A Couple of Hard Drive Questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Harris, May 12, 2002.

  1. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

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    I want to replace my current 20 gig drive with something much bigger. Do I put the new one in as a slave, copy everything to the new one then make the new one the master?

    Also, thinking of installing a RAID card. To do this do I have to have drives of equal size?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    You'll probably have to put the new one in as master, install the operating system from scratch and then copy what data files you want from the old one, with that installed as the slave.
     
  3. Randy_T

    Randy_T Stunt Coordinator

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  4. Chad Ellinger

    Chad Ellinger Second Unit

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  5. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    You can add a new drive in several ways. The easiest is just make it a slave. It will appear as a new drive letter and you can immediately start using it after its partitioned and formatted. However if its a faster drive, you may see some advantages of making it the master drive and keeping the OS on it. (see below)

    You'll probably have to put the new one in as master, install the operating system from scratch and then copy what data files you want from the old one, with that installed as the slave.

    If you want to go this route, then get a copy of Ghost, from Symantec. It will seamlessly move your old files over to the new drive. There is no reason for you to have to reinstall anything.

    As for RAID cards, it depends on what you had in mind:

    You can buy a disk controller that will allow you to run your new drive and old one in JBOD mode (Just a bunch of disks). This basically lets you see both drives as a single continuous one in the operating system. It doesn't offer any speed advantages, and should either fail, all your data is lost. Some controllers will let you just add a drive seamlessly, but other might require you to reformat all the drives involved when you set this up.

    RAID controllers only make use of disk space on drives of the same size. Most controllers will let you have mismatched drives, but they will limit you to the smaller sized one as the basis for what you can make use of then. (So combining a 20 gig and an 80 gig will waste the larger drive) Setting up a RAID array almost always requires you to reformat all the data in the drives.

    RAID-0 is striping. Information is split up and written simultaneously to all the disks in the array. The advantage here is that disk writes and reads are much faster as larger amounts of info are being written and received than one drive can handle. If one drive dies, you lose all your data as there is no security in this setup.

    RAID-1 is mirroring. All data is copied to another drive in the array, providing 100% redundancy. Obviously you can't mirror a drive if its bigger than you. If one drive dies, you have your mirror that holds everying.

    RAID-10 is a combo of the above two. Two or more disks are striped, allowing for increases speed, and an identical array mirrors them, providing security. This is the fastest RAID array that provides security for your data. However overhead is highest since you have to have twice as many drives.

    RAID-2,3 and 4 are not widely supported, and are basically arrays that include parity drives so that a drive can die and no data is lost. A better approach is usually to use the next type of RAID:

    RAID-5 is also a striped array, but also expands on the previous RAID numbers and also uses parity bits, but includes parity information spaced among all the drives. If one drive dies, a new one can be put in and all information on it can be rebuilt. Speed is slower than pure striping. Likewise you lose about 20% of your total disk space due to parity overhead. However this RAID level usually offers the most cost efficient use compromise of securty and speed.
     
  6. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

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    Thanks for all the info and suggestions. The 20gig I have is not going to be part of any RAID. Once the larger drive (60 or 80 Gig) then the old one is history. If I go for a RAID set up, I'll just get a matching drive. Of the RAID setups listed above, RAID-5 seems the most appealing and with the low price per gig, losing 20% for security is a pretty good trade off.
     
  7. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    Is this just your personal PC? Reason I ask is why bother with the added hassle and cost of a RAID at all? Just toss a really fast 80 gig or larger drive in there and your good to go. Sure you'll have to reinstall the OS and software, but I usually find a full clean reinstall once in awhile does wonders for the speed of the box. I just bought an 80GB 7200 rpm ata133 HD that came with a free ata 133 pci card for $130. I previously had a 30GB 7200 rpm ata100 drive in there. I installed win2k on the 80gb one and all my software. I now just use the 30GB one for mp3's. The 80GB is the master on chain 1 and the 30GB is the master on chain 2. The whole thing is really fast. I've got my cd, cdrw, and zip on my on board chains so no interferring with my HD's. It only took me a few hours (after I got the hardware arranged, and the 80GB formatted) to get everything back installed.
     
  8. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    You can use ghost, of course, but windows installations "clutter up" with time so might be a good idea to start over with a clean install.
    Some raid forms work on disparate size drives too, I think, like striping.
    Hardware tip for Raid 5; 3ware Escalade 7450 (or 7850 for 8-drive version) raid card. Excellent test results. They also have a nice hotswap drive cage for not too much money that has room for 3 3.5inch disks in a 2x5.25 inch size space. Web page is over at http://www.3ware.com
     
  9. Mike__D

    Mike__D Supporting Actor

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    Most retail drives, like Maxtor, include a utility (in Maxtor's case, MaxBlast) to copy everything over from your old drive, to your new drive. This is the easiest way to do it. If you buy an OEM drive, it may not include any utilities. You should be able to go to the manufactorers sight and download the utility. I've done this method before when I was running Windows 98, and it worked flawlessly. I'm not sure if these utilities support Windows 2000/XP drives formatted in NTFS... in that case, reinstall as everyone mentioned.

    Speaking of reinstalling... it is a good thing to do that on Win95/98 like once a year. I found no need to do that with 2000, as it's very stable, and it's easier to control your resources and what not.

    Just my 2cents.

    Mike D.
     

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