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Setup RAID 0 without data loss. Possible?

By Gregsy
May 15, 2006
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  1. Hi all,

    First of all a list of my system:

    Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe mobo'
    Athlon 64 3200+
    1GB Ram (2 x Geil CL2 512MB PC3500)
    2 x PNY Verto Geforce 6600GT's in SLI config

    Hard disks are:

    1 x Maxtor Diamond Max 10 200GB SATA
    1 x Maxtor Diamond Max 10 300GB SATA

    The motherboard has 4 SATA connections and 4 RAID SATA connections. At the moment I have the 200GB drive at SATA 1 (C:/ windows XP OS boot), and 300GB on SATA 2 connection (D:/ used for storage of music etc.).

    Is there any way of connecting the 2 drives to the SATA RAID connections to get RAID0 without losing any data? I want to just swap the connections over on the mobo' and set up RAID 0 without formating either drive.

    If this is not possible, could I back up my 300GB drive, format it and set up RAID0 keeping the XP installation (which would then spread to the 2 drives) without having to reinstall XP?

    When I boot up there is an option pops up to setup RAID from the BIOS for a about 5 seconds. Any one used this on this mobo'?

    I'm not worried about redundancy so not an issue.

    Thanks in advance,

    Gregsy
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    You want to keep the data on both drives? Plain impossible. The most obvious reason being that your drives have 500GB worth of data when separate, while a RAID0 setup would be 400GB (double the smallest drive).

    Whether your second plan works, depends on the kindness of the RAID setup software makers. I seriously doubt it, but in theory it is possible.
  3. Gregsy

    Gregsy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Cheers Nodsu.

    I didn't realise that RAID 0 uses the smallest drive x 2. I don't have 500GB of data so wouldn't lose anything but there is no point in losing 100GB of storage space.

    After a bit of reading i have found out that RAID 0 can keep all of the available space by using "spanning" but this doesn't give any increase in speed as the data is written to the first logical drive (until it is full) then the second, so only 1 drive is written to (or read from) at any one time. Whereas RAID 0 should read/write to both drives simultaneously. So RAID 0 with spanning could merge my 2 drives to give 1 500GB drive but with no speed increase. Which is pointless.

    I would be better buying another identical 200GB (which my OS is on) and setting them up for RAID0 to speed things up (or RAID1 at the loss of capacity). Plus the 300GB for storage. Possibly 0.7 Terra bytes of storage ;)

    I may struggle for space though as all this is in a Coolermaster Cavalier 4 case (desktop size) used for multimedia in my living room, (on a 42" HDTV plasma screen).

    Regards

    Gregsy
  4. pon-ke

    pon-ke TS Rookie

    No data protection

    RAID 0 - Data striping without redundancy (no protection). Optimized for Performance

    RAID 0 uses striping to write data across multiple drives simultaneously. This means that when you write a 5GB file across 5 drives, 1GB of data is written to each drive. Parallel reading of data from multiple drives can have a significant positive impact on performance.

    The trade-off with RAID 0 is that if one of those drives fail, all of your data is lost and you must retore from backup.

    RAID 0 is an excellent choice for cache servers, where the actual data being stored is of little value, but performance is very important.

    Minimum number of drives: 2
    Strengths: Highest performance.
    Weaknesses: No data protection; One drive fails, all data is lost.
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