1 SSD AHCI and 2 HDD RAID 1

Anum86

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Sep 6, 2013
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Hi,

I have done some research on this question and am still not 100% on it. I am building a PC (first build :D) and would like to have the SSD run the OS and programs, while I have 2 HDD's that will hold my files.

I would like to have the 2 HDD's in RAID 1, so if one goes down I have limited down time (Ill be backing up with an external drive). I was reading that if I install the OS to the SSD first and then set RAID 1 to the 2 HDD's, I will lose TRIM function on the SSD causing performance issue's in the future.

This is just one way I was considering setting up my PC, im open to options. During my reading I have seen a lot of people saying just use one HDD for files and the other as an internal backup. That way the SSD can stay in AHCI and have the TRIM function.

Mobo: Asus P8z77 -v LK
SSD: Corsair Neutron 256GB
HDD: WD Black 1TB

Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 

Kelthar

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Mar 27, 2013
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I currently have my BIOS set to RAID and TRIM is operational. I have an SSD + HDD + 2 HDDs in RAID 0, and when manually checked TRIM reports to be operational.

What I do know is that when you set two SSDs to be on RAID with eachother then you will lose TRIM, but since I haven't lost it I don't think TRIM gets disabled when the drive isn't involved in any RAID operations.
 
RAID1 requires two identical drives, and mirror each other. When a drive fails, you lose both drives until you replace the failed drive, then the array "rebuilds" itself, putting you back to processing. This type of setup is a necessity when you are dealing with large businesses with many users, where downtime means money.

While I use RAID at work quite often for the benefits of down-time, at home, I use this simple setup.

PC1: SSD (OS/Programs), DATA (1TB), and BACKUP (4TB Backup drive that backups for all PC's are stored (I use SyncBack Free - nightly synchronization of files - takes on average 5-10 minutes overnight - backups only the user folders)).
PC2: SSD (OS/Programs, DATA (1TB).
HTPC: 500GB HDD (OS/Programs), TV-MOVIES (2TB - not backed up).
PC4: 300GB HDD (OS/Programs/Users) (primarily used as a "testing computer" and for guests).

RAID should be used when business up-time requires recovery in a short time. Backups are easy to perform, and restoring takes less than 1-2 hours depending upon the size of the backup.

RAID sometimes is the only possibility when creating large volumes. An example - Windows Media Center gives you one location to store recorded shows - if you want more than 4TB, RAID is the only way.

If you used your current setup with 2 drives, and used SyncBack to backup your data - if one or the other drive fails, you just point Windows at the drive that didn't fail, and you have instant access to your data until you can replace the drive.

WD Black 1TB is an excellent choice for data drives.
 

ubercake

Splendid
Moderator
I have never heard of TRIM quitting on you because you set up a RAID array, but I definitely haven't seen everything.

That motherboard will solve your problem, though because it has two (Intel) disk controllers. One corresponds to the blue sata connections and the other the white sata connections. Hook your HDDs to the blue connectors since they're SATA II and the HDDs won't even come close to saturating the bandwidth. You'll connect your SSD to a white connector on the motherboard it will run in AHCI mode when there is no RAID array built. So setting the 'SATA Mode Selection' parameter to RAID in the BIOS will do what you need it to for all disks. Also, in the BIOS under the Advanced menu->Sata Configuration, choose RAID Mode.

Then, install the OS with only the SSD connected to one of the white SATA III ports (you will need the RAID drivers during the install for each controller as per the motherboard manual). After the OS is installed, power off and connect the HDDs to the blue ports.
Power on and go into the Ctrl+I menu during the POST and set up the RAID 1 array with your HDDs and you're good to go!
 

Anum86

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Sep 6, 2013
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Thank you both for the speedy responses. I guess I can give this a try and if it doesn't work for me, use one HDD for data and the other for backups.

Is there any advantages or disadvantages between the two methods for home use? (Sorry noobie questions)
 
The advantages of using Syncback free on home networks:
1) Instant access to files if a drive fails. No rebuild time.
2) If you delete a file - it still exists in the backup (if you backed it up at least once).
3) Price - You do one large backup drive that has enough room to store backups for all PCs, and I even put ISO's for Windows, MS-Office, Photoshop, and a few others on the drive. You don't need multiple backup drives.
4) You can set up "instant synch" with Syncback that will automatically backup any changes made to the files instantly - but that comes at a price, it slows down read/write times on your drives a bit.

Recently I lost 3 drives in my network (data drives). While I was running to Fry's, my wife could access her files on the "backup" share, I plug in the new drive, do a robocopy, and she was back in the saddle in less than 30 minutes. My data drive when it died took about 45 minutes - but I have quite a few more files.
 

Anum86

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Sep 6, 2013
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Okay that clears up quit a bit for me. i may go this route instead of RAID 1 on the 2 HDD's. 1 for data and 1 to run backups with syncback.

Thank you
 
AHCI is included in the RAID drivers so your SSD would indeed still run in AHCI mode while the HDDs are in a mirror on the same controller. My other PC is set up that way and works fine.

Something to think about with syncing as opposed to backups - if you accidentally delete something and don't catch it before the sync it's gone off the other drive as well. The benefit of backups, if set up correctly, is that new or modified files are added but nothing is deleted without manual "pruning" so weeks or months could go by and you could still recover the deleted file.

Best bet would be to sync and still backup to an external.
 

CARDIOPANIC

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Jan 27, 2014
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IMPORTANT!!!!
To whom it may concern and would like to know:
TRIM is DISABLED when running in RAID Level1 [RAID1].

"Officially" confirmed by SAMSUNG and INTEL on all SSDs. (they do not hide this fact but not advertising it ether)

I will say it again to ALL who is reading this post: TRIM IS NOT AVAILABLE in RAID1 as of January 2014. on any SSD in production!

In fact, if running SAMSUNG SSD in RAID1, the proprietary software will not even recognize any SAMSUNG SSD even if only ONE disk is in operation (!) (assuming you take another disk out to see if it will work or not)

As long as SSD is part of RAID1 array, it will NOT be available to any SAMSUNG (and some INTEL) proprietary software to conduct operations such as: BACK UP; TRIM; FIRMWARE UPDATES.

It is very hard to come across this information anywhere (I couldn't find any) unless trying it for yourself.


On the side note:
RE: ronintexas:
RAID1 is HOT-SWAPPABLE (!), and DO NOT require IDENTICAL SSD to run!!!
All RAID controller or software will do is to assume the SMALLEST drive is the ONLY available capacity for this RAID1 array!

ALSO: RAID 1 will continue to run even if one out of two drives fails. Your PC will NOT shut down if one drive fails, it just will give you small pop up warning saying : YOUR ARRAY IS DEGRADED.
When you plug your new SSD it will just quitely begins to "rebuild" itself.

P.S> DO NOT forget to back up your SYSTEM minimum once a week.
Good luck!


Sincerely,

Dave [davevenson@gmail.com]

check my band if you like alternative music [CARDIOPANIC]

and peace be upon you



 

CARDIOPANIC

Honorable
Jan 27, 2014
2
0
10,510
0



IMPORTANT!!!!
To whom it may concern and would like to know:
TRIM is DISABLED when running in RAID Level1 [RAID1].

"Officially" confirmed by SAMSUNG and INTEL on all SSDs. (they do not hide this fact but not advertising it ether)

I will say it again to ALL who is reading this post: TRIM IS NOT AVAILABLE in RAID1 as of January 2014. on any SSD in production!

In fact, if running SAMSUNG SSD in RAID1, the proprietary software will not even recognize any SAMSUNG SSD even if only ONE disk is in operation (!) (assuming you take another disk out to see if it will work or not)

As long as SSD is part of RAID1 array, it will NOT be available to any SAMSUNG (and some INTEL) proprietary software to conduct operations such as: BACK UP; TRIM; FIRMWARE UPDATES.

It is very hard to come across this information anywhere (I couldn't find any) unless trying it for yourself.


On the side note:
RE: ronintexas:
RAID1 is HOT-SWAPPABLE (!), and DO NOT require IDENTICAL SSD to run!!!
All RAID controller or software will do is to assume the SMALLEST drive is the ONLY available capacity for this RAID1 array!

ALSO: RAID 1 will continue to run even if one out of two drives fails. Your PC will NOT shut down if one drive fails, it just will give you small pop up warning saying : YOUR ARRAY IS DEGRADED.
When you plug your new SSD it will just quitely begins to "rebuild" itself.

P.S> DO NOT forget to back up your SYSTEM minimum once a week.
Good luck!


Sincerely,

Dave [davevenson@gmail.com]

check my band if you like alternative music [CARDIOPANIC]

and peace be upon you
 

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