Heres the thing, I just picked up a couple of 200GB Seagate SATA drives from some old
computers they were trashing at school today. figured with the prices lately i could do with them.
currently i've got a single 500GB drive in this machine, Windows 7 Ultimate x64
on a BioStar A770E3 mainboard, which does have a raid controller built in.
now this is the trick, i'm looking for the cleanest, easiest way to have a 2x200GB RAID0 -
setup with my OS and a few programs, while still having the 500GB drive separate for storage.
i have many questions as to how to go about it, and also the best way?
this is my first raid setup, i gladly took the opportunity wanting to get some practice ( as i am semi-cramming for a few CompTIA certs ).
i do want to keep whats currently on my active drive, as i have no effiecient means of backing up 200GB+ programs
and files, for starters,
1. would i be able to remove my current 500GB drive, install the 2x 200gbs (Stripped/RAID0) along with a fresh OS the whole nine yards? and then simply reinstall my 500GB drive unscathed and have the option of a dual boot//Storage drive? i'm not exactly sure how this would work.
2. hypothetically, hooking up these 2x 200GB drives and just booting up from my main drive, cleaning them.
is it possible to do a 3-way Software RAID array? meaning 200/500GB from one drive, 200gb, 200gb, smushed up into a single "drive" so to say. whilst still maintaining the 300GB's left over on a seperate partition for storage?
i am legitimately curious as to your guy's opinions, i'm basically at a standstill not wanting to waste a whole day completely F***ing everything up, and then having to go back and undo everything,.
as this is my PC we're talking about, heh. Thank you.
The easiest way to do this is to set the two 200gb drives up in a raid 0 and have the OS on the raid setup with the 500gb drive as storage. Unless you had another version of Windows you wanted to use there would be no sense to have a dual boot of the same version of Windows. Once you have the raid setup you can clone the OS to your raid drive useing this free software;
thanks for your quick reply!
my questions lie in more with the complications, is it simply enough to go through this using the software raid included with windows? or should i be able to head into the bios and turn RAID on for just the two 200gb drives?, and thanks again, this software looks nifty as anything. i won't even have to reinstall the OS then yes? i'll be free and clear to wipe the 500gig drive. lol sorry i'm just trying to cover all the aspects.
1. would i be able to remove my current 500GB drive, install the 2x 200gbs (Stripped/RAID0) along with a fresh OS the whole nine yards?
2. and then simply reinstall my 500GB drive unscathed and have the option of a dual boot//Storage drive?
Yeah, that should work fine. I initally missunderstood what you wanted to do...
***READ MY UPDATE BELOW***
1. Keep your 500GB HDD installed.
2. Install and setup your RAID config
3. Insert the windows setup disk and boot to install windows on the new RAID drives.
4. Install windows onto your RAID 0 drives.
After installation the computer will boot using the windows version that you just setup. Then you can setup your dual boot OS selection menu. I like to use a program call Easy BCD.
Then you just reboot your computer and you can choose to boot to either your new RAID setup or your 500GB HDD.
(This is a MUCH easier way of doing it.)
***UPDATE: After re-reading it, I think I missunderstood what you wanted to do... Dual boot is not your goal, just mentioned in one of your questions...
2. hypothetically, hooking up these 2x 200GB drives and just booting up from my main drive, cleaning them. is it possible to do a 3-way Software RAID array?meaning 200/500GB from one drive, 200gb, 200gb, smushed up into a single "drive" so to say. whilst still maintaining the 300GB's left over on a seperate partition for storage?
No, A RAID 0 can be created with disks of differing sizes, but the storage space added to the array by each disk is limited to the size of the smallest disk. The left over 300GB would not be usable.
Last, I highly reccomend you use a hardware RAID setup (BIOS).
i won't even have to reinstall the OS then yes?
??? Why do you think you need to re-install the OS now/if you used the BIOS method?
If you want to boot windows using your RAID 0 drives you don't need to re-install.
Just setup the RAID and find a hard drive cloning program that will make an exact copy of your 500GB drive. Then set the RAID 0 drive as the primary boot drive C:. If you finish copying the drive and aren't sure how to make the RAID 0 setup your primary boot drive just put in the windows disk and run fixboot and it will make the changes for you.
Before we go through this, what are the SATA specs for the old drives and the specs for your current 500GB drive. If the old drives are SATA but not SATA II or III the old drive RAID0 setup very likely will not show any increase in disc read/writes. It may even be slower. You need to get a utility like HDTune and bench your current drive and install at least 1 or both of the old drives so that you can find them in BIOS and go ahead and set up the RAID then or if they're readable/writable run HDTune on them to see if you gain anything. I'm not saying they might not be useful hard drives, just want to let you know about the speed thing.
Your best option is to go into the bios and set the bios there and then when booting up you hit control I and go into the raid bios to set the drives to be used for the raid. I have not used the software raid and you would have to get some more info on it before you attempt it.
If you are refering to the free software I linked , yes it is pretty nifty and I have used it myself and currently am useing the cloned drive right now. Once you have cloned the OS to another drive you are free to format the original drive.
Dual boot what? You dual boot for 2 different operating systems, usually.
dark_lord. I think he wanted to set up the 2X200GB drives as Raid and leave this current drive unaffected.
Or am I misinterpreting this?
You can set the size of the RAID partition, the entire disc capacity doesn't need to be used just for the OS.
well thanks guys, i do believe they are just SATA drives with mine being SATA2, however, i will put them in raid anyhow. worse comes to worse, i just have a spot to toss all of my old .iso's i can't bring myself to delete., i may bench them to find out for sure. and post back as to how it went.
Only reason I brought the speed thing on RAID up is I have some 74GB WD SATA 10,000RPM drives. I was thinking about using 2 of them for RAID 0 but saw the read/write speeds and they are under half of my SATA III speeds. So I didn't bother.