Hard Drives / RAID etc

  Sebby 13:08 19 Jan 2003
  Sebby 13:08 19 Jan 2003

I have a computer that I built my self about 9 months ago now. My Maxtor 60GB ATA133 7200rpm hard drive is running out of free space rapidly, so I'm looking to get an additional drive.

But I'm stuck, so I need the help of all the experts here ;o)

My motherboard doesn't support RAID, but what I've been thinking is I'll get another identical Maxtor hard drive and purchase a PCI RAID card - that way, it'll save me getting rid of my old hard drive for a bigger one, and I'll get the advantage of RAID, which would definately be useful.

I understand the concept of RAID, i.e. the ability to write to more than one drive simultaneously, but I don't understand this RAID 0 and RAID 1 stuff - I'd be so grateful if someone could explain that and the way in which I'd set up two hard drives and two CD drives.

Anyway, is this the right way to go about doing things, i.e. getting another 60GB Maxtor and a RAID card? If so, could anyone make some RAID card suggestions, or tell me otherwise.

Thanks very much to everyone.

  jazzypop 13:20 19 Jan 2003

click here for a good introduction to RAID. If it is just more storage you want, simply add another drive - it will be seen as additional storage to your current disk.

RAID seems to be an unnecessary complication (to me) for what you have said you need it for.

In essence, RAID 0 will increase the speed of reading / writing to disk, by writing half of the data simultaneously to both disks. This gives you access to the combined capacity of both drives, but with no additional data security.

RAID 1 will write the data to disk 1, and a backup copy to disk 2. This gives no increase in storage capacity, but an obvious increase in data security.

  Sebby 13:34 19 Jan 2003

Thanks for the guide - I'll have a read of it.

I suppose I was under the wrong impression about RAID. I always thought that it was so that if you have two drives on the same IDE channel, you could write to both simultaneously...

  Sdram 15:20 19 Jan 2003

Sebby avoid RAID. I built one using the GA 81EXP. It went critical after 24 hours and I now use the controllers in ATA 133 mode. Which isn't satisfactory either since the Promise Driver isn't yet good enough.

  Sebby 15:25 19 Jan 2003

What do you mean by using the controllers in ATA133 mode?

  'Kinell 15:52 19 Jan 2003

If you are not bothered about the speed increase offered by a Raid 0 configuration, you would be better just to add another identical drive to the same IDE cable & setup as slave. If you want to run a Raid 0 config. with an identical drive your PC would 'see them' as one 120Gb hard drve but with double the speed. Good news? Now the bad news: (1) When setting your drives up, you will have to reformat your old drive (and format your new one )thus losing all your data, unless you back it up, but if as stated you've nearly filled the 60Gb already, you will need a lot of blank CDR's !! (2 )If one of your drives fails you will lose all the data on both drives (this has happened to me) - The other way to stop this is a Raid 1 config. this way all data is duplicated, but with two 60Gb hard drives the computer will only see one (one is a duplicate of 2 for backup), so you're back to 60Gb. The final and best way is to have a Raid 0+1 config. This way you will need four (ideally)identical 60 Gb hard drives, your system will see one 120 Gb hard drive and all your data will be backed up too, obviously this will be expensive but worth it in terms of speed & security.

  Rayuk 15:55 19 Jan 2003

Advise you to read the intro to Raid on previous link.
Using raid will give you a small increase in performance but bear in mind if 1 drive goes you loose all info on both the drives when using Raid0.
Raid1 is for security whereby the two drives have exact same info on and if 1 goes you still have everything on other drive.
So if you are not looking for increased speed or security would advise you to follow jazzypops advise and just use the new drive as a slave for storing your data on.

  -pops- 16:02 19 Jan 2003

Do you need RAID or just extra IDE connections? You can get a PCI card that will give you 2 x 2 IDE connections which you use just as you use the ones you already have.

I remember €dstow uses them but he's not here weekends but if you hang on 'til tomorrow I'm sure he'll give you the low down.


  Sebby 16:05 19 Jan 2003

Thanks everyone, I think I'll just get a second drive.

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