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Best raid option for an existing system


xboxhaxorz
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I have 2 sammy terra drives. I have 2 partitions on each, and i have win xp on a drive and win 7 on the other. I wanted to know the best raid option for me to keep my files safe. My mobo supports intel rapid 0,1,10,5 raid options. I am thinking 10 or 5 is best. I can either buy 2 more terras or buy a single 2 tb drive.

Will raid affect my existing partitions/ dual boot setup?

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Not all motherboards will allow you to do a RAID after the fact. Intel boards for sure. Say you wanted to do a RAID1 and you wanted to use an existing drive and build a RAID with it. Intel Matrix or RST can't do it, but their enterprise cards can. Not sure about other boards. Here are the best recommendations I can make about the different RAID levels:

RAID1 - two drives (obviously)

RAID5 - 3 drives + hot spare

RAID10 - 8 drives

Of course there are other ways to do RAID5 and 10, but those are the arrangements I am most comfortable with in knowing that my data is safe. Others may have different opinions tho.

Always make sure to install the RAID software so you can see when the array breaks. Also make sure you label the SATA cables as to what ports you are connecting to, and also label the drives/enclosures. You want to be EXTREMELY sure of which drives you are swapping out for when a drive fails. If using a 5 or 10, use enclosures, but it doesn't necessarily need to be a hot swap. And lastly ONLY USE RAID EDITION DRIVES! :w00t:

Here is an example of a setup I am currently working on that has a RAID1 for OS, and RAID5 + HS for data:

000_0005-1.jpg

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if i go to setup raid in my bios will it tell me that it wont use my existing setup that i will have to format? i dont want to risk losing anything. i might go with raid 5 for a total of 4 drives.

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You'll need to backup all the data on the drives as with some raid and configuration controller keeping the existing data isn't an option.

Also in my experience, it might be better to buy drive that support raid (if yours doesn't) with a real raid controller.

As you seem to like Samsung drives, the raid one's from Samsung is this one.

Edited by allen2
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if i go to setup raid in my bios will it tell me that it wont use my existing setup that i will have to format? i dont want to risk losing anything. i might go with raid 5 for a total of 4 drives.

Oh no. If you go into the BIOS and set up the RAID it may not tell you anything. RAID is an advanced feature and most BIOSes are written with the idea that the end-user knows what they are doing. So for example, on the Intel Desktop RST, if you took your drives and decided to go make a RAID1, you'd end up (not technically) erasing both drives. :}

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  • 1 month later...

"Raid ... keep my files safe"

- ERR -

the main causes of data loss or drive failure are user mistake, power surge, mechanical shock, theft, fire, flood, disk controller errors (=VIA)...

which are common to all disks in a computer!

- SO -

you will have to make backups anyway, to store the copy in a different place.

Then, a Raid loses much usefulness.

It does make sense in a server, where 20 disks are brutally loaded and do fail from time to time, and where hot swapping allows uninterrupted operation.

Instead of a Raid, I consider a good e-Sata makes sense on a desktop, together with a smart backup software that copies only modified files.

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