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Expanding a Win 7 RAID 5 array & Bios

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February 29, 2012 12:45:35 AM

Hello,

I want to "ADD" a drive to my Intel RS Raid 5 array. Currently running 3 x 500 GB WD SATA 6GB/s drives, Intel DZ68DB mbd, 16 GB, I5 CPU. Documentation says simply "Add" drive in RS program. I have the "new" drive marked as available, but it won't add. Do I need to break the array, add the drive in the bios & start all over or will this drive show up once the "Initialization" phase has completed?

Thank You in Advance.
a b G Storage
February 29, 2012 6:29:23 PM

spoe59 said:
Hello,

I want to "ADD" a drive to my Intel RS Raid 5 array. Currently running 3 x 500 GB WD SATA 6GB/s drives, Intel DZ68DB mbd, 16 GB, I5 CPU. Documentation says simply "Add" drive in RS program. I have the "new" drive marked as available, but it won't add. Do I need to break the array, add the drive in the bios & start all over or will this drive show up once the "Initialization" phase has completed?

Thank You in Advance.


I would recommend you to back up data, recreate a NEW array... this would be the safest!

To add/expand an array it takes REALLY looooong time..
1st intialize and re-parity the whole array
2nd Once it done, you still need to use Disk Manger or Partition Magic to add the NEW un-allocate space this also take a LONG time...

During these processes, if your system's power off then your data is history! gone!

So the risk loosing is VERY HIGH, let leave this thing to the IT Pro, where they have back ups, UPS and enterprise hardware raid...
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March 10, 2012 2:20:37 AM

Thanks.

Fortunately, with the lousy power outages we have around here, I learned long ago a solid UPS is the only way to go..... Thanks for pointing that out. The of the 4x500GB WD Caviar Blue in Raid 5 (1.5TB) initialization took 28 hours, about 16 hours for Raid 10 (1.0TB). (I decided to go with Raid 10). I'm basically a office user working with large accounting, and inventory files etc.

Yes I was able to work while the init was happening - but things were as expected so slooooww.

So, if I got this right, if a drive in my array does fail and a spare is put in its place does this imply that the 16 to 28 hour initialization needs to take place again? (I'm using the raid controller off the Intel DZ68Db mobo (Z68). Would initialization be any faster using an external raid controller, e.g., an Adaptec 6850E (8-Sata III 6Gbps ports) vs. the mobo's 2-SataIII 6Gbps, 4-Sata II 3Gbps ports. My understanding the WD Caviar Blue drives or most drives for that matter can't reach the Sata II or Sata III speeds.

Which begs the question: What am I losing, if any, in the way of performance with having two drives running off 6Gb ports and two off 3Gb ports. Surely, doesn't sound very kosher. I know the drives would simply fallback to the lower speeds. But what effect does this mixing of speeds in an array have on performance and reliability? Seems two drives will be working at twice the speed of its peers. Do you think I'm creating a potential reliability issue by mixing speeds like this?

Finally, after all is said and done, if I switch to an external raid controller from a different manufacturer running the same raid level (in this case 10) will I need to start all over again or does RAID work across manufacturer platforms, i.e., is it a standard or a methodolgy with various proprietary implementations? Put simply, will an adaptec raid 10 array be readable by an Intel Raid 10 controller? Or is this wishful thinking?

If so, can you recommend a solid disk imaging tool?

Sorry to be so Loooongg winded, but trying to fully understand the ins and outs. At 20+ hours per crack, I wanna do this as few times as possible. It's very cool working it through however. :) 

Thanks,

Sal

Intel DZ68DB, I-5 2600 @ 3.3 Ghz, 16GB DDR 1600 Ram, OCZ 128 GB SSD Boot drive (15 second boot), OCZ 64GB SSD used for Intel RST 10.6.0 Cache), 4x500GB WD caviar blue (Raid 10), onboard graphics, Intel on-board raid etc.

Thanks for all your help folks!!
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a b G Storage
March 12, 2012 8:03:44 PM

Your app is a database app. RANDOM read/write are major operations in daily req. So RAID 10 is the best configured.

But I would highly recommend hardware raid over software (RAID from motherboard).
Due to each drive will send a IRQ to CPU vs ONLY 1x IRQ send to CPU via hardware raid.

The IQR has not effect on CPU power but rather CPU timing... 4000 IRQ vs 1000 IRQ, this is where sometime you see there is NO CPU usage, but the RAID is slow respond.

For high end the use PCIe controller like Adaptec, Areca, High Point... for mid preformance us DATOptic SPM393 or SPM394 you can get from AMAZONE cheaper and NO TAX :-)

Rebuilt process in HW raid is MUCH faster, in your case the SPM393 should be done the rebuilt within 2.5 hrs
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