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Last Post by DimaYasny
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i assume so as you can definately use SCSI and IDE and i know for afact my new SATA dell comes with built in RAID

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Most motherboards I've seen that support SATA will usually support RAID 0 and 1.

Assuming the Epox mobo listed in your signature is the one you have, then yes you can do raid. The spec sheet I found online for it said is supports 0, 1, 0+1. Whether or not thats for sata or just ide Im not sure.

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You can set up any type of RAID 1 configuration as long as your raid card supports the connections.When setting up RAID REMEMBER the secondary bios!!!

To access the secondary bios you press "ctrl" + the first letter of your chipset manufacturer(n for nvidea, i for intel etc)
The BIOS differs based on the manufacturer but you need to create an array using your two disks and then save.

IMPORTANT:If you set up a 250gb hd and a 20 gb hd on a RAID 1 configuration you will end up with....One 20 gb hard drive!!!!!!!Windows sees the RAID controller as one hard drive and anything below the Raid controller on the bus is invisible to the O.S unless you have a specialised program using a bios hook.

If your raid card doesn't have an onboard battery(most cheap ones don't)you can lose recent data in a power cut if write back caching is enabled.Best to be aware.

If you knew most of this already then yes,fire away with a Sata raid array.If most of this is news to you might I recommend visiting the drive suppliers website and searching for a RAID installation guide?

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Almost forgot,when you get you're sata RAID 1 up and running look for an app called IOMeter.It's a handy little doohickey that will show you the speed differences between one hard drive,raid and raid with read ahead and write back enabled

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It is actually a new MSI K9N platinum for the AM2. I have since found out that it will work to even a raid 5. I have never set up a raid before but I gotta learn sometime. What is this with the dual bios?

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Firstly forget the RAID 5 unless you want to shell out way to much money.RAID 5 is designed with a parity drive for pretty much mission critical stuff, although you can go even higher!

If the card manufacturer is MSI press "ctrl" + "m" where you would normally go into the Bios(It's during POST,most systems will prompt you in the top right).

I assume,of course, that at this stage you've installed the RAID drivers. These overlay a secondary Bios.Heres a little diag of how the raid card works -

__________
|Operating|
| System |
`````````
| ----Windows looks for hard drives
_________
|raid card| ----Raid says"here I am,one HDD.What you got 4 me?"
`````````
| |
____ ____
| | | |
|HD | |HD| ----Raid hides the drives from windows and sorts all the
| | | | ----writing itself.Without "write back caching" there will
```` ```` ----be a performance slowdown with a Raid 1 config
(Sorry about diag quality)


"Write back caching" is enabled/disabled in you're PRIMARY bios(the one you always had).With it on the Raid is again lying to windows-

Windows - "here write this to yourself(remember it thinks raid is a drive)

Raid -"Thanks I'm done,gimme more!"

What raid has done here is taken the data,stored it in it's cache(basically onboard ram) and lied saying "written,give me more"

The advantages are obvious.Based on a raid with pretty good cache space you can theoretically run two 5,400 rpm Hd's at sata speed and beyond.

The disadvantage is unless you're raid has a built in battery you lose recent data in a power cut because raid may not have finished transferring cache to hard drive.

Anyway now that you(hopefully)understand Raid you go into your raid bios.Select your two hard drives(usually done by moving from left column to right column) and select "create array".I would strongly recommend raid 1,raid 0 is far too volatile.An ideal would be raid 10 or 0+ 1 assuming you can afford the 4 hard drives and your raid card supports it.

Thats pretty much it.Save and exit.Raid will probably tell you the new drive you hooked in has degraded and start building a copy onto it which does not eat any cpu or ram.The raid does it all.Pretty cool huh?

VERY IMPORTANT: if at any stage you lose a drive and need to install a new one DO NOT INITIALISE YOUR WORKING DRIVE!EVER!
Initialising wipes the drive clean so you'll lose all the data you're setting up raid to safeguard in the first place.The same goes for when you set up the array.If it asks if you want to initialise you're current hard drive with the OS installed on it (it won't say this it will ask initialise drive 0: seagate 150gb or whatever,just know which is your important one) say NO.If it asks for your new blank hard drive or if you want to use an old HD and don't mind losing the data DO initialise it.

Raid is tricky to set up and an enormous call generator for me at work so if you have any doubts or if I havn't explained clearly enough PLEASE post another message BEFORE you try anything

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So it's not just plug and play. Looks like a little bit of work but shouldn't be too hard.
So I install the os, put in the raid floppy, installl that go through installation of os. Before I do any updates or anything like that I should go into the raid directions you say here and go to the secondary bios. After that I will do my installs as normal?

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If you intend to re-install then you should ALWAYS install you're Chipset,then video and then Raid as you will have less problems if something does go wrong.

You can set up raid without a re-installation.In this case you set up an array with the new blank hd and you're system HD.Initialize the new HD and Raid will start copying an image of itself onto the new HD.While this is happening you can load windows and do whatever you like with no slowdown on the CPU or RAM.HD will be busy though,obviously

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This is a brand new machine. Total new install. Should I update the chipset to the newest update? Also what about a the latest bios and video card update?

I have a computer with two hd in but no raid. Can I do a raid with this computer without losing any info?

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Latest drivers are always a good idea.When installing drivers ALWAYS restart when windows asks you.This guarantees that "Last known good configuration" will work 90% of the time,even though it's a pain in the neck restarting 5 or 6 times.

Stick with the order I gave you as it's silly to install a lot of devices attached to the chipset before you tell the chipset how it's supposed to communicate with them.

If you're other hard drives are raid enabled then you will have no problems,using the same method(assuming you have a raid controller in the pc of course)


Try setting up you're new raid as you won't lose any data if it goes wrong.I'd recommend printing out this thread to have on hand if you won't have internet access when you attempt to set up your array

Good Luck =)

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My older machine is a year old and my mobod will take a raid 1. I don't have any raid installed with my board as I did not do this at install. What will it take to get those installed if it can be done at all?

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Very easy,if the raid is already on the mobo just install the drivers for the raid chipset,reboot and set up exactly as I told you the first time(remember to get into Raid Bios its "ctrl" + "first letter of manufacturers name")

If there is no integrated Raid controller on the mobo just buy a raid 1 card and do the same thing.

Most integrated raids work off the actual IDE/SATA/SCSI ports on the mobo but just make sure that there isn't a seperate connection with raid written on it

REMEMBER that raid 1 mirrors your hd so for best results have 1 empty,1 with OS and files and both same capacity when you set it up on this computer

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Is the raid 1 actually good for home use. It will have farm data that is important. Would it be just as good to have two hard drives and do regular backups to it and once in awhile to backup to dvd.

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After doing a lot more reading on the subject I have come to the conclusion that raid 1 is not all that safe and there are still issues that can cause you to lose your info. The safest to me is to have two hard drives and a seperate backup partition and also back up to dvd. What is the best backup software out there?

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I have decided now to raid. I am going for it as a new adventure. I do want to ask this question though. I went through the step of starting the raid in bios and then went through the setup where it finally said healthy raid. I am doing a mirror raid. Anyway I have done the stuff needed like os cd and pushing f6 to install raid drivers like needed. It is now installing the os. My question is do I need to initialize the discs after this is all done. This is a brand new machine with a brand new install.

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If I ever decide to take off the raid array can it be done? Can I just shut off raid and use one of the hard drives as another hard drive? Also, if I decide to keep the raid can I partition it after the fact because I have done a raid without a partition?

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If I create a raid with the hard disks having two partitions what do I have to do different?

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I went through the step of starting the raid in bios and then went through the setup where it finally said healthy raid. I am doing a mirror raid. Anyway I have done the stuff needed like os cd and pushing f6 to install raid drivers like needed. It is now installing the os. My question is do I need to initialize the discs after this is all done. This is a brand new machine with a brand new install.

if everything is set up correctly, your OS should treat the raid array as a single HDD

If I ever decide to take off the raid array can it be done? Can I just shut off raid and use one of the hard drives as another hard drive? Also, if I decide to keep the raid can I partition it after the fact because I have done a raid without a partition?

that depends on the raid hardware/software. not every manufacturer supports such changes. but you can always remove one of the HDD's and use the degraded raid array with the single drive.

If I create a raid with the hard disks having two partitions what do I have to do different?

nothing. as I said - the OS treats the hardware raid array as a single hard drive, the replication processes take place on a lower level

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So should I set up raid before I install the os also? I thought I had to install the raid drivers first? Could you explain the steps please? Thanks.

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So should I set up raid before I install the os also? I thought I had to install the raid drivers first? Could you explain the steps please? Thanks.

ok, if what we're talking about here is windows, then you have two options - hardware and software raid. hardware raid is something that is set up withing the raid controller's bios, accessed during the POST screen. this is the better and faster and more efficient option.
the process is as follows:
1. assemble a computer with several empty hard drives.
2. enter the raid bios setup, and set up radi as you like. the raid controller card makes the system see the raid array (the set of hard drives in a raid) as a single drive. meaning all the replication of data (if you're doing raid1) is done below the level where the OS operates, the replication is invisible to the os, the os sees just one disk, while in fact it's a set of disks.
3. install windows as if you're installing on a single drive. just use the driver floppy, for the system to recognize your raid-disk. you can partition it as you like, it doesn't matter - whatever the os does to the hard drive, is actually done to both mirrored disks.

if you want to run software raid
1. assemble the computer
2. install windows on one of the disks
3. go into disk management (my computer - righclick - manage - disk management)
4. convert both hard disks to dynamic (you'll se the option if you right click the disks)
5. restart
6. after the restart you'll be able to mirror the partitions on the disks

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On another computer it will be doing some video editing, what array is best for that? Don't tell me 0 please, as I will never use that because of how volitale it is.

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arrays are picked for their use. raid0 is just a way of making many drives look as a single large one for the system. if you need as much space as you can get you need raid0.
raid1 is a mirror of two drives, where one drive is an exact copy of the second one. you waste the space, but if one of the disks dies, you will not lose any data.
raid5 is a combo, where there are at least 3 drives, and some space is wasted, because one disk keeps the checksums and is the spare drive. so you get more space than raid1 and more redundancy than raid0, but you still loose space, and redundancy isn't as good as it is on raid1, where the single drive in a degraded array will still work, while in raid5 you need to replace the damaged drive and rebuild the array before you can continue working.
there are more kinds of arrays, and of course there are combinations between the types. everything depends on what you actually need and how much money is spent.

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