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How to set up raid 5

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May 2, 2009 7:59:02 AM

Just ordered the parts below to build my first rig, in my research I can't find any instructions on how to set it up with a RAID 5 array. Any and all tips, comments, questions and suggestions will be appreciated!


1) Graphics (Crossfire Hybrid)- MSI R4830-T2D1G Radeon HD 4830 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail 4+1 Power Phase for overclocking

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

2) CPU- AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Dual-Core black edition Processor - Retail

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

3) MoBo (Auto Overclock V12)- BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX 128M AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
140W Phenom and loaded for OC

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

4) Memory (4 Gb)- A-DATA 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

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

5) HD x 3 (RAID 5)- Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM

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

6) Power Supply- Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

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

7) Case- RAIDMAX AZTEC ATX-619WB Black/ Silver 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case - Retail

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

8) DVD/CD- Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM

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

9) OS- Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 32-bit for System Builders - OEM

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

10) Free-MSI Rainbow6 Vegas2 Bundled Game Gift - OEM

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

More about : set raid

May 2, 2009 6:13:18 PM

Google and wiki Raid arrays for info on what RAID 5 will do (if you don't already know). Stuff like you need at least 3 HDD's (which it looks like you already realise) and get n-1 storage out them (aka with 3 drives u will get 2 drives worth of space).

Otherwise, for setting up, just read your mobo user manual. Should get you going. One thing though... I haven't had any experience with the quality of Biostar's user manual's, so they might be written in undecipherable English (in my opinion you should have gone with Asus or Gigabyte just for this reason... and also its easier to google other people with the same probs as you). If you still struggle, you'll just have to look through the bios settings until you figure it out. Also, sometimes you have to install special raid drivers from your mobo driver disk, with any luck the install process will give you some sort of heads up.

Good luck
May 2, 2009 7:56:52 PM

Wow! That was fast!

Thanks Curry!

You have confirmed one of my ideas, RAID 5 will provide 1 TB of HD real estate, a good balance between write/read speed & redundancy!

You are also right about the Biostar manual, I got the idea of using RAID 5 from it, but it doesn't seem to tell you how to set it up.

What it does tell you sure looks exciting!

Gimme your thoughts about the following:

1) Setting up the graphics card in cross-fire hybrid mode. Is the paddle they mention included or do I need to buy it?

2) The Overclocking Navigator Engine (O.N.E.). That's where I got the V12 idea!

3) Do I need any hardware to achieve RAID 5?

4) Did i get enough memory?

Here's the mobo page in case you wanna browse through the manual.

http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en-us/t-series/introducti...


Thanks again!

Loeteke1
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May 2, 2009 8:15:32 PM


One last question: what do you think of my choice of vista 32 bit?

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

curryj02 said:
Google and wiki Raid arrays for info on what RAID 5 will do (if you don't already know). Stuff like you need at least 3 HDD's (which it looks like you already realise) and get n-1 storage out them (aka with 3 drives u will get 2 drives worth of space).

Otherwise, for setting up, just read your mobo user manual. Should get you going. One thing though... I haven't had any experience with the quality of Biostar's user manual's, so they might be written in undecipherable English (in my opinion you should have gone with Asus or Gigabyte just for this reason... and also its easier to google other people with the same probs as you). If you still struggle, you'll just have to look through the bios settings until you figure it out. Also, sometimes you have to install special raid drivers from your mobo driver disk, with any luck the install process will give you some sort of heads up.

Good luck

May 3, 2009 10:08:54 AM

Hi Loeteke. Let me save you before you spend hours setting up Raid 5 and installing the OS and programs.

You really do not want to use Raid 5 for the OS because everything will be about 3 times slower than using a single drive. Raid 5 requires a dedicated Hardware Raid controller to work properly and the motherboard Raid is beyond slow for Raid 5. I know Raid 5 sounds nice and cool due to having redundancy and only losing one drive's space for it. Raid 5 write speed using the motherboard Raid is already far slower than a single drive and once you add the OS, which does a lot of random writes, the entire system will be extremely slow.

Once others(Shadowflash, Wolf2 or Sub Mesa) see your thread, they will tell you the same thing.

Your best option is get another identical drive and use Raid 10, which will still give you 1TB of space but will make your system far faster.

Also, why did you get the ATI 4830 and a motherboard with video already built into it?
May 3, 2009 11:20:10 AM

Thanks SpecialK,

I'll have to consider your advice regarding raid 10.

For now, I have pulled the trigger with these components and wanna make the best machine I can with them.

I was just reading the mobo specs on the website again and it says it supports raid 0, 1, 5 & 10.

I don't have any critical data to loose, what I generate can be backed up to DVD or external HD's.

I also wanna go for max read/write speeds.

Question1: Which RAID configuration would you recommend using all three HD's?

Question2: If I go with raid 5 which hardware raid controller would you recommend?

The idea of getting the separate graphics card is to achieve crossfire hybrid mode. That's my other question, they mention you have to fill the second slot with a "paddle".

Question3: Is that paddle included or would I need to buy it?

Maybe later you guys can walk me through clocking it & see just what performance I actually get!

Thanks in advance for your patience!

Loeteke

Here's the mobo specs:

Brand BIOSTAR
Model TFORCE TA790GX 128M
Supported CPU
CPU Socket Type AM2+/AM2
CPU Type Phenom / Athlon 64 X2 / Athlon 64 / Sempron
FSB 2600MHz Hyper Transport (5200 MT/s)
Chipsets
North Bridge AMD 790GX
South Bridge AMD SB750
Memory
Number of Memory Slots 4×240pin
Memory Standard DDR2 800/1066(1066 by AM2+ CPU)
Maximum Memory Supported 16GB
Channel Supported Dual Channel
Expansion Slots
PCI Express 2.0 x16 2 x PCI-E x16 2.0 Slot (CFX x8)
PCI Express x1 2
PCI Slots 2
Storage Devices
PATA 1 x ATA100 2 Dev. Max
SATA 3Gb/s 6
SATA RAID 0/1/5/10
Onboard Video
Onboard Video Chipset ATI Radeon HD 3300
Onboard Audio
Audio Chipset Realtek ALC888
Audio Channels 8 Channels
Onboard LAN
LAN Chipset Realtek 8111C
Max LAN Speed 10/100/1000Mbps
Rear Panel Ports
PS/2 2
Video Ports D-Sub + DVI
HDMI 1 x HDMI
USB 4 x USB 2.0
Audio Ports 6 Ports
Onboard USB
Onboard USB 3 x USB 2.0 Header
Physical Spec
Form Factor ATX
Power Pin 24 Pin
Packaging
Package Contents TFORCE TA790GX 128M
Driver Disk
User Manual
Rear I/O Panel Shield
IDE/PATA Cable
SATA Cable
4-pin to SATA Power Cable
May 4, 2009 7:28:42 AM

For max read/write speeds, Raid 0 is the best. The main downside to Raid 0 is if one drive has a problem, then all data is lost. Since you said that the data isn't very important and you back it up then Raid 0 is your best choice.

The Hybrid Crossfire is a cool feature but I don't know anything about it or the "paddle".

With 4GB of Ram, you need Vista 64bit to use all of it. 32 bit will limit you to about 3.2GB.

What will you use this PC for?
May 4, 2009 8:00:33 AM

Thanks SpecialK,

Someone else is tells me that raid 1 would give one Tb of space and leave one disc for redundancy, it this correct? Can this be done with three disks?

I think the paddles they refer to are also known as continuity modules? Does that sound familiar now?

The paragraphs below come from the seller website, this is kind of what I'm aiming for:

The AMD64 technology is compatible with existing software and enables a seamless transition to the 64-bit applications of the future. This technology allows end users to take advantage of real-time encryption, more life-like games, accurate speech interfaces, cinema-quality graphic effects, and easy-to-use video and audio editing.

If you're going to use this processor at home, it can be the basis of a media center with AMD Live! technology. This new feature from AMD will turn your PC into an entertainment platform second to none. Watch videos or TV in one room while streaming music into another. Your system will become a true media center with music, movies, and photos all organized and able to be shared amongst all of your connected equipment.

I initially wanted to order vista 64 bit, but let someone talk me into 32-bit for compatibility, live and learn...

As I said, any suggestions as to how to optimize what I ordered would be welcome!

Thanks,

Loeteke


May 6, 2009 8:44:48 AM

Hey Curry, SpecialK & anyone ready to help!

All my parts have come in and I'm having a good time putting them in so far.

The Raid Aztec case turns out to be kinda generic. The I/O plate did not fit my mobo, so I had to leave it out. I figure it's extra ventilation for now. Anyone else have this problem? The magnetic front door latch doesn't work & the plexiglass door doesn't quite fit at the top right corner.

The cpu & fan went right in. The above mentioned paddle for the gpu's hybrid crossfire mode came included with the mobo!

Memory is in, power supply popped right in.

Now my main concern is that the gpu is practically hanging in mid air. It's only supported by the pins themselves and the swing arm support built into the case is too high to provide any assistance.

There seems to be nothing to put the retaining screw into.

This can't be right!

The case came with a few sheet metal pieces, but none seem to be for this purpose. Any ideas?

Thanks,

Loeteke
May 8, 2009 9:29:53 AM

Raid 1 is only using 2 drives and those 2 drives are "mirrored" and have the same data on each.

For Vista x64, you should be able to order a 64 bit disc from Microsoft for $10. I have recently moved from XP 32 bit to Vista x64 and I have not had any compatibility issues, and I use a lot of different programs. Vista x64 has really matured and is better than 32bit in many ways. Heck, Microsoft originally had planned Vista to be the last 32bit OS that they ever released but they since decided to release 7 in 32bit also.

For the GPU, there are little holes on the "Expansion" slots(7 expansion slots on back of case). If this is your first video card install, google how to install one. I looked at the photos on newegg of your case and I could see the holes. Also, you really don't need the GPU support bracket for your ATI.
May 8, 2009 10:55:30 AM

tHANKS AGAIN sPECIALk!

I just found out why my stuff did not fit together: I had ignored the standoffs that go under the mobo because they didn't come in the kit! That's why the i/o plate didn't fit.. Argh! My build is at a standstill until I can buy some tonite.

Now about Vista 64 disk you mention for $10. Is this like an expension disk, or would I have to reformat the drives and reload the OS again?

By the way, I decided to go with raid zero like you recommended, with the 3rd HD just for storage.

Thanks some more!

Loeteke
May 8, 2009 11:19:54 PM

For Vista x64, you would need to reinstall everything.

Don't feel so bad about the standoffs - I did the same thing when I built my first PC. However, I was arrogant and thought I didn't need to read directions or ask for help.

I'm surprised the case didn't come with screws and standoffs with it being a higher priced case.
May 9, 2009 12:35:04 PM

Hey SpecialK!

Thanks for all you help thus far!

Turns out the standoffs came installed in the right spots, I just didn't know it, so that issue seems to be resolved. The mobo is not touching anything underneath & the i/o plate just does not fit, so I'll have to leave it out I guess.

I managed to install a fourth fan as well.

Now I need two more SATA data cables & I'll be ready to hit the power switch for the first time, then loading up Vista & setting up raid zero will be my next project.

Assuming I don't get like, a mushroom cloud, I'd appreciate any of your helpful pointers regarding that phase.

So far the buzzwords are: "When installing Windows you need to enter RAID drivers during install with F6 key."

"reading the POST screen is key."

If you have a moment, could you tell me what is supposed to be the right sequence of events?

Thanks again!

Loeteke1
May 9, 2009 2:11:54 PM

Ammm, (bit new to this myself), but could it be that you're not using the i/o plate that came with the motherboard.

I think each motherboard is different, so they should always supply a i/o shield.

You should be able to remove the one on the case and replace it with the one which came with the m/b

It might be worthwhile posting pics of things that don't fit, so others can see the problem.
May 9, 2009 8:21:36 PM

Noobie1,
I know what you mean, the i/o plate that came with the case was completely different, the one from the mobo snaps right in, but the holes for the sound jacks just don't line up with the mobo, the rest of the holes do. One of the experts here suggested I had put in the mobo without standoffs, but I checked and that's not the problem. Sorry, I don't have a good way to post a picture right now.

Thanks for your input!

Loeteke1
July 16, 2009 10:27:24 AM

Specialk is wrong. The motherboard in OP's post has a built in RAID controller.
July 16, 2009 11:56:01 PM

I does have a built-in RAID controller. Let me bring you guys up to date. A gentleman who calls himself Davinchy from a competing forum, practically stayed on line overnight with me and taught me how to set up RAID arrays. He taught me so well that I felt confident enough to go from raid zero to raid 5 and back again. As predicted raid 5 was ponderously slow. Everything was going just ducky until about a month ago, when my rig was fried by a lightning strike! Argh! Currently waiting for my PSU to come back & I'll see what else I'll need after that. Wish me luck & thanks!
Loeteke
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