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I was thinking about building a RAID 5 array with 8 of these laptop hard drives and a hardware raid controller. I am limited on space in my case, but I am trying to maximize storage size, and speed without creating a whole bunch of noise. What level of performance should I expect from a setup like that? Also, is there any way to install Windows 7 to a partition/disk greater than 2tb?
 

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Personally, I would set up a seperate OS disk, then throw the rest in a RAID array. Booting off of RAID is not the greatest option in the world. Boot off one of those drives, and use the other 7 in RAID 5/6. I would lean towards 6, due to the possibility of a disk failure during a RAID 5 rebuild. I've just gotten really paranoid about RAID lately. However, some controllers may not handle 6.
 

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That set-up will be kinda pricey per/GB because of the 2.5" drives' prices.

What card are you buying?
 

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The volume of four 500GB 2.5" HDD might be the about the same as a single 2TB 3.5" HDD....

Actually... nevermind:
4x2.75x3.94x0.37 = 16in^3
4.0x5.75x1.0 = 23in^3

With 8xRAID5, you should get sequential read performance close to 7xRAID0. Sequential write performance varies on the controller but should be plenty fast.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Old Hippie
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That set-up will be kinda pricey per/GB because of the 2.5" drives' prices.

What card are you buying?

Haha I thought exactly the same thing, until I took a gander at his case. It's a lan-party style case, so he needs small drives.

@OP: Is this your case? http://www.lan-gear.com/microATX.php
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yup, thats my case. It has 4 slots for 2.5 drives and 2 slots for 3.5 drives. Will I be able to boot to the RAID 5 array? I think I remember something about not being able to boot Windows from a drive larger than 2tb.
 

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AFAIK you cannot boot from a Windows software RAID5 but you can boot from a hardware RAID5 card.

2TB is the largest volume Windows will recognize but....

Quote:


Three common means of exceeding the 2TB limit in a single volume are:

1. RAID controller that supports LBA64.
2. Use dynamic disks or an application like unRAID or Windows Home Server that essentially aggregates your physical volumes by using dynamic volumes. I personally feel this is the least desirable and secure method.
3. Use GPT volumes.

 

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Windows can't boot from a GPT volume - which means any >2TB volume can't be used to boot Windows.

In your situation I would be looking a 2 2TB 3.5" drives plus a couple of 2.5" disks for OS. Or just buy a new case or build a storage server. I wouldn't bother with lots of little disks.
 
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