RAID problem


Jan 21, 2005

I currently have four IDE hard drives installed on my PC. Now, I'm in the need of a fifth IDE-drive, a DVD burner.

My idea of solving this is to RAID my harddrives, using the easiest method, which I've heard is to add all the drives to one big volume and whenever one disk gets full it starts writing to the next one (RAID 0 with striping?). This way, I get plenty of free IDE-slots over for a DVD-burner and maybe more stuff.

Now, an issue here is that all drives contain plenty of data, which I would rather not sacrifice. On the 40gb drive, I've got my OpenBSD running and on the other drives i have about 400GB spread out on 600GB total.

I'm not very familiar with how adding drives to a RAID set works. Do I have to format all of my drives? Is there some way I can go about this without loosing any data and keep my current OpenBSD installation intact?

Also, if anyone knows any way except RAID to solve this, you're more than welcome to tell me.

Any help or ideas appreciated,


Sep 15, 2002
Creating a raid will wipe all the disks. A much easier and cheaper way of adding another drive would be to just get a little pci ide adaptor. There are some that don't even do raid that you can pick up for around $10 USD. That should work fine for an optical drive.

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Feb 9, 2004
I have to agree with the PCI card option because it solves all of your problems and it's not cost prohibitive. You may need a heftier PSU though, my system's 12v supply dipped under 10 when I added two SATA drives to the existing 4 IDE's. There are many different RAID configurations but none that I've heard of would fill one drive before writing to the next one in the array. In striping the drives would be written to alternately on a constant basis. In RAID 0 there is no redundancy but the data transfer rate is usually higher than for a single drive. If one drive in a RAID 0 setup fails you will lose data. RAID 1 offers a safety in that a single drive failure won't cause data loss, it's usually faster on reads but slower on writes. RAID 1 is commonly called mirroring because both drives have exactly the same data on them. There are also other problems and sacrifices made when you RAID drives that are not of the same capacity. Here's one link that will fill you in on RAID arrays very well:


Former Staff
RAID0 would force you to wipe your drives and it would split files in two, putting part of each file on each drive. The mode you're thinking of is JBOD, as in "Just a bunch of disk". I think you can do JBOD without loosing data.

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Dec 8, 2002
I grabbed a couple of these when they were on sale for $25
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One of them has a CD/DVD-RW installed and the other has a HDD installed and both work fine. The HDD is for backups only and is switched off most of the time. The DVD-RW I can move to different machines and quickly hook up via the USB connection.

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