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Old December 7, 2008, 09:47 PM
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Default Help on Raid set-up

I am thinking of using Raid 1 as a possible backup mode. I have the following in my system:

Drive 1 - "C" Drive with Vista Ultimate OS and my applications (500G -Hitachi)
Drive 2 - "D" Drive with Multimedia Files (Photos and Movies) (500G- WD)
Drive 3 - "E" Drive - Backup - Has Image of "C" with Windows Vista(500G-WD)

Motherboard: Asus P5QL-E

I am thinking of buying a new Hardrive (Hitachi) to install as a Raid 1 to mirror the Drive "C". My questions are as follows:

1. Can I setup the Raid with Drive that already has my Applications and the Vista or do I have to reinstall the OS ?
2. Will having the Raid set-up be a better back-up procedure?
3. Any advantage over my current setup ?
4. Use the utility that came with Asus MB ? or is there a better Utility to setup Raid 1.
5. After a Raid setup, any maintenance operations necessary ?

Thanks.
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Old December 7, 2008, 10:05 PM
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1. You should be able to build the array without having to reinstall the OS. You'll have to have the proper drivers installed in Vista though.
2. RAID is not a substitute for good backups, but more a way to keep a system operational in the event of drive failure.
3. Yes. If drive C fails you will be off-line till you can replace it and restore dfrom backup. With RAID 1 you can run off the mirror until you replace the failed drive.
4. Always a good idea to use the one designed for the controller if possible. Assuming an Intel controller they are usually quite robust for fakeRAID controllers.
5. Nothing special. A RAID 1 array is seen as a single drive for all practical purposes so normal drive maintenance is all that is necessary. A defrag might take a little longer since it has to do 2 drives and not one is all.
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Old December 8, 2008, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NyteOwl View Post
1. You should be able to build the array without having to reinstall the OS. You'll have to have the proper drivers installed in Vista though.
2. RAID is not a substitute for good backups, but more a way to keep a system operational in the event of drive failure.
3. Yes. If drive C fails you will be off-line till you can replace it and restore dfrom backup. With RAID 1 you can run off the mirror until you replace the failed drive.
4. Always a good idea to use the one designed for the controller if possible. Assuming an Intel controller they are usually quite robust for fakeRAID controllers.
5. Nothing special. A RAID 1 array is seen as a single drive for all practical purposes so normal drive maintenance is all that is necessary. A defrag might take a little longer since it has to do 2 drives and not one is all.
Thanks for your response. My home computer is used by my kids also and between us all, occassionally, the system goes belly-up. Usually, its because of an installed programme that misbehaves, or something deleted, or virus. I was looking for ways to have a quicker recovery. Last week I could not boot-up the computer and tried to use an Acronis Image to get back online. For some weired reason, the system kept freezing up at the restore stage. Luckily I had an older image created with Vista. I was alble to restore to the Vista image. Based on your response, it appears that a Raid setup would not have helped either unless it was due to a mechanical problem with the drive. Is my understanding correct ?

Perhaps, I will be better of to use the new drive to have a second image/ backup using it as an external drive.
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Old December 8, 2008, 10:26 PM
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RAID won't protect against accidentally deleted files, or viruses, or misbehaved programs. It's primarily used as a precaution against premature hardware failure when data loss, downtime or both are to be avoided.

For what you want, you'de probably be better off doing a backup to another drive, internal or external, on a regular schedule. Also be sure to regularly make restore points expecislaly before installing new software.
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Old December 9, 2008, 01:13 AM
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It depends on how your motherboard handles RAID and if your motherboard has the capability OF raid.

What I mean is that motherboards that support RAID usually have multiple sata ports to differentiate which ones are for RAID and which aren't.

Now if your motherboard only has 6 sata ports and they are the only RAID ones then you'd have to go into your bios and setup the sata which then will upon reboot show a RAID setup screen.
This screen is where you'll be able to set what disks you wish as the RAID array.

But this is where things will get tricky as this will determine if you'll have to re-install your OS or if Windows installs it fine. The reason is now Windows will be looking for RAID drivers or looking for IDE drivers.
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