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RAID 1 + partitioning

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June 20, 2004 9:56:00 PM

I'm building a system right now, and I have a few questions regarding this hard drive setup stuff. First off, do you have to set up RAID 1 before you install OS and partition and so forth? Is it easier to do it this way, or can you wait, or what?

Also, how does partitioning work with RAID 0? I want 3 partitions (scratch/OS + apps/data + games I believe) and of course want it to work properly with the RAID setup. Oh, can anyone point me to a good source of info on partition sizing before I get this part going?

Thanks as always.

<font color=purple> Do <i> you </i> have a chicken hat? </font color=purple>

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June 22, 2004 2:12:59 AM

I have the same question... I'm also confused on the partitioning. I'm thinking 3 drives in my machine... 2 drives in RAID 0, and then one big ole' drive for media- music, video, and pics. The array would have OS/apps/games and the like. Would this config work? Would I get any performance with this set up?
June 22, 2004 9:13:14 PM

For one thing.. I've heard partitioning a RAID actually hurts performance. As for RAID, it does need to be set up beforehand if you are writing your OS to the drives in RAID 1, but there should be drivers for that.

"It's too late now anyway. That song is stuck in my head and the only way to get rid of it is to blow it out. With a bullet!! - Carl
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June 23, 2004 2:41:43 AM

Do you have any information to support that RAID partitions are counterproductive? I don't really see how that's possible given the nature of RAID itself. Any others know about this? I was planning 4 or 5 partitions.

<font color=purple> Do <i> you </i> have a chicken hat? </font color=purple>
June 23, 2004 3:42:46 AM

Squidmaster,
I am not sure what type of RAID hardware you are using (IDE or SCSI) but the experience that I have with my IDE controller is that it will let me set up RAID 1 (mirroring) at any time. The reason for this is once I go through the process, it makes an exact copy of my primary drive to the secondary (be careful that you are mirroring the drive with your data and not your backup drive).

However, this is not true with RAID 0 (striping without parity), i.e. the RAID 0 partition will need to be set up before you begin to partition it.

Assuming that that you know the difference between RAID 1 and 0, I suggest that you install the operating system on a RAID 0 array to speed up booting and program loading time. RAID 0 is not redundant and if one drive fails you lose all data. If you are looking for data protection (just in case one drive dies, you will have a backup) I suggest you use RAID 1. RAID 1 does not increase performance (as a matter of fact it usually incurs a small performance penalty esp. during writing ops), and the performance penalties are usually negligible.

Finally, partitioning is all up to how you use your computer. Windows should see your RAID array, whether 0 or 1, as one large drive. I usually don't make my C(boot) partition larger than 10 gigs. Usually that is enough to hold the operating system and all programs/games that I install. I usually use the remaining 90gigs or so for data storage.
I hope this helps.
June 23, 2004 3:59:33 AM

I'll be setting up SATA RAID 1 for the protection. From what I understand, the read-time improves just as it would with RAID 0, but writes can be slightly slower. In any case, I want my PS files to be safe, and this is a cost-effective way to do it.

I'd love to get some more input on partition sizes. Here's my plan at present...

(1st) 2 gigs page file --> 8 gigs WinXP --> 2+ gigs PS scratch disk --> everything else (last)

I'd like space for Windows apps, if not games, but I have no idea what sizes those would need to be. I use Office, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and conceivably Flash as well, but I don't know how much space they want, and if they should get their own space, space on the Windows partition, or space combined with games on a partition. Thoughts?

Thanks all.

<font color=purple> Do <i> you </i> have a chicken hat? </font color=purple>
June 23, 2004 9:11:56 AM

Did you get a chance to visit that link at my second post?
It might make you think twice about your partitioning plans. It presents a good argument to why you should not needlessly over-partition your volume. You do not need to create separate partions to organize your data. The best reason to create separate partitions on the same volume is to isolate outer tracks from the inner tracks for performance reasons(the first partition will be using the outer tracks i.e. the fastest part of the disk).

Why must you break down the disk into multiple partitions just to organize data. Isn't that what folders are for? And what happens when you find out a partition you created(i.e. your scratch partition) is too small or loo large for what you had in mind?

Also, I know I saw some ATA RAID 1 controllers claim that they use both drives for reading to increase perfomance, however, I don't think this is a standard RAID 1 feature, so unless your controller specifically states that it utilizes this feature, I doubt that you will experience any performance gains when utilizing this setup.
June 23, 2004 5:43:20 PM

I'm not partitioning for organization, I'm doing it for speed and functionality. It's an awful lot easier to reinstall an OS or defragment when things are compartmentalized. Besides, I can put the swap type areas on the fastest part of the disk, and data on the slowest.

<font color=purple> Do <i> you </i> have a chicken hat? </font color=purple>
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