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Bulding my first RAID

 
 
Mastertone
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      06-10-2007
I have many mnay questions and figure it may be easiest for responders
if I number each question so I now which question you're helping me
with

CURRENT SYSTEM: ASUS A8N-SLI mother board with built in SATA/RAID
controllers. I have two different capacity Western Digital IDE
drives. The main C drive is O/S with data. The D drive is simply back
up transfer and saved data. I have a Buffalo LinkStation for NAS,
which I am still figuring out (with help from Gene and Red)...I plan
to use it to back up my D drive.

DESIRED END STATE: I don't need the biggest and fastest system, my
MOBO is already 3 years old. But I do want a nice relatively faster
system that utilizes all the latest technology and will cost me only s
few hundred.

1. I have a pile of older IDE drives laying around but read that I can
arrange IDE drives in RAID? Maybe I don't need SATA drives? Please
explain.

2. Would it be a good idea to keep my O/S on one small drive and
programs with data on a second? Say XP on a small 32GB drive and
Office, Adobe, data, etc., on separate drives? Or the O/S with all
programs on the small drive and all data on the others?

3. I'd like to keep no more than 2 hard disk drives in my PC case and
put others outside in an external box. I have seen so many options at
NewEgg that I'm confused. I can run SATA cables and power from my
MOBO, all I think I need is a box to hold a couple of 3.5" drives.
What is the best way to enclose these additional drives?

4. Back up. I understand that RAID 1 mirrors my data, but does not
make my NAS useless? What do I do to backup years of MP3 files? I
converted all my classic 70's rock records to MP3 files and would be
devastated if I lost all of this stuff!

5. My current plan is to buy two Western Digital 250GB SATA 3.0
drives...about $69 bucks each at NewEgg. I have the cables, but need
the external enclosure. Is this all I need?

6. What am I missing (my catch-all question)?

Thanks
 
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babaloo
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      06-10-2007
I recommend you do not try to configure your system for RAID 0 if it is
going to be your only computer and you have no experience at it.
If you are building a second system then go for the learning experience.
RAID 0 does not speed up computer usage noticeably for most people's uses.
There is a difference between what can be measured and what transfers into
tangible, real world results in terms of disc access.
If one drive goes down you lose, I repeat totally lose, all the data that
was on BOTH drives. Therefore if you do decide to try RAID 0 you need a
second hard drive for data, as well as swap drive. You also need to
routinely image a backup of your RAID 0 installation in case of disaster.
Disasters are not infrequent in RAID 0 installations.
If you are going to commit your only computer to RAID 0 you need to back up
everything on your computer and make sure those backup discs/drives are
readable before you start.
For individual users RAID 1 is overkill compared to simply backing up data
but its your money and your hard drives.
Other RAID arrays apply only to enterprise systems.
If you have EIDE drives of reasonable size, I would say at least 40gbs, you
can get external USB enclosures for as little as $20.This is a very
reasonable way of backing up data.


 
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