I am thinking about putting 2 old 120GB drive in RAID 1. For my Family Pitchers and Home Videos.
I will be using Hardware RAID that is built in to my Motherboard.
I was just wondering what the success rate was of RAID 1, I know in theory I just replace the drive and it does it's thing and all is well and no data is lost. But in reality will this actually work, especially since i am doing a poor man's RAID with 2 old PADA drive and a old motherboard.
Or will I be better off with a Syncing program that will sync the two hard drives.
I run A LOT of backups. My main system runs a raid 1 with 2x500gb my home LAN runs a Raid 10 with 4x500gb drives. In addition I back up "crucial" files on a 1tb external eSATA that I then mirror to a 1TB USB external once a month. I've run this set up for 2 years. Prior to that it was a Raid 1 backed up to another raid 1 backed up to and external 500gb USB.
In 4+ years of running raid 1 and crazy external backup solutions I've had 2 incidences. The first was a failure of my external USB drive. It was just the enclosure the drive worked when I put it into a computer. The second was a failure of the same drive in another enclosure. The enclosure worked fine but the drive had failed.
In my experience it's the drives' age more then anything that results in failure. I'm actually waiting for one of my 500gb in my Raid 10 to fail so I can calculate the recovery time. Recovery time will always be LONG from everything I've read on the subject of redundancy raid systems. But I like knowing I have the data, regardless of a drive failure. Also, if you run a raid 10 you can mirror the partition drive onto an external drive that can allow you to rebuild a drive more quickly in the event of failure. I haven't had the opportunity to put this in to practice but when (not if) my old drive fails in my raid 10 I tend to time it out from the external.
IMO, drives are so stupid cheap it's worth running a RAID 1 on any machine where the contents are important to you. IF in your case it's just old pictures and videos then I would NOT suggest a raid set up. Rather get and external twice the size of your internal streaming HD and just back it up once a month.
I do unplug the drive but have no off site to place it. The reason I run a larger backup drive is in-case of bad sectors on the back up drive. I don't have any numbers but I wonder if moving the drive on and off the shelf and long periods between spinning it up causes the drive to age more rapidly. This may just be my own paranoia.
Cost is certainly a factor, but an inexpensive NAS device (network attached storage) can do a lot for you, including making RAID easy & reliable AND giving you the option of having your NAS backed up to an online backup service.