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Notebook with Raid Setup

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by Drucifer, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    NY Hudson...
    Didn't realize until my notebook HD crash and I tried fixing it that my HP HDX 9000T has dual HDs for Raid.

    What's the benefit of Raid? Do both HDs need to be the same size?
     
  2. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    A RAID 1 setup will use 2 drives of about the same size to make mirrored copies of your data on both drives. This will help protect against drive failure-related data loss, at the cost of using more battery power and using twice the hard drive space.

    HOWEVER, RAID setups are NOT the same as backups or archiving. You must still do both if you really want to preserve your data. If you delete a bunch of files, for example, they'll be deleted from both drives, so you can't use one drive to restore the other. And there are no older versions of files to go back and get.

    IMO, RAID on a laptop just isn't worth it. Instead, I would *strongly* recommend buying or building a Windows Home Server. It will to automatic, unattended full and incremental backups of up to 10 PCs running Windows XP or newer. And you can even take your old drive out and throw in a new one, boot from a WHS CD, and completely rebuild your PC from backup with a couple of clicks. Your grandmother could figure it out.

    There is no substitute for regular backups.
     
  3. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    Also, and someone correct me if I'm wrong, in some RAID setups, if you lose the controller, you lose everything. I don't think I've ever seen RAID on a laptop though, it probably is software based. There are several types of RAID. RAID 0 is theoretically faster if you put both drives on different controllers, but your risk doubles. Lose one drive, lose everything. RAID 1 is a mirror. Then you generally skip some and go to RAID5 that requires a minimum of 3 drives, but you basically lose the space of one, but it's faster than RAID1.

    Battlezone is right, no replacement for backups. Generally the drives do need to be matched. Some external RAID "like" systems such as a Drobo can use mismatched sizes, but they aren't cheap and overkill for hooking up to a laptop.
     
  4. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    NY Hudson...
    Well HP is FedEx-ing two HDs. Right now, I can't even get into the bios to see how it was setup.
     
  5. zx10guy

    zx10guy AllStar

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    Yes. You are correct about the RAID controllers. Different RAID controllers have different ways of laying down the data on the disks; even with RAID 1.

    I have seen RAID setups on laptops. The Alienware laptops have RAID capability. But to expand on what you've said about software versus hardware RAID, some times the obvious isn't so much obvious. Many people think that because they are using an add in card or one built onto the motherboard that they are using hardware RAID. That's an incorrect assumption. There are actually three different types of RAID. Full on software RAID is one that uses the OS to create the RAID volume. The next one and not so obvious is a hardware controller but still utilizes the OS and system CPU to do all the RAID functions. The last one is a true hardware RAID controller.

    As far as RAID 5 being faster than RAID 1, it really depends on the situation. Remember, RAID 5 requires the generation of parity information as part of its fault tolerance. Depending the controller and the size of the file, you can have a significant performance hit. Also in a fault condition where the RAID volume is degraded, the RAID 1 system will see very little impact to performance where the RAID 5 system will see a significant hit as the controller system has to regenerate the missing data from the parity information written to the other disks. This will slow both read and write operations.

    But I agree having RAID on a laptop is for the most part not a good idea unless you really have a specific driving need for it.
     
  6. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    NY Hudson...
    How do you undo it?

    HDX900T, now with (2) 250GB HDs coming up as just one 250GB 'C'
     
  7. zx10guy

    zx10guy AllStar

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    The only way to undo a RAID volume is to copy off the data, destroy the RAID volume, and then partition and format the hard drive space. If your OS is already on it, then you'll have to reload that too.
     
  8. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    NY Hudson...
    What kind of raid setup uses two 250GB that looks like one 250GB? It doesn't dupe one, because when one of the original 120 GB died, the other working one was not a duplicate. I must admit the other was partition and everything that was lost was on 'D'.
     
  9. zx10guy

    zx10guy AllStar

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    If you are using two 250 GB drives and it looks like one 250 GB drive, you're using RAID 1 (mirroring.) Unless, the other drive is not even active. You have to confirm the other drive is being recognized and configured in your RAID controller's base configuration. You should be able to do a control key sequence on boot up to get into the RAID controller's BIOS to do a drive configuration.
     
  10. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    NY Hudson...
    I ran msinfo32 in Win7 and the second drive is not even partition.

    In Control Panel/Admin Tools/Computer Management/Disk Management it is showing up as being unallocated.

    How does one get it allocated?
     
  11. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    NY Hudson...
    Hey, I found out how to allocate an unallocated hard drive at MS. It was in the XP area, but the process was still the same in Win7Pro.
     

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