After experiencing loss of 2 hard drives, i realize its time to set up raid.

First off, I have 2 via 6421 cards that havent been touched in a while. I was looking at the specs and they are "150 mbps" per sata. Is this fast enough? Or slower than just using a normal hard drive setup? Is there any cards that you might suggest?

Also, do i need a card for raid? Is it possible to run a raid setup with the 4 sata ports on my pc?! (Emachines ET-1331G-03W)

And one last question.

I know there are a few terms for raid, "Raid 0 - 9?"

Which raid would be best for performance?


It looks like your post has been overlooked a few times, I will do my best to answer your questions.

Is your objective speed or redundancy or both? I will break down the most common RAID for home use.

RAID 0 = is striped, data is written to evenly across two or more disks with NO parity. Meaning if you have a hard drive failure you will lose everything. But performance is greatly increased.

RAID 1 = is mirrored, this requires two drives. The data is written to both disks, if you lose one drive you will still have all your data. The limitation with this setup is the RAID array can only be as large as your biggest disk.

RAID 5 = Requires 3 or more disks. This is the best of both worlds. You get the speed of multiple spindles (disks), redundancy, and a larger capacity.

JBOD = “Just a Bunch Of Disks” this provides no redundancy. The total size of all the disks is presented as one partition, not recommended. This is similar to RAID 0 except RAID 0 requires the same size disk.

I found this write up on Wiki which explains All the RAIDs in more detail if you are interested

I took a look at the specs for the card you listed Via 6421, it does have an external SATA port but the raid controller is for the internal IDE port. I wouldn’t recommend setting up a RAID with ATA/IDE drives way to slow IMO.

So to answer your questions yes you need a card for RAID or the motherboard needs to have a RAID controller built in.

Most Dell, HP, Gateway, etc. systems I have seen (with the exception of business class and high end home systems) do not come with a raid controller on the motherboard.
If you are looking for redundancy so you do not loss data with a hard drive failure I would recommend NAS with RAID 1 or 5 depending on your budget and size requirements.

A couple benefits of a NAS are: any computer on your network will be able to access the data although this can be controlled by an ACL. If you computer crashes you do not have to worry about your RAID during a rebuild.

After extensive research I settled on a Thecus and purchased N5200PRO several years back. I am running a RAID 5 with 5x1.5tb drives. It has survived 2 hard drive failures over the last few years. Although I would imagine this would be overkill for most, they do make smaller units.

I recently recommended a Thecus N2200 to a friend, which is a two disk NAS which you can populate with a drives ranging in size from 160GB – 2TB, if you do decide to go with a NAS from any manufacture make sure you check the Hard Drive Compatibility list and only use the drives they list as compatible for the device you pick up.

Another thing to consider before you build a RAID inside your everyday box, is how long are you going to have this system running are you going to upgrade in the next couple years? Would you know how to move your RAID array from your old system to your new system and would you be comfortable doing it? If your primary OS crashed would you be confident in reinstalling your OS without destroying your RAID? These problems are eliminated with the NAS solution.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask.


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