Do I need to re-install win7 with the raid controller enabled???
That's the fix - durring the install, when you are selecting the drive and partition, there is a 'load drivers' item - you need to do that, with the 'pre-load' drivers for the ICH... Also, be aware that RAID5 on a 'FakeRAID' will slow your throughput down considerably - you're 'stealing cycles' from you processor every read/write to do the parity calcs!
I actually ended up re-installing win7 with the raid controller "enabled" in the BIOS and everything worked fine from that point... I have the whole RAID5 setup working now, but as you mentioned, I noticed that I am only getting 20-30MB/s transfer rate to the 10k rpm VelocyRaptor
I know very little about RAID and had just read that a RAID5 setup would improve performance and provide data protection, but I assume that what you mean by FakeRAID is that I don't have a dedicated RAID card in my PC is that the reason?
Crap, I transferred 500+ gbs last night to the array thinking I was done with it, but now I need to find a better solution!
What would you recommend I do with 3 1TB drives of data storage (half of the data is large HD video files from my camcorder, which I use for video editing)? My priority is the data protection, but I would prefer NOT to loose performance of course
I assume that what you mean by FakeRAID is that I don't have a dedicated RAID card in my PC is that the reason?
Yup - that's exactly it. A good RAID card (and, depending on features and power, we're talking about $400-$500 minimum, and up rapidly from there!) 'hands off' the calculations to do the 'parity stripe' to a dedicated processor on the card; I mostly stick with Arecas, as their drivers are relatively stable, they've got plenty of 'oomph', and they sport huge caches - as of late, 4Gigs
Three drives is pretty much of a 'pickle'; I'd suggest either losing one, and doing RAID1, which 'replicates' your data; or add one, and do RAID 10, which replicates and stripes it... Either way, you lose 50% of your physical space. What I do on my workstation is two pair of RAID0 VelociRaptors, alternating partitions between OSs and swap files, and then a pair of 1TB WD RE3s in RAID1, for data protection. I have had an RE3 'die' on me, while set up this way - it took all of two-hundred seconds at WD's web site to check the drive, verify the s/n was in warranty, and arrange a cross-ship; two days later, the drive was on my front porch - three hours later it was installed, and the array rebuilt - never lost a byte of data!
RAID0 'stripes' your data across the drives (and, with the Intel ICHs, two drives is optimal - more than two degrades performance - I've tried it...), allowing it to read/write two channels at a time...
RAID1 'replicates' your data on a pair of drives; while writes occur at about the same rate as using a single drive, reads are about as fast as a zero, as you can, once again, read off two channels...
RAID10 is a combination of both; while you get the speed enhancement of zero, you get the data protection of one...
The rest of the RAID levels are best implemented on an actual RAID card, as they involve parity calculations for every byte of data written; RAID5 uses a single parity stripe for data protection; RAID6 writes two parity stripes, which gives you protection (typically in larger arrays) from two drives failing at once; in addition, RAID6 allows you to designate one or more 'hot spares', which will automatically be 'transitioned' into the array upon a failure...