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RAIDing my system disk

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david  garcia
RAIDing my system disk
on Oct 21, 2005 at 6:18:06 pm

Hi OSX forum folks,

I've got a dual 2ghz G5 with 8g RAM and an AJA Kona LH card for Final Cut Editing. We just ordered 2 250 internal SATA drives to replace the current 160g.

I would like to RAID the two drives so that I can use them for Video content. We are currently using Firewire 800, but I know these will be faster. Eventually we will move to an external scsi or Fibre channel RAID, but we don't have the budget yet.

So my question: How does one RAID the internal drives on a G5 since one is the system disk? Can it be done? I'm sure I've read about internal RAIDs on G5s.

Thanks so much for any Help,

David Garcia
Halflife* Digital
Albuquerque NM

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Jeff Carpenter
Re: RAIDing my system disk
on Oct 21, 2005 at 6:44:37 pm

You COULD do this using the OS X CD. Restart holding the "C" key and then find "Disc Utility" in the CD's menus.

BUT you should never capture video to the same drive that your OS and Final Cut are running off of. That's just asking for trouble.

Use google to look up 3rd party companies that sell products that let you put more hard drives into your G5 case. Apple does not support this AT ALL and I've never been brave enough to try it, but it might be something you'd want to read more about.

If you find a way to do it, use that method to put your old 160 drive back in and make that one your system drive. Then you can use Disc Utility right in the OS to RAID together your two newer drives.

Just to be totally clear, adding a 3rd drive is not something I would do to MY powermac but there are people who do it and I'm just suggesting that you spend some time on google learning more about it. You'll have to make up your own mind on whether or not that's something you'd want to do.

If it's not something you want, use one 250 GB as the system drive, one 250 GB as a video drive, and continue to use your external drive as a second video drive. (You can set more than 1 scratch disc in Final Cut Pro.)

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david garcia
Re: RAIDing my system disk
on Oct 21, 2005 at 9:33:19 pm


It doesn't seem to make sense to put more drives in than the machine can hold. Seems like a SATA PCI adapter would be the route in that case.

Why not capture video to the System drive? I can understand the inherent Raid 0 issues, but what other trouble am I asking for? Hope I'm not beingtoo much of a joker here. I wuld have never even considered anything other that an external drive in the past, but The big RAID prices have got me looking for interim solutions.

Thanks again,


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Jeff Carpenter
Re: RAIDing my system disk
on Oct 21, 2005 at 9:55:49 pm

What happens is that the computer is looking for information from the OS and information from Final Cut Pro. It's not a good idea to try to read and write video and audio to the same drive while all that stuff is happening. It generally leads to dropped frames and other little problems. It's best for the computer to be asking one hard drive for application and OS information and a different hard drive for video and audio. It's one of those things that's almost certain to jump up and bite you when you're on a deadline so it's best to avoid the whole thing and keep everything seperate.

Yes, I too would love to have Apple put 3 drives in the Powermac so that you could still use an internal RAID as a scratch disc, but that's not the way things worked out.

I think your external drive plans are all good idea. External SATA and Firewire 800 drives (like those from G-tech) are all excellent solutions that aren't nearly as expensive as esternal drives have been in the past.

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Gunleik Groven
Re: RAIDing my system disk
on Oct 23, 2005 at 7:24:48 am

I built an 8x400 sata RAID with the HighPoint RocketRaid 1820A a onth and a half ago. Works like a charm, 'cept for the noise.

Currently building machine room...

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Re: RAIDing my system disk
on Oct 26, 2005 at 5:10:17 am


Up to 5 Drives in a G5
A review of the G5 Drive Bracket for PowerMac G5

Internal SATA Power
A review of the FirmTek SeriTek/1V4 Four Port Internal Serial ATA PCI-X Host Adapter

Best Wishes,


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