Cheapest 3-4TB RAID Storage Solution?


Jan 22, 2011
I've got a 2TB eSATA drive that is full. It's a Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000 32MB cache 3.0GB/s

I need more space (1TB more would be plenty) and more redundancy because if this drive crashes there will be over a hundred hours of work encoding my DVD and Blu-Ray collection for my DLNA server.

I want to spend as little money as possible. Running on a mid-powered Dell Desktop running Vista as my server (it's my wife's machine so I never bothered upgrading it to Win7 - Vista has worked well despite past horror stories.)

I'm guessing a 3-bay eSata enclosure combined with a RAID eSata controller card in the PC is the best/cheapest option? This PC is about 3+ years old. Maybe my best bet is a used PC off Ebay that already has a RAID 5 3x2TB array?

I would assume the RAID config utility should allow me to take the existing drive combined with two more blank 2TB drives and convert to RAID 5 without losing the data on the existing drive?

I just checked what controller I had bought as it was a while ago. It is a Silicon Image SIL3132 2-port controller and it supports RAID. Hopefully the SATARAID5 utility will do the job?

Maybe the very cheapest would be to just get a 3TB drive and partition it into a 2TB and 1TB partition then mirror the original 2TB drive and use the 1TB extra for non-critical data? That seems a little hokey though even if it is possible.


Well get up to FIVE GREEN HDD (min of three) and SPM393 controller using one of the server SATA port connect to this controller

Now you can have a RAID5 as:
3x drives = RAID5
4x drives = 3x RAID5+HS or 4x RAID5 (more space
5x drives = 4x RAID5+HS or 5x RAID5

HS is hot spare - if the drive in your raid failed - this drive will auto replace that fail drive as a new member of existing raid