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Old 01-07-2010, 09:56 PM   #1
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Default RAID 1 with fresh install. Anything specific I need to know?

Hey guys. I'm thinking of RAID 1'ing my computer. I'm sick of backing crap up to my external...half the time I don't keep it up to date .

Now, I've got a few options. I can either RAID1 2 - 1TB WD Caviar Blacks or 2 - 750GB Seagates. Both are 32MB cache, and the speeds are pretty identical. I'm not going to triple boot anymore, so the difference is negligible. One of the 1TB drives was technically supposed to go in my friends new build, but it doesn't have to. In addition to the above, I have a 1TB Sammy drive. One of any of these drive will most likely go in the server I'm building to download and stream videos and music and such.

Okay. Let's review, because even I'm confused.

Desktop Option 1: RAID the 2 WD 1TBs; Put the Samsung 1TB or one of the Seagate 750GBs in my friend's build and the other one in the server; Whichever is left goes in my external.

Desktop Option 2: RAID the 2 Seagate 750GBs; Put one of the WDs in my friends build and the other in the server. Sammy would go in the external.

I don't know what I want to do. I should probably still put a 1TB in my friend's build since that's what I told him I was doing. I could put the Sammy in there. It's been a super good HDD, plus, I've had it for about oh 6 months and I know that it works. If something happens to one of the WDs, then I have to mess with it, not him.

Is RAID1ing the drives just as easy as turning RAID on in BIOS? I'll be doing a fresh install of Windows 7, so the drives will be bare when I enable it. Also, can you partition RAID'd drive? Usually I like to make about a 150-200GB partition for my OS and then seperate the rest. Is this possible with RAID1?

Thanks guys. I know that was a lot of info, but I'll bold the important crap. It was more thinking aloud than anything. Sometimes you gotta see your ideas on paper.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: RAID 1 with fresh install. Anything specific I need to know?

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Is RAID1ing the drives just as easy as turning RAID on in BIOS? I'll be doing a fresh install of Windows 7, so the drives will be bare when I enable it. Also, can you partition RAID'd drive? Usually I like to make about a 150-200GB partition for my OS and then seperate the rest. Is this possible with RAID1?

Thanks guys. I know that was a lot of info, but I'll bold the important crap. It was more thinking aloud than anything. Sometimes you gotta see your ideas on paper.
I'm going to focus on that part. yes, it's pretty much that easy in 7. 7 has picked up the RAID drivers for me every time. You can partition them off, but I don't know if that has any impact on performance.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: RAID 1 with fresh install. Anything specific I need to know?

Thanks cele for responding. I was about to bump it tonight.

There's really no performance gain in RAID1 though is there? I know there is in RAID0, but...

Hmm...the only reason I ask about partitioning is that I like to keep my files separate from my OS. That way, if I ever need to reinstall my OS, I don't have to move my darned files and back them up and what not. You just wipe the OS partition and reinstall and you're good to go.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: RAID 1 with fresh install. Anything specific I need to know?

When I went from a single drive to RAID 1, I saw no gain (and no loss in speed either). For me, RAID 5 seems to be a little quicker, but still not as fast as a RAID 0.

I'd give partitioning them a try. Worse case scenario you can use GParted to make it one large partition again.
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:34 AM   #5
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Default Re: RAID 1 with fresh install. Anything specific I need to know?

Yeah. I wouldn't assume any loss in speed. I would assume it would essentially stay the same in RAID1. Once I get it set up, I'll check back and let everyone know the scoop.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: RAID 1 with fresh install. Anything specific I need to know?

what brand of motherboard do you have?
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: RAID 1 with fresh install. Anything specific I need to know?

It's an ASUS P5NE-SLI. RAID is supported.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: RAID 1 with fresh install. Anything specific I need to know?

you may have to go to the ASUS website and install RAID drivers before you set it up. i had to do that before it would let me configure RAID on my MSI motherboard.
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: RAID 1 with fresh install. Anything specific I need to know?

Yeah'll. I'll have to be prepared with them before I install W7.
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: RAID 1 with fresh install. Anything specific I need to know?

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There's really no performance gain in RAID1 though is there?
Theoretically, there is a small gain in read performance because the data should be read across both of the disks (as long as they're both working) similar to in RAID 0. This doesn't apply to writes though for obvious reasons.

Without wanting to sound like a boring lecturer, I'd also throw in there that while RAID 1 reduces the risks, it's not a replacement for backing your important data up!
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: RAID 1 with fresh install. Anything specific I need to know?

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Theoretically, there is a small gain in read performance because the data should be read across both of the disks (as long as they're both working) similar to in RAID 0. This doesn't apply to writes though for obvious reasons.

Without wanting to sound like a boring lecturer, I'd also throw in there that while RAID 1 reduces the risks, it's not a replacement for backing your important data up!
I know that it does reduce the risks. But see, I'd rather have it that way because backing up your data still isn't any good if you don't do it (like me). I back stuff up and then I forget to keep it up to date. I keep all of my important records and files in multiple places, and I usually burn myself disks if it's stuff that's real important that I need to make sure I have a hard copy. Thanks for the input Berry, I appreciate all of your guys' input.
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:50 PM   #12
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Default Re: RAID 1 with fresh install. Anything specific I need to know?

Okay folks. I'm going to be hopefully doing this tonight if I get a response.

A) I'll be going with RAID1. Why? Because someone mentioned that I should just do RAID0. However, the time I theoretically save (which won't be much) will be negated with the time I spend backing crap up all the time. So, I'll still back stuff up from time to time, but RAID1 seems to make more sense to me.

B) However, with that said, maybe I'll do RAID0. Indecisive? Sorry. The thing is, I've got 2-Seagate 750GB drives. I could RAID0 those instead, then throw one of the 1TB WD Blacks in my external and it would be perfect for backing stuff up (1.5TB of data on RAID0 to backup to a 1TB disk. It would be fine because I won't be backing up all 1.5TB of date).

Okay. So let me think this through again. I can either:

1) RAID1 the 2 - WD Caviar Black 1TB drives and not worry so much about backing stuff up.

2) RAID0 the 2 - Seagate 750GB drives and backup data to one of the 1TB WDs.

I'm really torn. I feel like by RAID1ing, I'm wasting a whole drive and the performance gain, but at the same time, I want reliability (no, don't suggest another RAID configuration, I'm done making big purchases for a while). I'm going to be doing some serious home recording and editing coming, and I think I'd rather want to feel secure than speedy. And, either way I'm "wasting" a drive on backups...it's either going to be "wasting" it easily (RAID1) or wasting it by it being a PITA (RAID0 backing up to my external all the time).

I think maybe RAID1 should be what I go with. Thoughts?

Here's the question, what stripe size should I run?
I know NOTHING about RAID, so I don't even know where I set the stripe size...BIOS? I was thinking of going with 128KB. I'll be doing music recording and editing, along with Photoshopping. So basically, it'll be larger files. Here's how I came to that conclusion -> http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/394/1.

Thanks guys.
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: RAID 1 with fresh install. Anything specific I need to know?

I'd personally do the RAID0 after seeing how well it performs in my rig. There is a way to set up SB RAID so it would do RAID0 with the first 500GB of each drive, and then it'll use the 1TB as a backup (effectively a RAID10) so there's something to consider.

I did 128KB for my first RAID array, but when the OS crashed (windows...)I went back and did 64k and it seems to be slightly faster.
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:12 PM   #14
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Default Re: RAID 1 with fresh install. Anything specific I need to know?

Go with RAID 1 or RAID 0+1 (paritied stripe)

If EITHER drive crashes and burns in 0, the whole array is fubar.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: RAID 1 with fresh install. Anything specific I need to know?

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I'd personally do the RAID0 after seeing how well it performs in my rig. There is a way to set up SB RAID so it would do RAID0 with the first 500GB of each drive, and then it'll use the 1TB as a backup (effectively a RAID10) so there's something to consider.

I did 128KB for my first RAID array, but when the OS crashed (windows...)I went back and did 64k and it seems to be slightly faster.
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Go with RAID 1 or RAID 0+1 (paritied stripe)

If EITHER drive crashes and burns in 0, the whole array is fubar.
Thanks fellas, but I always thought RAID 0+1 had to involve 3 or 4 drives? I can really do it with 2? As long as I come out with 1TB of space, that'd be fine.

How would I do what foothead is describing? Also, any more input on stripe size?

I have decided I definitely don't want to go with RAID0. Too much to mess with if something happens. So it's either gunna be RAID1 or RAID 0+1.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: RAID 1 with fresh install. Anything specific I need to know?

0+1 will require 4 drives of the same P/N. Stripe size is completely pendant on the drives uses.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:34 PM   #17
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Default Re: RAID 1 with fresh install. Anything specific I need to know?

Bah. Well 4 drives is out then. Even if I wanted to get that many drives, I wouldn't have enough SATA ports.

Like I mentioned, I'll be working with audio recording and editing, along with photoshop. I frequently use my computer to backup customer data (Customer hard drive -> USB -> Burning discs). I do some gaming, but I don't consider myself a gamer whatsoever. I go on little streaks of gaming. I'll find something I like and play til I beat it and never touch it again. Except for GTAIV, which I still need to complete, but I need a new GPU first. Ugh.

I'm thinking since it'll be mid to large files I should go with 64 or 128KB stripe size (all of this is from what I've read).

Also, we've just come to the conclusion, then, that it'll be RAID1. Even if I was feeling risky enough to do RAID0, like I mention, I just wouldn't see the benefits because I tend to use my laptop a LOT more than my desktop. Especially since I'll be heading back to college soon. I mean, I use my desktop when I come home for weekends and when I'm on break (4 months of the year). It just isn't worth it. Quality > speed (for my situation).

BIG EDIT: From a brief google search, it looks like that I can do 2 stripe sizes when I partition my drives. I'll be doing a 200GB partition for W7 (yes, that's large but my Vista partition ended up at around 140GB or so) and then allocating the rest to files/documents all that good stuff. What would be the optimal stripe size for W7? I'll probably do 128KB for the rest of the drive.

2nd EDIT: So after making a fool of myself I realized that I don't think there is a stripe for RAID1, right? Since it's mirroring. Wow. I feel like an idiot.

3rd EDIT: Got it working. Setup the RAID in BIOS. Went with 64KB stripe size, though, I'm not sure if it even mattered (it might have only applied to RAID0, not sure). Booted the W7 disk, partitioned it how I liked (did a 150GB for the O/S, rest for data) and installed. Once done, booted PartedMagic just to make sure they were mirrored...and yup! They were. Went extremely easy. Thanks for all the help guys. It's much appreciated. I feel a little more secure now running RAID1. But, as always, I do know to back up my most important data.
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