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Using laptop and desktop HDD in one machine

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March 3, 2012 6:00:49 PM

I built a new machine a few months ago. I elected to use my old hard drive from a Dell E521, in my new and first build. formatted etc... works as it should. The other day I got the idea of trying to use the hard drive from my Dell xps m1730 game laptop, which had mobo failure about a year ago. Hence why I had to revert back to my E521, anyways.... I took the laptop drive out of xps, connected everything to it and voila, another HDD. My new caase even had a perfectly sized caddy for the laptop drive. I was able ot boot to that drive and retrieve some data from it before doing a format. as it turns out and to much to my delight, Is the same capacity 250gig. I want to set up raid with those 2 drives, havent done it yet but I imaged my desktop drive onto the laptop drive and thats where I'm at at this point. pondering whether to go through the trouble of doing a clean install to set up the raid 0, or wait till I cave in and go buy a new SSD. Which is somethin I want too. Kinda worried about relying on the E521 drive given its age. I got that machine in 06. on to the point enough blather.....


Would these two drives work well together in RAID? Any recomendations on how to set this up? RAID 0? Raid mirror? What would you do? How much of a performance gain would I get doing RAID 0? What options would be best for eventually using SSD and these two drives together?
The HDD is major bottleneck in my system. Below is detailed info about the drives. The first drive listed is the xps laptop drive. Many thanks.

Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Central Processor AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 955 BE Processor

Graphics
Video Adapter ATI Radeon HD 5670
Video Memory 1.00 GB
Screen Resolution 1680 x 1050
Storage
Total Memory 6.00 GB
Free Memory 4.62 GB
Total Hard disk 465.61 GB
Free Hard disk 246.03 GB

Disk Drives
Name ST9250410AS ATA Device
Media Type Fixed hard disk media
Capability 232.88 GB
Interface Type IDE
Partitions 1
Total Cylinders 30401
Total Heads 255
Total Sectors 488392065
Total Tracks 7752255
Tracks Per Cylinder 255
Bytes Per Sector 512
Sectors Per Track 63
S.M.A.R.T Support Yes
Current Temperature 0C (32F)

Disk Drives
Name WDC WD2500JS-75NCB3 ATA Device
Media Type Fixed hard disk media
Capability 232.83 GB
Interface Type IDE
Partitions 2
Total Cylinders 30394
Total Heads 255
Total Sectors 488279610
Total Tracks 7750470
Tracks Per Cylinder 255
Bytes Per Sector 512
Sectors Per Track 63
S.M.A.R.T Support Yes
Current Temperature 0C (32F)

a b D Laptop
a c 324 G Storage
March 3, 2012 7:16:05 PM

You could use the two drives in RAID 0, but I generally recommend using identical drives. As you are already concerned about one drive, IMO it would not be a great idea to use it for that. I would just wait until you buy an SSD. And of course, always back up important data -- even more important if you don't trust the integrity of a drive.

If you do decide to do it, put both drives on sata ports on your motherboard sata controller that supports raid and booting -- your motherboard guide will have detailed instructions on setting up the array, then install Windows on there.
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a b D Laptop
a c 314 G Storage
March 3, 2012 8:25:04 PM

Please browse the forums on the topic of RAID0. You will find several rants, some from me, on why it should not be used unless you are addressing a very particular need. "faster drive" does not qualify. I would post links, but the bookmarks are in my work location.

You have two slow drives in there. The less-expensive solution would be to buy any decent current hard drive and replace your system drive. The difference will be visible. The more-expensive solution is to buy an SSD, do a fresh install of your system and your programs on the SSD, and set up the HDDs as storage. There are lots of articles on that, too. The seminal one (for me) was http://www.computing.net/howtos/show/solid-state-drive-... , by our own tecmo34.

RAID is a lot of fun to play with, and a wonderful thing if you have an issue that RAID will address. But it is almost always a mistake without a very good reason (like "to see what it will do") for implementing it. RAID0 is very prone to complete, unrecoverable data loss. Even a decent RAID5 tends to be slower than a single drive until you scale up to four or five drives.
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March 3, 2012 11:09:41 PM

Thank you guys for the input. Yeah from what I read about RAID 0 and how vulnerable it is if one drive fails, everything is lost, is main reason I sought some advice before trying it. Be just my luck to get it set up and a week later my older drive give out on me. But I'm the type of person that likes to find a use for things that would otherwise be collecting dust. Bugs me for some odd reason lol. But I'm also familiar with "Dont fix it if it aint broke" first hand. Is what happen to my E521 when I swapped out its psu with a "better" one. Bricked my mobo by doing that. Boy did I wish I coulda had a do over on that one. Thanks. I'll just use my laptop drive for backup till i get SSD or some better mechanical drive.
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March 11, 2012 1:26:20 PM

Best answer selected by crypta.
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