RAID to extend drive capacity

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  1. #1

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    RAID to extend drive capacity

    I have a 1TB WD hard drive without any RAID capability. It is near full capacity and I want to extend it by adding a second drive. Is it possible to add a RAID controller and new drive such that Windows Vista automatically treats the two drives as a single logical volume? If not I guess that I will have to move the data off my current drive first, "RAID it" then copy back the data to the 2TB volume.


  2. #2

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    I don't recommend striping since if one of the drive goes, your entire raid volume is gone, unless you plan on getting a raid + mirror, if you are using 2TB stripe, you'll need a 2TB drive to mirror, not sure if they even make those..

    IF you do go the Striping route, COPY ALL YOUR DATA FIRST, then create the stripe, during the creation process, it wipes the data from any drives that you are using for the striping, after you have created the stripe, you can copy you data back.

    I suggest just attaching an additional hard disk and start moving stuff into that HD, so if one goes, you only lose some of your stuff and not all of it.

    Another option maybe? external HD that are USB 2.0 spec are pretty quick, the small 2.5" factor external HD cases does not require external power supply, it gets all its power directly from the USB ports, but 2.5" HD capacity highest I seen is 300GB. The big normal HD cases does come in greater size but requires a power brick.


  3. #3

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    I guessed you would say that (yes every single word). I'm not looking at an external solution and want good value in $/MB which gets no better than a 1TB sata 2 drive. Oh well I'll just add the new drive.

    Can I set a Windows folder to point to both drives (UNIX would call it mounting)?


  4. #4

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    don't know how UNIX works, I think you are able to use a similar function if you are running 2003/2000 server, not sure about Vista & as far as I know, you are unable to do this in a Win XP environment.

    You might find something here that will explain it in technical detail.

    Mount (computing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by discobay
    Can I set a Windows folder to point to both drives (UNIX would call it mounting)?
    You can in NT Server. In XP go Control Panel -> Computer Management -> Disk Management, right click on a volume and you can change the drive letter or set a mount point under a current NTFS file system. (I presume you're not still running FAT )
    What you really want may be logical voluming.

    In any case, I'd avoid cheapy RAID solutions, everytime I've played with one of these I've ended up losing data in the end.
    It's often easier to just buy a some big drives, distrubute them across a couple of machines and put a quick automatic backup policy in place.
    The problem with raid or LVM is that when one drive goes you can often lose everything.

  6. #6

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    Yes I am fast coming to the same conclusion after having done some extensive research. I am running Vista on two of my pcs so will probably use the built-in backup application. Thanks.


  7. #7

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    I do not know the details of you objective but will try to answer as best as I can

    1) Why do you need to make a raid if you dont want redundancy and simply want to backup. Can't you add the new drive as another volume?

    2) If you really want to have the same volume you can "mount" a new drive into an existing NTFS folder (must be empty). The generic terminology for mount equivalent in NTFS world is "junction points"

    3) I am a heavy Linux user so not sure if any of the Windows FS allow you to make a raid without destroying data. In Linux if you have LVM setup you could simply expand the existing disk by adding new physical disks.


  8. #8

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    1) Why do you need to make a raid if you dont want redundancy and simply want to backup. Can't you add the new drive as another volume?
    I have a folder into which all MCE recorded programs go. I also store all movies in that folder too. I want to add a new hard drive without making any changes to the above.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by discobay
    I have a folder into which all MCE recorded programs go. I also store all movies in that folder too. I want to add a new hard drive without making any changes to the above.
    Aha...."junction points" it is then. For your case you simply need to mount the new volume under an empty NTFS folder. "junction points" are much more powerful and in theory can run arbitary code when user access them.

  10. #10

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    a bit off topic here, all you techy-savvy people

    I have about 200GB of various projects split into multiple ISO formats that I usually mount using Alcohol 120 when I need them, I am currently running a RAID1 setup 250GB and I really don't feel like replacing them with higher capacity drives, my question is how reliable are DVD+R media? it is quite important that if I use one of these DVD+R backup's say a year from now, only to find out the DVD is molded or something and the data is gone (cries)...

    I back up all my stuff onto a external HD once every 2-3 months just for some added security.

    I should really convert my FAT32 to NTFS to use some of the above mentioned..

    I might just back up all my stuff on DVD's and convert the 2 250GB drives to 1 huge 500GB drive?


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