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Windows 7: Help with multiple drives....


19 Jan 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 
Help with multiple drives....

Till now i have only used a single drive setup on my PC. I am planning to buy a new disk drive for my HD camcorder videos and for other backup. I have read some forums about the RAID setup for data security. I have no idea what RAID is and i do not want to loose any data form either of my drives.

My motherboard is Gigabyte P55-USB3, i don't know if i have to setup a RAID configuration or is it auto defined. Maybe you guys can help me. My HDD is in the SATA_0 slot and DVD-ROM in SATA_1. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

One more thing, will i be able to use my PC with the primary drive if this secondary drive is not connected. I have another PC in my house and i might transpose the hard drive from one PC to another. The other PC too has a Gigabyte board. I may not even keep it connected, i just want to use it for backup and viewing videos whenever i need to. The use is much of an external drive i do not have that much budget and require a large space.

Your help would be greatly appreciated....


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jan 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

RAID for data security would pretty much mean using a second, identical drive in a RAID1 array, meaning it is mirrored. You'd only see the capacity of one drive, though, and it would have to be configured in the BIOS, and the OS reinstalled.

Since drives are dirt cheap now, get one for your internal storage, and get a second drive to use externally in a cage (or buy an external) to use as backup. SyncToy is a free program from Microsoft that will let you define what data is important to you, and keep it backed up on the external.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2011   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Moving an internal drive from one PC to another is not such a great idea. It could get corrupted. As Deacon says, if you want move it, get an enclosure. Just make sure you get the right form factor. They are different for 2.5" and 3.5" disks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jan 2011   #4

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX Maverick
 
 

Agree with the other posters, but you may want to consider USB 3.0 enclosure like this one:

Newegg.com - Rosewill RX358 RX-358-U3S Full Aluminum Cover, metal tray 3.5" Silver USB 3.0 External Enclosure

Your motherboard supports USB 3.0 and you'll be happier with the transfer rate of the USB 3.0, 20 vs ~100MB/s. I am not sure that your motherboard supports eSATA but if it does, that would be another option...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2011   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2011   #6

Win7 x64
 
 

Like everything, you must figure out what is really important. If you don't back something up then you don't really care if it's lost. I've had two drives fail recently and I did lose a lot of videos (didn't back them up because they were too big). It was not the end of the world, though.

There are many types of RAID, different flavors for different purposes. Check out RAID - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

If you want protection from a drive failing, then you're going to need more drives.... it's as simple as that. For me, I prefer to keep my drives inside my case and not external. That said, I do have some good size external drives for backup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

So according to you if i add another identical hard drives i need to set up raid in the BIOS and reinstall my OS. I just know briefly about RAID 1 and RAID 0. Can someone explain me in simple words what it is?? I have read several places and it is too complicated for me to understand. I know about the enclosures and i inquired about one.If i may wanna buy a new drive in future, such enclosures allow you to swap drives so you can keep buying bare drives but unfortunately i am not in the US and i could not find it here. Means i have to go and pay double to get a branded usb 3.0 external drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2011   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

There isn't much to really know, to be honest. You enable RAID in the BIOS, which gives you an additional POST screen to enter and configure your array. That means, you choose what drives are part of the array, and what type of array you want...RAID0, RAID1, etc. Once you set that and reboot, you start your Windows setup. Windows will see one single drive, with a capacity that will be determined by the drives, RAID type, etc.

Bottom line however, there is very little reason to consider running RAID on a non-server. You would be much better off getting a cheap external drive. USB 3.0 is nice, but if you got one that supported eSATA and USB 2.0, you'd be fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2011   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Let me try to answer your questions:

1. Raid0 - it requires at least 2 disks and will distribute the records of a file over those 2 disks. E.g records 1,3,5,7,etc. to disk1 and 2,4,6,8,etc. to disk 2. Thus the write/read speed for a file will be nearly doubled (there is some overhead for the Raid controller).
You can have more than 2 disks but there must always be even pairs. Then the records will be evenly distributed over the 4 or 6 disks. The total disk capacity is equal to the sum of the disks.
The advantage of Raid0 is input/output speed. The disadvantage is that if one of the disks fails, you lose everything.

2. Raid1 - mirrored Raid requires at least 2 disks of the same capacity. In that case it will copy each record that you write to disk1 onto disk2. That gives you a constant backup. But the performance will suffer due to the extra write operations and your total capacity will only be that of one disk (the other being only a mirror image of disk1).

3. I do not think that a Raid setup is for you. It is probably too complicated for what you are doing and you can run into many unforseen pitfalls. I would advise you go with a straight forward backup or imaging strategy.

4. In what country are you? I have a hard time believing that enclosures are not available in your country. They are pretty common place.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2011   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

I get it, Thank you everyone....

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Let me try to answer your questions:
4. In what country are you? I have a hard time believing that enclosures are not available in your country. They are pretty common place.
haha, i am actually in Qatar, if you see it is highly developed here but people are just too dumb to purchase electronics. There is a heavy ongoing for branded and ready to use products. So you see if i try and search for a branded external drive there wouldn't be a problem but not this. You wouldn't believe when i say this, i really had a hard time searching for the parts of my pc (recently home build), i tried the brands but all had dual cores. Here's the shocking part: I had to pay 4600QR for the specs that i have which turns up to USD1250. Considering the specs i don't even think it is more than USD950. As no one goes for the assembled ones the selling is too less and the prices are way high.
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