Question Creating a Boot to raid system with 3 or 4 drives

Jul 23, 2019
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I have a Dell Optiplex 990 and a Mediasync Probox 4 bay non raid external enclosure.
I have a 2tb drive in computer now and three 2tb WD red drives.
I want to create a raid (possibly 5) set up to boot to. The bios has raid but not seeing where I can set the type.
So, looking at SPM393 (supposed to be hardware raid) to use the main sata port plugged into the SPM393 with all the drives in the external box.
Have not figured out how to keep the OS(win10 pro) on the existing drive and bring them all online with out re installing everything. If I have to the I have to.
Does this look like a workable system?
Raid 5 best option?
Better raid card to use?
Never set up anything like this before.
Yes I have backed up my important data but not cloned the drive.
Could I set up the three drives as raid and boot to a win boot disk then use WD software to clone the single drive with the OS to the three drive raid?
 
Jul 23, 2019
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Raid 5 just looked like it would do what I wanted. Redundancy and speed boost. As I asked in the post, would it be best.
I have booted to this device using usb.
 

USAFRet

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RAID 5 is only physical drive redundancy. Does nothing for data protection.
At the cost of a whole drive's space.

The user and the OS simply sees a single volume.

Speed boost? Totally crushed by any current SSD.

Physical drive fail is relatively rare. And with a good backup routine, if you can stand 30-60 minutes downtime while you recover, a good backup routine protects against accidental deletion, ransomware, file corruption...AND physical drive fail.


For a regular consumer system, RAID of any type is rarely the answer.
 
A single quality SATA3 SSD (MX500, 860EVO, etc) is as fast as a true five-drive RAID 0 or RAID 5 array anyway...

If you want to play to experiment, do the RAID 0 or 5 install, and check your assorted performance numbers...

(RAID 5 has fallen from favor on spinning disk arrays with large drives, as the odds of an error occurring necessitating a rebuild and then a subsequent error during the rebuild and loss of all data are too high, and too common. See if your rig supports RAID10.
 

USAFRet

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(RAID 5 has fallen from favor on spinning disk arrays with large drives, as the odds of an error occurring necessitating a rebuild and then a subsequent error during the rebuild and loss of all data are too high, and too common. See if your rig supports RAID10.
Yep.
I'm in the planning stage of undoing the RAID 5 on my NAS box, w/ 4 x 4TB HDD's.
 

Rogue Leader

It's a trap!
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Aside from the fact RAID was never really meant to be used on the primary OS drive, but instead on drives used for storage purposes. For your primary OS drive you need something that is imaged and if it fails, virus ridden, whatever, you just drop in a new drive with a new image (in a business environment anyway). RAID is for and array of mission critical data on spinning media that you are trying to gain speed, redundancy, or both.
 
Jul 23, 2019
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Aside from the fact RAID was never really meant to be used on the primary OS drive, but instead on drives used for storage purposes. For your primary OS drive you need something that is imaged and if it fails, virus ridden, whatever, you just drop in a new drive with a new image (in a business environment anyway). RAID is for and array of mission critical data on spinning media that you are trying to gain speed, redundancy, or both.
Ok so I have my probox set up in Win 10 Pro in its version of raid 5 (since I have all the drives and such) and using AOMEIbackuper to use the Probox as a backup to my drive in the computer.

I am curious what you meant by this statement: "For your primary OS drive you need something that is imaged and if it fails, virus ridden, whatever, you just drop in a new drive with a new image". How is this different than Raid mirroring?
 

Rogue Leader

It's a trap!
Moderator
Ok so I have my probox set up in Win 10 Pro in its version of raid 5 (since I have all the drives and such) and using AOMEIbackuper to use the Probox as a backup to my drive in the computer.

I am curious what you meant by this statement: "For your primary OS drive you need something that is imaged and if it fails, virus ridden, whatever, you just drop in a new drive with a new image". How is this different than Raid mirroring?
Read my comment again. Sure drive failure a RAID mirror will save you, but literally any other type of failure (virus, system crash, software corruption, hack, etc), all a RAID mirror gives you is 2 copies of junk data.

The other problem with a RAID mirror is when using it for a primary drive if there is a system crash and error it needs to resync its data (unless you're using a really good cached RAID controller, which nobody is unless they are in a corporate environment), so then you're sitting there with your drive performance halved for hours while the drives Sync up.
 
Jul 23, 2019
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Read my comment again. Sure drive failure a RAID mirror will save you, but literally any other type of failure (virus, system crash, software corruption, hack, etc), all a RAID mirror gives you is 2 copies of junk data.

The other problem with a RAID mirror is when using it for a primary drive if there is a system crash and error it needs to resync its data (unless you're using a really good cached RAID controller, which nobody is unless they are in a corporate environment), so then you're sitting there with your drive performance halved for hours while the drives Sync up.
I see after reading your post again. I thought you were recommending a different way of doing it.

My biggest reason for wanting to try to have a bootable raid system is I have some software that is just a very big pain to install and if I have a crash it is iffy that it will even get back.

Years ago I leased a Dell computer that had two hard drives. One failed not a month after getting it.
They sent another hardrive I took the old one out put the new one in and did not loose a thing. Don't know what type of raid it was but saved my ass as I had over 10000 page layouts and graphic files on it.

I have made a system backup using the AOMEI backup. I am wondering if it actually has the installed programs or just lets me boot into windows to re install it?
 

Rogue Leader

It's a trap!
Moderator
I see after reading your post again. I thought you were recommending a different way of doing it.

My biggest reason for wanting to try to have a bootable raid system is I have some software that is just a very big pain to install and if I have a crash it is iffy that it will even get back.

Years ago I leased a Dell computer that had two hard drives. One failed not a month after getting it.
They sent another hardrive I took the old one out put the new one in and did not loose a thing. Don't know what type of raid it was but saved my ass as I had over 10000 page layouts and graphic files on it.

I have made a system backup using the AOMEI backup. I am wondering if it actually has the installed programs or just lets me boot into windows to re install it?
If I were you I would be doing full system image backups periodically, this way you can restore a fully bootable backup to a new drive. I believe AOMEI can do this.

You got lucky because as I said a RAID mirror doesn't protect from system crashes and corrupted data. Not all system crashes result in this of course, and the fact you had a RAID mirror allowed you to get up and running immediately as you had a good copy of the data instead of having to recover it from a dead drive.

But in the same respect you can instead use a better faster boot drive (like an SSD) for all your software, image it daily, and then use RAID on your storage drives to keep up copies (AND back those up too) where you keep your files/documents.

You'll have faster daily performance with your software on the SSD, you'll have protection against SSD failure or corruption (which is super rare anyway), and you'll still have a mirror of your data to get back up and running quickly.

Hard drive hardware failure just isn't as common as system crashes, viruses etc.
 
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USAFRet

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Ok so I have my probox set up in Win 10 Pro in its version of raid 5 (since I have all the drives and such) and using AOMEIbackuper to use the Probox as a backup to my drive in the computer.

I am curious what you meant by this statement: "For your primary OS drive you need something that is imaged and if it fails, virus ridden, whatever, you just drop in a new drive with a new image". How is this different than Raid mirroring?
A RAID mirror is but a single instance of the files or OS. It just happens to be on two physical drives.
The user sees only a single instance.
A virus kills that single instance...the RAID mirror does nothing for you.

A true backup scenario, you have an Image on some other drive, that is untouched by the virus, corruption, accidental deletion. Oh, and also the physical drive fail.

I can recreate my entire system from the state it was on any day in the last 30 days. With a RAID 1, all you get is 'now'.

If something bad happens on Monday (ransomware?), and you don't notice until Tuesday or Wednesday...you're hosed with a RAID 1.
A true backup routine...I can recover the entire system from Sunday, in all its unransomed goodness.

 

USAFRet

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And that backup routine saved all the data on one of my drives recently.
SanDisk 1TB drive, 605GB data on it....died suddenly. In the space of about 5 minutes, dead.
Why/how did it die? Don't know. More to the point...mostly don't care. That's for SanDisk to worry about.

Put in a new drive, fire up Macrium Reflect...click click...all 605GB data exactly as it was at 4AM that morning.
In this instance, a physically dead drive, a RAID 1 mirror probably would have served just as well.
However, I have 7 drives in this system, all SSDs of various makes and sizes.
RAID 1 would require another 7 drives and connections. That is not going to happen.
 

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