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  • RAID Hard Drives

    I'm looking to get some hard drives for a computer I'll have at home that will act as a file server for music, important files, and a backup for any webspace I own/manage.

    I was considering either getting 2x500GB or 2x1TB drives and RAID/SATA them together so that if one fails, I have the data on the second.

    Does anyone have experience with this and possibly offer a suggestion as to which to purchase? I'd like to stay under 100 per drive, but wouldn't mind cheaper (like 60 per 500GB drive option if I decide I don't need a ton of space).


  • #2
    Re: RAID Hard Drives

    Ir your looking for security , you'll need three drives in a mirror and stripe. Two drives only allow for a RAID 0 which gives you more capacity and faster read and write but if one drive fails all data is lost. I like the WD Black 640's but if your only looking for data and video storage get all 1tb drives as this will store the most and should wear well for you. Easily add a fourth drive and increase the storage capability even further. (or get a large external drive and back up regularly since drives to 2 tb are available)
    Forewarned is Forearmed




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    • #3
      Re: RAID Hard Drives

      I think you can do RAID1 with two drives, in which the drives are mirrored so if one fails you can rebuild the array. I also recommend the WD 640GB Black drives, I have one in my system and it runs great.
      Reapator, overlord of ponies

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      • #4
        Re: RAID Hard Drives

        Sorry, when talk turns to RAID I usually ignore the RAID1 as data has to read and write twice and I'm usually looking for performance boosts when using a RAID. Instead of RAID1 I'd use an external drive for back-up but I also have secondary computers on my network I use to back-up critical files.
        Forewarned is Forearmed




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        • #5
          Re: RAID Hard Drives

          Raid1 (two mirrored drives) will be cheapest, and what I'd suggest if you're just looking for file redundancy and aren't dealing with high-volume transfers. Since it's just a backup drive, this would be fine. Upside to it is if you lose a drive or lose your raid controller/mobo it's really easy to recover files from a raid1, as you can just grab any of the hdd's and load them in another machine and it'll read.

          Drive wise, WD's seem to be the drive of choice for large-storage at the moment, and I know they made some sata 1TB's in the $100-120 range.
          a.k.a. NinjaPirateAssassin
          Celibacy is not Hereditary.
          Everybody should believe in something - I believe I'll have another drink.
          Happiness is like wetting your pants, everyone can see it but only you can feel the warmth.
          Flying is easy, Just throw yourself at the ground and miss!

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          • #6
            Re: RAID Hard Drives

            Good info, and yes I'm mainly looking for "file redundancy". I won't be pulling data from it everyday, but I don't want to treat it like a single backup that could fail on it's own. I want a backup that has it's own backup. I remember reading of Raid1 setup (was unsure of the number) so I knew it was possible and probably the simplest route.

            I thank you all for your time.

            As for the WD suggestions, it's funny that you all agree. My uncle has a thing against them, but I've never had an issue with them. I recently had a Maxtor fail after 5 years of daily use, which I read is average (correct if I am wrong). I won't limit myself to non-WD in this future purchase.

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            • #7
              Re: RAID Hard Drives

              Originally posted by orion808 View Post
              As for the WD suggestions, it's funny that you all agree. My uncle has a thing against them, but I've never had an issue with them. I recently had a Maxtor fail after 5 years of daily use, which I read is average (correct if I am wrong). I won't limit myself to non-WD in this future purchase.
              Drives go through cycles. WD has been the drive of choice for the last year or so, but for the year or so before that it was all Seagate. Prior to that it was Maxtor, then WD again, and so forth.
              a.k.a. NinjaPirateAssassin
              Celibacy is not Hereditary.
              Everybody should believe in something - I believe I'll have another drink.
              Happiness is like wetting your pants, everyone can see it but only you can feel the warmth.
              Flying is easy, Just throw yourself at the ground and miss!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: RAID Hard Drives

                Does go in cycles. I was using mostly Seagate until the WD320 and 640 gb drives but I ended up buying four of the 640's in one shot and used them to create two RAID 0's in my back up rigs. They are very efficient and with the large cache make excellent RAIDed drives.
                Forewarned is Forearmed




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                • #9
                  Re: RAID Hard Drives

                  The biggest problem I've had with RAID is getting the drivers to work. All be it a couple of years ago since my last install, I still have to rip an old 3.5 out of my scrap pile, just so I could load the RAID drivers... I assume newer boards have opened up CD or USB driver install options, but if not find a 3.5 with working media just in case.

                  ~ Draken

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                  • #10
                    Re: RAID Hard Drives

                    I ended up getting 2x WD Caviar Black 640GB HD (7200 RPM) for $50 each. Seemed like a good buy. Thanks for the info here. Now I just have to read up on RAID drives and how to install.

                    Should I use my Windows XP or Windows 7 (which I was about to purchase anyways...currently using the RC Beta) since this will act as a file server?

                    It will connect to a Laptop with WinXP and a desktop with Win7.

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                    • #11
                      Re: RAID Hard Drives

                      Depends on if you're trying to install to the drives or just have them installed as a second drive in an existing system.

                      Installing to them wise, Windows 7 will identify the raid drivers automatically in most cases, or accept them from a flash drive in all other cases. so it will be much easier.

                      Xp requires the raid drivers be loaded from a floppy drive in the beginning of the install, or to have them slipstreamed into a burned boot CD, which works way better but requires a program and a bit of know-how.

                      If the OS is on a C drive and you're installing these drives as a D drive type situation, it doesn't matter, they should both read the drives as soon as windows loads. At worst you'll only have to assign a drive letter.

                      That's assuming you're just using the basic motherboard drivers to create the raid, which I don't like doing in general but for issues that don't occur with raid1 anyway, so you should be fine.
                      a.k.a. NinjaPirateAssassin
                      Celibacy is not Hereditary.
                      Everybody should believe in something - I believe I'll have another drink.
                      Happiness is like wetting your pants, everyone can see it but only you can feel the warmth.
                      Flying is easy, Just throw yourself at the ground and miss!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: RAID Hard Drives

                        might I suggest this then

                        http://www.maximumpc.com/article/fea..._source_server
                        Reapator, overlord of ponies

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                        • #13
                          Re: RAID Hard Drives

                          OK, I think I set this up correctly. Is there a way to test it?

                          Motherboard: A7N8X Deluxe

                          In the BIOS, I enabled the SATA1 and SATA2, where the drives are connected and picked boot from array. I went to the array setup and created a mirrored array with the 2 drives. Restarted and then installed Windows 7 Home Premium with no complications. It only recognized one drive, which I'm assuming is just the array(so it's mirroring properly).

                          Is there a test to verify a raid setup that won't lose any data?

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                          • #14
                            Re: RAID Hard Drives

                            You just did.

                            The array will show on bios and the OS is only going to see it as a single drive. Welcome to the world of RAID.
                            Forewarned is Forearmed




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                            • #15
                              Re: RAID Hard Drives

                              Cool. Just odd I guess that it's not as visual. I guess if it was a software raid, I'd see what I expect, but since it's a BIOS/hardware RAID, info is duplicated before the OS sees it.

                              Thank you.

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