2 Sata RAID 1 with a single IDE for OS?

I'm still something of a newb when it comes to RAID setups, and I'm working on some certs and taking some classes in IT and Network Administration. I'm wanting to setup a hardware RAID just for the experience. I have a 120gb IDE drive that I'm thinking about using primarily for OS handling (probably Win 7 and a Linux distro) and I'm thinking about buying two 80gb SATA drives to setup as storage. I'm trying to do this on the cheap, so I'm wondering if this should work or if I need to think in a different direction?
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  1. Best answer
    It would function as expected. However, since you will be providing advice to others in the future, be aware that it's a weak setup. The IDE drive is slower than the SATA drives (in almost all cases; there is a small overlap), and the OS should generally be put on a fast drive in workstations.

    So it's a decent way to play with RAID, assuming that the motherboard in question will RAID two SATA drives. But I would question it as a practical answer to anything.
  2. I agree with wyomingKnott. In addition, if you are trying to do it on the cheap, you may want to use software raid (win 7) instead of buying a seperate raid controller (assuming your mobo doesn't have an onboard raid controller).
  3. Mobo has onboard RAID. The IDE drags it all down some. I was initially going to go with a sata 3-drive RAID, but the IDE was given to me and it seemed a waste not to use it in the system. Essentially I'm building a throw-together box that I can experiment with, and learn to code on. I just wanted to make sure the setup would actually work before I bought the SATA drives. I may shift the OS(s) to the RAID and use the IDE for storage. The reason I was thinking the setup as originally posted is that since it's only a 2-drive RAID, it made more sense to go RAID 1 and mirror the drives for backup purposes. That way if the IDE goes down, I only lose the OS and unimportant files that I might store on it, and then I can just re-install the OS to the RAID. (If I'm understanding correctly how that all works.)
  4. Obligatory warning: RAID 1 is not a backup. It's a way to improve system uptime, but backups are copies that are stored somewhere else. Do both.

    Raid1 pairs are vulnerable to malware, massive power surges, and a three-year-old banging the computer against the wall (actually happened to a member).

    As for the rest, if you are just tinkering for experience, play with it and see what happens. That's where experience starts.
  5. RAID is used more for redundancy, so the system doesn't have to go down if a drive fails. Most all servers use some type of RAID for this purpose. Your OS should be on the RAID.

    Also, RAID is not a backup. It's for redunancy - i.e. eliminate down time. You still need good backups. A virus or accidental file deletion will effect all drives in the array.
  6. Gotcha. Good thing I asked. I definitely have backups on an external. Thanks for the help. This is exactly why I wanted to build a system just to experiment with and learn about setting up/supporting a RAID.
  7. Best answer selected by Eremite.
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