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Setting up raid


ClayMeow

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If you're installing Windows on the drive, then yes, you'll need the RAID drivers. If your mobo didn't come with a disk containing the RAID drivers, then when you're in the RAID Configuration Tool, you'll probably see an option to save the files to disk.

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  • BENEFITS:
    1. increased stability/security (you have a real-time backup of everything at all times)

    2. ability to rebuild the array (if one hard drive goes caput, you're able to rebuild the array by replacing the bad hard drive with a new one...no data lost)

    [*]DISADVANTAGES:
    1. no increase in speed (not really a disadvantage to a regular system, but rather compared to RAID-0)

    2. only half your hard drive space utilized (eg. two 180GB hard drives, Windows only sees 180GB, the second 180GB hard drive is mirroring in the background).

 

With RAID-1 you should infact get an increase in read speeds.

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Well the first question you need to ask/answer is which RAID you'll be going with.

 

The main two options are

RAID-0 - Striped

RAID-1 - Mirrored

 

In basic terms:

RAID-0 (Striped) = all data gets split in two between your hard drives. So if you have a 10mb file, physically, 5mb is on Hard Drive A, and 5mb is on Hard Drive B. Logically, however, Windows sees it as one big hard drive. In a sense, your RAID Controller is fooling Windows into thinking you have just one hard drive.

 

  • BENEFITS:
    1. increased speed (debatable on how much increase you actually get. Most noticeable with large files, and load times in games (but not the actual gameplay).

    2. Full utilization of the hard drive space (eg. two 180GB hard drives in RAID-0 = 360GB of total space)

    [*]DISADVANTAGES:

    1. increased risk (if one hard drive fails, you lose everything. No way to rebuild the array since the data is completely split)

 

RAID-1 (Mirrored) = All data gets put onto one hard drive, and behind-the-scenes, your RAID-controller copies everything onto your second hard drive, in real-time. Logically, Windows again hasn't a clue.

 

  • BENEFITS:
    1. increased stability/security (you have a real-time backup of everything at all times)

    2. ability to rebuild the array (if one hard drive goes caput, you're able to rebuild the array by replacing the bad hard drive with a new one...no data lost)

    [*]DISADVANTAGES:

    1. no increase in speed (not really a disadvantage to a regular system, but rather compared to RAID-0)

    2. only half your hard drive space utilized (eg. two 180GB hard drives, Windows only sees 180GB, the second 180GB hard drive is mirroring in the background).

 

SET-UP:

 

Setting up RAID for either configuration is pretty simple. The first thing to do is go into your BIOS and enable RAID on whatever ports you need it.

Then after saving and exiting the BIOS, you should see a prompt to enter your RAID Configuration Tool (usually by pressing F10, iirc). Depending on your controller, what you see now may differ from others, but the basics are pretty much the same. You choose to build the array, you select which hard drives to use and which RAID you want, and then you build the array. If this is for your bootable drive (aka. where you'll have Windows installed), there may also be an option you have to "turn on" to enable it to be "bootable." (In addition, if you'll be installing Windows on it), you may then want to go back into the BIOS and go to your "boot priority" where your new array should be displayed and bring it to the front (or behind the CD-Rom...whichever you prefer).

 

Hope that helps. The other semi-common RAID array is RAID-5. If you need information on that, let me know. That would require at least 3 hard drives though, the benefits being, in rudimentary terms, that it has the benefits of both RAID-0 and RAID-1 together.

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You have two drives with identical data. My software RAID-1 arrays take advantage of this. It is probably 'implementation dependant'.

I never really thought much about that, but it seems logical. Wikipedia seems to confirm this:

In addition to providing an additional copy of the data for the purpose of redundancy in case of hardware failure, disk mirroring can allow each disk to be accessed separately for reading purposes. Under certain circumstances, this can effectively double the speed of disk read access (halves the seek time).

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It's probably most effective in a multiuser environment to be honest, but the increase is there. My home server is much more responsive under heavy disk load with the RAID-1's there.

Really, it's quite handy when you think about it. I mean most people do more reading than writing anyways, I'd think. And especially from a mirrored set which would generally be used as a "long term storage" drive, as I usually call it. That's a pretty neat piece of info there :)

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I'l be going raid 0 stripped, not worried about losing data ordered a 400gb for that :P. The drives arnt here yet (stupid ups) but i'l be using the onboard raid controller on my mobo. Sence the manual doesnt have any information on how to set up raid its why im asking :P.

 

I understand everything that you said on how to set everything up but do i still need to install the raid drivers when windows asks to or do i skip that sence im using an onboard raid controller?

 

 

I'l be useing two of these :)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16822148215

 

 

 

 

Mind my horrid spelling and abbreviations im using my brotheres computer and his keyboard barly works...

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That's interesting...I've been reading up further on this. Your increase in read speeds is similar to the increase speed one achieves with a dual-core system, in that a single read procedure is not faster, because unlike in RAID-0, it'll only select the file from one drive, it won't access both to acquire it. As you said, Verran, most people do a lot cuncurrent "reading" so it indeed would be a benefit.

 

However markie, you do realize that by utilizing a software-based RAID solution, you're actually getting less performance increase than you would with a hardware RAID solution because you're utilizing some cpu usage to maintain it.

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Well im up and running :D :D. Still have to install the drivers and all that crap but windows is installed and holy . is it fast!!!! The windows splash screen flashes and bam into windows :D.

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