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Storage RAID 1 Newbie Questions

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by cool_dude, 29 Jul 2016.

  1. cool_dude

    cool_dude Active Member

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    Hi all,

    I've got a question re: RAID 1 and hoping you guys can help out.

    Looking to get RAID 1 setup on my PC, for years I have ignored it but am willing to take the plunge now.

    As far as I understand, I have to configure RAID on freshly formatted hard drives in the BIOS and once configured does Windows recognise this as 1 hard drive, or will they show as 2?

    My second question is, lets say for example my PC refuses to boot - motherboard/ram CPU goes and I need to access the data on my 2 raid 1 hard drives. IF I plug these into another PC, do I need to plug them both in? Will I be able to read the data off one like a normal hard drive?

    Basically I just want to use RAID 1 as an easier way of copying things to one hard drive and then it mirroring onto another. I have been doing it manually for years, and it is becoming tiring checking # of files # of folders match etc etc.
     
  2. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon New Member

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    What you're obviously losing by switching to R1 is the 2nd drive being a backup - where, atm, suppose you deleted & overwrote importantfile.*** on one drive by accident, it will still be there on the other; whereas if you're solely using R1 then you'd have lost it for good.

    R1 (& higher) array levels are simply about protecting from drive failure (so increasing up time); & serve no other protective backup function whatsoever.


    Anyway, to answer the Qs -

    - Having set the controller to raid in the board's bios, on the reboot you'd need to go into the controller bios & set the 2 drives to be a R1 array... ...& then afterwards Windows will see them as a single drive in Computer Management.


    - With consumer boards, there's typically is no issue at all with using one or other drive from a R1 array in another machine unless either machine were *really* old - & so i would expect a single drive from a R1 array created using an on board intel controller to work on an on board amd controller or in a USB3 dock or...

    Some HBAs & proper raid cards (&, for example, adaptec or lsi controllers built into workstation boards) can be more pernickety & require a similar card for the drives to be used...

    ...however this similarly tends to be more likely to be problematic with older cards; though more so with higher raid levels.
     
  3. phuzz

    phuzz This is a title

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    As PocketDemon says, it's worth bearing in mind what RAID1 will protect you from.
    It will protect your data if one of your hardrives fails (or I guess the cable or the SATA port).
    It won't protect you from accidentally deleting a file, or some malware encrypting it, or anything like that.
    Basically, RAID isn't backup, it does have a use, but you should pair it with a backup to another harddrive (or DVDRs or the cloud, or USB sticks or whatever).
     
  4. cool_dude

    cool_dude Active Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys. Yup, aware that it is more for failure against drives.

    Just out of curiosity, is there a program which I could 'manually' continue doing what I am doing, with the exception it does it all for me?

    For example now when I copy from HDD 1 to HDD 2 I write down the folder name(s), files etc and confirm it at the end.

    Is there anyway I can copy from main to HDD 1 and then get the application to 'copy all files not existent/overwrite newly modified' onto HDD 2... if that makes any sense?
     
  5. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    I use a program called Bvckup 2 that can do continuous mirroring and archive changes/versions - kind of best of both worlds for a home setting.
     
  6. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon New Member

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    Whilst something like Bvckup would be an option offering more; as would Acronis True image (which adds better compression than just the standard Windows NTFS compression); or StableBit DrivePool (which is slightly slower than real time if there's other drive activity which can be an advantage, but won't help for recovering from unwanted changes); or various other things of course...

    ...if you're not worried about potentially losing files from the drives, except if there's a drive failure, either use h/w R1 or a mirrored storage space setup as they've both free.

    Of the two i'd suggest R1 though as it's more readily transferable between machines if you're using simple on board controllers on reasonably modern boards.
     
  7. phuzz

    phuzz This is a title

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    You could just set up a batch file to run Robocopy, and schedule it to run however often you want.

    (Protip: Scheduled Tasks will allow you to trigger not just at a certain time, but also on events in Event Viewer, On Idle, or On Workstation Lock)
     

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