Second hard drive

Hi guys. Please point me to right direction.

My brother just gave me an Optiplex 790 (i7,16gb ram, 250gb HD, 440GT video card) when he closed his business .

I would like to take either 1 of 2 routes:

1) Get a second hard drive of about 3tb for all my designs, artworks… From I read, it is optimal to have the 250gb as OS drive and second drive with data.

2) Or get an external raid 1 drive with (2) drives.

From reading pieces here and there, for option 1, I only need I need to get a 3tb internal HD drive? For Option 2, I need to raid card and external Raid 1.0 drive.

May I know what card and drive would you get? There are choices out there but I don’t what to buy junks. My files are important to me.

How hard is it to accomplish this. I am a computer idiot but quite handy with low-voltage toys. There is a difference between reading and actually doing.

Thanks so much
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  1. Here are some items I'd suggest.

    1) You will need to open your PC and see if there is an available bay to mount a 2nd hard drive and also a spare SATA and SATA power connector. Alot of those OEM machines do not have the available connectors for additional drives, especially the Small Form Factory ones. Not sure what you have. This would method would give you the fastest interface to your drive. However, it would have no redundancy. You will want to make sure to backup your important files. This would also be your cheapest upgrade.

    2) If you get an external device you will probably connect this in one of two ways. USB or Network. You do NOT need a RAID card for external drives unless you are connecting it via an External SCSI device, which is VERY expensive. Your best bet is to get an already put together dual drive device or external enclosure and get 2 drives. They can usually be configured as RAID 1(mirror) or 0(striped). You are looking at RAID 1 for redundancy. I think your PC has USB 2.0 so the file access would not get that fast, but if your files aren't large and you don't need the FAST IO a dual drive USB 2.0 drive wouldnt be that expensive. You could also get a USB 3.0 dual drive and get a small expansion card for your PC to support USB 3.0. Your other option would be to get a small NAS appliance. This would be more expensive, but you could access it via your home network and many allow for more than 2 drives.
  2. Attached is the technical spec for Optiplex 790 (sorry I don't know how to attach a PNG file).
    Per the device manager, the 250gb hard drive is WD2500AAKX-753CA1 ATA Drive - This is a 7.2K RPM SATA 3.5" drive.
    For option 1, from the technical spec, am I correct in assuming that I need to get a 3TB SATA drive and Sata Cord? Which Sata, 2.0 or 3.0?
    May I ask if this is the case, what are the best 3TB sata drives available? I don't want to overkill or underkill the 3TB. But I want the best to protect my data.
    This is way more complicated that my Mac Pro!
    Thanks so much
  3. After further research, the 350Gb WD drive is Sata III. Looking at the spec on the PDF, there is only 1 Sata 3.0 interface. Am I correct is assuming that the 3TB can't be sata 3.0?
  4. Is it a desktop or small form factor model?

    For best price of a standard drive I'd get this:

    There are Enterprise drives with better reliability, longer warranty, and longer mean time between failures. However, you will pay for it. These are actually what is in our Tier 2 enterprise SAN at work:

    It's not complicated, you just have to do a little research. Apple products force you to buy certain products that are Mac supported and charge you an arm and a leg. Apple makes all their customers march to one tune.
  5. It is the MT. Last question before I pull the trigger on the Enterprise drives.
    On the spec sheet of the 790, it shows (2) Sata 2.0 and (1) Sata 3.0.
    Since the primary drive (250Gb) is already a 3.0, will the 3.0Tb drive Sata 3.0 as you suggest (THANK YOU) work?
  6. Any SATA 3 drive is backward compatible with SATA2. I am running an SSD that is SATA3 on a SATA2 port (older motherboard) and it works just fine. Realistically, there really isn't a HDD out there that is going to saturate a SATA2 port to begin with except in short bursts (300MB/s). You will be perfectly fine. Those enterprise drives are great, if you want to spend the money on them. I ran (2) Seagate ES.2 drives in RAID 0 for years and they were really good. That is what I had before my SSD. As I said our NetApp SAN at work runs RE drives in the Tier2 storage racks. They are put in arrays of (24) 3TB drives. I don't believe we ever had a failure of any of them yet and we have a few hundred of them. As I said though, please keep in mind you may want to still backup any valuable files.
  7. Jay,

    I just ordered the WD drive from Newegg.
    Will purchase sata cord locally.
    My brother will give me other 790 when the business finally close. I will go with Raid 1 with the second 790. I know I will have more questions at that time.
    Thanks so much for your wisdom and your willingness to share them.
  8. I don't know if those machines have an on board RAID controller, maybe they do. You will have to check into that.
  9. OK. Have the hard drive.
    Now issue is the Hard drive tray and data cable for the second hard drive.
    My model is 790 Mid Tower (MT).
    May I ask what is the model number for the tray and data cable?
    I purchased (2) different trays and they do not fit. I think they are for the SFF (small form factor) model.
    Thanks so much
  10. OK. Just ordered Dell U6436 tray caddy and Serial ATA 150 cable, 7pin female to female.
    I am sure I will return here after HD installation. Thanks
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