Raid Mirroring

  crosstrainer 05:33 31 Mar 2006
Locked

Hope somone can advise here.... I have a Raid 5 capable motherboard and to SATA Hdds. The newer of the two is third generation 250gb the older 2nd gen. 160gb Both are 7200 samsung. Using the computer admin tools I have converted drive C (the 160) to dynamic so that in theory i should now be able to implement the mirror. BUT.. Microsoft says the drives must be identical any ideas?

  UncleP 12:06 31 Mar 2006

RAID systems were originally designed for large computers with many hard disks so that a variety of HD models could be used and, if one of these failed, it could be replaced without any data being lost. Essentially storage capacity was sacrificed to give increased reliability and versatility.

With two HDs on a PC, you are limited to RAID0 and RAID1 configurations (sometimes known respectively as 'striped' and 'mirrored'). The first is best avoided; there is no redundancy and a HD failure or error leads to complete data loss (unless it has all been backed up elsewhere, of course). RAID1 automatically keeps identical copies of everything on the two disks, so if one fails it can be replaced and the array rebuilt. It effectively makes them identical by trimming off the surplus capacity from the larger ie your array would store 160Gb. So it's better - but not essential - if the disks are the same size.

The alternative of course is to use the second disk to store compressed copies or images of the working drive. This is more flexible and doesn't lose any capacity, but requires more effort from the user. Your choice!

  crosstrainer 12:19 31 Mar 2006

Thanks for that, would it be worth me buying another 250gb identical drive, thus making 3 and then using the raid 5 soloution incorporated in my MSI k8n neo mainboard? Disks are so cheap although reinstalling windows aint no fun!

  crosstrainer 12:19 31 Mar 2006

Thanks for that, would it be worth me buying another 250gb identical drive, thus making 3 and then using the raid 5 soloution incorporated in my MSI k8n neo mainboard? Disks are so cheap although reinstalling windows aint no fun!

  UncleP 14:44 02 Apr 2006

You may have noticed that my first reply was couched in very general terms - basically because I am unfamiliar with the details of the RAID 5 utility provided on your motherboard. However, I suspect that the third disk necessary to set up this configuration would also be trimmed down to the minimum capacity, so there's no point in buying anything larger than 160Gb. There is a useful review of RAID systems in
click here

I'd be a little surprised if your motherboard did not provide other RAID alternatives; it might be worth setting up a RAID1 array with your existing disks, if this is allowed, to get some experience of them.

They do appear to be more rugged than having the OS on a single disk. One component of my array was corrupted by a repair firm while replacing a CD/DVD reader, but the computer continued to function normally and the array was rebuilt by running a nVidia utility provided with the machine. No fiddling around, re-installing Windows etc - although it did take two hours to complete.

  crosstrainer 17:25 02 Apr 2006

I have an msi k8n neo platinum mobo, with the nvidia raid hardware onboard and a silicon image raid 5 option also.... have pretty much decided to install another 250gb and (great fun..not) re-install xp pro, overall this seems to be better than losing all that space on the drives.

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