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As a pensioner who enjoys building and repairing children/grandchildrens computers, I have just replaced my motherboard with an MSI K7N2 Delta 2
motherboard. It is up and working fine. However drievrs for nforce 3 SATA RAID drivers came with the motherboard, and RAID is something I know nothing about.
The manual makes the installment of RAID to be very complicated, so I am wary of it.
Can anyone tell me, is there any benefit e.g. in speed with RAID installed, and is it difficult to install. What is the actual purpose of Raid, and the advantages if any?.
That depends on three factors:
Your budget - can you cover the cost of two or four HDDs?
Your speed demands.
Your need for data redundancy.
I use RAID because I consider data redundancy to be absolutely crucial to the reliable running of my business. I've had too many HDDs fail over the years to risk it anymore.
If you don't mind relying on manual or semi-automated backups to DVD-RW, external HDD or USB memory stick and you don't consider the loss of a carefully configured Windows installation to be a big deal, then you don't need data redundancy that is provided by RAID 1.
If you don't handle large files such as video or uncompressed graphics and audio, then you don't need the speed increase that comes with RAID 0.
I tend to suggest RAID 1 for any PC users with important collections of audio, video or photos, and RAID 0+1 for demanding power users. It's not necessary for absolutely everyone.
Is it easy to set up? Yes, very.
Avoid software-based RAID 5; it's not very satisfactory and carry's no real redundancy at a hardware level.
I'm just about to build my first PC with RAID on it, the 2 main types are RAID 0 and RAID 1 though there are others. RAID 1 basically duplicates the hard drive on to a second hard drive meaning that if one of the hard drives fails you still have a working hard drive with everything on it. I'm not sure if theres an effect on speed though and in the event of something regarding software failing or a virus RAID 1 will not help as the software problem or virus will be on both drives. The second most common RAID is RAID 0 and that is what I am going to use, basically it splits the programs between the 2 hard drives and consequently is much faster as the programs will load twice as fast (not quite true but you get the idea, still much faster). If either drive fails however you lose everything as each drive has only half the information required to run. One thing that is important though, the two drives you use must be the same speed, size and type, preferably the same make and I think it has to be setup before you install windows but I'm not 100% sure of this as things have moved on a bit since I last looked at how it was done.
Yes, it needs to be done at the time of a fresh OS installation, because of XP's requirement for IDE RAID and SATA controllers to be loaded before the installation. You can still re-build a failed mirror array of course, or run the disk on its own.
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