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Windows 7: Raid type advice required and where to install OS? seperate dr


16 Feb 2011   #1
MadScotsBloke

Winows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Raid type advice required and where to install OS? seperate dr

OK been running XP Pro SP3 for ages, motherboard failure and loss of original OS disc sparked me to purchase new mobo and ram and win 7 home pro edition and have a go at raid while I'm at it. I have always built my own PC's but this would be my 1st attempt at building a raid setup.

I'm gonna go for the 64 bit version install of win 7, will prob be adding another 4 gig ram upping to 8 later on, I have purchased 3 identical 500gb 7200 sata drives (might add another upping to 4 depending on answers I get here on which raid setup to go for), have filled out all my system specs on my profile if you need them.

I've tried to do as much research as possible (should have done a little more before buying only 3 drives).

I Use my rig mostly for gaming and video and photo editing sometimes large files and a bit of amateur web design meaning loads of apps going at once and i do need the data backup that raid mirroring provides and the gaming speed gain from striping so I thought initially a 3 disc hardware raid 5 setup would be the way to go....

Q1/ I know how to set up the raid 5 array itself and stupidly thought I could set it up and run my OS on it too before I researched and found that if the OS crashed it would trash my raid 5 array. So I realise I'm looking at possibly doing a temp install of win 7 on a spare eide drive and using disc manager to create seperate partitions for my OS and data, what im not sure of is what is the best way to go about seperating the OS from the raid 5 with 3 drives? is it worth me buying 4 drives and doing a raid 1+0 for the OS and raid 5 for data?

Q2/ I primarily use this as a gaming rig, so with the 3 drives I have (I'm prepared to goto 4 if i really must) I want the speed gain from running a striped raid array, how exactly does that work (not the raid striping i understand that bit) I mean do you install the game application itself to the striped array or in the same partition as the OS to get the gain?

Q3/ I also want the data backup option offered by mirroring discs as i often forget to backup so suggesting i stripe the 1st two discs and install the OS and data on the 3rd wouldn't give me the redundancy i required on the unraided/unmirrored 3rd disc, this is why i thought raid 5 was ideal but now I have discovered installing your OS on raid 5 is bad.....

So basically im asking for the best (cheapest) option to install my OS, have redundancy for my data and the performance boost of striping for my gaming needs, would i need 3 or 4 discs? is raid 5 the option?

thanks for any help and sorry for so many questions

Terry


My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2011   #2
MadScotsBloke

Winows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

could a mod maybe move this to hardware and devices cos no ones replied yet? probably as I may have posted in the wrong section.
thanks

Terry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2011   #3
ezeht

 
 

I have never set up or used a raid. But best I remember reading, and you say you have 3x 500 gig drives- I am not sure but. A raid will use 2 drives and will be like 1x 1tara drive but extra fast- to mirror you need 1x 1tara drive- the 1x 500gig is not enough it can not mirror your raid which is 1 tara.

I never used a raid it is more probs than not- and can lose everything- or have to use the mirror drive to set your raid back up. Anyway I am confusing my self.

Best I know you can not do your raid and mirror with 3x 500gig drives- you would need 2x 500 gig and 1x a tara hdd- the other 500 gig could be for storage. Or use 1x 500 for C: and the other 2x 500 gig for storage. If was me and not going to use a raid etc. I would put 1 500 in its box and put it in a closet etc for back up if 1 of my other drives broke- or use it as a external drive.

Sorry I can not help more- Google maybe?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2011   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

OK, I understand you want speed, ergo striping. You also want data security, ergo mirroring. I would go about it in a slightly different fashion:

1. I would spend $100 for a 60GB SSD and install the OS there. That will beat your Raid 10 times hands down - for the OS.

2. Install 2 of the 500GB drives in Raid5 for user data and large game files. Note though that Raid5 is slower than Raid0 because each write operation translates into 2 write operations.

3. Use the 3d HDD as backup for daily images of the OS disk - you can schedule the imaging and it will run automatically each day (or whatever schedule you choose). My preferred imaging program is free Macrium, but there is also Paragon and Acronis. Just stay away from Windows 7 imaging - unless you like headaches.

If you have questions, let's discuss.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2011   #5
ezeht

 
 

Ya all the gamers I know that use raid do raid0- but they mirror with a same size drive as the raid- 2x500 in raid is a tara- they would use a 1x tara drive as the mirror- and can back up 1 to 1 if your os bugs out, or best I remember anyway.

These other folks know more about it than me- I will say bye.

I hope you get it how you want it.. See ya..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2011   #6
MadScotsBloke

Winows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
OK, I understand you want speed, ergo striping. You also want data security, ergo mirroring. I would go about it in a slightly different fashion:

1. I would spend $100 for a 60GB SSD and install the OS there. That will beat your Raid 10 times hands down - for the OS.
SSD's are still very pricey here in the UK a 60 gig one would set me back about 100 UK pounds maybe $160 current 3 HDDs I bought were only like 23 UK pounds each maybe $40? so I'd rather buy another HDD if required to make a 4 disc 0+1 for data secuirity and speed. I note the need for installing the OS in a seperate drive/partition which would not be raided is that correct?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
2. Install 2 of the 500GB drives in Raid5 for user data and large game files. Note though that Raid5 is slower than Raid0 because each write operation translates into 2 write operations.
From what I've read so far raid 5 needs a minimum of 3 drives? to allow for shared parity amongst the 3 discs so you basically lose one 500gb drive as far as size goes but you get some speed increase because of the striping but not as fast as raid 0 as it has to write parity?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
3. Use the 3d HDD as backup for daily images of the OS disk - you can schedule the imaging and it will run automatically each day (or whatever schedule you choose). My preferred imaging program is free Macrium, but there is also Paragon and Acronis. Just stay away from Windows 7 imaging - unless you like headaches.

If you have questions, let's discuss.
Hmm Ideally I would like some redundancy but i could always use an external hdd to back files up? this would leave me with one hdd for OS and stuff I want to back up like pictures and documents, I could partition this to say 100gb for os and 400gb for my files? and for the speed boost for gaming pair the other two discs as raid 0 striping? I take it I would install any games or other apps other than the OS to this drive to get the speed boost?

When installing the OS and nominating the 2 sata drives for raid does the setup also allow me to partition and install the OS on the 3rd non raid drive?

not really wanting to splash out any more cash at the moment and want to try and get the best performance boost really for my games with what I've bought.

regards

Terry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2011   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Understand the UK price problem for SSDs. It is the same in Germany. That's why I buy all my gear in the US - except big boxes. But an SSD would make a BIG difference. The access time is 150 times faster than to a Raid.

I do not do any games so I do not know what Raid0 would do for that. For normal data, the speed gain is probably marginal and hardly noticeable in real life. The danger of losing one of the disks, however, is real.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2011   #8
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

RAID using spinner drives was always overhyped, but has luckily died off in the past few years. If you plan on using a RAID5 array for data security, and you aren't after speed, then go for it.

If performance is what you are after, SSDs are the only way to go on a desktop system. If not, then invest in the fastest spinner for your system drive, like a WD Black SATA 6 GBps drive, and then get a second, large drive for data storage. Pair that with an external drive for backups, and you will be fine.

RAID0, aka strping, never really delivered the real-world speed it was hyped to do. Add in the fact that if one drives dies, the data is toast on all drives in the array, and there's no point in even considering it. RAID5 is nice for data protection, because if one drive dies, the array is still functional, but it isn't done normally for performance. Gaming and RAID really have no business being in the same sentence, or in the same consideration.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2011   #9
MadScotsBloke

Winows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
all set up and working fine

Decided to go for a dual boot system with xp pro sp3 on one hdd, and win 7 64bit on disc one of my 3 sata 500 gig drives, i partitioned the win 7 drive into 100gig for os and 400gig for storage, I set up the other two 500gb sata drives in a raid 0 array everything went fine as far as the install went but win 7 didnt recognise my raid array untill i did some tinkering ...syatems really fast now just got to add another 4 gig ram and thats me done with upgrading for now until the price of SSD's comes down.

Terry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2011   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Thanks for the summary report. I only hope the SSDs will be accessible soon in the UK. That would really make a big difference. I cannot see myself running any system with spinners any more. I even have one Vista system with an SSD. It is just so much more fun
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Raid type advice required and where to install OS? seperate dr




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