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  • RAID 0 error = Total data loss!

    Home Forums AskWoody blog RAID 0 error = Total data loss!

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      • #2360533
        Fred Langa
        AskWoody MVP

        LANGALIST By Fred Langa RAID — Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks — is an old technology that offers few real benefits on today’s standard PCs — but
        [See the full post at: RAID 0 error = Total data loss!]

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2360562
        MHCLV941
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ve never understood why anyone would ever use RAID 0 unless speed was all-important but the content of the drives was 100% expendable.  So thanks for explaining that.

        I’m not so sure I fully agree with your claim that NO RAID level belongs on a user PC.  A lot depends on whether the motherboard supports hardware RAID (ones that support RAID 1 are, or at least used to be, pretty common).   Given hardware support for some level of RAID, I can see a case for using it on a PC that has data that is highly valuable and/or downtime is not acceptable.

        One could argue that such a task should be hosted on a real server, but money counts and server hardware is expensive.

        All the above notwithstanding, ASUS deserved a BIG Bronx cheer for its idiocy in setting up the machine that was.   A Happy Meal says they marketing the machine as having a 512 GB but found that size drive too expensive to actually use and/or ran into supply chain problems getting them.

         

      • #2360567
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        RAID on a PC sounds nice but there is little chance users know how to manage or monitor it, so a RAID failure is likely to be a machine failure.

        If your data is so important that you can’t rely on a single disk, then it’s too valuable to rely on a single machine and you should back it up on every change to a NAS or the cloud.
        Consumer grade NAS units are cheap and easy.

        cheers, Paul

        • #2360568
          MHCLV941
          AskWoody Plus

          RAID on a PC sounds nice but there is little chance users know how to manage or monitor it, so a RAID failure is likely to be a machine failure. If your data is so important that you can’t rely on a single disk, then it’s too valuable to rely on a single machine and you should back it up on every change to a NAS or the cloud. Consumer grade NAS units are cheap and easy.

          Not everyone is a “user” and data is not necessarily the most critical reason for a computer having a RAID.   Simply having the machine running can also be a critical function and the data protection afforded by a RAID a side benefit.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2360639
        erbkaiser
        AskWoody Plus

        A rule of thumb with RAID 0 is that the number tells you how reliable it is.

        RAID 0 = 0 tolerance for disk failure
        RAID 1 and up = 1 disk (or more) can fail

        This breaks for the other RAID levels but if you want to remember (or explain to a non techie) why RAID 0 is not actually fault tolerant despite all other RAID levels being so, it can be very useful.

      • #2360654
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        My DIY NAS uses Intel motherboard-supported RAID 10 (or 1 + 0) for storage.  I have experienced the loss of a drive, but no data loss.  I merely replaced the drive and let the RAID Array rebuild itself.

        Last year I upgraded the drive capacity, and it was a straightforward one drive by one drive replacement; remove the hot-swap-able smaller drive, replace with the larger drive, wait while the array rebuilt itself, then replace another drive.  The NAS remained usable throughout the procedure.

        Once all four drives were upgraded, the onboard RAID controller automatically resized the array to the new larger capacity.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2360688
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          I would not consider you a “user”, but an advanced tech. You understand RAID and know how to configure and manage it.
          Normal users do not have this knowledge and should stick to single disk and a backup.

          cheers, Paul

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2360718
            bbearren
            AskWoody MVP

            I would not consider you a “user”, but an advanced tech. You understand RAID and know how to configure and manage it. Normal users do not have this knowledge and should stick to single disk and a backup.

            I began, as most of us did, as a “user”.  Had I followed advice such as you offer here, I would not now be one whom you consider “an advanced tech.”  Instead, I have always followed my own advice.

            From the Windows 10 section of my web site, “For Windows 10 users and those users who wish to become more experienced and proficient in Windows 10, I offer some self-help ideas here in this section for preventive maintenance, troubleshooting techniques and corrective measures to employ when Windows 10 is misbehaving.

            My #1 suggestion, my top recommendation for success as a Windows user, is to commit to an established regimen of regular drive imaging.”

            Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
            "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
            "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

      • #2360707
        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        I can understand someone using a NAS for backup with a RAID arrangement of some sort. But inside a laptop or desktop workstation, it simply doesn’t seem to make sense. I’m guessing this PC was an older model. And not backed up to an external drive of any sort. Therein lies the issue, IMHO.

        -- rc primak

        • #2360904
          Richard C Algeni
          AskWoody Plus

          Both my workstation and my server have RAID 1 drive arrays, populated with Samsung 1TB SSD’s. I also have a RAID 5 Synology NAS for backups. As well as Wasabi and OneDrive. While I do not have a raid in my laptop, I make sure any data modifications I make are migrated to my server.

      • #2360736
        berniec
        AskWoody Plus

        As has been pointed out, Raid 0 is pretty useless.a  But for me, Raid-1 is a winner.   I have a 6Tb ReadyNAS .  I’m only running 4TB, but I have 8Tb of disks mounted in raid 1.   *every*one* of the original [seagate!] drives failed over the next few years.  I replaced them with  Western digital and haven’t had a single failure but that’s not my point:

        The ReadyNAS sent me an email about the disk failure.   I pulled the disk out of the running NAS, mounted the WD drive, stuck it back in [and it took about 20+ hrs to get the new drive fullly indexed into the mess.   for me, Raid 1 and hot-swappable drivers is a winner.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2360839
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          In your dedicated NAS this makes sense, in a PC it does not.

          cheers, Paul

      • #2360835
        MHCLV941
        AskWoody Plus

        inside a laptop or desktop workstation, it simply doesn’t seem to make sense

        In some applications, it makes perfect sense to have a RAID installation in a PC.   Perhaps you’ve never encountered one, but it is a big world out there.

        PC was an older model

        It was a laptop and its pedigree was listed in the article.  That said, a laptop with two internal SSD slots is not a Walmart loss leader.  Based on that alone, it was probably a pretty high machine for the time.   Heck, it’s a high-end option now.

        The real problem is that manufacturer made a terrible and stupid decision to use RAID 0.  My bet is that manufacturer promised 512GB of SSD but got caught either on the availability of the 512GB SSD or the cost of the larger drive compared to two 256GB ones.  Either way, there is no way the machine should have left the factory so configured.  If it did, there should have been warning labels stuck to it in colors and fonts that would have been impossible to ignore.

         

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2360919
          Marcus Weldby
          AskWoody Plus

          I was trying to come up with a reason why anyone would do RAID 0 on SSD. Your explanation make sense. Not a good reason to do it, mind you, but it at least makes some sense.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2360836
        Will Fastie
        Manager

        But inside a laptop or desktop workstation, it simply doesn’t seem to make sense.

        My boot drive is an SSD.

        However, my D: drive is a mirrored (RAID 1) pair of 3TB hard drives. Neither drive has failed (yet) but they are overdue for replacement. Why did I create the mirror? To buy time. If one of the drives fail, I’m still up and running and have the time to get a new drive and re-image. It’s a safety margin.

        My big question is what to do for my next build. At this moment, buying two 4TB HDDs costs about the same as buying one 4TB SSD. But as reliable as SSDs are, they are not failure-proof. I would probably do the rotating mirror again, just with slightly larger drives.

        I have also experienced failure, although it wasn’t the drive. I originally built my system with Windows 8.1 and then migrated it to 10 about a year later, I think. I made a mistake – I should have upgraded the Intel Rapid Storage software first and then done the Windows 10 upgrade. That error caused the RAID configuration to vanish, so the system only saw one of the two drives when the upgrade was done. I explained to my system that the two drives were a pair, after which the system rebuilt the mirror.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2360843
        doriel
        AskWoody Lounger

        Everyone who is thinking about some NAS should learn these basics first. Its not hard to understand in the end and it can save your precious time, data and prevent you from pulling your hair.

        Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 20H2 Enterprise

        HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

      • #2360845
        steeviebops
        AskWoody Lounger

        I remember coming across a series of Dell PCs (can’t remember the exact model but it was one of the 9000-series Dimensions) in the mid-2000s that came with RAID 0 out of the box! I could somewhat understand it back then for performance reasons but with SSDs being so good nowadays I see no point in it.

        I do agree that RAID should only be used by those who understand it; in my early days of working in a small computer store we had some users treat RAID 1 as their backup, unaware that it wouldn’t protect them from data corruption or malware.

      • #2360897
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        I’ve had my NAS/File Server up and running in its (hopefully) final configuration for a couple of months, now. It’s a DIY Windows 10 Pro box (upgraded from Windows 7 Pro), Intel DH87RL motherboard (1 mSATA and 5 SATA ports) with Core i5-4670 CPU, 32GB DDR3 DRAM and 4 Seagate 3TB NAS HDD SATA 6Gb/s 64MB (ST3000VN000) drives in a RAID 10 Array, yielding 5.5TB capacity. I’m using the Intel RAID on the motherboard to configure RAID 10 as well as the Intel Chipset SATA RAID Controller driver in Windows 10. The case has a drive dock built into the top that will accept 2.5″ and 3.5″ SATA drives. The OS is on an Intel 120GB mSATA SSD, with only minimal software installed (Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, TeraByte’s Image For Windows). I access it through RDP, and it’s plugged into a UPS. The RAID array has copies of my archival storage, my OneDrive folder, and duplicates of my current data from my desktop and laptop. I’m ripping my movie collection (over 50 and counting) there, and it’s also a target for drive images from my other machines (as well as other drives/locations). I intend to copy my music collection there as well. The shared folders (drive images, files, movies) are mapped as a single drive on my desktop and laptop, my network is gigabit and configured as a work network, not Home Group. The only performance testing I’ve done is viewing the same movie with three different devices all at the same time. Smooth and flicker-free on all three. I wanted this NAS to serve for the long haul, and did a lot of reading before I started buying parts. I looked into Linux based NAS, but decided I’d rather stay with an OS with which I’m familiar. From what I’ve been able to deduce from all my reading, this setup should be pretty robust for a home server.

        That was in December, 2015.  I’ve since upgraded to 4TB HDD’s with a RAID 10 storage capacity of 7.27TB, and I have a spare 4TB HDD on standby.  I prefer RAID 10 (1+0) for the redundancy.  I can lose two drives (as long as they’re not the same mirror set) and the array will still function.  In BIOS the drives are all set for hot-swap.  I use the drive dock to copy my drive images to offline HDD’s for safe-keeping.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

      • #2363980
        AlexEiffel
        AskWoody_MVP

        I find the claim that nobody should use RAID in a desktop PC bold.

        I often set-up an ReFS RAID 1 mirrored disks. Not everyone wants to buy and maintain a separate NAS, especially if they only have one family computer. For people like me that helps others for free with computers, it is not hard to add a hard disk and set it up as mirrored or two hard disks for data plus a smaller SSD for the OS.

        I think it should be easy and accessible to everyone to have a Windows version that supports ReFS drive mirroring, just like Windows should offer the ability to set-up a RAM cache for disks natively. Being able to put the PC to sleep and only spin the mirrored mechanical HDs when needed to write and not on wake would be nice in a SSD+2 HDs setup. Those are the things an OS is good for, not offering yet another new type of icons and taskbar.

        People don’t do backups often enough. With a RAID 1 system in place, I saved a few data that way when a disk broke. The people I know keep their nicely installed computer for many years, as long as support is available from Microsoft. They don’t get viruses because they stick to basic stuff, follow basic security guidelines, don’t install things and are lucky.

        Yes, having a RAID in their desktop it is not a substitute for backups. If a power surge breaks everything, you’re toasted, just like if your house catches on fire. If you get ransomware, it’s bad, but your ransomware might hurt your NAS too. I like the added peace of mind to have a mirrored drive for data storage at a low cost between backups.

        The question now is should we use SSDs for storage? They don’t last as much as mechanical HDs and when they they fail, they do spectacularly. You also can’t keep many SSDs unplugged for an extended period of time without having them loose data. But if the RAID works well with SSDs, you could maybe only use SSDs in your desktop considering a broken unit would probably not hurt you if you can quickly switch to a new SSD, which would be nice. Performance-wise, RAID 1 should be faster on reads than only one disk, but I am not sure the actual implementation of Microsoft’s Storage Space is good enough. With ReFS, it seems less fast although for me, it’s enough for data use. Last time I checked, there wasn’t much info online on that subject.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2363985
        MHCLV941
        AskWoody Plus

        I find the claim that nobody should use RAID in a desktop PC bold.

        Indeed!!!

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