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Switching from RAID 10 to RAID 0

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April 17, 2012 1:47:26 PM

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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a b $ Windows 7
a c 302 G Storage
April 18, 2012 1:04:50 PM

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/kigsto...
RAID1 is a decent safety feature, but can usually be replaced with a decent backup strategy.
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April 18, 2012 7:00:57 PM

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.
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April 18, 2012 7:01:13 PM

Best answer selected by grektokomus.
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 302 G Storage
April 18, 2012 7:36:15 PM

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.
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April 18, 2012 8:11:35 PM

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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