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Beginners Guides: Installing RAID on a Desktop PC

Beginners Guides: Installing RAID on a Desktop PC - PCSTATS
Abstract: With the right number of identical hard drives, motherboards that support RAID can choose from RAID 0, RAID 1, and sometimes even RAID 0+1 for improved performance, data redundancy and backups.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Apr 22 2008   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Setting up a hardware RAID array

In the 'select volume type' Window, select 'striped.'

Add all disks you wish to use, then decide on the amount of space on both disks you wish to use for the striped volume you are about to create. If you wish, you use only part of each disk for the stripe, leaving the rest free for other uses.

Choose a drive letter or folder to use, and the method of formatting, and you are done. The striped array will format and be ready for use.

How to set up hardware RAID:

For this section, we used a Highpoint HPT 372 ATA/133 RAID controller built into an Epox EP-8K5A2+ motherboard. The drives we used to test our RAID configuration were a pair of Seagate Barracuda ATA 5 7200RPM 120GB hard disks. We also set up a second hardware RAID configuration on a Promise 20276 ATA/133 RAID controller built into an MSI KT3 Ultra2 motherboard, attached to the same pair of 17GB drives used in the software RAID setup above. These two controllers are typical of hardware RAID solutions found on modern motherboards and add-in PCI cards.

We wanted to include instructions for both Highpoint and Promise controllers, as these two companies dominate the home desktop and enthusiast market for RAID controllers. Most RAID setup functions are standard, so if you do not have the same exact controller, these instructions should still translate well.

The following instructions assume two identical blank hard disks. It also assumes that you have correctly installed the Windows drivers for your RAID controller. We used the most recent BIOS versions for both controllers, and we recommend that you obtain these from the manufacturer's website if you have not done so already.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Installing RAID on a Desktop PC
 Pg 2.  RAID Terminology Explained
 Pg 3.  Parity and Common types of RAID
 Pg 4.  RAID 1 and RAID 0+1 Explained
 Pg 5.  Hardware or software RAID?
 Pg 6.  — Setting up a hardware RAID array
 Pg 7.  Configuring Promise RAID
 Pg 8.  Configuring Highpoint RAID controllers
 Pg 9.  The advantages of RAID: Tests
 Pg 10.  HD Tach and Timed Data Transfer Tests

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