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'[EE]:: BIOS R.A.I.D. 1 Advise Was: Whr R.A.I.D. is'
2008\02\26@215427 by SM Ling

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After reading the postings about RAID, I am thinking to setup a RAID1 for my
home PC to save the hassle of hard disk crashing.

I am using the gigabyte motherboard (GA-8VM800M), any comments for using the
onboard RAID controller (VIA VT8237R)?  What are the considerations of using
external RAID controller versus onboard one?

After putting a surge adapter to the AC plug, my harddisk and power supply
are behaving better.   At least, the PS failed because of aging now.  Any
other cost effective measure for  supply protection?  Running cost of UPS is
a concern as the PC is on 247.

Thanks in advance.

Cheers, Ling SM

2008\02\27@063058 by Gerhard Fiedler

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SM Ling wrote:

> After reading the postings about RAID, I am thinking to setup a RAID1 for my
> home PC to save the hassle of hard disk crashing.
>
> I am using the gigabyte motherboard (GA-8VM800M), any comments for using the
> onboard RAID controller (VIA VT8237R)?  What are the considerations of using
> external RAID controller versus onboard one?

I bought a PCI card RAID controller some time ago. But considering what
happens when the controller fails (BIG hassle to get to your data), I now
don't run a controller-based RAID1 anymore. I use software RAID1 -- the
controller is now used as a simple (standard) disk controller.

Imagine what happens when the onboard controller fails. If you don't get
the same mobo as replacement, your data is practically inaccessible (unless
you want to play games with hex-editing the disks to replace any special
markers the RAID controller puts there). Your mobo may not even be in
production anymore... You can't just take your disks and connect them to a
different controller.

Gerhard

2008\02\27@064943 by Richard Benfield

flavicon
face
I Personally wouldn't recommend raid0 (striping) to anyone unless they have
a specific need for it.
Having said that we use it where I work for streaming data from a high speed
camera. The images
are then analysed offline at a later time and ultimately discarded. The OS
is put on a separate drive.

For raid 1 I wouldn't agree with you we have had several problems on our
system with data glitches
or drive failures its always been a simple matter of taking the drive out
and putting it into another pc to
clone it just in case before placing back in the original pc  with a new
drive so that the mirror can be
rebuilt
.
Its always worked. and this is between different chipsets or add-in raid
cards.

Richard
{Original Message removed}

2008\02\27@123102 by Clint Sharp

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In message
<spam_OUT4eb7101b0802261854y50808e53r9d27c2d453606482TakeThisOuTspammail.gmail.com>, SM Ling
<.....sm.ling11KILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> writes
>After reading the postings about RAID, I am thinking to setup a RAID1 for my
>home PC to save the hassle of hard disk crashing.
>
>I am using the gigabyte motherboard (GA-8VM800M), any comments for using the
>onboard RAID controller (VIA VT8237R)?
Is that a RAID controller? I *think* it's just an IDE controller that
happens to have firmware supporting RAID functions. Of course I am
perfectly willing and likely to be shot down in flames over that point.
> What are the considerations of using
>external RAID controller versus onboard one?
Buy a controller that you can transfer between motherboards or use
software mirroring so you can transfer the drives to another machine if
the motherboard dies a nasty death. If you rely on an integrated RAID
controller then you need to get the same type of motherboard or
something *very* similar. In the case of a clone machine this could turn
out to be impossible.
>
>After putting a surge adapter to the AC plug, my harddisk and power supply
>are behaving better.   At least, the PS failed because of aging now.  Any
>other cost effective measure for  supply protection?  Running cost of UPS is
>a concern as the PC is on 247.
Running cost of a UPS should be minimal, certainly not much more in
total than the cost of running the PC once the batteries are charged
providing you size it accordingly.
>
>Thanks in advance.
>
>Cheers, Ling SM

--
Clint Sharp

2008\02\27@141147 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
One of the major advantages of RAID 1 is that you can take one of the
disks, at any time, and plug it in somewhere else with no RAID card,
and it'll work fine.  RAID configuration is held at the very end of
the disk for all the controllers I've worked with, so really trying to
find the exact same MB or chipset or controller card is a non-issue.

RAID 1 means the drives are cloned to each other, and except for
configuration data are just as bootable and usable alone as they are
under the array.

-Adam

On 2/26/08, SM Ling <sm.ling11spamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\02\27@220026 by SM Ling

picon face
>
> One of the major advantages of RAID 1 is that you can take one of the
> disks, at any time, and plug it in somewhere else with no RAID card,
> and it'll work fine.  RAID configuration is held at the very end of
> the disk for all the controllers I've worked with, so really trying to
> find the exact same MB or chipset or controller card is a non-issue.
>
> RAID 1 means the drives are cloned to each other, and except for
> configuration data are just as bootable and usable alone as they are
> under the array.
>

Thanks for all the replies.  It is too good to believe that the RAID
controller is on the cheap motherboard.  All the while, I thought RAID
enabling shall be prohibitive expensive, and it shall need additional
hardware.  According to the manual, the controller can do RAID 0, 1 or 2 on
SATA drive.   Just hope the info is accurate and the end result stable.

Now there is no reason not to upgrade the drives - much more capacity and
added important features.  The power of Morre's law always frightens me.

Cheers, Ling SM

2008\02\28@065628 by Gerhard Fiedler

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M. Adam Davis wrote:

> One of the major advantages of RAID 1 is that you can take one of the
> disks, at any time, and plug it in somewhere else with no RAID card, and
> it'll work fine.  RAID configuration is held at the very end of the disk
> for all the controllers I've worked with, so really trying to find the
> exact same MB or chipset or controller card is a non-issue.

Clint Sharp wrote:

> Buy a controller that you can transfer between motherboards or use
> software mirroring so you can transfer the drives to another machine if
> the motherboard dies a nasty death. If you rely on an integrated RAID
> controller then you need to get the same type of motherboard or
> something *very* similar. In the case of a clone machine this could turn
> out to be impossible.

Richard Benfield wrote:

> For raid 1 I wouldn't agree with you we have had several problems on our
> system with data glitches or drive failures its always been a simple
> matter of taking the drive out and putting it into another pc to clone
> it just in case before placing back in the original pc  with a new drive
> so that the mirror can be rebuilt . Its always worked. and this is
> between different chipsets or add-in raid cards.

Some say this works, some say it doesn't. Does anybody have something
conclusive? In the end, you probably should try it if you want to use
hardware RAID1, and take one of the drives and try to boot from it.

Gerhard

2008\02\28@075502 by Jake Anderson

flavicon
face

>  
>> For raid 1 I wouldn't agree with you we have had several problems on our
>> system with data glitches or drive failures its always been a simple
>> matter of taking the drive out and putting it into another pc to clone
>> it just in case before placing back in the original pc  with a new drive
>> so that the mirror can be rebuilt . Its always worked. and this is
>> between different chipsets or add-in raid cards.
>>    
>
> Some say this works, some say it doesn't. Does anybody have something
> conclusive? In the end, you probably should try it if you want to use
> hardware RAID1, and take one of the drives and try to boot from it.
>
> Gerhard
>
>  
If its cheap motherboard bios raid then its software raid anyway, your
probably better off using software raid and guaranteeing the compatibility.

2008\02\28@081710 by Richard Benfield

flavicon
face
As I said before know that it works.
Maybe someone could chip in if they have had a personal experience of it
not working.
{Original Message removed}

2008\02\29@012609 by Steven Howes

flavicon
face
>> Some say this works, some say it doesn't. Does anybody have something
>> conclusive? In the end, you probably should try it if you want to use
>> hardware RAID1, and take one of the drives and try to boot from it.

At least some adaptec ones put a 'header' on the front. Usually 128  
sectors.

2008\02\29@221307 by SM Ling

picon face
>
> >> Some say this works, some say it doesn't. Does anybody have something
> >> conclusive? In the end, you probably should try it if you want to use
> >> hardware RAID1, and take one of the drives and try to boot from it.
>

Sorry for the wait, the short answer is RAID1 drive boots OK in few tests.

Just in case some are also thinking to do the same, this is my short log:
1. Bought 2 SATA 500GB (best value for money here) and SATA cables, and a
80plus(high efficency) power supply.  The power supply is to save power,
lower room temperature, as well as for the special SATA power plugs.

2. CHKDSK the old IDE HD.
3. Clone old IDE HD to one of the 500GB.  This shall be the source, and note
the channel number.  Cloning takes time.  I got several sector copy
problems, skip all by ignoring them.
4. Remove the old HD from system, boot SATA drive as non RAID.
5. Install RAID chip driver in win OS.  Without this, win OS shall become
unstable.
6. Put in the mirror drive.  Note the channel number. Setup the RAID
settings in BIOS to RAID1, and perform the CREATE process which do the
mirroring.  Mirroring takes time.
7. Done.  If no alarm raise later, the system should be OK.  Happier but
S$500 poorer.

Cheers, Ling SM


>
> At least some adaptec ones put a 'header' on the front. Usually 128
> sectors.
> -


'[EE]:: BIOS R.A.I.D. 1 Advise Was: Whr R.A.I.D. is'
2008\03\01@073946 by Gerhard Fiedler
picon face
SM Ling wrote:

> Sorry for the wait, the short answer is RAID1 drive boots OK in few tests.
>
> Just in case some are also thinking to do the same, this is my short log:
> 1. Bought 2 SATA 500GB (best value for money here) and SATA cables, and a
> 80plus(high efficency) power supply.  The power supply is to save power,
> lower room temperature, as well as for the special SATA power plugs.
>
> 2. CHKDSK the old IDE HD.
> 3. Clone old IDE HD to one of the 500GB.  This shall be the source, and note
> the channel number.  Cloning takes time.  I got several sector copy
> problems, skip all by ignoring them.
> 4. Remove the old HD from system, boot SATA drive as non RAID.
> 5. Install RAID chip driver in win OS.  Without this, win OS shall become
> unstable.
> 6. Put in the mirror drive.  Note the channel number. Setup the RAID
> settings in BIOS to RAID1, and perform the CREATE process which do the
> mirroring.  Mirroring takes time.
> 7. Done.  If no alarm raise later, the system should be OK.  Happier but
> S$500 poorer.

If I read this correctly, you didn't check whether each of the disks boots
by itself without being connected to the RAID controller. The interesting
part would be to imagine that your controller is defect, disconnect both
disks from it, connect one of the disks to a different controller (ideally
on the same machine) and try to boot off it.

Gerhard

2008\03\01@082241 by Dario Greggio

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> If I read this correctly, you didn't check whether each of the disks boots
> by itself without being connected to the RAID controller. The interesting
> part would be to imagine that your controller is defect, disconnect both
> disks from it, connect one of the disks to a different controller (ideally
> on the same machine) and try to boot off it.

I got it working this way, on both an Adaptec controller and a Future
"something" one - some years ago.

--
Ciao, Dario

2008\03\01@192302 by SM Ling

picon face
>
> If I read this correctly, you didn't check whether each of the disks boots
> by itself without being connected to the RAID controller. The interesting
> part would be to imagine that your controller is defect, disconnect both
> disks from it, connect one of the disks to a different controller (ideally
> on the same machine) and try to boot off it.
>

The first immediate test I did was disabling the SATA setting from RAID to
IDE (for HD to be used as standalone drive without RAID controller being
active), it booted and worked OK.  It also worked through a USB-to-SATA
adapter that I used for my DVD writer.  At least for this VIA SATA RAID
controller, it looks like it has implemented the RAID 1 quite faithfully.

The only issue is the XP did not work so well when the RAID controller
driver was absent at the beginning.

Cheers, Ling SM

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