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RAID 0 with different HD brands?

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RAID 0 with different HD brands?

Old 12-20-03, 04:08 PM
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RAID 0 with different HD brands?

Is it a bad idea to create a RAID 0 array with different hard drive brands?

I want to make a 2x160GB RAID 0 array, and I have just picked up a Western Digital model this week that had a rebate, and because of rebate uncertainties (submitting 2 rebates with same name, etc), I can get another 160GB hard drive, either a Maxtor or a Seagate at a low price after rebates, to use for RAID 0. Will this be a problem if the disk space for each hard drive is slightly dfferent from each other? (I realize using 2 of the same hard drive model is the most ideal case).
Old 12-20-03, 05:06 PM
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You would probably only get the capacity of twice the smaller drive. I hope the controller would be smart enough to not try to necessarily expect to see the same exact capacity on both drives. If it used your bigger one as the guide to what was on the smaller one you'd get screwed when you filled up the array.

I don't know for absolute sure, but I'd guess it's ok with current low-end type RAID controllers. They don't get into aspects of the drives' geometry or spindle synchronization. But I'd be a little concerned about drives with different performance. The lower performing drive will hold overall performance down.

You don't have another address you can send the rebate to? What store would you be buying it at?
Old 12-20-03, 05:48 PM
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I bought the current WD160 at CompUSA ($70 rebate) for $80 after MIR this past week.

Circuit City also will have the WD160 on sale tomorrow, but it's the same $70 rebate (plus a CC rebate of $30 to bring the price after MIR to $80). I just didn't want to take a chance of not getting the $70 rebate even if I had the second HD's rebate sent to my work address with the same name (or should I use a name that lists my middle name as my first name?).

The other alternatives for 160GB drives are the Seagate ATA100 at Best Buy for $90 after MIR, or (I think) the Maxtor ATA133 at Office Depot for $100 after MIR.
Old 12-20-03, 06:14 PM
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They automatically put your name on the rebate that prints out at CC so it's kind of a pain. Paying in cash and giving a friend's name (or phone number if they ask) works though. I would think a variation of your name and work address would work too.

Best Buy doesn't seem to care whose name is on the receipts as long as you have the rebates sent to different addresses. And that's no problem because you fill out all the name/address info yourself.

I'd go for the WD at CC. (Not that it would do you any good in this situation, but I saw one of the 200GB drives in a 160GB package the other day at CC. Three year warranty too.)
Old 12-20-03, 07:26 PM
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How do you tell if a 200GB is in a 160GB packaging?
Old 12-20-03, 07:30 PM
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It weighs about 40GB more.

das

They use see-through packages at CC. You should be able to see the label on the drive itself.
Old 12-20-03, 07:35 PM
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The WD boxes that have them are clear plastic. Turn it over and look for a drive that says WD2000 in big letters instead of WD1600.

And on the front label look for it to say 3 year warranty instead of nothing. The drive needs to be manufactured before Oct.1, 2003. You can see that on the drive's label too.
Old 12-20-03, 07:44 PM
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Oy!

Too bad I didn't know this when I already bought my first 160GB last week, but it did come with a free PCI ATA adapter card which I'll use in my old PC for hard drives over 137GB.
Old 12-21-03, 11:24 AM
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I got up early and picked up the WD160GB deal at Circuit City. The rebate does have all my normal address info on it, but it's being sent to a different rebate processing address (TX instead of FL for the CompUSA WD rebate). Am I going to get burned by the "1 per household" restriction here?

Oh, the WD160GB from CC also came with the PCI ATA adapter card as well. I picked the latest "born on" date of the 5 hard drives that CC had on the shelves (Sept, 2003). There were a couple with a June 2003 born on date.
Old 12-21-03, 03:03 PM
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My reading comprehension skills suck during the holidays. I had thought my new motherboard provided onboard IDE PATA RAID 0/1. Nope, it only offers SATA RAID, so I have to find SATA/PATA adapters for the ATA hard drives I just picked up. Currently I'm using XP's software RAID 0 (striped) functionality to get by, but I think I will need to order some adapters ASAP. Grr...
Old 12-21-03, 10:59 PM
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As a general point: For any RAID array, it's usually a better idea to use two hard drives of different brands (or, as a lesser alternative, two drives of the same brand but different models) than two identical drives.

Some studies indicate that drives by the same manufacturer tend to have similar mean failure rates - doubly so if they're the same model, too. This may or may not be mere superstition - but it kinda-sorta makes some intuitive sense.

So sacrifice the extra 2gb or whatever and just get different brands. That's what I've done: a 160GB Seagate backed up by a 160GB external Maxtor. The latter is slightly larger, but I don't mind.

- David Stein
Old 12-21-03, 11:05 PM
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That's just wacky.

I can understand an argument that you might get two bad drives out of the same bad batch, but the mean failure rates (I assume MTBF which is usually in the many 100's of thousands of hours?) shouldn't have anything to do with it. The mean rates are always very high.

Since a RAID 0 array is only as good as its least good drive the only thing that will save you is having a good backup. So what if one drive keeps working? A RAID 0 array is dead when either drive dies.
Old 12-22-03, 12:13 AM
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Originally posted by X
Since a RAID 0 array is only as good as its least good drive the only thing that will save you is having a good backup. So what if one drive keeps working? A RAID 0 array is dead when either drive dies.
Oh yeah. Uh, whoops. I never really spent the time figuring out what all the various RAID levels were.
Originally posted by X
The mean rates are always very high.
You know, I just can't agree. I've had several hard drives die on me after less than two years of service. (Yes, they see only consumer-level activity and they're powered down when not in use.)

- David Stein
Old 12-22-03, 11:11 PM
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Originally posted by X
The WD boxes that have them are clear plastic. Turn it over and look for a drive that says WD2000 in big letters instead of WD1600.

And on the front label look for it to say 3 year warranty instead of nothing. The drive needs to be manufactured before Oct.1, 2003. You can see that on the drive's label too.
funny...i saw a 120gb in a 100gb packing a few days ago too...is this a common error?
Old 12-22-03, 11:42 PM
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I've never seen a 120 in a 100 box. But I heard they were selling 100s a while ago and when you opened the box it congratulated you on getting a 120.

I think it has to do with standardizing sizes and having to fill out the product line even when there's a shortage for whatever reason of a particular size.

I hear the 200s in the 160 box are getting rare again. They all seem to be in the 3-year warranty, pre-October 1 boxes. Maybe they upped their production of 160s so they didn't have to substitute 200s.
Old 12-23-03, 12:59 AM
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Keep in mind that RAID 0 isn't true RAID; it isn't fault tolerant. If fault tolerance is your goal, you're not there yet.

Also, you don't want your system or boot volume(s) on striped (or mirrored, mirrored stripe or striped mirror) drives.
Old 12-23-03, 02:51 AM
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Yes, you don't have to tell everyone there are a number of different RAID configurations, even though you didn't say what is true RAID. Here's a list for those who are not as computer (or should I say RAID) literate as julio.

Personally, I have tried RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 0+1 as both the primary and secondary drive letter. I prefer RAID 0 for performance gain w/o the extra cost of RAID 0+1. If it fails, I'll just clone it back w/ ghost in 5 minutes.
Old 12-23-03, 12:11 PM
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Originally posted by FuzzyBallz
Yes, you don't have to tell everyone there are a number of different RAID configurations, even though you didn't say what is true RAID.
I did say it; sorry if I wasn't clear. True RAID is fault tolerant.
Old 12-23-03, 05:36 PM
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My intentions for RAID 0 was just to have a big enough canvass to do some work capturing video in lossless format (AVI) and doing some minor editing of these big files. Once I'm done with that project, I'll probably just run RAID 1 for my data.

I don't run any RAID for my boot up hard disk, rather, I rely on ghosting another hard drive to keep as a backup (and to have a point of recovery if I start loading some "experimental" software on the boot drive).

Last edited by Patman; 12-23-03 at 05:38 PM.
Old 12-23-03, 07:01 PM
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If you're just looking for a volume that spans multiple disks, you can upgrade the disks to dynamic and then create a new spanned volume.

If your OS supports dynamic disks, that is.

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