[SOLVED] Setting up RAID 1

  • PolishHurricane
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I currently have a SATA 3.0 250GB Western Digital that I bought a little over a year ago.

I want to buy a newer SATA drive (most likely a different model because I cannot get the same one I think), plug it in next to my current hard drive and then setup RAID 1 Mirroring. I read that I can use 2 different hard drives of different sizes, not sure if they have to be the exact model or speed though.

My main problem is installing it and I want to know if it will automatically copy the contents of my 1st drive over or if I have to do it? :scratchhead: I'm going to read some tutorials and books on it, but I figured I'd give the pros a shot at it. :)

Thanks.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • UNFLUX
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You will need to get a RAID controller of some kind. I believe with SATA you can actually use software for this, but you may have to look that up. I do know that if you are using 2 different size drives, RAID will use the smaller size for all drives.
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

UNFLUX is correct about using different sized hard drives. For Example:

Hard Drive 1 is 250GB
Hard Drive 2 is 500GB

Your RAID-1 setup will only see 250GB rendering your other 250GB useless.

The RAID controller card will handle the mirroring for you and you shouldn't have to do anything except hook them up. My motherboard has a built-in controller and it was stupid simple to setup.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

On software RAID-1, XP cannot do it. Not sure about Vista. XP can do RAID-0 using software though.

The server editions starting with 2000 can do RAID-1.
  • PolishHurricane
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I found the exact same hard drive for sale still, so the size issue and stuff is not a big deal. But XP can't do it so nvm... :( I have RAID things though that came with my motherboard. I just recently bought a high end GIGABYTE motherboard like 2 months ago.

What do you guys suggest doing? I have a lot of web scripts and programs I wrote, along with a ton of programs that I want to backup that I saved and stuff. I don't really want to keep having to copy stuff to an external... I was thinking of buying an external HD but I don't have one of those special ports on the back of my mobo.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Most external hard drives are USB, nothing too special about that.

When I said XP can't do RAID-1, i meant it can't do it using the OS. You can do it using hardware though such as a PCI RAID card or a built-in controller on the motherboard. Most SATA motherboards have RAID functionality built-in.

If all you need to do is backup scripts and stuff then I think RAID-1 is a bit overkill. Backing them up to a CD-RW/DVD-RW or an external hard drive is probably more realistic.
  • PolishHurricane
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah so much for my computer science college buddies, I guess they don't know anything about externals because they told me most of them now use those external eSATA ports now.

I agree that it is overkill, but I think I still want to do it. It's only $70 to do it and it automatically just backs up for me and I just want to do it for fun and if I ever want to I can just use the extra HDD I bought.

The main issue though is I want to do it with my current windows installation, I really don't want to reinstall windows. I'm worried about overwriting my current installation or something. You said I could just plugin the other hard drive and configure it, but can I just plugin with a current windows installation and have it copy over to the new HDD? I know I need RAID drivers installed, but I'm pretty sure I installed RAID drivers on my windows comp already, because if I didn't window's wouldn't even work on the SATA drive it's currently on, right? If I didn't I have the drivers CD though. I know I have a RAID controller, because I saw how to configure it in my mobos instruction manual, the only thing is I'm not sure if it has RAID 1, but I'd assume if it has a controller they would put that in. I didn't want to enable it because I don't have the other hard drive yet.

Also, I'm not sure if I could do this, but it sounds cool. On Wikipedia they said...

Wikipedia wrote:
To maximize performance benefits of RAID 1, independent disk controllers are recommended, one for each disk. Some refer to this practice as splitting or duplexing. When reading, both disks can be accessed independently and requested sectors can be split evenly between the disks. For the usual mirror of two disks, this would, in theory, double the transfer rate when reading. The apparent access time of the array would be half that of a single drive.


You think if I get another raid controller I could do that? or maybe I could do that with my current mobos raid controller? This is my motherboard: http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Mot ... uctID=2424

Thanks a lot guys.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The newer externals are using newer connection ports but USB based ones are still widely available.

Nothing wrong with going RAID-1. The cool thing about it is if one drive dies you will never know until the second one dies.

I am confused on what you said here:
Quote:
I agree that it is overkill, but I think I still want to do it. It's only $70 to do it and it automatically just backs up for me and I just want to do it for fun and if I ever want to I can just use the extra HDD I bought.

Not sure exactly what you meant.

Your primary hard drive is connected to the SATA controller which has RAID built in. All you should have to do is plug the second one in, boot up and enter the RAID config, usually a keystroke like CTRL-L or whatever. From there you can select the RAID type you want and select the disks to be apart of the array. Since you will be doing RAID-1, the controller will start mirroring, your main hard drive should not be affected but I would make a backup anyway. If you were doing RAID-0 then you would have to re-install.

I think you should stick with a simple RAID setup for now and if you feel froggy and want to put in another controller then go for it.
  • PolishHurricane
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Sorry, I have a migraine from eating too much Christmas chocolate so it's hard for me to make sense. I meant to say that I only need to buy 1 hard drive for $70 to have RAID 1 and if I change my mind, I could always just use that extra hard drive for something else later on down the line. (Hope that makes sense sorry)

Okay that's cool man. I found out that my motherboard indeed does support RAID 1. But, I think I'm going to have to buy an external hard drive too because I don't have anything to backup stuff on and I want one anyway. :) Any recommendations on an external HDD? I will take your advice and stick with the simpler RAID setup for now because this is the first time I've even done anything this advanced with RAID and I don't want to blow anything up. :lol: That sounds cool though eh?

Thanks a lot, happy holidays grinch. ;)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I don't have any recommendations for external HDD's, I need to get one myself. This is a good place to start though

Happy holidays to you as well.

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