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Author Topic: Decided on RAID 1 - SSDs or HDDs?  (Read 3294 times)
Renegade
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« on: June 01, 2011, 12:32:07 AM »

Well, I am seeing this:



Needless to say, after cleaning the soft, warm deposits I left in my pants...

I am deciding between:

1) Install 2 x Seagate 2 TB drives in RAID 1 and restore an image (Acronis True Image)
2) Ditch the old installation and start fresh -- 2 x 128 GB Kingston SSDs

My decision for the Kingston drives is mostly because that's what is available immediately.

For #1, it's fast & easy, but I'm stuck with crappy speed, and I'm a bit sick of some performance sluggishness.
Fast solution. Pay for it for a long time.

For #2, I'll need to reinstall EVERYTHING, but it will scream.
Slow solution. Enjoy it for a long time.

I'm leaning towards #2, which is 3x the price of #1... Anyone care to push me over the edge, or yank me back from the brink?


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phitsc
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2011, 01:34:19 AM »

Go for #2 and help keep our economy going Wink
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Dormouse
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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2011, 02:26:32 AM »

I'd choose something between the two and undecide on RAID 1.

imho, SSDs are well worth the extra cost for the extra performance you get.
But, given reports of batch (or similar duration within warranty) failures, the chance of the 2nd SSD failing when the first has done may be quite high. And all you get with the RAID is protection from the drive failure.

I would have one SSD & one HDD. I would set up frequent image backups from the SSD to the HDD. You can then keep some of the older backups and some of the more recent ones, thereby giving extra protection against viruses, accidental deletions, software installation that screws your system etc.
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40hz
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2011, 03:30:31 AM »

I would not do RAID on a dual SSD array at this stage of the game.

If you feel you really must get the boost an SSD provides, I think Dormouse's suggestion is a good one. I'd go:

SSD = System (i.e. boot + apps)
HDD1 = UserData
HDD2 = Backups

Boot from the SSD and only keep your OS and apps on it. Tune it and tweak it until you've got it exactly the way you want it. Then image it over to HDD1. Re-image (as soon as it's convenient) after any major changes. And keep two previous boot disk images.

Use HDD1 as your regular data storage space.

Backup HDD1 (including boot images) to HDD2 using the usual eclectic mix of synchronization, backup, and image strategies. Mix & match to get the best fit for what's being backed up. (Maybe not an ideal approach for the average guy on the street. But that ain't us, so no worries. We can handle a little extra complexity in order to get far better efficiency and reliability out of our backup plan.  Thmbsup )

FWIW I'm synchronizing more often than I'm doing traditional backups these days. I like having two immediately usable copies of my files. And my data footprint is now big enough that what I think of as a traditional backup simply takes too long and is too inefficient. Plus, I really don't trust most backup software. It's almost a truism that the one time you absolutely need to get something restored, your backup program will abort about half way through with an "archive corrupted - unable to restore" message.

I've seen that happen with freebie home and thousand+ dollar enterprise backup software...

Not to say I no longer set up 'old style' backups. Many of my clients need to have an 'approved list' backup program installed on their network for insurance purposes or industry "compliance" regulations. But more often than not, it's the simple copies and synchronized directories stored on a second drive that saved the day. That's how cloud backups basically work. And that's where it will all be going in a few more years anyway.

 Cool

« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 03:33:19 AM by 40hz » Logged

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vitalyb
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2011, 05:12:20 AM »

Quote
FWIW I'm synchronizing more often than I'm doing traditional backups these days. I like having two immediately usable copies of my files. And my data footprint is now big enough that what I think of as a traditional backup simply takes too long and is too inefficient. Plus, I really don't trust most backup software. It's almost a truism that the one time you absolutely need to get something restored, your backup program will abort about half way through with an "archive corrupted - unable to restore" message.

I can't emphasize that enough. I was severely harmed with "archive corrupted", specifically by Acronis TrueImage. I ditched in favor of Cobian Backup (freeware). It can do incremental/differential/full backups with usual plain files.

Of course it won't save you from reinstalling all your apps so you can also do an image backup, but I wouldn't trust it alone to handle all my file backup.
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Renegade
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2011, 05:52:52 AM »

Well, that does make sense. I'll still need to go out and buy a new internal drive, but they're cheap. So I'll earmark the savings to get a little something for my wife. smiley  Kiss

Sigh... I so utterly loathe doing system setups... It's an utter waste of time. Sigh...

I suppose I should quick get over to a liquor store before it closes... I'm gonna need it...
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2011, 06:44:05 AM »

Just wanted to point out that while the error does look ominous...It's not necessarily damning. Get a copy of the manufacturer's diagnostic boot CD, and see what it says first.

I have seen disk errors flood logs simply because of a driver hiccup. The first time it happened I too had a similar reaction. However. The box in question (My SuperMicro server), has continued to run just fine on the very same drives for several years (about 4) after the initial incident.

Best I can tell the Virtual Servers occasionally get into a pissing contest with the host machine, which causes the logs to get flooded with disk events until the next reboot. Damn strange, but I still do an offline diag on the drives now and then just to be sure all is O-Tay.
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Renegade
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2011, 07:07:18 AM »

Just wanted to point out that while the error does look ominous...It's not necessarily damning. Get a copy of the manufacturer's diagnostic boot CD, and see what it says first.

I have seen disk errors flood logs simply because of a driver hiccup. The first time it happened I too had a similar reaction. However. The box in question (My SuperMicro server), has continued to run just fine on the very same drives for several years (about 4) after the initial incident.

Best I can tell the Virtual Servers occasionally get into a pissing contest with the host machine, which causes the logs to get flooded with disk events until the next reboot. Damn strange, but I still do an offline diag on the drives now and then just to be sure all is O-Tay.

I tried SeaTools, but the S.M.A.R.T. tests wouldn't run.

I've also rebooted once. Same error occurs.

I'll see if I can get some other diagnostic tools to work. The Seagate tools don't seem to want to run now for some reason...
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2011, 07:10:31 AM »

If in any doubt, I would advise to get rid of a possibly defective hard-drive rather sooner than later. Already suspicious noises are reason enough for me. I've learned it the hard way too Sad
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2011, 07:17:47 AM »

Hm... if SeaTools wont run on a SeaGate HDD (assuming it is th latest version...), that would indeed be a bad sign. Hitachi has a good one for doing any (or oddball) drives, but there's enough propriatery error checks/codes to make cross brand testing a bit iffy.

 Perhapps best to stop screwing with it until everythng is safely backed up. (Yes, a last minute quicky - for the really critical stuff - is recommended if the ship is sinking slowly enough)
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Renegade
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2011, 07:23:47 AM »

I figure a day or 2 of down time and buying a couple new drives is a lot cheaper than being a day short of a backup with 90% of the work done for a client since the last backup, and having to go hat in hand, begging for time and forgiveness...

Anyways, last check about to go -- UBCD4Win v.360 finished downloading...
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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2011, 07:24:55 AM »

Oh -- I got the Seagate tools running again, but it will now only detect my external drives, and not my internal system drive, which is the one with the problem. Weird.
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Renegade
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2011, 09:39:49 AM »

Soooo...

Better safe than sorry.

Here's my methodology:

  • Drink 3 beer
  • Crack open case,
  • Continue drinking
  • Swap out drives
  • Continue drinking

By beer #6 I'm finally at the boot screen to install Win 7.

But that's all I have done so far.

The next steps are:

  • Break open a bottle of frozen vodka
  • Continue the torture...

I hope that is useful for someone, or entertaining. Either or is fine by me. tongue

Oh... and intermittently post at DC.

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tomos
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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2011, 12:52:46 PM »


eh,
hope it's going well there Renegade cheesy
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Tom
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« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2011, 03:22:47 PM »

eh,
hope it's going well there Renegade cheesy

Thread has been eerily quiet for a while now, hasn't it. Hope he skipped the spill vodka in computer, and jump out window steps.
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Renegade
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« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2011, 10:38:57 PM »

eh,
hope it's going well there Renegade cheesy

Thread has been eerily quiet for a while now, hasn't it. Hope he skipped the spill vodka in computer, and jump out window steps.

Things all went well. I'm now configuring Outlook. If it weren't early afternoon, I'd definitely be needing some heavy pours of vodka to get this done... I really just can't stand configuring endless email accounts and farting around with PST files.

I'm not sure I like putting my Archive.pst on an external drive, but it's several GB, and with a 128 GB SSD, I'm not really keen to have it there.

A few more things to stick on here though... Man... I hate installing software like this... I really wish Windows would allow an XCOPY OS deployment. Sigh...
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Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
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