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RAID 10 or RAID 0 plus external harddrive

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  • NAS / RAID
  • External Hard Drive
  • Storage
  • Product
Last response: in Storage
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June 8, 2010 9:03:28 PM

Hi, I was initially looking at getting a raid 5 array, but liked the performance of a raid 0 array instead. But i wanted some redundancy, so I thought about raid 10. the only problem with that is it is not the cheapest way to go. so my question was, would it be better to just spend the 69$ a drive to get 4 drives in a raid10 array? or can i just get two drives and put them in a raid 0 array, and just have an external harddrive that is big enough to cover the size of the two drives for backup? how can I make an external harddrive automatically mirror or backup my system? if something drastic goes wrong with my system (ex: all data on the drives is lost) is it possible to just use the external harddrive to copy back over all of the information onto the two drives in a raid 0 array to restore bootability and all the data? thanks for the help.

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a c 128 G Storage
June 8, 2010 9:19:08 PM

What are you looking to see a performance gain in as a result of the RAID 0 array ?

Doing movie editing and writing to twin hard drives to increase speeds ?
Large database applications ?
Other specialized software specifically designed or know to take advantage of RAID 0 ?

If it's not any of the above and one of your goals is faster boot times, I'd suggest a SSD.

If your looking for observable increases in gaming performance, you are not going to see that from a RAID array.

As for data backup, you can certainly do that to better effect with:

1. A external Hard Drive.....possible options include:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/hdd-backup-recovery...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Look at imaging software (i.e Shadow protect Desktop) as well as normal backup stuff

2. NAS .... this can serve the need to backup a whole family's worth of systems, serve as a media server and various other uses. .....possible options include:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


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June 8, 2010 9:28:40 PM

What I am actually going to use it for requires quite a bit of HDD space as well as very high speeds. I am going to be using Black Magic Intensity Pro to capture uncompressed data from my HD cameras (I am going to consider compressed data too). I am looking at getting maybe 1.2 TB of space so if I get 4 x 640GB and put them in raid 10 that should be good. But I am thinking maybe I could save some money by getting 2 x 640GB and put them in raid 0 and get a 1.5 TB external harddrive to mirror the array. I can get a pretty cheap one directly from my work (a 1.5 tb one that retails for over 200 bucks and i can get for 100 bucks). Does that sound like it would work? Or should I get the 4 x 640 GB and put it in raid 5? I just dont know how much managing parity slows down the system. Thanks for your help
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a c 99 G Storage
June 8, 2010 10:10:43 PM

Are you sure you want an external back up? A regular internal would be cheaper, unless you want to be "mobile."

I'd go RAID 0 (having no experience with RAID 5, I just know it need more drives), with a large backup. You can have more than 2 drives in a RAID 0 array, but the benifit is (mostly) humanlly unnoticable.

As for backups, you an set Windows to back up nightly (if you leave the computer on), and do a full backup (system, data, media, etc). Norton can do it also. My Norton AntiVirus program overrides the Windows settings, and backups my whole PC up every Friday night.

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June 9, 2010 2:43:05 PM

RAID 5 can be done with 3 drives. The main problem with a RAID 5 setup is you will have a write penalty because it has to recalculate and rewrite the parity every time data is changed, however the read performance will be close to RAID 0.

Personally I use my desktop to edit videos and pictures and I run a RAID 0 with an external HD that is the same size as my RAID. (Only 500 gigs, but that is enough space for me. My RAID is about 4 years old and both drives are still going)
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a c 99 G Storage
June 9, 2010 8:50:41 PM

What if you use these drives for your data on a second/third hardrive, and just have one drive for the OS?

This is the trend, 1-OS, 1-data/media, 1-back up drive. Any of them can be in a RAID array, if desired. IMHO: This helps protect my data/media is the event of an OS failure. Then I only have to re-install my OS, and it doesn't touch my data drive(s). It a little more complicated than that, but you get the idea.

In my set up, which you may consider as you were going to buy 5 drives, is:
2-SSD in RAID 0 for OS and Program Files = FAST loads!
2-HDD in RAID 0 for Data/Media (My Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, Downloads)
1-HDD for backups (as large as my other 2 HDD)
But this is just a sample.
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June 10, 2010 12:30:17 AM

foscooter said:
What if you use these drives for your data on a second/third hardrive, and just have one drive for the OS?

This is the trend, 1-OS, 1-data/media, 1-back up drive. Any of them can be in a RAID array, if desired. IMHO: This helps protect my data/media is the event of an OS failure. Then I only have to re-install my OS, and it doesn't touch my data drive(s). It a little more complicated than that, but you get the idea.

In my set up, which you may consider as you were going to buy 5 drives, is:
2-SSD in RAID 0 for OS and Program Files = FAST loads!
2-HDD in RAID 0 for Data/Media (My Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, Downloads)
1-HDD for backups (as large as my other 2 HDD)
But this is just a sample.


I sort of like ur idea.. but I would definately change it a bit. Rather than get 2 SSDs for the OS and 2 HDD for data, I would rather get 3 or 4 HDD for both. I dont necessarily need extremely fast os speed. I definately would need a drive to cover the size of the raid tho. So thanks, that kind of answered my question.

But say one of the HDDs broke and you replaced it, how do you use the backup hdd to restore the raid array properly?
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a c 99 G Storage
June 10, 2010 1:53:57 AM

That a whole new question!

I'm sorry, I can't answer it. However, there are ways to "restore" a RAID array, I don't know how.

If mine were to fail, say my data/media drive(s), I'd:
1. install new one(s)
2. set up my RAID array
3. format the drives
4. copy (drag& drop) the information from my backup to the "new" drives.

If my OS drive failed, I'd get a new larger iX25-M 80GB, and toss the RAID on my SSD set up, and reinstall OS & Programs. :lol:  I probably won't mess with any kind of "restore from backup" feature in Windows. BTW: I backup the Windows files I know are important and specific to me (i.e. Outlook files, Favorites, etc.).

This may not be the "right" way, but that's what I'd do.

So anyway, you see that advantages of keeping OS & Data seperate, but you aren't going to do it. That's fine. Your'e still thinking RAID 5 with a external backup?
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June 10, 2010 3:36:09 AM

Honestly I dont really see the advantage.. besides using the faster SSDs. It seems to me that everything would be way simpler to keep on one drive.

But yeah I guess you have a good idea i can always go oldschool and do manual backup and restores. I'll just backup the data i need and drag and drop if anything goes wrong.

So I am thinking about just going 2 or 3 drives in raid 0 and using norton or some other automatic backup program to backup the important data that ive got to a seperate internal drive.

Thanks for the help!
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June 10, 2010 3:48:48 AM

Best answer selected by skyturnred.
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a c 99 G Storage
June 10, 2010 5:57:22 PM

Thanks, and it seem like you got the ball.

In addition to backups, you might try a "sync" utility. I use "SyncToy" (from Microsoft). It's free! I set up what I want synced (or backed up), from what drive/folder/file to where, and any changes/updates are copied to the other drive. Once set up and run, it gets faster the next time. But I have to manually execute the program...just an idea.

BTW: the link to it it here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=C26EFA36-98E0-4EE9-A7C5-98D0592D8C52&displaylang=en
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June 10, 2010 8:35:47 PM

Thanks will check that out.
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a b G Storage
June 11, 2010 7:00:16 PM

What is the point of capturing uncompressed data from your video camera? The data is compressed on the video camera itself. Maybe doing uncompressed will save you time later when working with the movies. But you are restricted to the interface speed and the speed of the internals of the video camera when transferring the video. Either way, an external backup is the safest bet to protect your data.
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June 12, 2010 6:05:40 PM

goobaah said:
What is the point of capturing uncompressed data from your video camera? The data is compressed on the video camera itself. Maybe doing uncompressed will save you time later when working with the movies. But you are restricted to the interface speed and the speed of the internals of the video camera when transferring the video. Either way, an external backup is the safest bet to protect your data.


my camera compresses the data, but also has the option to bypass that and directly send uncompressed data through hdmi to wherever i want it to be (in this case on my pc). i wish i could give u the model of my camera but i got it in tokyo and its all japanese stuff.
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