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Old 08-06-2008, 01:02 AM
 
646 posts, read 1,529,650 times
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I need help on configuring my very first Raid 1. Could somebody please walk me through this STEP BY STEP. I've read many many "tutorials" on the net and none of them really do it for me.

I've got an ASUS M2N-E motherboard which supports raid through its SATA ports.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+

Win XP Home SP2

1GB Corsair XMS

I have two 320 GB Seagate Hard drives.

One has Windows XP, documents, photos, the other has all movies!!

I am going to purchase 2 additional 320GB Seagate Hard Drives and would like to configure each with Raid 1 redundancy. The problem is that I don't want to format my exisiting hard drive and have to start from scratch.

Can I Raid 1 my existing primary hard that currently has XP installed without formatting?

Can I Raid 1 my secondary media hard drive without formatting?

What is the difference between a software RAID and a Hardware RAID?

Thanks,

-Kyle
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:32 AM
 
28,638 posts, read 40,617,860 times
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I would say your best course of action is to search or post here:

ASUSTeK Computer Inc.-Forum-

This is the Asus Forum specific to your mobo and they will have a more knowledge about your question.
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:12 AM
 
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Just interested, but is there any particular reason you are wanting to mirror your drives? If it is a business situation, I can understand, but if it is for a home setup, it really is a waste of space and provides no real major benefit for personal use.

Now if it was striping, I can understand as it increases performance. If this just for a basic recovery situation, usually in home (and even very small business situations) a simple back up solution to a separate medium would be plenty.

Redundancy is to facilitate fast recovery from failures along with real time data protection which few homes or even small businesses require.
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Old 08-06-2008, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,563 posts, read 55,493,012 times
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Not only that, Raid 1 offers minimal or no protection from viruses. Periodic backups are far superior unless you are addressing hard drive failure specifically.
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:33 PM
 
646 posts, read 1,529,650 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Not only that, Raid 1 offers minimal or no protection from viruses. Periodic backups are far superior unless you are addressing hard drive failure specifically.

But isn't backing up to an external harddrive virtually the same thing? Raid 1 is like a backup copy if one drive fails. Plus external hard drives are much more expensives than internal. And, is there any real protection from viruses? I have anti-virus and anti-spyware, what else can you really do?? If you have an automatic backup to an external, won't it copy all the viruses anyway??
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Old 08-06-2008, 05:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punkrocker27ka View Post
But isn't backing up to an external harddrive virtually the same thing? Raid 1 is like a backup copy if one drive fails. Plus external hard drives are much more expensives than internal. And, is there any real protection from viruses? I have anti-virus and anti-spyware, what else can you really do?? If you have an automatic backup to an external, won't it copy all the viruses anyway??
Not even remotely close. The purpose of a RAID mirror is to protect against a hard drive failure, that is all it does, when one drive gets hosed software wise, the other gets hosed as well, if the PC takes a power surge that blows one drive, the other is likely to be hosed as well. An external backup is done when the PC is running properly, you obviously wouldn't do a backup of a virus infected PC, but you can restore your last clean backup if you get too infected. When you are not doing the backup the external driver should be disconnected and in a safe place, no chance of a power surge killing it if it's sitting on a shelf.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,563 posts, read 55,493,012 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punkrocker27ka View Post
But isn't backing up to an external harddrive virtually the same thing? Raid 1 is like a backup copy if one drive fails. Plus external hard drives are much more expensives than internal. And, is there any real protection from viruses? I have anti-virus and anti-spyware, what else can you really do?? If you have an automatic backup to an external, won't it copy all the viruses anyway??
As pointed out, Raid 1 is different than external backup. Yes if you have automatic backups, you can hose your backups by adding viruses.

I had one customer who had a Monkey B virus and a Raid 1 backup. Dangdest thing I've run into. The system would be fine, go wonky, switch drives, be fine, go wonky, etc. Total waste of money to have RAID, but he loved tossing money at technical gee-gahs.

Is there real protection from viruses? Heck yes, put your important stuff on a solid platform, cut all network cables and rip out the CD, floppy and other input devices and live in peace for years.

Between firewall, spyware destroyer, not fooling with funky email, and being prudent about downloading, I haven't had my antivirus register anything other than updates in years.
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:56 PM
 
646 posts, read 1,529,650 times
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If you have an external backup like a usb hard drive, isn't that really intended for small files (documents, photos, etc.) Is it really viable to have automatic backups for huge amounts of data? Like if I have 1TB of movies, how could I even fit more than one backup on an external harddrive? and every day that I add more movies, it would have to copy the entire disk every night again and again. doesn't that reduce the life expectancy of the hard disk really fast if it copies the whole thing very frequently? How big do external hard drives come now a days anyway? and they sure cost a lot! even backing up to the internet cloud is not viable if you have huge amounts of data. not sure what to do other than RAID 1. Besides viruses, and natural disasters, and surges, RAID 1 is fine right? I have a surge protector and pretty good anti-virus, anti-spyware.
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Old 08-07-2008, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,563 posts, read 55,493,012 times
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I'm assuming you are doing video editing and have to work with original material.

What you want is incremental backup. Pretty standard stuff, you only back up what is new and changed each day, then at a preset interval you do your full backups. What is unusual is the amount of data you are backing up. That is going to cost you.

In your situation, I would probably opt for something like a complete backup to a second hard drive, pulling that drive and storing it at a remote location, then inserting a replacement drive, and mirroring to that for one month. Once the month was up, I'd swap back the original backup drive, bring it up to date, and use it for the next month as a mirrored drive. Incremental backups might be made daily to DVDs or some such cheaper media. In a worst case situation, you would remove the two damaged drives, get a new mirror drive, copy your good backup for mirroring, replace the damaged drives with those, then re-load the changed data for the individual days.

One warning though, if the damage occurs not because of lightning or fire, but because of an undetected virus or trojan, the virus is often already resident in old data and has had some trigger, like a particular date, activate it. Simply saying "Oh, I had a virus," and then reloading and running your backup might do nothing more than trash the backup. Before bringing everything back up, you have to have diagnose and correct the original problem. If you can't do that, then you backup the backup before running anything.

Then, as a final line of defense, you have a stack of incremental DVD backups that can be loaded one after the other. A PITA, to be sure, but cheaper than data recovery.
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