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Creating a sata raid, complete newbie here

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FyreDaug

Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Location
Saskatoon, SK
Ive currently got 1x250gb sata seagate drive, and 2x200gb WD IDE's. The sata drive is fairly new and doesnt have a whole lot of torture done to it, come boxing day I may be "forced" to buy another 250gb sata seagate because of sales and I've got a couple questions for this board:

This raid setup will be the primary boot drive aswell, both WD's are slaves. Board: Asus P4S800

1) In the post screen I have the option to setup a raid using the currently installed sata drives being 2 max that my board supports.
So, is using this utility the best way to go about setting it up? Or are there other bootable cd's or something that do things better?

2) What is the FASTEST way to setup a raid? Its raid0 or raid1 I know, but what about stripe sizes? Does that matter at all for speed?
And also, if its set up for the fastest load method, does that only allow me to have 250gb combined space? Or is that only in a mirrored setup and I will still have 500gb combined?

3) Someone please give me your favorite site that has sataraid information because obviously I need to do some reading, but I wasnt finding a strong read from a single site, and being christmas I dont have a whole lot of time to be reading around, hopefully you guys can help as you always have.

Thanks

EDIT: And I should mention I dont care if it is only 250gb combined, if it means having some data protection. So afaik writes wont be increased in speeds this way, because it writes the same data to both drives, but it reads them seperately increasing the speed by twice as much? Ive been reading this link: http://www.acnc.com/04_01_01.html ...
 

Elif Tymes

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2004
The tool is really the best way to do a RAID. It's actually the BIOS doing the RAID for you using the hardware, as opposed to software doing it in windows XP(software raid==slow because the CPU has to process it)

Keep in mind that you will need your RAID Driver disk for your motherboard.

This is what I would do:

RAID 0 with the default stripe size(I believe it's 16K?) the 2x250GB HDDs, this will give you 500GB of HDD Space, as well as an excellent amount of speed :).

Then, RAID 1 the 2x200GB Western Digitals. This will give you only 200GB of space for that array, but it would I would store everything on thue 500GB, but have a application that backs up certain directorys to your WD every night.

Some directories I would back up would be: ALL of the Docments and Settings Directories, any other data directorys you use(like I have one for downloads, one for CD backups, one for music, etc)
 

Ebola

Senior Toilet Scrubber
Joined
Jan 16, 2001
Location
Rosemount, MN
raid prep tools that do the format before install usually only come with oem boards (dell, hp, etc). Your manual will probably have a section on it telling you how to properly set up raid.
 
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FyreDaug

Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Location
Saskatoon, SK
So its actually a better idea to have both as a mirror then right? Because then I get double the speed (right? It would be double the speed?) and data protection so if a HDD does fail, I can get all my data off the working one? (How does that work anyways, will it be recongnized as a single drive? Just plug into a sata drive and its 100% good to go?)

Ive never done a raid before, but my system is pretty damn fast right now, the only thing holding it back is data access rate. Even though its like a year old technology it still holds its own in terms of speed. But like I said, the only time thigns are slow, is when it has to access the HDD, therefore, DOUBLING the speed should be a significant increase...

Thanks for the help
 

Enablingwolf

Senior Member overclocking at t
Joined
Jun 14, 2004
I just redid my RAID. I went from 0 to 1.

I wanted to make sure my data was safe. Since drives are dirt cheap, I chose to use RAID1. Which is mirror. One drive fails. I still got one to save my stuff. Tht is the rebuild you hear about. It won't save me from drive corruption though. Even messing up the data by mistake. It operates the same speed as a normal drive. All I get is two drives, one is a automaticly saved to the other drive. Same as the other. One fails, I at least will not loose data. I have 45gigs of data that I do not want to loose.

Now when I had it in zero, or striped. I got a nice little boost. Not 2x the speed of the drive. Honestly, the only time I seen the boost was moving large files around. Like opening a game, or transfering large files(movies,databases and ISO's). Other than that. It was kind of slow. The access was not as good as the other drive I have.

Now if I put it in RAID10[1+0], I get the best of both worlds. I got fault protection(a drive fails I am still happy) and the large file read/write boost.

Changing from RAID0 to RAID1. I went from sustained(flat curve) of 70+MbPS to about 50. My burst was lower in zero. The access time also took a hit in zero.

When you RAID there is a choice of data protection or speed. The boost is only noticed when your reading or writing large amounts of data.
 

Elif Tymes

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2004
RAID 1 Does NOT give you speed, JUST file protection.

raid prep tools that do the format before install usually only come with oem boards (dell, hp, etc). Your manual will probably have a section on it telling you how to properly set up raid.

Actually, I've had three different ASUS boards which have RAID Prep tools. Basically you press the buttons to enter the RAID config, tell it you want RAID 0(or 1) and then your done. Very simple.


So its actually a better idea to have both as a mirror then right? Because then I get double the speed (right? It would be double the speed?) and data protection so if a HDD does fail, I can get all my data off the working one?)

RAID 1 is not any fasterr than a standard drive setup. It does however contain data parity, that's why I suggested putting the 2x250GB in RAID 0, and the 2x200GB in RAID 1. That way you have 2 drives that you can backup to and if anything fails, you can rercover quickly. Then, your 2x250GB Drives can be used for sustained writing/transferring of files. I hope that makes sense to you...

(How does that work anyways, will it be recongnized as a single drive? Just plug into a sata drive and its 100% good to go?

Your RAID Controller(I believe you have the promise one on the P4S800) basically makes your computer see both drives as a single drive. Your 2 drives will show up as one in windows. If you have RAID 0, you will see the combination of both drives sizes(I.E. 250*2) as a single drive. If one of those drives fails, you will propably not be able to recover ANY of the data. This is because it writes the data in 16K "stripes" and breaks the files up across the disks, greatly increasing read speed. You will hopefully have your imporrtant data backed up(my documents directory, email directory, address book, etc.), and your less important data(I.E. games, applications, movies/music(because you own all the movies and music on your hard drive!)etc) can be reinstalled/ripped quite easily, on a "need to use" basis.


If your in a RAID 1, you will see both drives as a single disk. If one of these drives fails, you'll get a warning next time you boot, you merely switch off the RAID features, and your computer acts as it did before, you just lost one HDD.

Ive never done a raid before, but my system is pretty damn fast right now, the only thing holding it back is data access rate. Even though its like a year old technology it still holds its own in terms of speed. But like I said, the only time thigns are slow, is when it has to access the HDD, therefore, DOUBLING the speed should be a significant increase...

Thanks for the help

by data access rate, I'm assuming you mean seek times. If fast seek times for quicker game/windows loading is what you want, you may want to look into getting a single 74GB raptor, or whatever the fastest drive on the market is now.

Best of luck to you!
 
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FyreDaug

Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Location
Saskatoon, SK
by data access rate, I'm assuming you mean seek times. If fast seek times for quicker game/windows loading is what you want, you may want to look into getting a single 74GB raptor, or whatever the fastest drive on the market is now.

From what Ive seen a raid setup is till faster than a 10k drive... So raid 0 is what I want for speed.

Seems like my questions are answered, thanks
 

Elif Tymes

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2004
No, actually, Seek times RAID 0 is not going to compare with a Single WD 74Gb Raptor.

Anyways, I really hope you take my advice on the first post, and make a RAID 1 for your important data, and a RAID 0 for your installed stuff, like games/music etc. that you don't need to back up.
 

shadowdr

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
Seek times are faster on the Raptors but all in all there is little difference between the two.I wish I had gotten three sata drives instead of a Raptor.It takes forever to scan and defrag.
 
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FyreDaug

Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Location
Saskatoon, SK
I wont be putting the WD's in raid, they are just slaves and the important info (all 320gigs of music) is backed up in my carputer anyways.

I would also need a raid controller for the WD's, but the sata ones are onboard so I dont have to worry about anything else but spare time and another driver