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How to setup SSD boot disk and RAID 5? 10?

Last response: in Storage
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May 20, 2011 2:36:51 AM

First off, this is my first experience building a computer; I got tired of being ripped off by certain retail stores. I have done a lot of research on a lot of topics, taking it all in is a lot to comprehend at once, but the fact the I'm writing this message this computer has given me some confidence so far.

I might have gone a bit over board with my build too, but my "go to guys" for advice would be available and then not, and would have different opinions and what not. So, I decided to "wing it" and learn from my own mistakes. So please keep the criticism down, the parts are already installed, I'm looking for advice on setting up a SSD boot disk and HDD array that will provide me the best performance w/ some sort of safety net.

My build so far:
1-COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1
1-COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series RSA00-80GAD3-US 1000W
1-ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme
1-AMD Phenom II X6 1100T
1-ZALMAN CNPS 9500 AM2 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink
1-G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Model F3-12800CL9Q-16GBRL
2-XFX HD-687A-ZNFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit DDR5
1-Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7260S-0B
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit

1-Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb
1-Western Digital Caviar Black WD6402AAEX 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb 64MB cache
4-Western Digital Caviar Black WD7502AAEX 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb 64MB cache (not installed yet)
1-Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (not installed yet)

Ok, here's my justification for all these HDDs, the seagate was almost free with a combo, and I had originally planned on some sort of RAID setup with the WD 640GB but they are now on back order, so I got the 750s instead $60ea and the SSD was on special for $115. I'm a little impulsive sometimes.

Finally to my questions:
Where do I go from here? What's the best way to go? I don't have any important files saved on this computer yet. I'm becoming fairly familiar with Windows 7 but don't have much BIOS exp; I will learn though.
This is what I'm thinking: download and save all the latest drivers to a flash drive, erase everything, configure RAID and Boot disk in bios, and then a fresh install of Win 7.
That is why I'm here though, I'm not sure what the best way to go is.

I guess I should mention that my main reason for building this computer is to run AutoCAD and Autodesk REVIT Architecture and multitask other programs at the same time.


a c 124 G Storage
May 20, 2011 4:58:48 AM

Install Win 7 on the SSD.

Then connect two identical SATA drives (for best performance) and setup RAID 1 (mirroring).

Whatever odd drives are left over, install as individual drives.

Store sensitive data on the RAID 1 drives, and other stuff like videos, music, etc. on the other drives.

Make sure you backup regularly to an external drive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID
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May 20, 2011 7:21:10 AM

I got 4 indentical drives with intention of setting up a RAID 0+1 or 1+0 or 5. I want to get the highest read times I can for rendering. Why would I need back up often if I was mirroring?
I guess what I really want to know is if I can install all 4-750s and SSD and leave in the 640(currently my boot) and then move my OS to my SSD and other programs to my new Virtual or should I start fresh and reinstall windows to SSD and reinstall programs to my new virtual drive. I can't rename both of them c:, so wouldn't I run into problems somewhere if I didn't reinstall all the programs or OS??

Can I do this all in disk management or do I need to go into bios to set it up?
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a c 124 G Storage
May 20, 2011 2:15:31 PM

gsx2ner said:
I got 4 indentical drives with intention of setting up a RAID 0+1 or 1+0 or 5. I want to get the highest read times I can for rendering. Why would I need back up often if I was mirroring?
I guess what I really want to know is if I can install all 4-750s and SSD and leave in the 640(currently my boot) and then move my OS to my SSD and other programs to my new Virtual or should I start fresh and reinstall windows to SSD and reinstall programs to my new virtual drive. I can't rename both of them c:, so wouldn't I run into problems somewhere if I didn't reinstall all the programs or OS??

Can I do this all in disk management or do I need to go into bios to set it up?

RAID is NOT a substitute for backups!
http://ask-leo.com/is_using_raid_a_good_backup_alternat...
http://serverfault.com/questions/2888/why-is-raid-not-a...

Regarding the second part of your question - It is better to do a fresh install of everything.
As far as installing the OS on one SSD and all other programs on a different drive(s) (RAID) read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/269338-32-news-large-....

RAID must be setup in the BIOS.
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May 21, 2011 3:09:46 AM

ok, I installed windows on my SSD. Your last link didn't work, but I did read more into the mobo manual and did some exploring in bios. I found the info I need on setting up a RAID in bios.
Right now when viewing my drives in disk management 4-750s and 1-640, all are unallocated, and the 64GB SSD with the system reserve and c:
Do I need to initialize any of the drives before I create a RAID? or just leave them all unallocated?
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a c 124 G Storage
May 21, 2011 6:12:25 PM

gsx2ner said:
ok, I installed windows on my SSD. Your last link didn't work, but I did read more into the mobo manual and did some exploring in bios. I found the info I need on setting up a RAID in bios.
Right now when viewing my drives in disk management 4-750s and 1-640, all are unallocated, and the 64GB SSD with the system reserve and c:
Do I need to initialize any of the drives before I create a RAID? or just leave them all unallocated?

Yes, all drives used in RAID must be formatted first.

Here is the link. I hope it works this time: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/269338-32-news-large-...

It's a post by WyomingKnott on May, 18, 2011 at Tom's Hardware - Forum Storage : General Discussion - News: Yes you can put that large game on another drive
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