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Whats the best setup for multiple HD's?

Last response: in Storage
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May 14, 2012 3:19:38 PM

hey everyone. id like to start off by saying this place is great, and ive managed to build my computer without making 1 post due to the high volume of great answers to the community's questions. however i do have one of my own now.

I am running 3 hard drives and 1 SSD drive, and i dont know exactly what configuration i should have them at. i have
(2) WD Caviar Green 3.0/gb 2 TB hard drives
(1) Hitatchi 1TB hard drive (i belive this is 3.0/gb also)
(1) Intel SSD 120g hard drive

my motherboard is the Asus z77 Sabertooth atx 1155.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i also have 2 cd rom drives
(1) LG blu-ray writer
(1) generic brand dvd writer

i guess my question is, my motherboard has 2 sata - 6.0/gb connectors (which are brown colored), then 4 - 3.0/gb connectors which i have my 2 cd rom's and 2 HD's plugged into it ((black colored) (the WD 2tb and hitatchi 1tb)) and then on the last sata connecter it is 2 sata 6.0/gb. i have the 2nd WD 2tb plugged in to it (white colored).
I can see all the drives when im in windows, but the hard drive i have plugged into the lower 6.0/gb slot is acting funny. i moved a 4 gig file to it, but it still shows i have 1.81 tb free of 1.81. am i plugging these all in the right slots? should i be doing something in bios to fix this? i see alot about different "raids" to put HD's in, but that is all unfamiliar territory for me. is it OK that i have a 3.0gb HD plugged into the 6.0/gb sata slot? its also giving me a funny message when i start my computer. unfortunately im at work, and i dont remember what it says(something about the 3.0/gb hd in the 6.0 slot), but all i do is let it sit for a second and it boots windows. any help would be awesome, thanks!

intel i7-3770k
asus z77 sabertooth
geforce gtx 680
gskill ripjaw 16gb

More about : whats setup multiple

May 14, 2012 3:29:14 PM

Just make sure your motherboard has plenty of SATA ports if you plan running alot of Hard Drives. Other than that you goal seems clear
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a b G Storage
May 14, 2012 3:31:29 PM

if you think your sata 6 is acting funny download the newest drivers

im attaching my notes about raid, i hope this clears things up for you


RAID 0 (striping) stripe set breaks data into units and stores the units across a series of disks by reading and writing to all disks simultaneously. Striping:
• Provides an increase in performance.
• Does not provide fault tolerance. A failure of one disk in the set means all data is lost.
• Requires a minimum of two disks.
• Has no overhead because all disk space is available for storing data.


RAID 1 (mirroring) A mirrored volume stores data to two duplicate disks simultaneously. If one disk fails, data is present on the other disk, and the system switches immediately from the failed disk to the functioning disk. Mirroring:
• Provides fault tolerance for a single disk failure.
• Does not increase performance.
• Requires two disks.
• Has a 50% overhead. Data is written twice, meaning that half of the disk space is used to store the second copy of the data. Overhead is 1 / n where n is the price of the second disk.
• RAID 1 is the most expensive fault tolerant system.


RAID 5 (striping with distributed parity)
A RAID 5 volume combines disk striping across multiple disks with parity for data redundancy. Parity information is stored on each disk. If a single disk fails, its data can be recovered using the parity information stored on the remaining disks. RAID 5:
• Provides fault tolerance for a single disk failure.
• Provides an increase in performance for read operations. Write operations are slower with RAID 5 than with other RAID configurations because of the time required to compute and write the parity information.
• Requires a minimum of three disks.
• Has an overhead of one disk in the set for parity information: (1 / n - 1)
o A set with 3 disks has 33% overhead.
o A set with 4 disks has 25% overhead.
o A set with 5 disks has 20% overhead.


in your scenario you could use raid 1 on your two green drives if you want the fault tolerance in case one hard drive fails
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May 14, 2012 3:45:05 PM

thanks for the quick replies! i will have to check this all out when i get home as far as updated drivers. i will look into the raid thing also. thanks!
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May 14, 2012 3:51:40 PM

Best answer selected by repoman016.
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a c 353 G Storage
May 14, 2012 4:08:35 PM

The SSD should be on the INTEL SATA 6 controller.
You have 6 remaining slots.
Untill you add a 7th SATA Device, I would stick to the INTEL slots and disable the ASM controller in bios.
Make sure Bios is set to AHCI for intel controler.
Stick your Blu/ray & DVD drive on the last two Intel sata II slots, put two of the HDDs on the sata II slots and one on the sata III slot (NO performance gain).
If at a latter date you add a 2nd SSD drive, then move the HDD from the Intel Sata III port to the ASM Sata Port (and enable it in bios).

PS - Windows 7 install on the SSD should be done with all OTHER HDDs DISCONNECTED.
Also make sure you use the Intel iaSTor driver not Win 7 default msahci driver. (Part of Intel's RST chipset driver).

From Asus on specs.
Intel® Z77 chipset :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), brown
4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), black
ASMedia® ASM1061 controller : *5
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
2 x eSATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
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May 14, 2012 4:14:15 PM

what if i didnt only have the ssd plugged in when i installed windows? should i do a re-install since ive only been running for a few days?

RetiredChief said:
The SSD should be on the INTEL SATA 6 controller.
You have 6 remaining slots.
Untill you add a 7th SATA Device, I would stick to the INTEL slots and disable the ASM controller in bios.
Make sure Bios is set to AHCI for intel controler.
Stick your Blu/ray & DVD drive on the last two Intel sata II slots, put two of the HDDs on the sata II slots and one on the sata III slot (NO performance gain).
If at a latter date you add a 2nd SSD drive, then move the HDD from the Intel Sata III port to the ASM Sata Port (and enable it in bios).

PS - Windows 7 install on the SSD should be done with all OTHER HDDs DISCONNECTED.
Also make sure you use the Intel iaSTor driver not Win 7 default msahci driver. (Part of Intel's RST chipset driver).

From Asus on specs.
Intel® Z77 chipset :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), brown
4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), black
ASMedia® ASM1061 controller : *5
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
2 x eSATA 6Gb/s port(s), red

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a c 353 G Storage
May 14, 2012 5:01:29 PM

Right click My computer, select Manage, then on left side select disk management. Look at drive 0 (should be your SSD) it should show two partitions, a very small 100 mb system partition and a Large "C" partition. If it does NOT, then I would go a head and redo the install - But that's me

Also, just to double check
Download and run AS SSD to verify driver, partition alignment, they should be OK
Your driver should be iaSTor, not msahci.
NOTE: you do not need to run the Benchmark part, just open the program and the info is upper left.
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May 14, 2012 5:19:40 PM

cool, thank you. i do remember seeing the 2 partitions on the ssd (the smaller one and the bigger one) so i think im ok there. i will run the program when i get home tonight. thanks!
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May 14, 2012 5:33:16 PM

one more thing. i hate to ask to dumb this down for me but i want to make sure i have it correct

the 2 cd-roms go in the grey ports
2 hdd's in the black ports
then the ssd and the other hd in the brown ports?
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a c 353 G Storage
May 14, 2012 7:06:08 PM

I'd put the 2 CDs along with the 2 HDDs in the 4 Black ports, The grey ports are the ASM controller ports.
Only use the ASM port if you want to add an additional Sata Drive.
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!