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Asus Z87i pro motherboard HDD SSD Raid Setup

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi,

Hope someone can confirm what is possibly an obvious question. I have a Z87i motherboard, my plan was to run the OS on an SSD and have 2 HDD set at RAID 1 for storage. The manual notes that "due to chipset limitation, when SATA ports are set to RAID mode, all SATA ports run at raid mode together." Does this mean my plan is doomed? There are six SATA ports, surely I can select which ones run in RAID?

Cheers for any advice.
post #2 of 9
You select the drives that you want to include in the array via the RAID BIOS. You do not have to add all physical drives to the array. Once you have set your controller mode to "RAID" you reboot and enter the RAID BIOS. Within the RAID BIOS you will see all the drives that are physically present.

Create a RAID1 array using only the two HDD that you want for storage.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok, so instead of AHCI, all the ports would run in RAID but I could select which ports were in the array. My build is more of a media server than gaming, the purpose of the RAID 1 array was as a back-up but from what I've read it sounds like it isn't suitable.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/answers?tId=919a0b5e-2669-4ea6-8ed4-84f9fbdb1243

http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Why-RAID-is-usually-a-Terrible-Idea-29/

Would it be more simple and reliable to have a separate back-up drive connected to my network? I liked RAID 1 because I'd read the data is copied simultaneously between the drives rather than having to perform back-ups. Is there any advantages to running the chipset in RAID rather than AHCI for normal operation?
post #4 of 9
You could actually set your controller mode to "RAID" and not build an Array at all smile.gif The only difference is that you would have the option of entering the RAID BIOS.

Trust me, you can set the controller mode to RAID and then just choose the drives you want as part of the RAID array via the RAID BIOS.

All other hard drives (not part of the RAID array) attached to controllers will function just as if the controller was set to AHCI mode. There aren't any advantages / disadvantages to running the controller in RAID or AHCI mode other than the ability to create a RAID array when you're set to RAID mode.
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post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by wevsspot View Post

You could actually set your controller mode to "RAID" and not build an Array at all smile.gif The only difference is that you would have the option of entering the RAID BIOS.

Trust me, you can set the controller mode to RAID and then just choose the drives you want as part of the RAID array via the RAID BIOS.

All other hard drives (not part of the RAID array) attached to controllers will function just as if the controller was set to AHCI mode. There aren't any advantages / disadvantages to running the controller in RAID or AHCI mode other than the ability to create a RAID array when you're set to RAID mode.

Yup +1 to what wevsspot is saying. I do the same thing with my rig. Any single drives left out of the array just show up as a "Non-RAID Disk" in the Intel RAID setup.
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KamIX
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jigaram View Post

Would it be more simple and reliable to have a separate back-up drive connected to my network? I liked RAID 1 because I'd read the data is copied simultaneously between the drives rather than having to perform back-ups. Is there any advantages to running the chipset in RAID rather than AHCI for normal operation?

RAID is absolutely, positively, NEVER used as a "back-up". It's purely a fault-tolerance and/or performance enhancement scheme for production systems. Your chance of losing data due to controller failure, virus, malware, human error, theft, and natural disaster is just as real as it is with a single drive. You have been duly notified.

Your own suggestion of a separate back-up drive connected to the network (as a NAS type device) or even a locally-attached USB external hard drive is a good solution for backup. That way, you have two copies of the data at all times - one copy on the primary storage, and one copy on the backup storage. Ideally, you'll have TWO backup devices, and rotate them periodically - and keep the one that's not connected in a separate location, just in case the house catches on fire, or a water pipe breaks and sprays your PC, whatever. LOL.

Greg
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jigaram View Post

Ok, so instead of AHCI, all the ports would run in RAID but I could select which ports were in the array. My build is more of a media server than gaming, the purpose of the RAID 1 array was as a back-up but from what I've read it sounds like it isn't suitable.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/answers?tId=919a0b5e-2669-4ea6-8ed4-84f9fbdb1243

http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Why-RAID-is-usually-a-Terrible-Idea-29/

Would it be more simple and reliable to have a separate back-up drive connected to my network? I liked RAID 1 because I'd read the data is copied simultaneously between the drives rather than having to perform back-ups. Is there any advantages to running the chipset in RAID rather than AHCI for normal operation?

If you are indeed looking for a backup solution, don't rely on RAID1 to do it. RAID1 is really just protection against hardware failure - if one drive dies, it's OK because the data is mirrored to the other drive(s) in the array. However, RAID1 doesn't protect data from things like virus infections or accidental deletion, for example. In cases like this, the compromised data will be instantly mirrored to the remaining drives in the array which leaves no chance of data recovery. What you'll want to look in to is disk imaging. Keeping images of your disk on a separate drive is a much better way to protect your data. smile.gif

Edit: ninja'd by hammong tongue.gif
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KamIX
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post #8 of 9
I use an external enclosure and rotate my drives between onsite and offsite exactly as described above.
wevs rig
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Crucial C300 128Gb x2 RAID0  SK Hynix SH910 128Gb x2 RAID0 Western Digital Black Edition 1Tb Western Digital Black Edition 640Gb 
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Asus DVD / Bluray LG Bluray / Burner Custom H20 - Swiftech, XSPC Windows 7 Pro x64 
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wevs rig
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H MSI GTX 670 PE OC x2 SLi Team xTreem 16Gb (2x4Gb) DDR3 2400Mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Crucial C300 128Gb x2 RAID0  SK Hynix SH910 128Gb x2 RAID0 Western Digital Black Edition 1Tb Western Digital Black Edition 640Gb 
Optical DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Asus DVD / Bluray LG Bluray / Burner Custom H20 - Swiftech, XSPC Windows 7 Pro x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Acer P243Waid Razer Black Widow Ultimate Corsair HX1000 Corsair C70 White Edition 
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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks people, much clearer now.
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