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Author Topic: Hard drive corrupt, buying into RAID?  (Read 442 times)
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Turtle
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« on: March 15, 2010, 02:53:28 AM »

So my current backup and large file storage drive is throwing how massive amounts of bad sectors, so it's scrap to me.  An entire night of scanning the drive with samsung's tool and it was still finding bad sectors.  It was also my newest drive, less than 8 months old, the last one I thought would do this.

Thankfully, most my important smaller files were okay, but a lot a lot of large art files, 3d renders, and old client work have chunks missing from them.  Not a good thing and something I want to avoid in the future.

I'm thinking about getting a RAID setup for both extra redundancy and hopefully some extra speed.  Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about raid other than my Asus M4A79 Deluxe motherboard supports modes: 0,1,5,10,JBOD.

Is there a mode that has both data redundancy, and some performance benefits?  Like Ron needed a while back, I may need to do HD video related capture and editing.

Also, I could use recommendations on the current reliable drives/brands.  I'm out of the loop so the brands I used to know were quality may have fallen a bit, and vice versa.  I'm looking for a at least a terrabyte drive, 7200 RPM.  I'm willing to buy a controller card if needed.  Not looking to spend too much, but this is part of my professional art setup so I'll pay for peace of mind.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2010, 02:56:37 AM by Turtle » Logged
Tokek
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2010, 03:49:49 AM »

Why not look into getting a NAS for your data storage? They are usually already setup as RAID, already redundant and you can usually add drives as needed as your space requirement grows in the future.

It's a bit more of an initial investment but for the long run, I think it's better in terms of space upgrades, reliability and data safety.
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TheAtomicKid
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2010, 05:42:57 AM »

recommendation for reliable brand. truth? They're all reliable, you just had bad luck. If they weren't reliable, they wouldn't be able to stay in business.

Personally, I like western digital for drives, but that's just me, and it came from the fact that, once upon a time, you had ide, and you had scsi. And scsi drives had a rep for being more reliable, and ide drives had a rep (and a tendency) to be less reliable. Mostly, the theory goes, because the ide drives weren't built with as tight tolerances, etc. Western Digital had no scsi business to protect, so they had no reason to hold back on quality, etc.

As for your question on raid... the raid you're looking for, is a Raid10... ie, mirrored, then striped. You need four disks or more to make it work. It's slightly less efficient in space than raid5, but much simpler to implement. And, depending on which disks fail, you can survive half your raid dieing all at once. As long as each side of the stripe has one surviving set of disks, all you have to do is plug in new disks and let it rebuild. And it's even faster doing that than raid10, because it doesn't have to calculate any parity data... it just has to copy its mirror, and you're up and running.

As was mentioned, a good NAS can handle ALL of this for you... and you get network access to the storage as well.

Raid is not a backup solution. If you need it backed up, back it up. This can also be something as simple as copying the volume onto a discrete drive, and sticking that drive in a safe. (removable drives are wonderful for this).

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Victoria Raverna
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2010, 09:20:00 AM »

You just need to backup your data regularly to prevent this. RAID or mirroring still have a single failure point. You depend on your RAID controller not to fail. If it fails then you need to have an identical or compatible replacement to access your data.

RAID is a better than no RAID, but you still need to backup your data regularly.
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Turtle
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2010, 01:22:11 PM »

Thanks for the help.  I also searched through some more of the older posts.

Those NAS solutions, how well do they work?  It seems that going over network cables wouldn't be as efficient as having it in the computer.  Then again, there is the gigabitnetwork cards now, I know my motherboard has build in gigabit lan.  Can you run apps off the NAS?  What about stuff like HD video editing?
« Last Edit: March 15, 2010, 01:34:53 PM by Turtle » Logged
Purge
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2010, 01:33:59 PM »

Fact of the matter is this: RAID will keep you from losing everything based on the problem you had, but if you write bad data, you will be writing bad data to multiple drives. As to the RAID config, going RAID1 is the easiest to implement but you lose half your storage. It is also transferrable since were you to lose your mainboard and a drive, you could pull one of the drives and drop it in another system and not worry about the RAID config - RAID1 doesn't shape your data storage to fit - once you get into striping (5, 10) then you'll need to concern yourself with the platform.

As to backups, keep in mind that your backups shouldn't be running when you are, so scheduling the backups for late night / early morning (for the normal person) is a must. As such, network speeds are less important.

Should you so choose, you could back up to local drive(s) in a similar configuration. The only reason to go NAS is if you're trying to prevent something like a severe power spike (think lightning) from killing your entire system (including the drives).

I'd suggest doing a monthly or at least quarterly backup of all your critical data - OS's and software can be recovered. I would also suggest that you have at least one copy on optical media and stored in a dark, dry place outside the reach of sunlight and extreme temperatures.  It is more effort, but is cheaper and then you KNOW that data isn't subject to the whims of electrical currents. You may want to periodically read the disks to make sure they still work. Tongue
« Last Edit: March 15, 2010, 01:36:03 PM by Purge » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2010, 06:20:17 PM »

You may want to consider an On-Line backup solution in addition to your Raid setup.  Lot's of good alternatives out there. 
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