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Creating a raid array with many mismatching hdds?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
As the title states I have many mismatching hdds laying around and I want to do something with them. Some have a few bad sectors others have other errors in SMART. I have about 10-15 of them and some are sata others IDE.

Can I use these drives that I have now and put them in some kind of RAID array that would ensure my data is safe if a drive go out? I have heard of UnRAID can this be used for that? Then as these drives go bad just swap them out for brand new drives 1 or 2 at a time or add drives to add storage without completely rebuilding the array?

What can I use to hook all of these drives up with that will allow me to create this array if possible? Some drives are ide others are sata 1 and 2. I know the ide drives are slow but if I could I would just hook them up to the built in ide channels of the mobo. I have a couple ide drives ranging from 40gb to 320gb.

Most of these drives come from good brands too most are WD or seagate.
     
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post #2 of 5
You could make something like a Linux software array, it will obviously be limited by the slowest drive you put on there.

But usually you can make some sort of array with any type amount of devices as long as you have the appropriate interfaces.
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beers View Post

You could make something like a Linux software array, it will obviously be limited by the slowest drive you put on there.

But usually you can make some sort of array with any type amount of devices as long as you have the appropriate interfaces.

Ok now what interfaces could I use to hook these drives up to? Can this be hot swap capable? What Linux distro would be best?
     
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post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewx12 
As the title states I have many mismatching hdds laying around and I want to do something with them. Some have a few bad sectors others have other errors in SMART. I have about 10-15 of them and some are sata others IDE.
i would advise against using faulty drives in array. they will die sooner or later (probably sooner) and significantly impair your array performance (at best) or cause data loss (the worst case).
you should also remember that array will be limited not only by the slowest drive but also by the smallest one (40gb+500gb+1tb+2tb in one array equals 40gb+40gb+40gb+40 gb). linux software RAID, however, supports arrays built of partitions, so you could theoretically use the remaining space.
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewx12 
Ok now what interfaces could I use to hook these drives up to? Can this be hot swap capable? What Linux distro would be best?
it may be hot-swap capable.
use your favourite distro and remember to enable software RAID support in kernel (if it is not already enabled).
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by litd View Post

i would advise against using faulty drives in array. they will die sooner or later (probably sooner) and significantly impair your array performance (at best) or cause data loss (the worst case).
you should also remember that array will be limited not only by the slowest drive but also by the smallest one (40gb+500gb+1tb+2tb in one array equals 40gb+40gb+40gb+40 gb).

I understand the drives will be slow. I don't care. This will be just used for continous backup of a few machines around the house.My plan was if a drive dies then pop a new one in it's place and slowly phase out the old drives one by one.

If I could would I be able to use one of my better drives or even a ssd as a cache drive? Is this possible with UnRAID?
     
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AMD FX-6100 Asus M5A97 ASUS EAH5450 Series x2 in crossfire Corsair XMS 3 2x2gb1600mhz 
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