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Thinking of setting up a RAID Array

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August 13, 2010 9:58:52 PM

Right now my in my current configuration I have my operating system run off of an Intel 80 GB SSD, with storage duties being performed by a Samsung 1 TB HDD. The JMicron controller on my motherboard is disabled, and all SATA ports are configured to AHCI.

I'm rapidly approaching the limits of my 1 TB drive. Since the HD103SJ is SO damn cheap, I was considering either getting another one and just running them independently of one another, running another in RAID 0, or finally getting 2 more and running RAID 5. According to my motherboard manual it supports Raid 5. It's my understanding that I get 2 TB of total storage out of this. My questions:

1) How on earth do I set this up? Do I have to reformat/reinstall windows?
2) Will TRIM work on my SSD?
3) Do I have to perform any sort of ridiculous driver installation? I'm running W7 Pro x64

I have other alternatives too... I was considering just adding a 2 TB drive as well. I just like the idea of having ONE volume for storage. Everything irreplaceable is backed up on an external HDD, so that kind of makes RAID 0 an attractive option as well.



My system is:

CPU: Intel i5-750
Motherboard: ASUS P7P-55D Pro
Video Card: eVGA GTX 460 1GB
RAM: Corsair XMS3-1600, 8 GB
OS Drive: Intel X25M, 80GB
Data Drive: Samsung HD103SJ
PSU: Antec Earthwatts 650
OS: Windows 7 Pro x64
a b V Motherboard
a c 415 G Storage
August 14, 2010 5:17:31 AM

To use RAID effectively you need to spend some time testing and documenting how your array works and how it handles failures. For example, if a disk fails and you have to replace it, how to you know which one to replace?

When you consider that RAID can't replace a proper backup, and the fact that with consumer-class drives you're more likely to have drives declared dead (because they don't support Time-Limited Error Recovery, AKA "TLER"), I think you might be better off with just individual drives.

If you take that third drive you were thinking of to support RAID-5 and use it instead as an external drive for backups your data will be safer in the long run.
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August 14, 2010 12:56:58 PM

sminlal said:
To use RAID effectively you need to spend some time testing and documenting how your array works and how it handles failures. For example, if a disk fails and you have to replace it, how to you know which one to replace?

When you consider that RAID can't replace a proper backup, and the fact that with consumer-class drives you're more likely to have drives declared dead (because they don't support Time-Limited Error Recovery, AKA "TLER"), I think you might be better off with just individual drives.

If you take that third drive you were thinking of to support RAID-5 and use it instead as an external drive for backups your data will be safer in the long run.


Does the same advice go for RAID 0? Since that would be an easy way to just make the volume I have bigger, it seems like an attractive option. I understand RAID 5 is more complicated.
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a b V Motherboard
a c 415 G Storage
August 14, 2010 5:34:04 PM

If EITHER drive in a RAID 0 set fails, then you've lost ALL your data. But you'll still need to know which drive needs to be replaced with a new one so you'll still have to go through the education part to understand how your RAID controller reports drives, etc.

I personally don't think it's worth the extra hassle of having to deal with RAID, and I'd just go out and buy a 2TB drive. But it's really an individual choice, and you won't really understand what it entails unless you try it...
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