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Hi guys,

As mentioned in the title, I think it's about time to upgrade my storage (which I installed in 2011) to the RAID setup I've always wanted, and I need some advice as I'm a bit out of my depth! I currently use an old Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black HDD (as seen in the hyperlink) for general data storage and a SanDisk Extreme 120GB SSD mainly for my Operating System. I have seen an updated version of my Western Digital HDD which looks like it has the exact same specs just with a different cover, so I think this would the one to get as the one I had originally has reached the end of its life.

My original idea was to get an identical 1TB HDD and a 2TB HDD so i could put the 2 x 1TB drives into RAID 0 and use the 2TB drive for a backup essentially (RAID 1) providing me with what I thought was a RAID 10 setup, however when doing a bit more research this doesn't necessarily seem that viable nor my best option, which is why I have come to ask for the help of you beautiful gentlemen and ladies.

From my research it seems that if I was to stick to my original plan that it wouldn't be possible. I couldn't just get another 1TB drive and a 2TB drive, instead I would have to get 3 x 1TB drives. So my first question is: is that the case?

I did a bit more research and found out that RAID 5 was a thing, and it seems to be quite a promising thing too. By the looks of it I would only have to get two more 1TB drives rather than the three I'd have to get if I went with RAID 10, but it also seems that I should probably get a RAID controller to process the data efficiently. The motherboard I am using (which I assume I'd have to plug the RAID controller into) is a Gigabyte GA-Z77-DS3H which has these expansion slots:
  1. 1 x PCIEX16 (used by graphics card)
  2. 1 x PCIEX4
  3. 2 x PCI Express x1 slots
  4. 2 x PCI slots
Do you think RAID 5 is the best option for me and what RAID controller would you recommend if so?

Thank you so much for your help in advance. Any other suggestions that I haven't mentioned would be highly appreciated also as I have quite a limited knowledge on the subject. I saw somewhere that you could boost the speed of your RAID setup with an SSD too? Or maybe I could partition my current SSD to do this as I only really use it for my OS?
 
Last edited:
Soldato
Joined
20 Oct 2008
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I don't think you should be looking at RAID of any kind at all.

What you need is a really good backup strategy (on and off-site, physical and cloud).
 
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29 Nov 2010
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196
I don't think you should be looking at RAID of any kind at all.

What you need is a really good backup strategy (on and off-site, physical and cloud).
What's wrong with RAID? I thought RAID 1 is a good physical backup strategy, and with RAID 0 my HDD will have almost double the read and write speed. Sounds pretty good to me!

Plus cloud storage is a nope for me. I like to keep the majority of my data local, and my internet is currently terrible. Privacy concern and impractical.
 
Soldato
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do not think of raid mirroring (or other types) as a backup. it will not protect you against a lot of types of data loss.

if cloud is not an option, a couple of external drives rotated off site to your work drawer or family members house will do it.
 
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OP
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do not think of raid mirroring (or other types) as a backup. it will not protect you against a lot of types of data loss.

if cloud is not an option, a couple of external drives rotated off site to your work drawer or family members house will do it.
Noted, but it's a start. Once I set up the RAID system I can then look into NAS and other more advanced and expensive methods. For now I'm just trying to keep things simple and take it to the next level one step at a time.
 
Associate
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I'd do it the other way round tbh - get the backup solution in place first, at least then your data is safe
 
Soldato
Joined
20 Oct 2008
Posts
12,096
You're doing backwards. Put a backup system in place and then worry about redundancy if that's your thing.

RAID will not protect you from...

Accidental deletion
Ransomware
Fire, flood, theft, etc.

If you must use RAID, stick to RAID1.

RAID0 doubles your chances of a total data loss. If you need fast storage use an SSD.

I'd avoid RAID5 (or any parity RAID) for desktop use. There are too many downsides.

RAID10/RAID01 has its place but it's has a high overhead.
 
Soldato
Joined
10 Apr 2004
Posts
13,419
Echo all the above.

RAID is not a backup! Been there, done that, lost data.

Rotate your disks off-site regularly if you don't want to use a cloud solution.

Or at the very minimum have a disk that you plug in once a week locally.
 
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