Raid 0

  PC User 20:42 26 Feb 2008

Got me new Dell XPS 420 today.

I ordered it with 2x 250GB Hard Drives. I thought with Raid 0 my total space would be 250 GB, but I am seeing two (? partions) as follows:

C (OS): 429 free of 450 GB

d: (RECOVERY):10.6GB fre of 14.9 GB

Can anyone enlighten this dummy!

  daxian 21:53 26 Feb 2008

hi pc user...
raid makes 2 drives appear as one 2x250 =500
dell have put on to the small partition files needed to recover your pc ....(recovery disk)in case you ever need to set the pc back to factory fresh.Dave

  mrwoowoo 21:54 26 Feb 2008

The way i understand it with Raid 0, By incorporating striping, the system would see all of the drives as only one drive for a total of 500gb.
With Raid 1 you lose half the capacity so would only see 250gb of disc space due to mirroring.
Never used Raid myself (1 drive only)so not too savy about it.Wonder if you have in fact set up as Raid 1 although that don't explain the 14.9gb?

  mrwoowoo 22:06 26 Feb 2008

Sorry my explaination of Raid 0 and Raid 1 are correct and you are using raid 0.
Saw the 2x250gb and read it as what you were seeing.)O:!
daxian .. Ah yes,of course,recovery partition.

  UncleP 22:32 26 Feb 2008

Do you mind if I ask why you have chosen a RAID0 configuration? There are indeed some advantages, but generally the disadvantages are considered greater.

  MAT ALAN 22:39 26 Feb 2008

click here

given what it says here raid 0 seems to be the poorer option...

  belfman 06:04 27 Feb 2008

RAIDO's advantage is speed as it splits the data over 2 or more drives - the RAID makes the drives appear as one huge hard drive in Windows. It's pitfall is if you lose one drive you lose all your data. Though HDD monitoring software can alert you to an impending failure.

RAID1's advantage is it's safer as it mirrors your primary drive to a second one. In the event the first one fails then the second takes it's place from there you can then get a new drive to become the mirror. It's pitfall is slowness and it's actually writing the information twice.

RAID10 or 1+0, depending on you like to say it, is a combination of the above.

Back to your Dell question:

RAID0 makes your 2 hard drives appear one large 500 GIG one. Dell then partition it into 2, one for C and a small partition for your recovery set up. You can change your RAID setup by cntrl-I on boot up but you will lose everything on the drives if you decide to change anything. You should only do it if you have good cause and have an valid Operating System disk if you venture into changing the RAID set up as you will no longer have a recovery option on the system.

  UncleP 18:32 27 Feb 2008

The reason I asked the question above is that the choice of configuration depends on what the main use of your computer will be. With two HDs you have three possibilities - the conventional Master/Slave pair, RAID0 and RAID1 (all other RAID systems require more than two disks).

The speed advantage of RAID0 is generally over-rated. For general applications you are unlikely to see an improvement of more than 10% in practice, compared to a single HD of the same type. There are a few applications where you might get up to 30-40%, but only under very specific conditions. The disadvantage is that the MTBF is halved and, if the array goes down, you cannot recover any of the material it contains (except by using professional services, at considerable cost and not guaranteed to work). This means that you must have a very solid back-up system containing a means of re-installing Windows.

I have run an experimental RAID1 system on my present computer for about 2.5 years. It has a very small speed advantage compared to a single disk. The big advantage is convenience and security; the array has only failed once, when a repair firm replaced a DVD drive and got the drive letters mixed up. Even so, the computer continued to operate normally from the uncorrupted disk in the degraded array, and I was able to re-build the array later using the original HD as it hadn't been damaged otherwise. The big disadvantage, of course, is that you lose half of the total HD capacity (because both HDs contain exactly the same material).

Unless one of these has a major advantage for the way you intend to operate your machine, I would recommend the standard master-slave configuration as the best all-round option. You can obtain some of the convenience and security of the RAID1 system with disk-imaging software, and this will also provide back-up and system restore and recovery options.

You don't need to make the change now, but you do need to decide what you are going to do if the RAID0 system crashes. So you should have in place a back-up system to preserve the data on it, and a Windows re-installation system to get the computer up and running again in whatever configuration you prefer. I estimate (and I admit it's a guess based on my limited experience) that there is a 20% chance that you will have such a crash in the 4-5 year lifetime of this computer.

Incidentally, do Dell make any recommendations for recovering RAID0 systems? It might be worth finding out what they have to say on this matter!

  PC User 19:56 27 Feb 2008

Ok if I decide to get rid of Raid 0 with this dell will I be able to install the OS with the provided disc?

  PC User 19:58 27 Feb 2008

BTW I got raid 0 because I thought it would be faster especially considering i got this pc to edit AVCHD video

  daxian 20:19 27 Feb 2008

hi again ....i presume that the pc came configured to raid 0 as it has the 2 partitions .
the disk that dell provides will only give the same options as you already have ...
in other words it is an image or recovery disk.

if you wish to change the option to raid 1 or any other format ,you will need to purchase a windows disk .
this is as far as i know ,never used dell recovery ,it may be that they supply a windows disk and run a utility to configure the drives then install windows and preloaded software ,but it is more likely to be an image .Dave

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