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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks.

My primary WD6401AALS died. RMA'd it, and got the new one. Put it in; restored from my image. All is well. My backup data drive is no longer big enough for whatever reason, not to mention is also getting old. Long story short, I want to set up a back-up system that I can rely on in case drives die in the future.

I'm looking at the following:
- RAID 0 + a data drive backup
- RAID 1 + a data drive backup
- RAID 5

Any recommendations?

I know 0 is the fastest, but if one drive dies, it all dies. I know it also gives me two times capacity.

I know that 1 is mirroring, so that if one drive dies, I'm covered. I also have a reliable backup on the data drive. So, it's essentially redundant. I don't get a speed boost as I don't have a multithreaded environment.

I know that 5 is parity across a minimum of three drives, so if one drive goes down, I just need to replace it and it works out pretty well. I also get a 75%-80% speed boost of what 0 would give me.

Any experienes with one versus another array set up? Any recommendations? I just don't want to lose my data and start from scratch.

I don't have a RAID controller card. My mobo is an ASUS P5N-D.

Thanks!

P.S. I hope this wasn't "tl:dr".
 

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raid 1 doesn't need an extra backup. If a hd fails in 1 the info is still intact
 

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RAID1 is absolutely NO substitute for proper backup. What if you delete a file by accident? Format the wrong drive? Modify an important document then press 'Save' rather than 'Save as...'? Get a virus that corrupts local data? A psu that fails and sends a huge voltage spike through all your hardware? Have a fire or a flood? Have your PC stolen?

I hope you get the idea. RAID1 mirrors everything on a local drive - if you make a mistake, you've got nowhere to go. If your hardware fails your data is gone. No turning back - hence the need for a decent backup strategy.

It's also worth noting that if you run RAID5 onboard your speeds will be terrible - especially your writes. And rebuilds are not especially painless either. I would stick with RAID0,1,10 onboard - for anything else buy a proper hardware card (and nothing cheap - they are no better than onboard. The $120 Dell PERC 5/i is about the cheapest second hand - anything new below ~$200 will be as bad as your onboard). Same thing applies though - a RAID5 array needs a backup as much as any other array or single disk does.
 

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Don't forget external causes like theft, fire, flood, ect.

If you have important data, please remember to archive up! How much is it worth and how much would be willing to pay to recover it? It is alway more expensive than spending $100 for an external HDD.
 

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I use the option A you got there. Raid 0 + Back up HDD (750GB WD) but I also have a 1TB WD My Passport external drive that I used to "double back-up" my important data... (pictures (around 20GB), Music (Close to 100GB), movies (also about 100GB) and then like important docs and program installers. I found this set-up to be very solid and I feel secure.

It's important to have back up drive(s) because your HDD can go due to a number of things like Duckie was saying. So whichever you do choose, just make sure to have a backup drive option.
 

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As stated already, RAID is NOT backup! It only protects against single drive failure (RAID levels 1 or 5, and above)..

You need an external backup no matter what RAID level you choose.
..a
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So, if I go with a RAID 0 plus an additiona data backup drive, I should be fine, yeah? I can then get an external if I want redundant backup. That sounds decent? I'd get the most speed and backup. I understand that if the RAID 0 dies, I can just restore from the backup on the non-RAID backup drive, correct?
 

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Pretty much.

Whether you feel this is sufficient or not is up to you though - personally I have multiple layers of backup for different files. My most important documents & photos are backed up offsite & online, in addition to being on 2 different servers in my house. My DVD rips etc are only protected by a non-backed up RAID6 array, since they can always be re-ripped if necessary.

You should gear up your backup relative to the importance and replaceability of the data concerned.
 

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I personally use raid 0 + backup
 
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