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Spare Hard Drives - Wat Do?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, so Im in the process of replacing most of the HDDs in my house with SSDs. This leaves me with a dilemma: what do I do with all my hard drives. I was thinking of making a RAID array but the hdds are of different capacities/speeds/makes. Selling them is last resort, so I will consider other stuff first.

As for a backup, could I use ZFS/UnRaid or FlexRaid?
I have the following drives:

3.5"
500gb seagate barracuda ES(?!)
500gb samsung HD501LJ (pre F1, T166 - I think)
320gb WD I can use from a freeagent pro (unused mostly)
500gb caviar green (1st edition)

2.5"
250gb hitachi travelstar - pretty slow
250gb WD scorpio (currently used in an enclosure)
160gb (unknown, gotta remove it still)
320gb WD from a lenovo (pretty new)

As you can see there is a variety of disk sizes and speeds. If I combine them, to something like a JBOD, would I get absolute crappy performance, especially if I used them to back up to a server?

PS. I have 2 enclosures already so no more! And I backup probably 250gb tops (i delete all the tv shows/movies etc. or just burn to disc)

I have reservations about selling because quite a few of them are 4+ years and I dont know how much longer they will last.
post #2 of 8
Never sell used HDD's. You never know what creeps will get data out of them (even if you think you deleted everything). Destroying them should be your 2nd to last choice. Selling them being your last.

500gb seagate barracuda ES(?!)
500gb samsung HD501LJ (pre F1, T166 - I think)
500gb caviar green (1st edition)
RAID 5? Or none?

320gb WD I can use from a freeagent pro (unused mostly)
320gb WD from a lenovo (pretty new)
RAID 1 or 0? Or none?

250gb hitachi travelstar - pretty slow
250gb WD scorpio (currently used in an enclosure)
RAID 1 or 0? Or none?

160gb (unknown, gotta remove it still)
Boot drive?

Here are some ideas. Maybe use explosives (fireworks) to kill off the slow/old ones and upload them to YouTube?
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paratrooper1n0 View Post

500gb seagate barracuda ES(?!)
500gb samsung HD501LJ (pre F1, T166 - I think)
500gb caviar green (1st edition)
RAID 5?

This is my vote.  Drill holes in the platters on the others and scrap em.  You'll have a nice sized backup and you'll be sure no one finds data on the scrapped ones.

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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paratrooper1n0 View Post

Here are some ideas. Maybe use explosives (fireworks) to kill off the slow/old ones and upload them to YouTube?

If only I could get hand of explosives biggrin.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevoandaredk5 View Post

This is my vote.  Drill holes in the platters on the others and scrap em.  You'll have a nice sized backup and you'll be sure no one finds data on the scrapped ones.

Looks good, I might just try a RAID 5,

btw can you use multiple sized disks in ZFS (if anyone knows)
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by t047 View Post

btw can you use multiple sized disks in ZFS (if anyone knows)

I'm no expert with RAID setups, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

 

My understanding is that you need the same size drives for a single RAID. However, it is possible you could do a multi-RAID setup in ZFS similar in nature to the one described in this article, and with some clever partitioning, be able to use nearly all of the drives at your disposal.  See here: http://www.cod3r.com/2010/04/zfs-on-different-sized-disks/

 

*Edit*

 

I decided to give you an idea of what you could do using every single drive you have. This is using all the theoretical storage capacities.  Note that you'll have 10GB unused on each of the 250GB drives for both of these.

 

Setup 1: Yields 2080GB theoretical size in RAID 5 (1580GB if you assume single disk failure resiliency)

Adv - Larger individual partition size, smaller # of partitions(18) (I haven't done enough research to know if RAID has a limit to the # of drives)

Dis - 160GB extra unused space due to partitioning of 250GB drives (labeled N/A)

 

Setup 2: Yields 2240GB theoretical size in RAID 5 (1740GB for single disk failure resiliency)

Adv - Yields more drive space, (possible better redundancy?)

Dis - More partitions to create (23), 1 Extra RAID to setup

 

 

 

Again, I have absolutely zero hands-on experience creating this type of drive array, but from my understanding, it should work.  However I know it's way more storage space than you say you need.  I merely wanted to give you an idea of what you could do if you used every single drive.  Hope this helps, and I hope others more knowledgeable than me will chime in.


Edited by Stevoandaredk5 - 10/24/12 at 1:51pm
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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for that Stevoandaredk5! Very informative. Coincidentally, I did see that website you quoted, but got confused when the author started adding/swapping drives. My only other concern with such a setup would be speed, but I guess you can't have everything smile.gif
post #7 of 8
unRAID (requires dedicated hardware), FlexRAID or SnapRAID (can run on top of Windows and Linux, not sure about Mac). If running Windows 8, then I think Storage Spaces might work, too.
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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by t047 View Post

Wow, thanks for that Stevoandaredk5! Very informative. Coincidentally, I did see that website you quoted, but got confused when the author started adding/swapping drives. My only other concern with such a setup would be speed, but I guess you can't have everything smile.gif

You're very welcome! His article went into expanding the array without having to move the data else where, which is a cool feature.

Yeah this multi-RAID setup will not be fast.  Multiple RAIDs trying to access the same drive with a single cache is a recipe for slow read/write. The other option (that would still yield a decent sized storage space), is to setup a single 160GB partition on every drive and then use a single RAID 5. Would still be near a 1TB of space, and would be much faster/easier than the multi-RAID setup.

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