Backup RAID 0 Configuration ?

By thomasl ยท 14 replies
Feb 29, 2004
  1. I am in the process of restoring some bad sectors on a drive that is in a RAID 0 configuration using HDD Regenerator by Dmitriy Primochenko. Assuming I am successful without losing any data, I have the following question. Forgive the ignorance on this issue.

    What is the best method to backup a RAID 0 configuration on to a drive on an IDE controller? What are the best moderate cost utilities to do this? Ultimately, I would like to be able to schedule a daily backup from within Windows 2000 and automate the backup process.

    I have Norton Ghost 2003 (haven't used it yet). If it is installed on the RAID 0 drives running Windows 2000, can I simply have it take an image and put it on the other drive. If possible, how is this done? Each of the drives in my RAID configuration are 40Gb and the drive I plan to put on the IDE contoller will be larger (i.e. 120GB).

    Will Ghost take an image of the entire 80Gb partition and allow me to put in on the 120Gb drive or do I need to partition the drive into two 40+ Gb partitions and image each drive. Now the question is does this have to be done from a boot disk? Windows sees the RAID 0 Configuration as one 80Gb drive.

    Out of curiosity what would Windows 2000's backup utility do for me that is of value considering I am using RAID 0? I am not clear if it would backup all my data and put it on another drive.

    Please keep in mind that my overall goal is to automate the backup of my RAID 0 configuration so it can easily be restored to the same or larger drives in the future in case of a drive failure or other catastrophy, not to mention get the data off of the drive that had bad sectors.

    FYI - Specs:
    Motherboard - MSI VIA K7T266-R Pro
    MB BIOS - AMI (version not handy)
    RAID Controller (on board) - Promise
    RAID BIOS - Fastrack 100
    OS - Windows 2000 w/sp 3 or higher

    If any other specs are really needed, let me know. I believe the above is enough to address my question.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Well, there's a couple of things you can do.

    1.) Buy a controller that supports RAID 0+1. This is a type of RAID that mirrors a RAID 1 array onto another RAID 1. This could be expensive, but would be cool if you can afford it. :)

    2.) Buy a drive large enough to back up your data (not RAID). Use a program like Norton Ghost or Drive Image.

    Your RAID configuration combines two drives as a single drive. To Windows and most other software, it looks like a single drive. Becuase of this, you can backup your data to a single drive without losing any information, then restore that data back to your RAID drives.

    Good luck with HDD Regen.. Great program!
  3. Scotty-B

    Scotty-B TS Rookie

    I just found this site by typing ""backup a raid 0" and "to a single drive"" in a search engine... This was the only result of the search.

    I like the professionalism of the posts and replys I've seen so far here. I think I'll stick around for a while.

    I have two 74 gig Raptors.... I want to set up Raid 0 with them.
    The reason is not to benifit from any performance possibilities... I know it probably ain't gonna happen. What I will get is a 150 gig (approx) 10,000 RPM SATA WD Raptor hard drive. I also know there is no fault protection with this setup.
    Additionally, I have a 7200 RPM 150 gig SATA drive and a Kingwin SATA Mobile Drive Rack.

    I want the performance of the Raptor with the volume of the 150 gig drive.
    I religiously do my full system virus scans (yes, real time scanning is always on for front-line protection), and system defrags every Sunday evenings.

    It's not a big deal to engage the internet lock after the system is done doing it's thing, take advantage of "hot swapability", slide the carrage with the 150 gig drive into the rack and do my system backup while I get ready for bed. In the morning, pull the 150 gig drive out of the rack and put it on the shelf / in the safe, disengage the internet lock and get on with my life.

    I do have the onboard RAID controller. This will accomidate my RAID 0 setup. My question is, are there specific things I should look for when I pick up a secondary controller to plug my backup unit into, or are the controllers pretty much standard and easy to adapt into what I would like to accomplish here?

    Thanks in advance.
  4. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    You should not use RAID 0 for important data.

    You should get 2 more hard drives, a bigger case if needed, and then make a RAID 1 mirror for your important data.

    You should then continue to use the RAID 0 stripe for things like video capture, storing video files you have backed up elsewhere, etc.

    Keeping important data on RAID 0 is kind of asking for trouble...
  5. Scotty-B

    Scotty-B TS Rookie

    I considered a RAID 1, but if there is some sort of file corruption or if a Virus of sorts does manage to sneak through, both drives will have the idenical corrupted data or virus damage on them... won't they?

    - Just brain storming -:)

    (I am currently building the system and have the larger case (CM Stacker). I am collecting the components as we speak/type. I have the drives already. Just waiting to see what happens with PCI Express and BTX (and the components I will be mounting on the MoBo)
  6. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Well yes, but then you could always say the same thing for a backup of some other kind because you could write corrupted files or infected files into your backup as well.

    Best thing, really, if its that important is to RAID 1 and then backup to DVD-R as well, but probably RAID 1 on its own will do you.
  7. Scotty-B

    Scotty-B TS Rookie

    As with any backup, I can only hope I noticed a problem that might be present before I did it. Then I could replace the backup with a system restore and pick up from where I left off.;)

    So many possibilities, so many decisions.
  8. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Well, I figure if you didn't notice the problem before the backup, it probably isn't severe enough that you'll have massive data loss.

    The point being if you're able to make the backup, your computer is still working well enough to at least do that. ;)

    Also, software backups protect you against operating system problems, where RAID 0+1 cannot.

    The only major drawback I can think of for software backups are human error. You HAVE to keep the backup up to date. Acronis True Image 7 makes this a piece of cake though.

    I have two RAID 0 arrays (320GB and 240GB). I image my data using Acronis True Image 7 which creates images in Windows.

    I leave my computer on 24/7 and at night, if the computer is inactive, I have True Image 7 create incremental backups (Incremental is wonderful!) daily. Each weekend, I have Acronis scheduled for a full backup.

    Works like a charm and I don't fear data loss anymore, as long as there isn't a major natural/man made disaster.

    I've had to use it a few times already and it's been nothing but reliable. I've always been kind of reserved about making images in Windows.. But it works. Drive Image for Windows was absolutely horrible though.
  9. Scotty-B

    Scotty-B TS Rookie

    I sincerely appreciate the feedback regarding when/how/if/etc., but as I have never needed a secondary controller, I'd hate to be walking into someplace completely uninformed and having some commision earning salesman telling me what I "really need is..." when I only need something else.

    I can honistly say that in the last 12 years I have never lost any data as a result of a virus or hardware failure. We won't talk about unintentional deletions or windows hang-ups... If the situation arose, I've always been prepaired. Since day one, I have recognized the importance of backing up files, partitions, or full volumes.
    ***He can tend to quite anal about it!*** <--- the girlfriends contribution to all this... I just think this will be realistic and quite painless solution if it can be implamented easy enough
  10. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    What I have is a single card that allows two RAID 0 or 1 or a single RAID 5 configuration.

    If you looking into buying a new RAID controller, it is always good to look at reviews. I tend to stick with the bigger name brands, because I know their driver support will be good for awhile.

    Just look with one that has the proper features (RAID 0+1? Raid 5? Raid 0? Raid 1?).

    The only major concern I can think of is whether or not the controller is bootable. Some RAID controllers do not support bootable devices. So make sure you can boot from it (if you plan on installing your OS to your RAID)
  11. Scotty-B

    Scotty-B TS Rookie

    Thanks Rick, That's quite a bit more usefull. I currently have an onboard SATA controller which is what I believe I am going to be setting up the RAID array through. The two Raptors will use up those two spaces and I am figuring I will use a controller for the third backup SATA drive. With that in mind, the onboard controller sure better be bootable. I guess if I do have to do a recovery, the controller should be bootable so I can access the RAID drives to copy the data back onto the new - repaired RAID array.
  12. MESS

    MESS TS Rookie

    Okay I am not going to say I know sh@t about a Raid, but from everything that I have read and trust me in the last 3 days it has been a lot. Raid 0 is pretty much like a going up to a 16 gage wire to a 8 gage wire, (electrical wire stuff or in laimans terms 2 lane highway to a 4 lane highway) you are not going to notice the difference until you need it. The Raid 1 is like having 2 16 gage wires not as fast but the same amount of information at the same time (2 16 gage wires or two 2 lane highways, they can't handle more but they are traveling at the same speed going to different places).

    Know even if you are running a Raid 1 what is stopping the information going to your mirror from being corrupted also, You may have a back-up but it is the same corrupted stuff. Raid 1 in my opinion is for hardware failure and nothing more. I have an external hard drive (160gig firewire connection) that I will be using as a back-up and choice to back-up when I know I am not corrupting anything.

    Just my thoughts
  13. HoopaJoop

    HoopaJoop TS Rookie Posts: 90

    The fault tolerance for raid 1, and really all fault tolerant arrays, is primarily used to protect against drive failure. If it's individual files you need to protect, regardless of installed apps and the os, backups are essential. File corruption can easily traverse your array no matter what type you have.

    I know I'm beating the dead horse here, but I cannot stress enough the importance of backups for your important files.
  14. Heroedge

    Heroedge TS Rookie

    Raid Stripe with Storage Drive

    I purchased a custom built gaming system with a Raid Stripe 0. Two WD 74gb 10,000 RPM. I understand the importance of backing up my system (especially something that is as dangerous as a Striped system). I have CD backup I rely on but am adding a WD 250gb 7200RPM for storage. I will install the storage drive soon so before I get started I wanted to ask if there any specifics that I need to pay attention to when installing a Storage Drive with a Raid System.
  15. cmenelly

    cmenelly TS Rookie

    SATA RAID0 and IDE discussion

    I would never put an OS on a RAID0 config. I own my own video capture/transfer business and I always keep my OS on an IDE drive. Using an onboard/intergrate SATA controller, like the VIA 8237 chipset, you should see some major performnace enhancements when it comes to capturing & rendering video on a RAID0 config. Obviously no protection however. I have 2, 250gig SATAII western digital drives setup as a RAID0 (500GIG space!) and a 120 IDE drive. Outstanding setup!

    Great forum!
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