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Do you defrag your Raid setup?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
This is something I have been wondering about for a couple years now, but I haven't been able to find any solid evidence either way. Should you or should you not defrag a Raid 0 setup?

When you analyze your disks using Windows XP, I noticed that the data seems to be split into 2 pairs. I presume this is the 2 hard drives, but I don't know for sure if the picture is a true graphical representation of data on the drives.

Since the raid controller already splits up the data, is Windows going to see these data clusters as fragments? Or, will Windows put the files in their proper place utilizing raid?

Anyone have a definitive answer?
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post #2 of 30
It's a good question. My answer may not be definitive but it will hopefully get some wheels spinning.

In RAID 0 since data is already split up due to striping, it could be more problematic than helpful. What I'm saying is when the HDD is defragged, it's essentially moving data. Now, if the data is split up, when the HDD tries to move it will it be moved to only one disk? Will it remain in a striped configuration? That's what really gets me.
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post #3 of 30
You see 2 blocks of data? I see:

post #4 of 30
Tell you what, since I am still in the process of deciding how I want my raid setup, I will test it both ways. Run some benchmarks on it right after setup, then run the same after a defrag. See if it makes some kind of difference.
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post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by muffin
You see 2 blocks of data? I see:

Lol! I think you need to defrag....
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post #6 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastacator
Tell you what, since I am still in the process of deciding how I want my raid setup, I will test it both ways. Run some benchmarks on it right after setup, then run the same after a defrag. See if it makes some kind of difference.
Hey Mast, would you mind taking a screenshot of the "analyzed drive" just like you did above, both right after your install, and then again right after a defrag?

And yes, I have files on the left side, then a gap, then files on the right. I don't have 3 seperate areas like you do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chim3ra
Now, if the data is split up, when the HDD tries to move it will it be moved to only one disk? Will it remain in a striped configuration? That's what really gets me.
That is what I am wondering also. No clue
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post #7 of 30
Contract WD tech support and see what they have to say...
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post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lando95
This is something I have been wondering about for a couple years now, but I haven't been able to find any solid evidence either way. Should you or should you not defrag a Raid 0 setup?

When you analyze your disks using Windows XP, I noticed that the data seems to be split into 2 pairs. I presume this is the 2 hard drives, but I don't know for sure if the picture is a true graphical representation of data on the drives.

Since the raid controller already splits up the data, is Windows going to see these data clusters as fragments? Or, will Windows put the files in their proper place utilizing raid?

Anyone have a definitive answer?
Windows doesn't know that it's 2 physical drives. All Windows sees is a location where the data is held. If it's not sequential, Windows will see it as fragmented. When loading data onto a striped array, these locations are alternated between the 2 physical disc drives, but Windows won't know that and doesn't care. Defragment it
Edit: To comment further, this is somewhat similar to sticks of ram with ICs on them. Windows doesn't care which physical stick the data is on or whether it's single sided,double sided, etc....all it needs to know is the address of the data. It's the same thing with your hard drive, whether a single drive or a striped array.
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post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lando95
Hey Mast, would you mind taking a screenshot of the "analyzed drive" just like you did above, both right after your install, and then again right after a defrag?.....
Yeah, I will. See if it is much different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sccr64472
Windows doesn't know that it's 2 physical drives. All Windows sees is a location where the data is held. If it's not sequential, Windows will see it as fragmented. When loading data onto a striped array, these locations are alternated between the 2 physical disc drives, but Windows won't know that and doesn't care. Defragment it
If windows won't know and doesn't care, then wouldn't it put the files back together when defragmenting, instead of striped across? Still seen as one disk just not striped, so it would be like JBOD instead of raid 0.
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post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastacator
If windows won't know and doesn't care, then wouldn't it put the files back together when defragmenting, instead of striped across? Still seen as one disk just not striped, so it would be like JBOD instead of raid 0.
No, because when the array is created, Windows thinks that the sequential addresses are alternating between the drives. Do you see what I'm saying? If address location 0000 is on the first drive, 0001 is on the second,etc.
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