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iammisc 02-26-2006 01:06 AM

Software Raid with IDE: Should I be worried about failed drives?

I built a new computer with 3 120GB Hard drives(I got them clearance at $30 each). I wanted to combine them together using RAID linear as described in numerous tutorials on the internet. But all these tutorials seem to be worried about failing drives and so I wanted to ask you if I should really be worried about failed drives? Are these tutorials aimed at high-load webservers which are prone to drive errors? I have used hard drives for 9 years without them giving me a single problem.

This computer will be used for a small webserver which may become a big webserver( in that case, I will get bigger hard drives and use RAID-3 to add parity information).


jschiwal 02-26-2006 02:27 AM

Raid 3 isn't used. I wouldn't recommend linear or raid-0 as they offer no redundancy. If your first drive goes bad, then you lost the entire array. The drive doesn't have to have a hardware failure. A bad block, a power spike, or going down uncleanly could mark the drive as bad.

If these are scsi drives, I would recommend raid-5.
For a web server, you may want to mirror the first 2 drives, and use the 3rd as a spare. Then one of the first two goes bad, the spare will replace the unit. You then have time to replace it.

Raid 0 (striping) will give you a larger array, and better performance. For better results on ide drives, don't use the slave connector. Ide controllers are cheap, so just add one if you need to.

If you had 4 drives you could use both striping and mirroring. The latest mdadm supports this. Some people have had problems setting up a raid 1+0 array and booting from it, and upgrading mdadm fixed it.

iammisc 02-26-2006 11:59 AM

i am going to be doing regular backups though so I don't really need redundancy. And about drives goind bad: So if I turn off the computer without using shutdown the drive will be marked as bad? I am really not using software RAID for the redundancy but rather to just combine three disks into one? And won't a surge protector protect against power spikes? Also, don't you need same size partitions for RAID-0?

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