Question Switching existing AHCI system to RAID 1

Feb 8, 2021
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Hello everyone,

I am completely new to RAID and some of it is still a bit unclear to me, I was hoping someone could enlighten me.

Due to two mechanical drive failures in the past 3 years resulting in loss of data, I decided to switch to RAID-1 on my main storage drive. I bought the exact same model as the one I am currently using so I have two identical disks.

I use it to store raw pictures for my photography and musical projects.

I have some questions on the setup:

- I have read that it is generally recommended to use the hardware controller for RAID setup rather than the windows one. Is that true? I don't want any performance loss due to the setup.

- In order to setup my main storage drive as RAID-1, I understand I need to reformat the drive, correct?

- What about the other drives? Do I need to reformat ALL the other drives as well? When I switched to RAID mode in my bios, none of the drives were recognized in windows (just the one where windows is installed).
Do all drives need to be setup in raid? Or am I misunderstanding something?

Thanks in advance for the help,

Here is my setup in case it is useful

OS: Windows 10 Pro x64
Proc: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950x 3.50g hz
RAM: 128 Gb (8x16) 2933 Ghz
GFX: Nvidia RTX 2070 SUPER
HDD:
  • M.2 NVME SSD 500 GB (Windows/programs)
  • M.2 NVME SSD 1 TB (samples)
  • SATA SSD 1TB + SATA SSD 2TB (both are combined in one "virtual" drive in windows hard disk management, also used for samples)
-> SATA HDD 8 TB x 2 (this is the one I would like to switch to RAID-1. One contains data, the other I just installed and is empty)
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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RAID 1 only protects against physical drive fail.
A real backup procedure protects your data against that, as well as all the other forms of data loss.

RAID 1 is only really considered for actual uptime.
 
Feb 8, 2021
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RAID 1 only protects against physical drive fail.
A real backup procedure protects your data against that, as well as all the other forms of data loss.

RAID 1 is only really considered for actual uptime.
Thanks for the reply.

So in your opinion, it would be better to just have a regularly scheduled automated backup of important folders onto the second drive ?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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Thanks for the reply.

So in your opinion, it would be better to just have a regularly scheduled automated backup of important folders onto the second drive ?
Absolutely.
With a RAID 1, if you get a nasty virus or ransomware..all is gone. There is no "second copy".

And not just "important folders", but rather the full drive.
If you just try to capture relevant folders, often one of the REALLY important ones is missed.

I use Macrium Reflect for this.
All my house systems, and each drive individually, capture an Image every night. Saved to my NAS box.
But that could just as easily be to an external drive. Or any other storage location.

I save a rolling 30 days of Incremental images. Can go back in time to recover the drive or whole system exactly as it was on a particular day.
Last night, last week, whenever.

 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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@USAFRet,
Could you create a post with your exact backup system and the make/model of the components?
I think the OP would take it to heart, and I might too.
The basic procedures in the link above.
Has been changed some since then, but that is the basis.

Macrium Reflect
QNAP NAS box (could just as easily be an external drive or two). My NAS has ~50TB available space.

Macrium is quite full featured.
A Full image, then a series of Incrementals.

Some systems in the house get just a Full image every day or two. This depends on use, how much data, etc, etc.
My wife's system, for instance. A single 250GB 850 EVO. Consumed space around 40GB, due to it being for Facebook, email, Solitaire. So that one gets a Full image every night, keep for a rolling 2 weeks.

I need to write a full procedure tutorial with pics, etc.
 

DSzymborski

Polypheme
Moderator
Thanks for the reply.

So in your opinion, it would be better to just have a regularly scheduled automated backup of important folders onto the second drive ?
Yup. RAID is counterproductive for about 99% of consumers. It only makes sense for very specific workloads using gigantic files and for things where data availability is more crucial than data protection.
 
The basic procedures in the link above.
Has been changed some since then, but that is the basis.

Macrium Reflect
QNAP NAS box (could just as easily be an external drive or two). My NAS has ~50TB available space.

Macrium is quite full featured.
A Full image, then a series of Incrementals.

Some systems in the house get just a Full image every day or two. This depends on use, how much data, etc, etc.
My wife's system, for instance. A single 250GB 850 EVO. Consumed space around 40GB, due to it being for Facebook, email, Solitaire. So that one gets a Full image every night, keep for a rolling 2 weeks.

I need to write a full procedure tutorial with pics, etc.
Looking forward to such a writeup.
 

faalin

Judicious
And any business or operation that runs a RAID 1 for uptime considerations also has a good backup routine.
(or they should, anyway. See the never ending ransomware fails of big operations)

Yep, our server at work runs a Raid 1 on two drives for the OS and a raid 5 for VM's and data storage. On a second server we run the same raid 1 for OS and raid 5 for storage, it then runs Veeam Backup that keeps a full backup of the first sever and 2 weeks of incremental, it also runs hyper-v for VM replication that we can fail over to incase something happens hardware wise to the first server. We then backup the backup server to a third sever off site in case anything happens to the server room.
 

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