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drive failure + new array?

Discussion in 'Technology' started by luka, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. Sep 21, 2013 at 5:57 PM
    #1
    luka

    luka [OP] Well-Known Member

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    so I can home last night and heard a knocking sound coming from my tower...thought maybe the CD drives were trying to eject and close but it wasn't it.

    so I shut it down and the knocking slowly stopped from the power loss...looks like I just lost another drive.

    booted back and it made the same sounds for a 30seconds and powered down. my D: is no longer listed as accessible.

    I was able to be smart enough to have carbonite installed after my last drive failure so I have the data.

    -----

    so I have 3x3TB internal drives I ordered last black Friday that have been on my shelf waiting for the right time to install....

    would I be able to install all 3 into a data redundancy array like raid5 without having to reformat my tower again?

    I also have a second 128gb ssd that I wanted to raid into my current 128gb ssd that my OS is on. anyone know of a way to do it?
     
  2. Sep 21, 2013 at 6:06 PM
    #2
    Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    AFAIK, you can not change a RAID configuration without a fresh drive.

    Back it all up, RAID it, and restore.
     
  3. Sep 30, 2013 at 10:11 PM
    #3
    mltaylo3

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    Let's do the easy question first. To get your os onto a new raid array, you should first image the disk (I like Macrium Reflect for home, you can get it free, and use Norton ghost at work). I like to pull 2 backups, so if you have the space, I'd recommend you do the same. Now you can experiment without fear, right? So now create your array. Raid-0 for performance read and write, raid-1 for faster reads and slightly slower writes. Note you have no redundancy with raid 0; some don't consider it a true raid, hence the "zero". I'd never do raid zero with traditional drives (if I'm working with data I care about) but with solid state drives, I'd risk it as long as I had a good backup schedule going. Raid-1 is called mirroring, because you always have a perfect 1:1 backup of all data on each disk. So let's see, create your array and restore your os backup. The only potential issue I can foresee at this point is in regards to your disk drivers. If I recall correctly, you will experience an issue where the os will fail to load because of this... There are three driver types, ide, acpi, and raid (if your mobo supports it). The paid for version of Macrium Reflect will allow restores to "dissimilar hardware" and should mitigate this issue, and in any case, you still have your backup and can restore onto the original single disk configuration if there are problems. Long story short, be prepared to reinstall the os is you really want that raid on the system drive. Tomorrow I'll comment on the other raid set.
     
  4. Oct 1, 2013 at 9:29 AM
    #4
    luka

    luka [OP] Well-Known Member

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    just what I thought.

    I managed to get my 3x3tb drives set up into a raid5 for a usable drive of 8.18tb :D

    had to pull my e-sata connections for the front of my tower, but I haven't used them yet so that was no problem.

    Have 1 open sata slot but I might hold off on putting in the ssd, it may be easier to save it and use it for the next motherboard/cpu upgrade.

    restoring my backup from carbonite is slow, but it's working. About 20% done since Sat
     
  5. Oct 1, 2013 at 9:59 AM
    #5
    BamaToy1997

    BamaToy1997 ASE Master Tech Vendor

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    Maybe it is the techie in me, but whenever I look at doing a raid, I always have pre-purchased an extra drive identical to the ones in the raid. This seems redundant maybe, but IF a driver were to ever fail in a raid, I would not want to risk ANY down time for my raid to be at 100%, so having that drive ready to swap in instantly is just a personal preference of mine. Of course if it were MY preference, I would run a Raid 10 (AKA Raid 1+0) for maximum speed and data protection. This does however require a minimum of 4 drives.
     
  6. Oct 1, 2013 at 8:08 PM
    #6
    Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    Running 3x3 at 8.1 there's no redundancy, so the backup drive would not help... but I bet it's stinking fast!

    I'm with you 100% on the backup and redundancy.
    My traffic management center primary file server has an 80gb drive for the OS, and two 1tb mirrored drives for data.
    The entire server itself is also mirrored on a 2nd identical machine located offsite at our Emergency Operations Center. It slows file access slightly, because any time a file it written to one machine, it is immediately written to the other, and if you write a file and then decide to delete it, you have to wait (seconds) for the servers to sync.
     
  7. Oct 2, 2013 at 9:18 AM
    #7
    luka

    luka [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. and yes, my tower is pretty fast... 7.8/7.9 on the windows rating :)

    I think with having something like carbonite i'll be happy with the 8TB drive. At least the only good thing about the 3TB internal drives I have, they are slowly getting cheaper, and I might pick up another spare just in case for black friday this year :D

    ironically, after all the money and time I spent building and upgrading the tower, i've only used it to surf the internets and watch movies...cut back on gaming a bit...maybe i'm finally "growing up"

    My vid card died while I was away at training so that set me back a little, still want to get another and eventually move back to 3 monitors + hdmi to the TV ;)
     
  8. Oct 2, 2013 at 2:26 PM
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    mltaylo3

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    So RAID-5 will offer the ability to lose one disk and keep running, but as I think Rich meant to say, performance can degrade to the point of almost being unusable (depending on your application). In my experience, RAID-5 loses its value when you don't have many disks to throw at it. I just don't recall ever wanting a RAID-5 for nearly any application really; the striped parity writes take too long and too many cpu cycles, and when I have enough disks to build a storage server or am using a san/fas, I always go RAID-6. RAID-10 is awesome, but with a 4-disk minimum, it can be expensive (and heavy) in a desktop application--and while you get 4x the read speed, you still lose some on the writes. On the desktop I am currently using, I have 2 SSD's tied in a RAID-0 (2x read, 2x write performance), 3 additional 2.5" drives, and 2 2TB 3.5" drives (so that makes 5ea 2.5" drives, and 2ea 3.5" drives). I pull backups weekly, and keep one monthly. I have been running this configuration for about a year and have had no issues. I have no experience with carbonite... Wonder why it is so slow? Makes me think it does a block-for-block, forensic type copy instead of just copying the blocks with data. I guess for your configuration, I'd tie the ssd's in a raid-0, and 2ea 2TB drives in a raid-1, and use the 3rd 2TB drive for backups. But that is without knowing your application, so take the recommendation with a grain of salt.

    Edit--I see carbonite goes through the cloud. Good to keep an offsite backup if your information is valuable, but as you have noticed, it can be slow and will tie up your network. I'd have an onsite solution, then pull my monthly backups (onsite) and simply ftp it offsite. Also, let's see, there was something else... right, your esata ports. You have an option, assuming you have open slots on your motherboard, to add a sata card that should provide the ability to add another 2-3 disks. That will free up your esata ports, but may not play nicely with your onboard raid. And the solution for that is... to get an add-on sata card that supports raid itself. This can get pretty expensive though. If you are having fun getting into storage, you might consider "freenas" or one of those other free open-filer type apps. You could do your own offsite backups and have granular control over the entire process.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  9. Oct 2, 2013 at 2:37 PM
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    Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    I was referring to our backup server.
    It is located 4 miles away. It's on a fiber line, but we have not yet upgraded to gigabit switches so it's still running 100mb.
     
  10. Oct 3, 2013 at 8:29 AM
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    mltaylo3

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    Got it, sorry again Rich. I've been in a similar situation before. Since my servers were onsite, I just used crossover cables straight from each gigabit nic from my production servers to my backup server (on a second backup network). Of course, being 4 miles away, 100mb will just have to do.
     
  11. Oct 3, 2013 at 2:44 PM
    #11
    luka

    luka [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have an asus p8z68-v pro/gen3 motherboard, so currently have 1 open Sata port. (ssd, 3x3tb, 1x750gb, 2 cd-rom)

    If the add-on sata card will work, I could move my cd-roms to the card and it shouldn't interfere with the raid, as 0-3 ports are set for raid, and the remaining 4 aren't
     
  12. Oct 3, 2013 at 7:15 PM
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    Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    We'll get the switches and media convertors upgraded to gigabit next year. Our fiber connections never drop below -15db, so light isn't a problem.
     
  13. Oct 3, 2013 at 9:00 PM
    #13
    mltaylo3

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    In that case, I'll bet you have at least one on board usb header you can use to connect both optical drives with a little hub (just get a sata-to-usb cable x2). I used to love Asus boards, only lately starting going with a asrock.
     
  14. Oct 3, 2013 at 9:09 PM
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    mltaylo3

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    I won't claim to understand how fiber works (I'm not a switches and routing guy), just know it moves faster than cat-6, and I like it! On that note we used microwave technology downrange that gave us 150 MB/s via line of site over a 20 mile range. Aside from our installer getting some crazy unexplained burns on his stomach (one should never stand between 2 live microwave satellite dishes), it was a nifty, mobile solution.
     
  15. Oct 3, 2013 at 9:49 PM
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    Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    It's actually pretty simple as long as you're running a quality single mode and your installers are competent.
    A bad connector or splice can kill 7db in a heartbeat, but even with some questionable links, we were able to push -25db (in the mud, but still good enough for 100mb) about 14 miles into LA.

    The hardest part for me, with my eyes not being what they were 30 years ago, is identifying the colors of the fibers in the bundle.
    144 pieces of glass in a 1" cable, separated into 12 bundles, and each of the 12 strands within each bundle is color coded just like insulated wire. Picking violet from blue from slate can be tricky.
     
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