage
April 12, 2010 6:32:31 PM

What benchmarks have you run? Some benchmarks would show higher numbers but these are synthetic without having a real connection with actual performance. One example is the burst throughput when enabling write-back with Intel RAID controller; you get 2GB/s burstspeeds; but these aren't very relevant at all.

Does your OS contain anything important? If not, you don't need to backup and can use the RAM write-back feature without too much danger. If your array contains invaluable data, you should not use this feature.

Any crash or power failure has the potential to destroy alot of files on the filesystem with writeback enabled. This may also cause files that have not been modified for months to disappear. This is because the metadata on the disk will become corrupted; which can wipe whole directories. Recovering will mean you lose filenames, or directory structure.

I only recommend you do this on a RAID volume which could fail at any point without you having lost one byte of valuable data.
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