I'm after a bit of advice regarding RAID and setting it up please

By Leeky
Aug 6, 2011
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  1. Hello all, :)

    I've got a couple more disks on order now, and plan to RAID 2 identical Samsung 2TB Spinpoint F4's in RAID 1 (Mirror) rather than continually worry about data backups.

    But having been looking at my options I'm not sure if a more secure idea would be RAID 5? Having had a clean up on the disk I'm now using about 1000GB of its capacity, and its mainly documents, pictures, home movies, and other stuff I do not want to risk losing due to disk failure. Currently I'm only backing up the most sentimental of files onto DVD D/L's and its costing me a fortune in discs. :haha:

    My new build will be using a Asus M5A78L LE AM3+ motherboard, with 6x SATA II ports. My motherboard manual states my motherboard supports RAID 0, 1, 10 and JBOD.

    I have the following disks to use:

    1x 64 GB Kingston SSD (for Windows 7)
    1x 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 (to use as a data disk for software installs and games in W7)
    2x 2TB Samsung Spinpoint F4 (for documents, pictures, data etc)
    1x WD Blue, 160GB (For Linux - Will be replacing with a SSD shortly)
    1x SATA DVD R/W drive.

    The user manual suggests I should install and use the web browser control panel for managing my RAID devices (just the 2x Spinpoint F4's), but I'm not sure its necessary?

    So I have a few questions I need clarification on please:

    1. Is the AMD RAIDxpert utility that runs in the web browser really neccessary or a good idea to use?
    2. I plan to install my OS's to non-RAID SSD's (W7 and linux on sep disks), so do I still need to set the SATA controller in BIOS to RAID?
    3. Will the on-board RAID function on my new motherboard actually be a good idea, or is a dedicated RAID card wiser?
    4. I plan to use the two RAID disks as NTFS, so I can access them in Linux and W7. I presume this will work fine given that they're RAID?
    5. Is there anything I need to be aware of, given that I'm new to RAID devices?
    6. I presume all of my data will need moving to another disk in order to setup RAID and initialise it?

    Just to clarify, the 2x Spinpoint F4's will be the only RAID disks, and are purely for storage, and not for either OS installation or any software they would need to have installed.

    If it is recommended I use a RAID card, I have spare PCI and PCI-Ex x1 slots, but would appreciate recommendations that don't cost an absolute fortune, as I wouldn't know what to choose if I'm honest.

    Thanks in advice guys and girls. :)

    Leeky. :)

    P.S. I've uploaded the AMD RAIDxpert user manual here (PDF), in case anyone needs to read it.

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