recommendations for raid boot and data arrays



I have a new MB - Asus A8N SLi Premium. I would like to set up dual boot XP
x32 & x64 on 2 disk (200G Seagate) as raid 0 or 3 disk raid 5.
Hardware supports 2 pata and 2 sata can be basic disk or raid 0, 1, 0+1.
I have had a raid 0 array disk sieze previously and consequently don't have
much confidence.
Question. To setup hardware raid 0 & format as basic disks or,
setup as dynamic in XP and run software raid 5 across 3 or 4 disks?

I also have 3x new 300G sata seagate to make a raid 5 on the Silicon Image
port(supports 4 sata raid 0, 1, 10 & 5).
And then add a 4th 300G disk - does anyone have experience adding an extra
disk to a live array using the SilImage raid manager?
Or would windows dynamic disks be easier & safer?


Hardware raid is always faster than software raid. Just for giggles, I setup
a 750GB raid 5 setup (4 x 250GB IDE) on a Promise PCI IDE controller (not
raid.) I then created a raid 5 volume in Windows 2003 using all 4 disks. It
worked like a charm but it was abysmally slow. It took 28 hours to copy 180
GB to it from a USB 2 drive. The same copy to the same box when it had the
single 250 drive took about 2-3 hours. In performance counters, you can see
the drives writing really fast for about 1 minute, then slowing to a crawl
for 2 minutes, then it repeats.

Fastest setup, and one in use by many high end OEM's, is to use 2 x SATA
drives in raid 0 for ultimate speed. These will be your boot drives. Then
use a 3rd big IDE drive for data storage/backup.I wouldn't recommend mixing
sata & ide in the same raid array; their speeds and just too different and
the sata's will constantly be waiting for the ide's.

Also, be careful when using dynamic disks. A signature is written on the
drive that indicates "ownership" by that computer. If you try to move the
disk/array to another computer (in the event of a disaster), often it will
fail. There are utilities to correct this, but if you avoid software
array's, then you never need to use dynamic disks anyway.

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question