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Thread: RAID? How do you set it up? :S

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    RAID? How do you set it up? :S

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but does using "raid" mean connecting 2 or more hard drives to make them look like 1 single big drive?

    Are there any special equipments I have to buy to utilise this function, or will a raid compatible motherboard be enough with the appropriate cables?

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    Depending on what you want to do, the 2 most common RAID arrays are RAID 0 and RAID 1
    consisting of identical sized HDDs ideally. RAID 0 spans your data across 2 or more drives which increases the data access times, but.....If one of your hard drives fail (and they do) your data is borked.
    With RAID 1 you have 2 identical sets of data, so if 1 HDD fails, you can delete the RAID array and remove the faulty disk and still run your system. When you replace a faulty HDD you can then rebuild the RAID 1 array and carry on as normal.

    So, for speed use RAID 0, for data security use RAID 1.

    You may have to install the RAID drivers for your motherboard or add-in controller during a new windows install, or if windows is already running you can run a system repair by starting the windows installation routine and press F6 when it asks if you need to install any third party drivers.
    When it gets to the driver installation make sure you have the correct RAID drivers on floppy/CD.
    After the first part of the windows installation the system will tell you it has found an existing windows installation and give you the option to repair it type 'R' to repair and let the installation finish.

    Once the drivers are installed, the RAID drivers details screen will appear during the boot sequence. When it does hit the key sequence to enter the RAID setup utility, select the RAID type and HDD's you want to use and off you go.

    Just to be on the safe side, make sure the second hard drive is empty and is the same size as the primary drive. It doesn't have to be the same size but if, for example, your primary drive is 80Gb and your secondary drive is 160Gb, only the first 80Gb of the secondary drive will be useable

    Here is a useful article on the subject:
    http://www.pcmech.com/show/harddrive/296/

    It will give you a more detailed account

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    There was a good eview of raid 0 (I think on Hexus - but I could be wrong) that said that in practice the theoretical speed advantage of RAID 0 made little difference in real life.

    However the safety factor of RAID 1 is certainly worth it if your data is critical (but then you can always safegurad that by backing up critical data from a conventional setup)
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