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Nomad
22-09-2013, 03:49 PM
Hi all, I was just thinking as my HDs are running out of space after 5yrs. If I use these drives for storing files incl digital SLR files, would there be much difference between using Window's dynamic disk (?) to spread the data across to other HDs or to begin again and do RAID off the motherboard.

PS. This is the secondary drives which is data only. The boot drive is 500GB by itself.

I have 1x 500GB now, I have a spare 500GB and I could grab the external dock 500GB - a total of 1.5TB internal. And purchase a 2TB and dock it as an external.

johnd
22-09-2013, 09:32 PM
Are not dynamic drives and RAID two quite different concepts?

Dynamic drives are a mehtod of adding extra storage space on the fly to volumes.

RAID is to provide redundancy across multiple disks.

WarNox
22-09-2013, 11:20 PM
If you stripe RAID and one of those disks fails, bye bye data :) So make sure you have a backup. I would vote for hardware (motherboard) vs software RAID but then again do some research on how good the RAID controller is on that motherboard. Might be worth buying a PCI RAID controller and using that.

dugimodo
23-09-2013, 08:43 AM
TL:DR Leave RAID alone and just use the drives as is.

Spanning Dynamic disks is a software implementation of JBOD, windows can also do striping in software depending on your version. It has it's pro's and cons compared to hardware RAID but bear in mind onboard RAID and cheap add-in controllers are also mostly software. True hardware RAID controllers cost more than a complete cheap system. In either JBOD or Striped arrays if you lose one disk you lose all the data, the main difference is JBOD allows many different sized disks to be combined while striping requires matched pairs and also increases performance.

Using windows software RAID gives a slight overhead in system resources but most modern PC's can handle that just fine. It does mean the array could theoretically be moved to another PC with different hardware and still be read by windows which could occasionally be an advantage. RAID using cheap controllers generally cannot be transferred to different hardware with the data intact. In any case in my opinion you are better off leaving them as individual drives and spreading your data across them. It gives you the same amount of storage and none of the potential issues of RAID.

The only real reason to use a RAID array for most home users is for the performance, in which case a striped boot disk can be quite good (a single SSD is better). You'd want to keep a regular system backup which is a good Idea in any case but even more so when RAID is involved. There is really not much point for data storage as all it does is combine drive letters and increase the potential for issues, speed is not really much of an issue for simple data storage. How often do you really copy large amounts of data around as opposed to saving it somewhere and just leaving it there. The ultimate form of RAID for data storage is one that includes protection from drive failure but therefore also reduces the overall storage space. A mirrored array or a RAID 5 array for example. These really belong in enterprise systems though and are not worth it for the average home user.

1101
23-09-2013, 11:04 AM
You dont want a bitsa system held together with bits of string , or do you :-)

Go and buy a single, larger HD , 1T or 2T