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Raid 0 w/ USB Flash drives in Vista?

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Old 10-14-08, 05:22 PM Thread Starter   #1
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Raid 0 w/ USB Flash drives in Vista?


I picked up the bits for a new machine last night, and I was debating readyboost. 4GB flash drives are pretty cheap and I was just going to grab one when I saw that the Egg has free shipping on a 4.99 1GB flash drive. I thought to myself,

"Hmm, I'll just grab 4 1GB flash drives, convert them to dynamic disks, run them as Raid 0, and get 4 times the performance for the same price as I what I was going to pay for a 4GB drive"

So, I tried an experiment before purchasing. I grabed an old pair of 512 MB flash drives, formatted them as NTFS, and went to convert them to dynamic disks. Turns you vista tries to protect you from yourself and won't let you convert removable media to dynamic disks.

Anyone know how to get around Vista and do the conversion?
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Old 10-14-08, 05:48 PM   #2
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the speed of them wont even match a single harddrive really.. most USB flash drives are not that fast...

it is a cheap way but i wouldn't see the speed being over 50MB - 60MB.....

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Old 10-14-08, 06:00 PM Thread Starter   #3
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the speed of them wont even match a single harddrive really.. most USB flash drives are not that fast...

it is a cheap way but i wouldn't see the speed being over 50MB - 60MB.....
I was just looking at spending ~$25 for a 4GB readboost drive, not a full on HDD replacement. When I saw the price of the 1GB drives, I immediatly thought RAID 0. 60MB / Sec w/ ~.5ms access time would be pretty sweet for a little bit of swap space, wouldn't it? Especially considering it would cost around $20.

The only problem is getting the drives converted to dynamic disks...
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Old 10-14-08, 10:31 PM   #4
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I wonder if changing the drive policy to optimum for performance instead of the default optimum for removal would allow you to mess with the drives. If you want to give it a try just go to the drive properties under device manager.

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Old 10-14-08, 10:36 PM Thread Starter   #5
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I wonder if changing the drive policy to optimum for performance instead of the default optimum for removal would allow you to mess with the drives. If you want to give it a try just go to the drive properties under device manager.
Yep, tried that one already, and no it doesn't work. I was on the same train of thought I guess! It appears that any drive marked as removable cannot be made into a dynamic disk.

I'm guessing its going to require some kind of registry hack to chage the drive from removable to basic to allow the creation of a RAID set. I'm hoping that someone has already done this and I can follow their example.
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Old 10-17-08, 03:56 PM   #6
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I have no idea how you would go about this, but it sounds like an outstanding idea!

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Old 10-21-08, 03:11 PM Thread Starter   #7
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Just picked up 4x 4GB Cruser Micro flash drives for $8 each. I'm going to convert the flash drives to non removeable drives with the app found here:

http://www.pendriveapps.com/2008/05/...edia-bit-tool/

and then create a RAID 0 set. We'll see what kind of performance I can get out of it. If it works really well, I may expand my raid 0 set and see what I can do with it.
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Old 10-21-08, 03:49 PM   #8
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Just picked up 4x 4GB Cruser Micro flash drives for $8 each. I'm going to convert the flash drives to non removeable drives with the app found here:

http://www.pendriveapps.com/2008/05/...edia-bit-tool/

and then create a RAID 0 set. We'll see what kind of performance I can get out of it. If it works really well, I may expand my raid 0 set and see what I can do with it.

Let us know how it goes!!

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Old 10-21-08, 06:24 PM   #9
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Reminds me of this: http://ohlssonvox.8k.com/fdd_raid.htm

I'm curious to see how well it works for you.

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Old 10-22-08, 10:18 AM Thread Starter   #10
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Reminds me of this: http://ohlssonvox.8k.com/fdd_raid.htm

I'm curious to see how well it works for you.
Hopefully its more practical than a Floppy raid array. 16GB should be large enough to actually do something with.
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Old 10-22-08, 10:40 AM   #11
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I'm sure it will be a lot more practical.

Are you going to try and spread them out between different USB controllers or put them all on one hub?

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Old 10-22-08, 11:13 AM Thread Starter   #12
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Quote:
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Reminds me of this: http://ohlssonvox.8k.com/fdd_raid.htm

I'm curious to see how well it works for you.
Quote:
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I'm sure it will be a lot more practical.

Are you going to try and spread them out between different USB controllers or put them all on one hub?

I'm going to spread them over 2 controllers to start with. Depending on how that works, I'll try moving the drives around to see what it takes to max a controller.
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Old 11-19-08, 04:36 AM   #13
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any updates ?

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Old 11-28-08, 07:10 PM   #14
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any updates ?
I have sifted through many posts about this subject. Has Endgame gotten anywhere with this?
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Old 01-10-09, 05:16 AM   #15
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oh man, i really want to know how this goes, i got a few USB's lying around
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Old 01-10-09, 05:26 AM   #16
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Not really sure that there would be much of a performance gain and i think you would also need a USB hub

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Old 01-10-09, 10:31 PM   #17
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You would be lucky to see 60MB out of it with all the signaling overhead. 2 or more USB controllers would be needed to exceed the USB transfer limit of 480mbps or 60MBps. I would recommend 2 drives per controller.
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Old 05-15-10, 07:54 PM   #18
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You would be lucky to see 60MB out of it with all the signaling overhead. 2 or more USB controllers would be needed to exceed the USB transfer limit of 480mbps or 60MBps. I would recommend 2 drives per controller.
I've setup a raid0 with 3 USB drives with a software raid0 under linux on my netbook. I made a 150MB partition on the first one /boot (the bootloader can't be on a software raid), and on each drive I made a 2GB partition for RAID. I get about 59MB/s, which is faster than the the 5400RPM HDD included with the netbook.
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Old 05-18-10, 11:28 AM Thread Starter   #19
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This was a serious pain in the @ss and I ended up abanoding the idea. Vista is very persistant that you cannot Raid 0 removeable disks unless you hack the Registry, create a new driver for your thumb drives, and go from there. I eventually got it to work, but it would clear the drive on reboot I ended up giving up on the idea -- stupid microsoft.
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Old 05-18-10, 07:06 PM   #20
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Stupid MS or no..

imagine people who would do this, save data then say remove a drive "by accident" then loose their data, they would be blaming MS so fast that it is their fault and not their own stupidity.

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