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My new setup


kennj
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HomeRig.JPG

 

 

In the photo above, on the left is my collection of hard drives, my new general purpose computer with a storm trooper case and my N54.

The storm trooper has 9x 5.25 external bays, 5 bays have kingwin sata trays so i can load and backup data on the N54.   The N54 has 5x 3TB hard drives and a notebook drive for the OS.  the N54 bios is modded.

At this point, i'm planning on putting windows7x64 on both machines.  The N54 will have 2 raid0 volumes using 2x 3TB drives.  the 5th drive won't be raided.   Raid0 should be fine since i have a good backup strategy with the storm trooper.  The two separate volumes are there so a single drive failure doesn't wipe out everything.  I'm thinking about using windows disk manager for the raid0.  I did some performance testing and its as fast as using the hardware raid0 built in to the N54.   Also, it has the additional advantage that if the N54 motherboard dies, the drives can be moved to the storm trooper, imported and running again if they aren't damaged.  Another advantage is crystaldiskinfo and other monitoring tools can see the drives.

I'm also putting additional nic in both machines and connecting with a cross over cable. 

Any opinions, sugguestions are appreciated.  I'd like to finish the system and use it for real soon.

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Comment 1: glad to hear you have a good backup strategy. If there's one thing I'm really glad about in these forums, it's that a number of people have benefited from all the good info that's been posted by many members.

 

Comment 2: I see nothing wrong with using Disk Manager to set up a RAID and, you're right, it is pretty transportable. That said, so are most hardware RAID cards.

 

Comment 3: now I know who's been stealing all my Post-It notes :D

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Keep those drives that aren't installed in their ESD bag if at all possible.  It keeps the dust off them and protects them from someone walking up and touching one and zapping them with an ESD discharge.

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^^ what he said. I would just add that it's a good idea to open the drive anti-static bags carefully, rather than just ripping them. Scissors are your friend. And, keep you spare bags: I use a mobo anti-static bag to hold my HDD bags :)

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I can get the bags on ebay pretty cheap.  i also was thinking about the .125" anti static pink foam, Staples sells huge rolls for 30$.    

 

The alternative raid design i was thinking about was taking the 5x 3tb drives, create a raid0 volume out of the first 300GB of each drive then create a raid5 volume out of the rest.  A dedicated drive on the storm trooper could keep a daily backup of the raid0 volume.  The raid5 volume wouldn't need to be written to often.  the only thing that stopped me was that windows7 doesn't support raid5.    As an alternative, i think i'll just buy new drives every two years and use the previous drives for backups. 

 

I'm too cheap to buy post-its.  The paper is slightly bigger.  I have a pretty good system for volume naming.  the paper has the volume names and sticks out the door of the sata tray so i know which drives I'm removing.  Green means its passing all the smart test.  Yellow means it  failing some but should be ok & red needs to be RMA'd or tossed.

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