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Switching from RAID 10 to RAID 0

I have a newer Windows 7 build on a ASRock x79 Extreme9. I created a RAID (RAID 10) in BIOS on 2 SSD drives. I have since learned/been told that it is fairly pointless to do RAID 10 on SSD drives.

I would like to switch to RAID 0, but am not sure how to do it. Would this be risky? Any advice or thoughts?
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  1. Best answer
    I think we need more accurate information. RAID 10 requires 4 disks. You have two. Could you mean RAID 1?

    My personal opinion: Back up all of your data to an external drive. Test the backup, or make a second backup to a second external drive just in case. Then scratch the SSDs (do a Secure Erase with Parted Magic to reset them to factory state), build whatever new RAID you want, and restore the backup to the new RAID. This is a simple solution that does not call for a RAID controller that can migrate RAID versions. These controllers tend to be quite expensive.

    My unasked-for opinion: it is pointless to do ANY RAID with SSDs, unless you are doing a benchmarking project. RAID on SSDs gives you very little bang for the buck, and disables the crucial TRIM command. RAID 0, striping the two drives into a larger, faster volume, is pointless - the manufacturer can do it better, and you should buy an SSD double the size.
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/kigston-hyperx-ssd-raid0_7.html#sect0
    RAID1 is a decent safety feature, but can usually be replaced with a decent backup strategy.
  2. Yes, I mis-described the RAID. It is RAID 1, a pair of mirrored disks.

    Your "unasked-for opinion" was exactly what I was interested to hear.

    A more knowledgeable (more knowledgeable than me) hardware person had asked "why did you do raid 1 and not raid 0, those drives won't fail?" Answer: this is an important machine, I want to always have a current back up (data drives are mirrored 1TB spindles).

    One disappointment is that my C drive is nearly full (220/256 GB) on Windows 7. I didn't anticipate this 12 weeks after deployment. Another factor is that I thought I was buying the biggest consumer SSD drives available (Agility 256). Don't know if they were available at the time, but I see much larger drives now.

    So, I think I will simply live with the system as it is. I'm particularly compelled by your skepticism about striping. So I will put that idea out of my head, thus eliminating the prospect of losing my entire system by trying to get an extra 220GB.

    Thanks.
  3. Best answer selected by grektokomus.
  4. Another unasked-for opinion: RAID2 is not a form of backup. It will protect against the failure of one drive, but you can lose both to whole-system events like power supply explosion, malware, or a three-year-old banging the computer against the wall.

    EDIT: That is, of course, a typo. I meant RAID1.
  5. WyomingKnott said:
    Another unasked-for opinion: RAID2 is not a form of backup. It will protect against the failure of one drive, but you can lose both to whole-system events like power supply explosion, malware, or a three-year-old banging the computer against the wall.


    I anticipated this, and I agree with you. I do have high-quality UPS, but I am simply not proactive about backups. So the question I tried to answer was "what is the best passive strategy that I can afford?"

    Using WinDirStat, I have discovered that my disk usage is as follows:
    64G pagefile.sys (system has 64G RAM)
    48G hiberfil.sys
    21G C:\Windows
    5.5G C:\Windows\Installer

    I've moved a number of folders and data files and have achieved ~30% available space.

    Perhaps I should:
    1) disable hibernation in favor of sleep?
    2) use a smaller swap file (or no swap file at all)?
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