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Discussion Starter #1
Raid 0 with 4 to 6 drives with a partitioned 3TB HDD in backup, Possible?

Hey everyone. I wanna try raid 0, as i've never tried it. I have lots of HDDs laying around so I thought I could jump in. In my computer I currently have a single 320gb for Windows and a 3TB HDD for storage and other crap.

My idea:

I have 4 160GB Hard drives 3.5 inch, but one of them is a 2.5 inch which spins at slower speeds. Then I if I do raid that means I could also use the 320gb and I have another 640gb laying around. That makes 6 drives.

Things I THINK I know:
You need a controller for RAID 0. My motherboard has one. No need for an external card?
All drives don't have to be identical but if a bigger one is used, it's space will be drowned to the same size as the smallest drive.
More drives = x more chances of failure
1 Drive fails = Whole array fails

My questions are:

Can I use drives of different speeds AND sizes? 2.5inch + 320g/160g/640g + 5400/7200 spinning (Harsh example)

And second, even if I have 4-6 160gb drives, my whole 3tb hdd is much too big. Can I partition it to 640gb - 960gb and use that to backup my whole array? (Not a whole backup but like a different raid? Raid 0+1 I think it's called) Where the controller would split files onto my RAID0 and the whole file to the partitioned HDD.

Any ideas?
 

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1) You'll be gimped by the slowest drive. 5x super fast drives + 1x slow drive will give you the same resultant speed as 6x slow drives.

2) RAID 0+1 or 1+0 you'd need an even number of drives of at least four. You could probably software RAID 1 it with the existing array but it's likely beyond the capabilities of the onboard 'controller'. That and the fact you'd even further be limiting your array speed to your single 3 TB drive.

You could set this array up for fun but I wouldn't waste my time for anything other than a learning exercise.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was wondering.... Let's say I take the 3 indentical 160GB HDDs for a simple RAID0, In my bios I would have to set my sata to RAID.
After that, Can I choose to keep my 3TB as a seperate HDD? Or will it automatically try to make my 3TB part of the raid? I got over 1TB of data i'd like to keep handy ^_^
 

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Data Recovery Engineer
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The way RAID works is that you have to turn RAID on it bios, then there is anothers screen that will come up during the boot process (after you save and reboot. On intel boards it says press Ctrl + I) and you enter the RAID setup. From there, you create a RAID volume and add the drives you want. If the drive is not added to the RAID it will act as a separate drive.
 
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only the drives you add to your RAID group will be in the RAID array you create.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Alright so I'm actually having quite some fun fiddling with RAID for the first time. I'm running Windows 8.1 Preview with 3 160GBs in RAID0 with my 3TB on the side.

I noticed that unfortunately one of my 160GBs was a SATA I instead of SATA II, but what the hell. I tried it anyways.

My 3TB harddrive is getting ~120Mbp/s R/W.... But my RAID0 setup? LOL 120Mbp/s Read and a measly 50Mbp/s Write. It's horrible. Windows runs well though and everything seems fine, I decided todo he test when there was no difference in reading a FRAPS video file. Usually a good RAID0 setup would read the file smoothly...

Anyways is it because of that one SATA I drive? Or do I have a faulty drive? I could just replace it with another drive that I have but this is making me think and I'm not familiar with RAID setups.

Any ideas?
 

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Data Recovery Engineer
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High likelihood, yes
 

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Due to increased areal density, new drives are naturally faster compared to older ones. That difference will be particularly obvious when you're comparing an old 160GB drive to a 3TB model. I remember the Western Digital 640GB 7200RPM WD6400AAKS hitting 110MB/s peak sequential and 55MB/s minimum sequential and it was considered one of the fastest drives in its time. Nowadays, you can get the same speed from a 1TB 5400RPM HDD. Imho, you're better off getting a WD Blue 1TB (WD10EZEX) and calling it a day rather than fiddling with RAID-0 on all those old drives.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow, thanks never thought about that. But I'm actually having fun, and this is mostly for learning and experience purposes ^_^ Thanks for the awesome feedback!
 
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