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Windows 7: JBOD or RAID? Opinions and Questions

18 Feb 2015   #1

Windows 7 64x bit
JBOD or RAID? Opinions and Questions

Hi, I've had my PC for quite a few years, it's custom built and I'm very proud of it.
Now come's a time for various reasons I want to start again, wipe the Hard drives reboot Windows 7 and start new. (Aside from all my photo's/work which I will copy onto an external drive then copy back on later)

It then occurred to me that instead of having all the separate drive I could make it into one big volume where I could access everything in the same place.
Right now I have:
1x 500GB HDD
1x 1TB HDD
and a 2TB external HDD I Use for back up.

Obviously due to the size of my internal drives I'm leaning towards JBOD to optimise space but I'm willing to upgrade my 500gb to a 1TB if peoples opinions lean more towards RAID0.

There were also a few questions I had about JBOD if anyone out there knew?

Can I still partition the desperate drives? I've never done partitioning before but I hear it's a good idea to put windows on a separate partition on one drive. But I still don't know how to do this.

Is backing up to my 2TB external drive just as easy as before? Will there be any issues i need to know about?

Controller? I've seen people talk about a controller when using JBOD? Do I need one? Are some better than others? are they necessary?

All in all I'm doing this for easier access to things, Speed would be nice but I wouldn't want it at the risk of loosing it all as I've heard can happen with RAID0. I'm only hoping to combine the two internal drives and leave the 2TB as back up to what ever configuration I end up with

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2015   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview 64-bit

If RAID is not a must, then it is better to avoid RAID. They often cause problems, so better to not step in those when your situation does not demand for it.

Controllers depend on the motherboard. For your board you may use the AMD AHCI and ASmedia AHCI controllers for 6 GBPS connections. There is another option too, to not using those controllers and to use the system native AHCI, msahci.sys only. It does not fail, but some people say that it is comparatively slower.
JBOD or RAID? Opinions and Questions-2015-02-24_204855.jpg
You also may set the storage controllers to IDE mode too, but that will not allow you to use the 6 GBPS speed. In that case the controllers will be pciide and pciidex in general. Mostly an user is not allowed to use IDE controllers at their own, it is a combination of the chipset and BIOS settings.

RAID (Intel, Marvel, Jmicron or ASMedia) uses the SCSI mode controllers on the other hand.

Can I still partition the desperate drives? I've never done partitioning before but I hear it's a good idea to put windows on a separate partition on one drive. But I still don't know how to do this.
Partitioning is always possible provided some restrictions. A MBR disc can have 4 primary partitions only. If there is more than 4 partitions, it will go to dynamic disc which will not be accessible anymore. But a GPT disc can be partitioned upto 128 partitions.

If your HDDs are already MBR, then make it sure that you are not partitioning it to more than 4.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

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