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Thread: Noob questions: partitions and raid help

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    Noob questions: partitions and raid help

    Apologies for the following questions (which may seem a bit simple), but i want to make sure i get the best set up for me. I have never used raid or partitions on my (now very old system) and as it very old i have decided i am in need of an upgrade. So after a lot of research I have recently ordered a Scan i7 920 3xs system with 2 x 1TB SAMSUNG SATA2 HD103UJ 32MB drives and Vista 64 premium. I need to decide what set up i want on my drives.

    I am undecided what to do. I want to ensure i have regular back up (more than overall speed, the new system should be fast enough!). So i have a few options i think.

    Raid 1 mirror them, if i do this and say my C drive fails, am i able to connect the healthy D drive as a normal boot drive and continue as normal. I have read i would need to turn off the raid controller? Is this an easy thing to do? is it in the bios? And is it just a case of setting the jumpers on the D drive to be a boot drive (do they still have jumpers?) and attaching it on the correct cable position to boot.

    or partition drive C (as raid doesn't recognise partitions i have read, is that right?) and just use my second drive to back up an image with the Acronis trueimage supplied with the system (would this copy one large back up file or does Acronis recognise partitions? And if it is one big back up file, to restore my system, how does it restore if my C drive is partitioned, does it restore the files (from the D) back into each partition on the C drive (or my new C drive if the original has failed).

    Is there an advantage of partition over raid or raid over partition?

    If i partition them, what sizes would you recommend, after a bit of research i was coming up with maybe 3 drives, C,D & E. C for Vista (100gig bit large but i have room, and i read you can adjust the partition size in Vista), D for program files (400gig) and E for storage (500 gig).

    or leave them as 2 full drives and just use my second drive to back up an image with the Acronis trueimage supplied with the system.

    or do you have any better ideas? All welcome.

    Your help / views much appreciated.

    System should be here mid February, so i have a liitle bit of time to get a few details sorted out.

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    Re: Noob questions: partitions and raid help

    RAID isn't proper backup.

    Use 1 of the 1TB drives as a regular drive. Clone your main drive [with something like Casper] to the other drive once every few weeks or something, and do daily online backups of your essential data.

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    Senior Member strike-down's Avatar
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    Re: Noob questions: partitions and raid help

    I wouldnt have a backup drive within the same system. PSU goes bang and knocks both your drives out. You're then screwed. If I were you dude, I'd get an external hard drive enclosure and connect it when you carry out your backups. Its what I do, and hasn't failed me to this day. (Even though I now have a server backing my stuff up as well.)

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    Re: Noob questions: partitions and raid help

    Geminni

    Great to hear you have ordered a 3XS system

    Ill get back to you with a proper reply on Monday as I am just off to the pub

    Cheers

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    Re: Noob questions: partitions and raid help

    Hi Geminni

    Personally I am not a fan of Raid of any kind but some people are..... if you had a Raid 1 and the second drive failed you would be able to still use the system and replace the failed drive and rebuild the raid however so this is a benefit...if you have a Raid 0 and one drive failed you would lose all data on both drives.

    If you decide to use a single drive rather than Raid our 3XS Systems come supplied with Acronis for backing up to a hidden partition or image file, this would generally be on the second drive and therefore if your OS drive failed a replacement drive can be sent out and can be reloladed back to the factory defaults or to the latest backup that you have done.

    For OS partitions 50 - 100 Gig for Vista is ample, its always best where possible to save documents and games to a second drive as well :-)

    Acronis will backup the partion or drive you can specify in the software itself and its dead easy to use

    Regards

    Ben

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    Re: Noob questions: partitions and raid help

    Thanks for your help. I think i will go for non raid but for partitions as in my 1st post. I have a WD 1TB home book which i use as an external backup any way, so i will continue to use this. Can i back up using Acronis to my D drive and then copy that file to my external drive (in effect 2 back ups)? Would i therefore need to create an image file rather than a hidden partition, and is this an option in Acronis?

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    Moderator Philipp's Avatar
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    Re: Noob questions: partitions and raid help

    Yep Geminni you can do just that with Acronis

    If you need anything else do not hessitate to ask...

    Regards

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    Re: Noob questions: partitions and raid help

    I prefer straightforward cloning rather than backing up to "images". You can just swap over the drives and away you go.

    For hot (while-in-use) cloning, I prefer Casper from www.fssdev.com. Acronis, last time I tried it, couldn't clone drives while they were in use.

    Get a nice Peli case (the Peli 1150 is big enough, and leaves room for bigger stuff) with pick 'n' pluck foam for the drive+enclosure and you've got a nice professional-looking backup solution. Be sure to keep the drive off-site somewhere in case of fire/theft.

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    Re: Noob questions: partitions and raid help

    Went for raid 1 with 400 / 600 gig partition and i will back up to an external 1TB WD My Book.
    Spec ended up as:

    3XS Intel X58 Core i7 - Custom
    CMASTER RC-1100 COSMOS-S CASE
    Asus P6T Deluxe X58 MoBo
    Intel Core i7 920 2.66G s1366
    T/R Ultra-120 eXtreme 775 INTE
    3XS-SYSTEM OVERCLOCK 10 - 20%
    TRIPLE 6GB 3x2G TR3X6G1333C9
    XFX GTX260 GX-260N-ADBF FRYCRY
    CORSAIR HX 620W MODULAR PSU
    1TB SAMSUNG SATA2 HD103UJ 32MB
    1TB SAMSUNG SATA2 HD103UJ 32MB
    HRU-215A3 FLOP COMBO 25-1 READ
    LG GGW-H20L RETAIL (BLUR+HD)
    ONBOARD SOUND
    120MM AMBER Case Fan AK183L2B
    ZALMAN ZM-MFC1+ BLK FAN CONTROLLER
    MS Win Vista Home Prem 64Bit
    24 Dell 2408WFP LCD Monitor
    LOGITECH Cordless Desktop Wave Pro


    Is currently being built / tested, so i should receive Friday

    thanks for the help Philip.

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