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Solved: Storing important data, RAID?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Obinice, Mar 18, 2008.

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  1. Obinice

    Obinice Thread Starter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Evening all! :D

    I've recently become tired of having all my videos, music, software installers, and other such things that are used by several PCs in the house scattered all over those PCs, taking up disk space and ending up being difficult to find when I need them.

    What I want to do, is take an old PC I'm not using (the less money I spend the better), and set it up to host all of this stuff on a network drive.

    Now I've done a little looking around on the net, and I've come across a little something called RAID. I like the idea of having some sort of failsafe should one of the drives die, because that PC will basically be the only copy of many things I've spent a few years accumulating lol. I've also read the Techguy "Guide for installing and configuring Raid" :) But there's still plenty of questions, and I'll never get a certain answer until I actually ask someone. Now, let's see....

    I'll be using 4x 500GB drives in this system (follow link for Everest report).

    Should I even look at RAID, or should I just try to keep the files on the first 1TB backed up nicely on the second 1TB? Of course, I would be tempted to use the "extra space", and keeping a constant backup would probably become annoying...

    What's the best RAID level for me? From what I can tell, RAID-1 basically takes for example two drives, and uses one as a copy of the other, so that if something/one of the drives is lost, the data is not. This sounds pretty good to me. On the down side its storage capacity would be in my case 1TB.

    How fast would the actual transfer rates be from card to system, compared to SATA1 or 2? The RAID controller card would be PCI, and I've found cards that cater to both SATA1&2. However, the SATA2 cards tend to be more expensive, and I'd like to know if it's worth bothering, or whether the data would just be bottle-necked due to PCI speed limitations anyway.

    Is there anything I've gotten wrong, not thought of, not asked that you think maybe I should have asked, ways of going about this that I've not considered, etc?

    Thanks folks :)
  2. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

    Dec 26, 2002
    First Name:
    RAID isn't really a method of backup or safe guarding data. Its for drive redundancy and quickly getting back up after a drive failure. It kinda sucks as a backup because its prone to viruses or data corruption for other sources, it also doesn't you against a power surge, theft, or natural disaster.

    If the data is really important then I'd suggest using an external drive to back up the data regularly and keeping it unplugged and away from the computer when not is use.

    RAID-1 is better then just having it on one drive. If you get a card, get a good one liek and Adaptec or Promise card at least. SATA 2 or 3GB/s can help in some cases but its not essential, and I wouldn't worry about the PCI bus being a limitation, no current drives can sustain transfer speeds to consistently max out the PCI bus.
  3. Hughv


    Jul 22, 2006
  4. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Jan 2, 2001
    First of all if the data is important to you, having a single copy is really asking for a problem. Data you do not have at least two copies of is data you do not care about.

    As posted above, raid of any type is NOT a backup plan. Keep one copy on your system and the second on the backup server.

    I use something like what you want. I made a backup or server from old pulled parts; asus av7 board, amd 2400+ 512 of ram running win2k sp4. I installed 3 hard disks into the box with the drives shared. Now anyone on the network can backup/access files on the network box.

    If you have a lot of old parts laying around, this works well. If not, then NAS would probably be your best bet.
  5. Obinice

    Obinice Thread Starter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Thanks for the info guys :) After listening to what you've said, I've decided to instead go with the idea of throwing the first 1TB into the old machine I have laying around to host the files for the house, and the second in an external enclosure for periodic backups of those files.
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