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Raid 0

Last response: in Storage
April 10, 2011 3:29:20 AM

Hey, my current motherboard is the Gigabyte 880GMA-UD2H, I have the Western Digital WD5002AALX. I want to try my first Raid 0 setup, but I have only one HDD. I will put 2-4 of the WD5002AALX in my Raid 0. If I install Windows 7 on my drive now, can I add drives to the Raid array as I go? Or will I need to backup and reinstall for every additional HDD? Would your recommend Raid 0? Thanks.

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April 10, 2011 5:24:54 AM

Yes and no. If you want true hardware accelerated RAID 0 you need to set it up prior to windows installation. Then you'd need to install windows onto the array you set up in your BIOS. You can also set up virtual RAID arrays in windows. You can create multiple partitions and set up a software RAID. you can access this all if you right click my computer and click manage. Under storage is disk management. There is one set back to this though it is slower than hardware supported RAID because it uses system resources.
April 10, 2011 5:33:05 AM

Thanks for the reply. I like how it boosts speed and allows you to merge drives. I don't like how the failure rate is so high. I think I might just have 4 separate HDDs and deal with having to navigate more.
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April 10, 2011 6:17:21 AM

Yeah linking drives together does exponentially increase failure rate, but you you have to understand Hard drives don't fail very often.
And there are things you can do to prevent failure. First of all keep them cool. whether its the ambient temp in your case, or if you want to be extreme you can buy HDD heat sinks or fan powered coolers. And the biggest factor of all... don't knock them around! they're pretty much glorified CD/DVD player/readers. They use magnetic pins that hover over metal platter. One scratch could destroy a critical windows .dll file.
But honestly you'll get bored and want to upgrade your HDD before it fails most of the time.
With 4 drives your ideal set up would be to use 2 in RAID 0 to install windows onto. and use the other 2 as RAID 1 to mirror your back up if your so concerned about saving your information. But honestly I wouldn't worry about hard drive failure as a determining factor.
a b G Storage
April 10, 2011 5:12:54 PM

enable RAID but configure your one HDD as JBOD initially

when you're ready to enable a RAID 0,
make a drive image of your system partition first
and save it to a DVD or thumb drive

do NOT save that drive image to your one HDD
because enabling RAID will destroy all data on it
i.e. if it becomes a member of your RAID 0 array

when you've connected more HDDs,
configure your RAID 0 and then
restore that drive image

drive images of the Windows system partition
work best if private data files are stored
on some OTHER drive letter(s)

so, you may want to shrink your existing
system partition down to something like 30 to 50GB,
using software like PartitionWizard: [ WORKS GREAT! ]

segregating the system partition from data files
is also a very good practice in the event that
your system partition is corrupted e.g. by virus or malware:
restoring a stable drive image is THE easiest way to
recover from such corruptions

restoring a drive image puts all files back to the
state they were in when you created that drive image,
so new data files created after that drive image was written
will NOT be restored!

that's another reason to segregate the system partition
from all of your private data files

hope this helps


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a b G Storage
April 10, 2011 5:19:19 PM

> linking drives together does exponentially increase failure rate

No it doesn't: that's a widespread myth that is just not true.

"exponentially"? that would mean that 2 drives are 2^2 or 4 times
more likely to fail.

reductio ad absurdum

RAID 0 actually spreads the workload across all member drives,
so the load on each is reduced, not increased!

if you write a 1 GB file to a RAID 0 partition with 2 x HDDs,
500MB will be written to one member HDD and
the other 500MB will be written to the other member HDD
(assuming 2 member HDDs).

if that RAID 0 partition has 4 member HDDs,
then only 250MB will be written to each member HDD.

p.s. RAID 0 does enhance performance measurably:
here are 4 x Hitachi 2.5" 15,000 rpm SAS HDDs in RAID 0:

Here's the same test with only one of those Hitachi SAS HDDs:


April 11, 2011 3:11:32 AM

Thanks for the replies guys. I will probably install as SLED, get all set up, make backup image, buy second drive, and then reinstall as Raid 0.
April 17, 2011 12:14:53 AM

Best answer selected by JoeAdamsIV.