Anyone doing RAID at home?

CRyan

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Just curious. I was thinking about doing this when I build a computer for myself in the coming weeks. Was thinking about Raid 0 just for the raw speed. Already have an ATA100 40gb and would not mind picking up another one and a controller card.
However, I am worried about compatibility problems with the MB I am going with. I really don't want it to get horribly confusing.
Another question - do you choose which RAID scenario in the cards BIOS setup?
Thanks for any help,
C. Ryan
 

Kimmo Jaskari

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Not yet, but it's in the works. However, I'm planning on actual hardware RAID but with IDE drives; Adaptec has a RAID card with CPU assistance that allows you to create a "real" RAID array using RAID5 and there are other manufacturers as well.
Not the fastest way to access data, but impervious to the loss of an entire drive, which seems like a very good idea to me for storing stuff you don't want to lose.
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John Thomas

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I'm curious about this as well; I picked up 2 10k Cheetahs just for this purpose but never got around to getting the raid card. I've presently got just a 2940U2W Adaptec; I was thinking about a 131U2 but its only single channel; the 133U2 would be ideal but it costs more; if there's anyone out there who has such setup(s), is it worth it to go with multiple channels? Maybe for scanner/etc? Thanks.
 
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Yes, I have an IDE RAID 0 setup at home. While it doesn't speed up most of my everyday activities, it has virtually eliminated buffer underrun errors while burning CDs, and it helps a lot with video editing which I do sometimes. Photoshop runs like a bat out of hell.
If you are building a system and want to avoid MB problems, simply buy a MB with RAID built in. I have an ABIT KT7A-RAID, which is basically a KT7A with a HighPoint RAID controller on-board.
The controller card will come with its own BIOS which will allow you to perform all of the setup you need.
 

Rob Gillespie

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Thought about it but decided I don't really need the speed. Plus using Raid 0 means you're twice as likely to lose your system due to HD failure.
 

Darren Lewis

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I was going to ask this exact same question. I've recently upgraded to an ABIT VP6 motherboard, which has a RAID controller built in. I'll be reading this thread with interest.
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Richard Cooper

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I've been using a raid 0 array for sometime now. I use 2 IBM 30gb ata100 drives, first on an Abit KT7-RAID and now on a Gigabyte GA7-DXR.
First of all, there is a very significant increase in harddrive read/write speed. I do a lot of work with video, so large files feature quite heavily in my use of my computer. Yes, if I lose one harddrive, I lose all my data, but that's what backups are for. Harddrives are very reliable anyway (I still use as a transfer disk my original 120mb hardrive - I've never had a bad sector let alone a drive failure of any sort. Actually, I still use my 20mb harddrive on my BBC computers- that's ancient!) I would recommend using good qulaity drives - IBM, Seagate etc.
I think I prefered the Abit (Highpoint) RAID controller over the Gigabyte (Promise) version, but once set-up no maintenance is required, other than a normal defrag occasionally.
The other advantage of using additional drive channels (Raid or otherwise) is that it leaves IDE1 and 2 for DVD/Writers, which hold up harddrives attached on the same channel anyway.
 

Rob Gillespie

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If the controller is doing it's job properly, RAID 0 should make two drives look like one big drive.
 

Richard Cooper

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I must admit I've never tried partitioning a RAID drive, but as windows sees the drive and treats it just like any other I'd ASSUME that yes, you can partition it: you use fdisk to create the primary DOS partition anyway.
 

CRyan

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Thank guys. Yeah, it can be a worry, but with backups, and Ghost, I would not be too worried I guess. I have never had a drive go bad, but there is always a chance. I wonder if Norton Ghost would work properly over a RAID configuration. I suppose there is no reason that it shouldn't.
C. Ryan
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Rob Gillespie

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Unless they've made a recent change to Ghost, it doesn't support striped RAID (0). I think it can handle mirrored though.
 

Darren Lewis

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From this page it seems as though Powerquest products (eg PartitionMagic and Drive Image) will support RAID 0.
Isn't there a way to get Windows 2000 to do a software RAID?
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DavidY

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I have a couple questions about RAID.
Can you add a second HD later and then use RAID? I assume that the second HD should be same make/model as the first one for best optimization, right?
Will I have to reformat the first HD when the second HD is added? How about other HD's?
My current mobo is an Asus A7V133 with RAID and a 40GB 7200rpm Quantum Fireball and a 10GB 5400rpm WD. OS is MS98SE. In the near future, I would like to add a second Quantum drive and then use a RAID setup.
Thanks for any help.
Dave
 

brian a

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that allows you to create a "real" RAID array using RAID5
What do you mean "real" RAID?
I use a standard non RAID drive for my system drive and have a RAID 0 array for a data drive. It's mostly for video capture. Works great. You shouldn't have any problems.
I agree that thrown drives are very rare these days so i wouldn't worry too much about it. I haven't seen one go out at work in ~2 years of managing over 500 servers and desktops. Meaning I have seen them go, but the last one was a couple of years ago.
brianca
 
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DavidY: Yes, you will need to reformat your HD in order to add it to a RAID 0 array. Not too sure about RAID 1 though.
Also, RAID 0 drives should partition just fine, if the RAID controller is doing its job. I have my RAID array partitioned into six.
 

Kimmo Jaskari

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By "real RAID" I guess I was referring to a system where the RAID functions are handled in hardware, and are independent of the OS. The RAID subsystem also has built-in processing power so the system doesn't get bogged down with having to do the processing for the storage system.
Such cards do exist even for IDE, Adaptec and Promise are two brands that have systems like these.
I'm looking at Promise at the moment, they have some very nice hot-swap RAID equipment at a very reasonable price point.
I'm interested in data security far more than pure speed, so that's why I'm looking at RAID5 rather than RAID1 or 0.
Basically, I want a three-disk (or more) array where, if one disk is toast, I can just slide it out and slide a fresh one in and have the array rebuild the missing disk from the data on the two other disks.
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/Kimmo
 

brian a

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Ahh.. HW vs. software RAID I understand. I use both AMI and Adaptec cards in house and they both seem to work great. Of course, I'm not doing IDE RAID.
Why would RAID 5 provide you better data recovery than RAID 1? Mirroring is much better in my opinion if being able to recover quickly or not even notice an outage. It also out performs RAID 5 by a decent margin.
brianca..
 

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