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Is this a good solution for RAID0 with Backup ?

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August 16, 2010 4:18:53 PM

Hi,

If I get three 1TB hard drives, and set the first two as RAID0 using motherboard software, and then use some backup software to create images and transfer it to the third hard drive, wouldn't that resolve the issue with RAID0 being vulnerable to data loss?

This way I can get the increased performance of RAID0 without worrying that all the data will be lost.

Thoughts?
a b G Storage
August 16, 2010 6:10:15 PM

As long as you don't use more than 1TB on the RAID0. RAID0 lets you use the total capacity of both 1TB HDDs, so you could load up to 2TBs on the RAID. Having the 1TB backup HDD would allow backup of +/-1TB on it (depends on any data compression your backup software provides).
August 16, 2010 6:21:14 PM

Ah right, I was thinking it will reduce the capacity like RAID1.

So to match I'll need 2x500GB + 1TB backup.

I'm reading that the 640GB drives are faster than the 500GB, something about platters. Will that matter in a RAID0?
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August 17, 2010 5:30:17 PM

I got confused about RAID0 vs RAID1. Since you are looking for performance enhancement (hey, I bet you get lots of e-mails about that) RAID0 + a backup drive is what you are looking for.

You should look carefully into which drives to choose. It is pretty confusing. I'd have to dig for it but there is a Web site that lists which drives have what size platters, etc.

I can't remember if fewer larger platters is faster than more smaller platters. You can get 500GB drives with one platter and 640GB drives with two. Of course sometimes they use two 300GB+ platters in the 500GB drive, or @#$% It can get confusing.

The standard right now for low cost drives is 7200RPM but I can't remember what size cache, 16MB or 32MB. I haven't shopped recently.

Then you need to decide if you want to be green or not. Whether noise is a concern. Etc.

Would an SSD be big enough as a primary drive and then just have a data drive?

What is your budget? That will determine which direction your take.

I know you came here for answers and I've just given you questions.
August 17, 2010 5:39:25 PM

Also check out the RAID FAQ and look at Level 0+1 and 1+0. Like I said questions and confusion.

I'm currently trying to redesign my network. I have four systems, one system with two 640GB (supposedly, actually capacity as configured is 596GB). I have 1TB drive and a USB docking station. I'm trying to figure out how to best utilize my storage and protect against data loss on any system.

I'm not trying to hijack this thread. I'm interested in the solutions suggested for bapc.
August 18, 2010 4:36:49 PM

Hey Bluecat, thanks for the info. I'm understanding the RAID0 and RAID1, but totally lost with the 0+1 and 1+0.

If the latter two utilize all four disks, I wouldn't want to do that because it will wear them out too fast I think. Plus the power usage. Again I'm not sure about this but from my understanding RAID10 will use all four at once.

The other day newegg was having a sale on the seagate barracuda 7200.12, it's a 500GB drive with one platter 32MB cache, most reviews said it is very fast after updating the firmware. Some people don't like seagate I guess that's why it was on sale, but anyway I ordered four of them which cost less than two Western Digitals.

I'm not sure how to set them up yet but I would like the performance of RAID0 and to backup my system to the other drives.

I think to start I'm just going to setup the first two as RAID0 C:, and use D: and E: as regular drives for backing up the system and files.

What sucks with RAID, from my understanding, is that you need to set everything up before using it, and any change in the future cannot be done without having to start all over and losing data.

I've been reading many articles, forums, etc about RAID, what is so frustrating is that so many people have different opinions and advice ranging from using RAID0 on an OS drive only, to using RAID1, to using no RAID at all unless you're a datacenter.

And then there is short stroking...
a c 415 G Storage
August 18, 2010 5:05:06 PM

bapc said:
If I get three 1TB hard drives, and set the first two as RAID0 using motherboard software, and then use some backup software to create images and transfer it to the third hard drive, wouldn't that resolve the issue with RAID0 being vulnerable to data loss?
You'd be better off taking the third drive and putting it into an external enclosure so that you can keep your backups offline. That's safer because they won't be exposed to the many of the risks that the original data is vulnerable to - risks such as accidental deletion, viruses, corruption, power hits, theft of the computer, etc.
a c 351 G Storage
August 18, 2010 5:35:22 PM

+1 ^ Good suggestion, sminal

In general the higher the density of a platter, the higher the performance and that is true for single drive, or a pair in Raid 0.

Recommendation: when you enter the setup for your raid0 drives. Do not select the entire drive for the raid0 strip. Select 100 to 200 gigs and set the strip size. This will be for your operating system and programs. Then select the remainder of the HDD(s) for a 2nd array. This will be for your Data/files (Note you can make additional partitions in the 2nd array using windows disk management.

Windows will show two HDDs (Drive 0 and Drive 1), Drive 0 being for your Operating system/programs.

Windows 7 has an excellent back up - it will create an image of your boot drive (including that small 100 meg partition) to either a HDD or to DVDs. It will then offer to create a Boot DVD to re-install that image file.
August 18, 2010 6:34:27 PM

Maybe you can get a small SSD for your OS and then use the 3 1TB drive in a RAID-5 set.

What are you trying to achieve BTW? Do you want faster bootup? Do you want to keep everything safe?
August 18, 2010 7:17:00 PM

Thanks for the informative responses. I didn't know that I can setup multiple arrays on one drive. Can I mix 0 and 1 ?

Basically, my objective is to optimize a new system I'm building as best as possible, I do a bit of video editing and I keep on hearing about RAID and using several disks, although it seems everyone has their own type of setup which is confusing me considerably.

On top of that I would like space for backups. So if a drive fails or Windows messes up with a virus or I mess up, I can simple restore a previous state.

I ordered four 500GB 7200.12 drives since they were cheap $40 bucks each, they haven't shipped yet so I can probably cancel if necessary. SSD's appear to be very expensive and limited, I guess that technology is brand new.
August 18, 2010 8:00:37 PM

bapc said:
I've been reading many articles, forums, etc about RAID, what is so frustrating is that so many people have different opinions and advice ranging from using RAID0 on an OS drive only, to using RAID1, to using no RAID at all unless you're a datacenter.

And then there is short stroking...


I can explain you why you shouldn't use RAID unless you're a datacenter.

There is a big difference within RAID controller build for workstation and those built for servers.
The one build for workstation is what would be called a software RAID. That means that there is no chip build-in to manage the disks. The CPU will have to do the job before sending any data to disk. This puts a load on the CPU. The one for servers are also more fault-tolerant.

If you really want performance, I would go with SSDs, raptor disk (15k rpm) or SCSI disk over RAID0 for the reason above. But this is just me :) 

For your backup, this is a good idea, but be sure not to write over the last backup :)  Virus might take a while before noticing them and you don't want to back them up :) 
a c 351 G Storage
August 18, 2010 9:17:40 PM

negative on mixing raid1 and raid 0 on the same pair of HDD.

Just for info I've been runing raid setup on my computers since before SATA. I still have too computers that supported raid0 using ide interface. My vista compute is 3 years old and has 2 pair of raid0 drives, one for vista and one for XP ( I removed the pair that had win 7 RC. I have only had one problem - a drive showed an error on a write ( still worked). - Backed up the drive, redid the array and returned it to use.

I know others have been less "lucky".
August 21, 2010 2:30:39 AM

I have similar questions to bapc so I hope it's OK to piggy back on his question. I consider myself a fairly experienced PC user but none with RAID. I'm a grad student working on my thesis, recently had my PC crash during a storm and had to reinstall everything (documents were on a separate drive).

I have reinstalled almost all of the software I need and bought extra hard drives to setup RAID and a backup power supply for the most security against losing system or data. I'm using a Seagate Barracuda 80 GB for system and 250 GB for docs, and bought two extra of each. I want the best security possible against having to interrupt my thesis again or losing data before I graduate. Using Win XP SP 3.

I have been reading forums online trying to get a handle on the best way to approach setting up the RAID and also wondering if Ghosting is a good alternative (I've heard conflicting opinions on that as well). Can RAID be used for both system and document drives simultaneously? Any other recommendations or sources of info would be greatly appreciated.
August 21, 2010 2:48:37 AM

More details on my system in case its helpful:

Operating System System Model Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 (build 2600)
Install Language: English (United States)
System Locale: English (United States) BIOSTAR Group N61PB-M2S 6.0
Enclosure Type: Desktop Processor Main Circuit Board 2.60 gigahertz AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core
128 kilobyte primary memory cache
512 kilobyte secondary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (2 total)
Not hyper-threaded Board: BIOSTAR Group N61PB-M2S 1.0
Serial Number: OEM
Bus Clock: 201 megahertz
BIOS: Phoenix Technologies, LTD 6.00 PG 06/16/2008 Drives Memory Modules 330.06 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
179.52 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

SONY DVD RW DRU-V200S SCSI CdRom Device [CD-ROM drive]
3.5" format removeable media [Floppy drive]

ST3250410AS [Hard drive] (250.06 GB) -- drive 1, s/n 6RYC8F9W, rev 3.AAF, SMART Status: Healthy
ST380013A [Hard drive] (80.02 GB) -- drive 0, s/n 4a355256514d354a202020202020202020202020 3072 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory

Slot 'A0' has 2048 MB
Slot 'A1' has 2048 MB
Slot 'A2' is Empty
Slot 'A3' is Empty Local Drive Volumes

c: (NTFS on drive 0) 80.02 GB 63.84 GB free
e: (NTFS on drive 1) 83.89 GB 61.58 GB free
f: (NTFS on drive 1) 166.16 GB 54.09 GB free
!