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Windows 7: Going RAID 0; clean install or restore?


07 Apr 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
 
 
Going RAID 0; clean install or restore?

Hello,

I've been using Windows 7 home premium 64-bit for a while now and decided to order another drive to use in a raid array (wd caviar black 750 x2). Just wondering if anyone can help me decide whether to just perform a clean install and copy over my important files (meaning I would have to reinstall ALL my programs and probably update windows a million times to get up to date) or just restore from an image or backup. I like the thought of a clean install, but it will take a bit of time to get up to date and all that.

Thanks for the help,
Jake


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Apr 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc
 
 

Welcome Jake,

I think that you know the answer, you have the chance to start fresh with a nice clean install, without any problems or you can use an image and inherit all the problems that exist on the image. You even mentioned that you would like a clean install.

I know that the thought of installing all the programs seems like a pretty big challenge, but not if you do it my way. Do the install, install the Anti Virus, Anti Malware and anything else that is essential. When the time comes that you want to play a game or use Word, install it then. Install when needed. That is what I did when I went form Vista to Windows 7.
Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version[2]=General Tips


Wishing you the best.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
 
 

Richard,

I appreciate the response. I was just feeling kind of unsure, but you definitely reassured me to just go with the clean install. Plus I just remembered that I think you can tick an option to automatically get windows updates while installing.

I like your philosophy on reinstalling programs as well. It makes the task seem much less daunting.

Thanks!
Jake
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


08 Apr 2010   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc
 
 

Jake,

Thanks for the rep and kind words. Each member has his own technique to offer the best advice to those with questions. My method is to give the advice that I would definately take myself. In the case of my post to you, I am certain of the answer. Know anything about cars? Which do you want an old car with beautiful paint job and tune up or a new car. That is the choice that you have with the image v clean install.

Feel free to return with any questions or problems. I cannot promise you that I will see your question, but every member will do his or her best to help you the very best that they can.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #5

Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit
 
 

I really suggest you don't use RAID 0 since it depends on two drives for storage of only one copy of data. The data is spread across 2 drives. If one drive fails, you're screwed and data becomes useless. I would really recommend RAID 1 if you're using two drives:

Quote:
RAID 1 mirrors the contents of the disks, making a form of 1:1 ratio realtime mirroring. The contents of each disk in the array are identical to that of every other disk in the array. A RAID 1 array requires a minimum of two drives.
Here's information on the different levels of RAID: RAID - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

To activate RAID, you 100% need to do a clean installation of Windows 7, making sure to load the RAID drivers when you're selecting a hard drive to install to. This makes the 2 drives show up as one, making sure data is consistent on both drives. The reason you have to do a clean install is because the data has to be the same on both drives from the moment files are written to the hard drives. The advantage of RAID 1 is that, if one drive goes bad, you can continue to use the other drive as if nothing has happened to the computer.

Also, to quickly reinstall common apps, use Ninite Easy PC Setup - Silent Unattended Install Multiple Programs At Once
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I would mirror the Raid. That gives you more safety. Or make daily images like I do. But if you are really looking for speed, I would spend an extra $100 for a 30GB OCZ SSD and put the OS on that (there is enough space). It will beat the Raid by a lot. You can still use the Raid for the data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2010   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
 
 

@ Product Fred

I have agonized over which RAID configuration to go with, and whether to spring for an SSD. I considered RAID 5 because you get redundance and fair performance, but that requires much more work on the part of the controller and lower write speeds. The problem with RAID 1 is just too much overhead, you only get 50% of your space. And SSD's, while appealing, are still just too expensive per gig and a RAID 0 configuration would approach many mainstream (lower end) SSD's anyways. The real benefits are in the high level SSD's that offer excellent performance; but they cost WAY too much.

Thanks for the suggestions, though. I'll just make sure to back up all the time now that my chances of losing all my data are doubled, and wait for the day when I can afford a good performing SSD with fair capacity (not exclusively as a boot drive)

Thanks,
Jake
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2010   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
high level SSD's that offer excellent performance; but they cost WAY too much.
A 30GB OCZ Vertex costs less than $100 - and it is one of the best. That is ample for Windows7. And it will beat any Raid by miles. The data then can go on the Raids.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2010   #9

Win7 Pro 64
 
 

As I grow older it seems like I already know the answer to the questions I ask myself! In the morning looking in the mirror before work, "should I shave or not?" I already know the answer.
On going from a single drive to RAID 0. "Should I do a clean install or just fudge it with an image?" I think you know the answer!! BTW I like richc46's answer on how to go about it.

Luck to you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2010   #10

Win7 Pro 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Quote:
high level SSD's that offer excellent performance; but they cost WAY too much.
A 30GB OCZ Vertex costs less than $100 - and it is one of the best. That is ample for Windows7. And it will beat any Raid by miles. The data then can go on the Raids.
Anandtech just showed (last week) 2 Intel X-25V's in RAID 0 that screamed. And then a day later Newegg had them for $93 each!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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