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How should I configure new hard drives?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I appologize if this has been asked, but several searches and hours of reading have only gotten me half way to my answer, and besides, I figure it would be nice to have some feedback when I hit problems.

Anyways. I currenty run 3 hard drives (all IDE) : a 10gb to run only windows and system stuff, a 120gb that I use for all my software, and a 200gb that i store all my music and movies on.
I am running out of space on the 200gb and I want to expand my capacity for storing video in a big way. I am considering buying 2 new 400gb SATA drives to move my videos to, making the 200gb my programs drive and the 120gb my system drive.

Here is where my questions begin. I want to be able to view both 400gb drives as one large volume, which means I am looking at using RAID (unless someone knows of a way to view them as one volume without using RAID). I don't really care if I get any performance boost out of my drives, as long as they dont end up slower, and data security is not really a concern at present because I do plan on buying another drive to upgrade to a more secure RAID level once i get it all running and am more comfortable with it.

I plan on formatting everything other than my 200gb and doing a clean install of windows soon. Should I install the drives before or after the fresh install? Do both drives have to be formatted before I set them up in RAID? Could i even keep the 10gb as my system and the 120gb as my software drive and add both 400gb drives AND the 200gb drive to RAID?

Remember, I do not want to lose capacity of the drives, so I am looking at striping only (?).
Also, my brother suggested to me that my power supply may not handle the extra drives. Any thoughts on this? My system specs are in my sig.
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post #2 of 5
Setting up raid drives for storage is kinda useless. You would want the boot drive to be raid for the performance increase.
The drives can be installed before or after...as long as you add the raid driver/controller files at the time you reformat.
This is done by having the files on a floppy disc and hitting F6 at the beginning of the install.

Personally...I would just add the 2 400's as separate drives and use them that way.
Lose the 10g. Install windows on the 120g and partition it to 20g as "C" and whatever is left as storage. Add the 200g for your programs/games and such then the 2x400 as more storage.
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
I guess I can see your point about RAID being useless for storage. The main reason I want to use RAID is to allow me to view all my storage drives as one volume. The larger my video collection gets, the harder it is to find stuff. Is there any way I can see multiple hard drives as one volume without using RAID?

I could always create a folder full of shortcuts so I can organize them in whatever way i want regardless of what drive they are on, but that is a huge pain and has its own drawbacks. If anyone has done this or knows another good solution, let me know.

Also about the power supply. Do you think I can handle the extra drives? I would assume I can, but i got my brother (mr negative) telling me it wont. Is it a matter of needing more power or just more plugs?
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
P4 640 - 3.2 HT Asus P5WD2 Premium NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT 1Gb PC2 6400 (512x2) 
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Windows XP Pro SP2 Ultra X-Connect 500 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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Windows XP Pro SP2 Ultra X-Connect 500 
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post #4 of 5
Your psu should be fine....if you lose 1 and add 2 it shouldnt stress it much more.
As far as seeing both drives as 1....i don't think it is possible without raid. You could always make a "sharing" folder with a shortcut on the desktop and just put both drives in it. That would at least give you 1 click to the main directory showing both drives.
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for your help busa. I have decided to hold off on RAID for now. The new drives are in the mail and I am now preparing for a clean wipe. I will take this opportunity to ask one more question then. I ran my windows disk in boot mode to make sure it is stil working the way it should, and i noticed that when i get to the section that asks me where I want windows installed, it only shows my system drive. Is this normal?
I seem to remember it showing all drives and I could format them as I see fit. If I CAN only format the C drive through windows, should I format my programs drive first?
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
P4 640 - 3.2 HT Asus P5WD2 Premium NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT 1Gb PC2 6400 (512x2) 
OSPower
Windows XP Pro SP2 Ultra X-Connect 500 
  hide details  
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
P4 640 - 3.2 HT Asus P5WD2 Premium NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT 1Gb PC2 6400 (512x2) 
OSPower
Windows XP Pro SP2 Ultra X-Connect 500 
  hide details  
Reply
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