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RAID 1

Hi all, just had a couple quick questions on RAID 1. I have a single 1tb drive in my system and would like to get another and configure them in a RAID 1 so that I have all my pictures and downloads backed up.

First question, do I need to have a similar model drive as the first? Obviously it would be the same size, but I was thinking of trying the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1tb drive, since I've heard some really good things (and they are a few dollars cheaper. I currently have a WD Black 1tb.

Second question, I would be using the built in RAID controller on my MSI 790 board. What is the general consensus on quality? I don't plan on expanding past the 2 drives (maybe an SSD in the future).

Anyway, I have a dual-drive NAS in RAID 1, but It's been full for a while, and it's more convenient to have certain data local to my PC for a few reasons. Thanks in advance for any replies!
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  1. Best answer
    RAID1 is NOT a backup solution. If you accidentally delete the folder with your photos on it, it will be copied on the second drive resulting in a loss of all the pictures.

    The drives don't need to be identical. The faster one will simply finish first and wait for the second one to catch up. This basically makes it the same speed as the slower one. You said the faster drive is actually a bit cheaper, so I wouldn't worry about it.

    I would probably buy the F3 because its faster/cheaper, and put it in your system. Copy the data off the Black and onto the F3. Put the black into a USB box and plug it in every day/week/month and copy the data onto it. Thats a true backup.
  2. Thanks. I realize that it will mirror my flubs, if I were to delete something. My main concern is the health of the drive. I have no concern right now, but have had drives go out and this seems like a viable solution to me. Also, I've got some decent software for restoring deleted files, which would work, as long as I catch it immediately before those sectors are overwritten.

    Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely consider it! I was just looking at the hdd charts linked from Tom's homepage and it showed the WD just a touch faster than the F3... interesting... I'll have to check the other charts.

    Any thoughts on those built-in "soft" RAID controllers?
  3. I'm not a fan of RAID period. They have no place for us home users. If you really need speed, grab an SSD. If you want to protect your photos, use a proper back up procedure like I mentioned above. RAID is for businesses. Webservers that will cost you $100,000s per minute they are down. RAID is used to provide 99.999 reliability, not to back up data.
  4. ^ lol That's what I think too. Umm as for the WD, which WD? The current SATA 6 WD Blacks are a bit faster as they revised the platter size and such things.
  5. The value of raid-1 and it's variants like raid-5 for protecting data is that you can recover from a hard drive failure quickly.
    It is for servers that can't afford any down time.
    Recovery from a hard drive failure is just moments.
    Fortunately hard drives do not fail often.
    Mean time to failure is claimed to be on the order of 1,000,000 hours.(100 years)
    Raid-1 does not protect you from other types of losses such as viruses,
    software errors,raid controller failure, operator error, or fire...etc.
    For that, you need EXTERNAL backup.
    If you have external backup, and can afford some recovery time, then you don't need raid-1.
  6. Ok. I think you guys have just about convinced me. So, what do you guys think about these external drive docks?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153112 - Not sure if I really need 2, but I might like that expandability. Could get 2 drives. One for permanent storage and access, one for backing up files and folders that are constantly changing... hhhhhmmmm...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182197

    I like the idea of the docking station compared to the enclosures, but what are your thoughts? I've got 2 kids, so that is always a concern, especially if they get grabby! I would have to put it in a "safe" place when not in use.

    Also, what do you guys do in terms of backing up your data? Any particular software you use that is better than others? I haven't checked out Windows 7 backup software, but perhaps it is better than previous outings? Does Symantec have a home product? Freeware? Just using an xcopy script? Thanks again for your replies. Sounds like I might have been heading down the wrong path.
  7. Well with certain routers you could get externals and route them directly to the routers, and that would allow you to store them in hidden spots and backing your stuff up without taking them out. Like a router like this. But that'd cost more money :P

    I mean routers like this.

    http://i.testfreaks.com/images/products/600x400/25/dlink-dir-825.3588377.jpg
    As you can see, you can see the USB is on the back.
  8. I use a mobile hard drive rack like this:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817123302

    The advantage is that your backups happen at SATA drive speeds.

    When done, you can either use the external power switch to power off the drive, or you can remove the hard drive in the caddy and put it somewhere safe.
  9. Yah, I've already gone past my budget on this computer as it is (built it about 6 months ago and bought another 23" monitor for it last week) so I'm trying to keep the cost down on this (bought a new router not to long ago, also). My wife's going with the whole "more drives" thing because she knows that a good portion of her pictures are on this drive. I gave her the worst case scenario and she's suddenly reeeaaaally interested in me getting one :D

    I'm a bit more interested in the eSATA option since my CM690 case has a port for that, although I don't know if my 790 board has any of the SATA ports configured for eSATA. Does this matter? Can I simply use one of the SATA ports on the board? I ran a standard SATA from the cases eSATA to the SATA port on the board one time, which fit, but I had nothing to test with. Anyway, this is one of those things that I wasn't too sure of.
  10. geofelt said:
    I use a mobile hard drive rack like this:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817123302

    The advantage is that your backups happen at SATA drive speeds.

    When done, you can either use the external power switch to power off the drive, or you can remove the hard drive in the caddy and put it somewhere safe.

    Both of the ones I listed state 3.0gbps speeds using eSATA. Since the SATA2 drives have the same max speed I figured they would both provide somewhat similar speeds in comparison to an internal drive. Is this not accurate?
  11. brandoncatz said:
    Both of the ones I listed state 3.0gbps speeds using eSATA. Since the SATA2 drives have the same max speed I figured they would both provide somewhat similar speeds in comparison to an internal drive. Is this not accurate?


    True, sata and esata are comparable. The common alternative is a USB based external enclosure. Usb 2.0 works, but is relatively slow. USB 3.0 is new, and about 5x faster.
    The priorities are to first get your backup disconnected from online, where it is exposed to viruses and whatever.

    The next thing is to get the backup more distant from the PC so a fire or whatever is not a risk

    One other alternative is to use one of the internet based backup services.
  12. Buy acronis workstation edition. it's 80 bucks. use that to back up your system to an external solution. Run acronis how often you want then when you delete a photo on accident or have a drive failure you can run a restore from the backup. If your system is functional you can even browse the image (or backup) for the missing file and recover it quickly.


    brandoncatz said:
    Hi all, just had a couple quick questions on RAID 1. I have a single 1tb drive in my system and would like to get another and configure them in a RAID 1 so that I have all my pictures and downloads backed up.

    First question, do I need to have a similar model drive as the first? Obviously it would be the same size, but I was thinking of trying the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1tb drive, since I've heard some really good things (and they are a few dollars cheaper. I currently have a WD Black 1tb.

    Second question, I would be using the built in RAID controller on my MSI 790 board. What is the general consensus on quality? I don't plan on expanding past the 2 drives (maybe an SSD in the future).

    Anyway, I have a dual-drive NAS in RAID 1, but It's been full for a while, and it's more convenient to have certain data local to my PC for a few reasons. Thanks in advance for any replies!

    u
  13. Thanks everyone! I am planning on going with a 2-bay drive dock from Thermaltake and a 1tb Samsung F3 drive (just 1 for now) and will be using it for traditional backups, as suggested. Next thing to look in to would be backup software. I'll start with Acronis.
  14. Best answer selected by brandoncatz.
  15. This topic has been closed by Maziar
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