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Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)

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Duke SwedenSetting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 27, 2016 at 3:05:28 am
Last Edited By Duke Sweden on Apr 27, 2016 at 3:19:32 am

I've been doing some research and this is one of those instances where everybody has a different response. Hopefully one of you guys can give me the simplest explanation of how to set up a RAID (0).

If I'm doing a fresh install of Windows 7 (which is on the included hard drive, as well as DVD) on my soon arriving Z800 workstation, can I just plug in the extra HDD before starting the installation, and Windows 7 should see it and automatically go through the steps of creating the RAID (assuming there's no hiccups during installation. I know something can always go wrong)?

Or should I install Windows 7, then plug in the HDD, and go into the BIOS (which I'm dreading. I'm not the young buck I used to be. Oh, look, butterflies!............) Oh, right. Anyway, I have two days before it comes so no rush but I'd appreciate some advice by Thursday.

Also, if I have both options should I do a hardware RAID or a software RAID or does it not matter?

Thanks, usual suspects. In the meantime I'll keep googling.

EDIT: OK, I saw where on a new install just plug the 2nd HDD in before installing and Windows 7 will do the rest. I also saw where, given the option, go with the hardware RAID. So skip those, but I have one other question. I have a second extra hard drive which is a Samsung. It's connectors are completely different from the Seagate. Can I use it in the Z800? Does the motherboard have the proper connectors in each bay for whatever configuration a hard drive may have?


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Tero AhlforsRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 27, 2016 at 9:56:24 am

Also you can't add a disk and make a RAID. When you are setting up a RAID it will erase all the disks. If you want to add or remove a disk from the RAID you need to copy all the files off the RAID before you make any changes.


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Duke SwedenRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 27, 2016 at 11:15:34 am

"Also you can't add a disk and make a RAID. When you are setting up a RAID it will erase all the disks. If you want to add or remove a disk from the RAID you need to copy all the files off the RAID before you make any changes."

Thanks, Tero. I don't know why that link didn't come up when I was googling RAID's. Two questions.

1. This is a new (refurbished) workstation. It has the Windows 7 installation files on the included HDD. It does come with a Windows 7 installation disk as well. Are you saying that the files on the HDD will get erased if I set the box up for a RAID before I install, and have to use the disks to install Windows 7?

2. Assuming all goes well, if I want to add a 3rd HDD later on, are you saying the procedure will erase everything on my other two HDD's? I have to back up EVERYTHING on both existing drives? Including the OS?

Told ya I was a dummy.


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Duke SwedenRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 27, 2016 at 11:24:34 am

EDIT: "You should also receive a warning letting you know that if your operating system is on one of these volumes you won’t be able to use it because the volume is now a dynamic volume instead of a logical volume."

I don't get it. Is this saying that once I create the RAID with the installed HDD and my second HDD, the installed HDD will no longer be able to access the OS? Then what!?! Am I not supposed to include the main HDD in a RAID?

I'm not looking to expand my storage space, I'm just trying to do what others have told me here. Keep my programs and my projects on two separate HDD's to speed up workstation performance.


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Jeff PuleraRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 27, 2016 at 1:47:15 pm

Hi Duke,

The System Drive (C:) should NOT be part of a RAID. Leave that drive alone, with the OS and Programs on it. Then use TWO other matching hard drives to create a RAID 0. This is done quickly and easily in the Disk Management Tool included in Windows.

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/36504/how-to-create-a-software-raid-array-in...

On another note, I thought you already got your new (used) HP weeks ago? Or did you order it then, and it has taken this long to arrive?

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Duke SwedenRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 27, 2016 at 2:01:21 pm

Hi Jeff. Thanks for the info! I can't believe out of all the things I read on the subject not one mentioned not using your main HDD in the RAID.

The box you're referring to arrived with major problems.
Extremely slow ( over a minute to load PPro whereas my consumer PC only takes about 8 seconds)
Took over 30 seconds to copy a 300mg file from folder to desktop (Consumer PC was instantaneous)
All sorts of weird graphic problems like the background of the Media Browser rising up as I scrolled down, blocking the source monitor above)

You get the idea. So I sent it back, and after discussing with the seller to make sure he didn't send the same box back to me (I have the serial # of the old one, just in case) I agreed to repurchase. Hopefully this time there will be no problems. I'll make sure to download all updates and drivers before installing my software, although I doubt that was the reason for the other problems.


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Duke SwedenRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 27, 2016 at 3:12:51 pm

Let me boil this down to its essence. I only want a 2nd, and then later a 3rd HDD so that I can do what a lot of people here have told me to do. Keep my OS and programs on one HDD, save my projects and render to a second HDD, and eventually separate projects and renders by installing a 3rd HDD.

Do I need to set up a RAID to do this? Will my speed increase with this setup? Or do I HAVE to set up a RAID in order to maximize my workstation's power?


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Tero AhlforsRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 27, 2016 at 4:09:03 pm

[Duke Sweden] "Do I need to set up a RAID to do this?"

No.

[Duke Sweden] "Will my speed increase with this setup?"

Yes.

[Duke Sweden] "Or do I HAVE to set up a RAID in order to maximize my workstation's power?"

No.


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Duke SwedenRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 27, 2016 at 4:10:57 pm

Thanks!


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Tero AhlforsRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 27, 2016 at 4:14:09 pm

[Duke Sweden] "Do I need to set up a RAID to do this?"

No.

[Duke Sweden] "Will my speed increase with this setup?"

With separate drives: no. With a RAID: yes.

[Duke Sweden] "Or do I HAVE to set up a RAID in order to maximize my workstation's power?"

No.


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Duke SwedenRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 27, 2016 at 4:35:07 pm

Are you just editing your previous reply because this board doesn't let you edit your original post? You're just saying that adding a HDD and rendering to it won't make it render faster than rendering to the HDD with Premiere Pro on it, right? Otherwise I'm getting confused (again).


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Alex UdellRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 27, 2016 at 4:43:43 pm

Hi Duke...

RAID 0 (multiple drives together) would in give you the benefit of increased read performance...

meaning higher data rate material (less compressed, and larger) would play back better in real time or you can layer more in PPro before you start stuttering/struggling to play back.

if you are working compressed (as most do) and with fewer layers then you expect to see comp'd together in real time...then it's less necessary.


it used to be that RAIDing was also necessary for capacity....meaning vide files were BIG (relative to capacity of a hard drive) so you make the bucket larger by seeing multiple smaller drives as 1. I doubt that's your use case. :)


RAID levels (not 0) offer various levels of security with some speed trade off...so if a drive in the set fails, you don't lose work...for you....probably a simple manual mirror using a incremental syncing backup utility to keep the 2 media drives in sync is probably sufficient...but that's only based on anecdotally looking at things you've posted here.....

that help?

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX
Let's Connect on Linkedin
Examples: Retail Automotive Motion Graphics Spots
Example: Customer Facing Explainer Video
Example: Infotainment & Package editorial


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Duke SwedenRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 27, 2016 at 5:19:34 pm

YES!
I don't know why I can't get through to most of the people here that I'm a simple man, making simple videos for myself. Yes, I do like to try adding effects (which is where things bog down) but nothing like you guys deal with. As you said I work with compressed files (h.264) and at most 3 or 4 tracks, one of which is an adjustment layer. So I really appreciate your response. A simple response for a simple mind, as it were ;-)

So when I add the 2nd HDD I can just choose, I think it's called "Simple" something or other, rather than the next choice "Striping". Ok. I've got it now. Once I do purchase more HDD's I'll look into RAID, but if the box is fast out of the box (especially compared to the previous defective one they sent me) then I can do without for a while.

Thanks again, bro. You get me! ;-)


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Alex UdellRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 27, 2016 at 6:32:55 pm

I wouldn't even go that far.

Just add it as another single drive to your system....

then use some tool to "smart update" from one drive to another....

smart meaning copy just what changed every time...so it goes faster....

no need to really combine the drives at all...

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX
Let's Connect on Linkedin
Examples: Retail Automotive Motion Graphics Spots
Example: Customer Facing Explainer Video
Example: Infotainment & Package editorial


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Duke SwedenRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 27, 2016 at 7:18:24 pm

ok. I'll look for "some smart update tool" right now ;-) Are you set up to get notified when this thread is updated? I won't take too much of your time but I'd appreciate it if you could help if I get stuck. Just until I get the box tweaked, or even your opinion on stuff. Thanks again.


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Alex UdellRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 27, 2016 at 7:22:51 pm

I am now. :)

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX
Let's Connect on Linkedin
Examples: Retail Automotive Motion Graphics Spots
Example: Customer Facing Explainer Video
Example: Infotainment & Package editorial


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Alex UdellRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 27, 2016 at 8:55:11 pm

Hey Duke...

On Windows...

A buddy suggested:

Cobian backup

or

Retrospect

as a couple of good options for smart backup (syncing changes from one drive to another)

hth,

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX
Let's Connect on Linkedin
Examples: Retail Automotive Motion Graphics Spots
Example: Customer Facing Explainer Video
Example: Infotainment & Package editorial


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Duke SwedenRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 28, 2016 at 2:06:52 am

Thanks! Do I really need to sync and back up my files? It's not a great loss if I lose my stuff. Is there another purpose to syncing? Seems like it will take up space on my hard drives to have 2 copies of everything.


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Tero AhlforsRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 28, 2016 at 4:37:11 am

[Duke Sweden] "Do I really need to sync and back up my files?"

Well, do you care about your work? If you do then you probably should back it up.

[Duke Sweden] "Seems like it will take up space on my hard drives to have 2 copies of everything."

Yeah. That's how backups work.

There's a bunch of free tools for syncing like FreeFileSync. It also has a real time sync option that will update your sync folders/drives automatically. There's also Synctoy from Microsoft.


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Duke SwedenRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 28, 2016 at 9:48:20 am

I care about my work as I'm doing it. Once I'm done doing "post" on my video, I'm done. I've never gone back to my old stuff. It's good to have but not the end of the world if I lose it. Of course if by some miracle I'm suddenly asked to do paid work for someone, then I'll be more careful with the files.

Perhaps a refresher course in exactly what my "art" consists of is in order here ;-)






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Duke SwedenRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 28, 2016 at 9:55:21 am

Sorry.






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Tero AhlforsRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 28, 2016 at 11:41:10 am

You don't have to clone your whole drive with the sync tools. You can also set up certain folders to be synced. I have my projects and photos set up to be synced once in a while to an external drive.


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Duke SwedenRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 28, 2016 at 2:00:42 pm

Oh, ok. I've got one of those. But again, as you saw above, I'm not exactly making movie history over here ;-)


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Duke SwedenRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 28, 2016 at 2:06:01 pm

Box just came. Time to tweak!


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Duke SwedenRe: Setting up a RAID array For Dummies (Me)
by on Apr 29, 2016 at 2:30:26 am

Un-freakin'-believable. This one was worse than the other one! At one point, while I wasn't even touching it, it went into chkdsk mode, took 20 minutes to check the hard drive for errors, then went into reboot and stayed in reboot for another 30 minutes! Took 194 minutes to install Premiere Pro! Then, when I had it finally running, I would click on a dropdown, and nothing would happen for like 15 seconds, then it would drop down, I'd click on my choice, and it wouldn't change for 10 seconds! Plus it already had Chrome installed (!?!), but it was an outdated version which wouldn't let me update it. And when I turned it on it would always try to boot from the optical drive first.

Needless to say it's going back. I'm done with workstations. I know they're NOT supposed to be this bad, but I'm just soured on the whole thing. I'll just have to find ways to put my rendering times too good use.

On the bright side you won't have to deal with my inane problems anymore.


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