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Need Help with RAID Setup for HTPC

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I currently have three 3TB HDDs which is maxing out my internal 3.5" drives with my cheap HTPC case. I am thinking about buying a better case such as this one:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811204037

Because it will hold up to 6 x 3.5" drives. (Boot drive being a SSD which I'm sure I can squeeze in there too)

But here's the deal... I don't like how my media storage HDD's are showing up as different letters (D: , E: , F:) on my existing HTPC running Windows 8 and XBMC. It makes media management a bit of a pain because I'm never too sure which HDD holds what exactly. If I were to buy three more 3TB HDDs, could I have 18TB in the new HTPC case, all consolidated onto one drive letter (D:)? Can I use Windows 8 for doing this? RAID5? or something else? I am new to setting up RAID.

I would be OK with having one drive fail me and losing all of the data on that one drive, but I wouldn't be OK with one drive failing and therefore creating a chain reaction for the other 5 drives to fail completely too. So I won't be doing mirroring on my RAID setup. Also, can I ever hot swap more drives into the mix (let's say I want to upgrade a 3TB drive to 4TB) or will I need a separate box such as DROBO to do something like this?

Thanks,
Edited by revlimiter - 10/18/13 at 3:39pm
My System
(15 items)
 
HTPC
(8 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 2600K Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 MSI GTX480 Lightning 8GB Patriot G2 Series Division DDR3 @ 9-9-9-24 ... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
10TB 7500RPM SATA3 64GB Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 (Boot Drive) Lite-On IHAS124-04 DVD RW Windows 10 Ultimate 64-bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dual Screen (x2) Dell UltraSharp U2412M 24" IPS... Apple Keyboard (A1243) Antec Truepower New 650W Modular Corsair Carbide Series 500R 
MouseMouse PadOther
Logitech MX Anywhere 2 None Cooler Master Hyper 212+ 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD A6-5400K MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 AMD Radeon HD 7540D 8GB Patriot G2 Series Division DDR3 @ 9-9-9-24 ... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSCase
64GB Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 Toshiba HDKPC08 3TB SATA3 7200RPM 32MB Cache Windows 8 Professional 64-bit Apex DM-387 mATX HTPC Case w/ 275W PSU 
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My System
(15 items)
 
HTPC
(8 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 2600K Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 MSI GTX480 Lightning 8GB Patriot G2 Series Division DDR3 @ 9-9-9-24 ... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
10TB 7500RPM SATA3 64GB Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 (Boot Drive) Lite-On IHAS124-04 DVD RW Windows 10 Ultimate 64-bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dual Screen (x2) Dell UltraSharp U2412M 24" IPS... Apple Keyboard (A1243) Antec Truepower New 650W Modular Corsair Carbide Series 500R 
MouseMouse PadOther
Logitech MX Anywhere 2 None Cooler Master Hyper 212+ 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD A6-5400K MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 AMD Radeon HD 7540D 8GB Patriot G2 Series Division DDR3 @ 9-9-9-24 ... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSCase
64GB Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 Toshiba HDKPC08 3TB SATA3 7200RPM 32MB Cache Windows 8 Professional 64-bit Apex DM-387 mATX HTPC Case w/ 275W PSU 
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post #2 of 4
You can use drive pooling (storage spaces) to create a single virtual drive out of more than one physical drive. It's kind of like RAID except it is all software based. You can also add redundancy just like RAID 1 or RAID 5. The advantage of this configuration is you can simply add more drives to the pool and the drives don't have to be the same size and type. You could also do a hardware based RAID 5 setup with all drives. In either case, any drive you add to the array will be formatted first so you can't just add a drive with existing data to an array. Another option is to simply span drives using disk manager. This will effectively create a letter drive off of more than one drive. This might sound good, but its not a great advantage. You don't know what physical drive a file is on, It provides no performance increase and offers no redundancy. Like RAID0 you risk losing all data if one drive on the spanned array fails. RAID0 at least gives you a performance boost. It's possible you might want to consider a NAS in RAID 5 for a hot swappable system with single disk fault tolerance. Not the cheapest solution, but then you don't have to worry about upgrading cases. The NAS also gives you a lot of the advantages of running a home server.

I just run my media storage disks in RAID0 and don't store anything critical on the array.
HTPC/Workstation
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3770K Gigabyte GA-Z77Z-UD5H LGA 1155 Z77 EVGA 02G-P4-2678-KR GeForce GTX 670 FTW 2GB G.SKILL Ares Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
G.SKILL Phoenix III FM-25S3-120GBP3 2.5" 120GB ... Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB 7200 ... LG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA... CM Hyper 212 EVO 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Win 7 Pro 64 bit Samsung 52" LCD TV Rosewill HIVE Series HIVE-750 750W Rosewill BLACKHAWK Gaming ATX Mid Tower 
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Logitech M570 Black 1 x Wheel USB RF Wireless L... Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Ceton InfiniTV Quad Channel Cable Card Tuner 
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(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3770K Gigabyte GA-Z77Z-UD5H LGA 1155 Z77 EVGA 02G-P4-2678-KR GeForce GTX 670 FTW 2GB G.SKILL Ares Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
G.SKILL Phoenix III FM-25S3-120GBP3 2.5" 120GB ... Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB 7200 ... LG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA... CM Hyper 212 EVO 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Win 7 Pro 64 bit Samsung 52" LCD TV Rosewill HIVE Series HIVE-750 750W Rosewill BLACKHAWK Gaming ATX Mid Tower 
MouseOtherOther
Logitech M570 Black 1 x Wheel USB RF Wireless L... Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Ceton InfiniTV Quad Channel Cable Card Tuner 
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffwx7 View Post

You can use drive pooling (storage spaces) to create a single virtual drive out of more than one physical drive. It's kind of like RAID except it is all software based. You can also add redundancy just like RAID 1 or RAID 5. The advantage of this configuration is you can simply add more drives to the pool and the drives don't have to be the same size and type. You could also do a hardware based RAID 5 setup with all drives. In either case, any drive you add to the array will be formatted first so you can't just add a drive with existing data to an array.

Thanks for this info. +rep!
So just to get this straight: I can keep adding more drives or upgrading to bigger drives in the future using this method? Or is it a "get it all setup first" idea with 3 drives, and then leave it alone?
How hard would this be to do if I purchased a 4TB drive and decided to upgrade a 3TB drive by swapping it out? Would I just plug in my additional drive into the motherboard (assuming it's set up for RAID using the correct SATA ports) and somehow tell it to copy the files over from the 3TB drive to the 4TB drive? Then take the 3TB drive out when those files have finished copying over?

Or does it not really work like this?
Thanks,
My System
(15 items)
 
HTPC
(8 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 2600K Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 MSI GTX480 Lightning 8GB Patriot G2 Series Division DDR3 @ 9-9-9-24 ... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
10TB 7500RPM SATA3 64GB Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 (Boot Drive) Lite-On IHAS124-04 DVD RW Windows 10 Ultimate 64-bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dual Screen (x2) Dell UltraSharp U2412M 24" IPS... Apple Keyboard (A1243) Antec Truepower New 650W Modular Corsair Carbide Series 500R 
MouseMouse PadOther
Logitech MX Anywhere 2 None Cooler Master Hyper 212+ 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD A6-5400K MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 AMD Radeon HD 7540D 8GB Patriot G2 Series Division DDR3 @ 9-9-9-24 ... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSCase
64GB Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 Toshiba HDKPC08 3TB SATA3 7200RPM 32MB Cache Windows 8 Professional 64-bit Apex DM-387 mATX HTPC Case w/ 275W PSU 
  hide details  
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My System
(15 items)
 
HTPC
(8 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 2600K Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 MSI GTX480 Lightning 8GB Patriot G2 Series Division DDR3 @ 9-9-9-24 ... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
10TB 7500RPM SATA3 64GB Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 (Boot Drive) Lite-On IHAS124-04 DVD RW Windows 10 Ultimate 64-bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dual Screen (x2) Dell UltraSharp U2412M 24" IPS... Apple Keyboard (A1243) Antec Truepower New 650W Modular Corsair Carbide Series 500R 
MouseMouse PadOther
Logitech MX Anywhere 2 None Cooler Master Hyper 212+ 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD A6-5400K MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 AMD Radeon HD 7540D 8GB Patriot G2 Series Division DDR3 @ 9-9-9-24 ... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSCase
64GB Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 Toshiba HDKPC08 3TB SATA3 7200RPM 32MB Cache Windows 8 Professional 64-bit Apex DM-387 mATX HTPC Case w/ 275W PSU 
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post #4 of 4
Upgrading a drive that is part of an existing pool isn't that easy, but adding new drives to a pool is relatively simple. You could add 3 new drives to the array, copy over everything you need to the array then add the existing drives to the pool. When you want to increase pool capacity simply add another drive. I strongly recommend that you do not have your OS drive as part of the pool. Either keep your OS HDD the way it is or get a SSD for the OS so you can add all your HDDs to the pool. For media storage, using parity for redundancy is probably the way to go. Actually, you can have multiple storage spaces on a pool that have different redundancy types. But if you are going to pool, you do need some sort of redundancy b/c a single drive failure could wipe out everything. I know some people will say that nothing less than RAID 1+0 on a NAS or a high end dedicated RAID controller is acceptable, but this might be a cost effective way to accomplish what you are looking for.
HTPC/Workstation
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3770K Gigabyte GA-Z77Z-UD5H LGA 1155 Z77 EVGA 02G-P4-2678-KR GeForce GTX 670 FTW 2GB G.SKILL Ares Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
G.SKILL Phoenix III FM-25S3-120GBP3 2.5" 120GB ... Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB 7200 ... LG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA... CM Hyper 212 EVO 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Win 7 Pro 64 bit Samsung 52" LCD TV Rosewill HIVE Series HIVE-750 750W Rosewill BLACKHAWK Gaming ATX Mid Tower 
MouseOtherOther
Logitech M570 Black 1 x Wheel USB RF Wireless L... Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Ceton InfiniTV Quad Channel Cable Card Tuner 
  hide details  
Reply
HTPC/Workstation
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3770K Gigabyte GA-Z77Z-UD5H LGA 1155 Z77 EVGA 02G-P4-2678-KR GeForce GTX 670 FTW 2GB G.SKILL Ares Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
G.SKILL Phoenix III FM-25S3-120GBP3 2.5" 120GB ... Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB 7200 ... LG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA... CM Hyper 212 EVO 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Win 7 Pro 64 bit Samsung 52" LCD TV Rosewill HIVE Series HIVE-750 750W Rosewill BLACKHAWK Gaming ATX Mid Tower 
MouseOtherOther
Logitech M570 Black 1 x Wheel USB RF Wireless L... Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Ceton InfiniTV Quad Channel Cable Card Tuner 
  hide details  
Reply
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