RAID question (A8V Deluxe)

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Hackworth, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. Hackworth

    Hackworth Guest

    I want to set up a RAID 1 array to add a little extra data security. I've
    already purchased another hard disk that's the exact make/model of the one
    already in my system (a 160-GB Western Digital WD1600JD).

    My motherboard (an A8V Deluxe) has both the VIA K8T800Pro chipset supporting
    two Serial ATA connectors with RAID 0, RAID 1, and JBOD functions, *and* a
    Promise FastTrack 20378 controller providing another two Serial ATA
    connectors for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, and multiple RAID functions.

    Which one should I use? Are they both considered "hardware RAID" solutions
    and, if so, is there much of a performance difference between the two?
    Obviously, I'm not a RAID expert, and this is my first foray into the world
    of RAID, so I'd appreciate any helpful advice from the more experience
    RAIDers in this group.
    Hackworth, Dec 17, 2005
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  2. Hackworth

    Leythos Guest

    RAID 1+0 provides speed and redundancy.

    RAID 1 provides redundancy with read performance

    RAID 0 Provides read/write performance and higher risk of loss
    Leythos, Dec 17, 2005
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  3. Hackworth

    Hackworth Guest

    I know that. I see now that I worded my question stupidly. I meant which
    onboard RAID *controller* should I use, the chipset-provided RAID or the
    Promise RAID?
    Hackworth, Dec 17, 2005
  4. Hackworth

    Leythos Guest

    I've been using BOTH at time, although not with that board, but I start
    with the Promise and then use the Intel if needed.
    Leythos, Dec 17, 2005
  5. Hackworth

    Paul Guest

    Also, if you set up a RAID 1 array, you should go through the exercise
    of what to do when the RAID BIOS indicates a problem. For example,
    create the mirror, format and partition in Windows, place say one
    test file on it. Now, shut down and remove one disk drive of the
    pair in the RAID array. What does the BIOS do ?

    Now, remove the first drive (the one that was present when the problem
    was recognized). Take the second drive and zero it, if you can find
    a utility that can zap the whole drive. Or use the RAID BIOS to
    delete the array information on that drive. This will be your virgin
    "replacement disk", to simulate doing a replacement. Install
    both disks (the one with the data, the virgin replacement), and
    go through the exercise of rebuilding the array.

    You can also simulate a case where the second drive is not damaged.
    Start the system with only one member of the array present. Boot
    up and shut down. Now, install the second drive again. What question
    does the BIOS ask you ? Do you have to "Delete" then "Create" the
    array again ? Since this test case arises more frequently, you
    are more likely to see it. Maybe once every couple of months,
    one of the drives will be a little slow at power up, and that
    is enough to "break" the array.

    Always work through the scenarios for the array, so you'll know
    what to do when real valuable data is on it. People really
    get uptight, when the disk is full of data, there are no backups,
    and the RAID BIOS has bad news for them. And the people in this
    newsgroup will not know every nuance of every RAID BIOS out

    You'll get an especially good workout with RAID 0+1. In that
    case, some RAID BIOS are better designed than others, at
    identifying what drive to replace or how to do a rebuild.

    And you still need to do backups...

    Paul, Dec 18, 2005
  6. Hackworth

    Leythos Guest

    I never thought to mention that to people - but it's the first thing
    that most people get wrong when their array goes t-up.
    That is the most important part of this entire thread :)
    Leythos, Dec 18, 2005
  7. Hackworth

    Hackworth Guest

    Excellent information for a RAID n00b like me, Paul. Many thanks for your
    time. I'm going to archive this reply.

    And I agree about the backups wholeheartedly and will continue to do them.
    You're preaching to the choir in this case. ;-)
    Hackworth, Dec 18, 2005
  8. Hackworth

    Wayne Guest

    On my A8V Deluxe, the VIA Raid controller is a little faster than the Promise
    (VIA works direct from chipset, Promise is on the PCI buss).

    For example, I use two WD 80GB drives in RAID 0. On the Promise, HDTach
    reports 65MB/second average over the full disk (rim to spindle). On the VIA,
    the same drives report 76MB/second. In comparison, a singe WD 160 drive shows
    53MB/second, and a single WD 320 shows 57MB/second.

    So I like RAID 0 for the higher performance. My thinking is that since I do
    regular full Ghost backups every week anyway, then the theoretical higher
    failure rate potentional is not important to me - I can simply restore the
    Ghost backup. I also backup my few important data folders every day.
    Wayne, Dec 18, 2005
  9. Hackworth

    Hackworth Guest

    Precisely the information I was seeking, Wayne. Thanks. I just wanted to
    save a little time by seeing if anyone else in this group could speak from
    personal experience. This afternon, I went ahead and set up my RAID1 array
    on the Via 8237 chipset-controlled SATA connectors, and everything went off
    without a hitch. I'll save the two Promise SATA connectors in case I ever
    want to add another hard disk in the future... which I seriously doubt will
    happen anyway. If I have lots of free money someday (ha ha), I'll get two WD
    Raptors and set them up in RAID0 on the Via controller, with big fat storage
    drives in RAID1 on the Promise controller.
    Very good. You should be in great shape then. I back up all of my personal
    files about once a week onto DVD and that works for me. I've been looking
    into getting a NAS to connect to the network for an added bit of redundancy,
    and so that everyone else in the house has an extra place to back up stuff
    from their computers. We'll see.
    Hackworth, Dec 19, 2005
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