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BIOS and RAID Questions

Old 07-28-04, 10:36 AM
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BIOS and RAID Questions

I have two SATA hard drives, although I'm not running them in a RAID nor am I wanting to, but when I turn on my machine, it checks for a RAID configuration each time and obviously finds no drives in a RAID configuration. How can I prevent my computer from doing this each and every time my computer boots?

Also, how would one back up their BIOS settings? And one more thing, when you reformat a machine, does it have any effect on the system BIOS?

Thanks in advance to all that help!
Old 07-29-04, 10:13 AM
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You're probably going to want to check your owner's manual on this one - some machines will allow you to turn off RAID support in the BIOS. Of course, this might have the side effect of completely disabling the SATA controller, which isn't what you want.

Are you talking about backing up the BIOS itself, or just the settings? If just the settings, I'm not aware of anything off-hand that'll do that for you, although it wouldn't surprise me if a utility exists somewhere - try doing a search on Google.

Lastly, no, reformatting your machine should have no effect on the system BIOS.
Old 07-29-04, 12:25 PM
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Okay, that's what I was worried about. But I will reference my owner's manual for an answer, didn't even think about that. Thanks for your help!
Old 07-29-04, 12:35 PM
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I think I only have SATA on/off in my BIOS. RAID support is configured through a key sequence during bootup. If I didn't have that key sequence to hit I wouldn't be able to configure whether I wanted to use RAID or which level of it I wanted. So it has to show up there as it's booting.

It only takes about 3 seconds and is the same technique as other controllers that invoke their onboard BIOS during bootup, such as SCSI boards.
Old 07-29-04, 06:22 PM
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You are right, it is brief, but I was just wondering why it was showing up in the first place. Thanks again guys!

Just out of curiousity, is there any advantage to using a RAID?
Old 07-29-04, 06:45 PM
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Originally posted by alex4bball
Just out of curiousity, is there any advantage to using a RAID?
RAID 0 can speed up your disk speeds somewhat but it's probably not really worth it in the typical environment. If one drive goes bad you lose the data on both of them.

RAID 1 mirrors your drives so one can go out and the other will keep working. Whether it's worth it depends on how much you backup and what downtime costs you.
Old 07-29-04, 08:29 PM
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I just recently backed up my data, so I'm not in that desperate of a need to use a 120GB for mirroring purposes. And I don't like the sound of RAID 0, but more speed is always nice. I'll just continue to do what I do. Thanks for the clarification. But one more question, what is considered not "typical?"
Old 07-30-04, 01:18 PM
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Non-typical usually means some kind of server environment.

RAID 0 could be useful, if, say, you're running some kind of application that generates lots of temporary files that aren't critical to the actual data integrity of the application - say you generate a lot of reports, and the system does a lot of temporary data manipulation to come up with them, & temporarily stores the finished reports for viewing.

You can always regenerate them from the original data, so the information isn't critical, but the faster you can move the temporary data around, the quicker you can generate the report. If you've got the $$ to spare, dedicate a couple of drives to a RAID 0 array, & gain a bit more speed. Kinda like if you have lots of RAM to spare - some people will set up a RAM drive, & move their Windows 'temp' folder to the RAM drive.

Some home 'power users' do it to get better load speed for their games, system, etc, but you do have to realize, as X said, you're doubling your chance for disaster to strike - you better have a good backup system, or not care at all about what's on your computer.
Old 07-30-04, 02:00 PM
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Yes, I consider non-typical a workhorse environment where disk speed is the limiting factor and every extra bit makes a perceptible difference and where backups are performed religiously.

I use RAID 0 with two Raptor drives; I just wanted to try it out. It is a little faster than a non-RAID configuration but I don't think it's worth the cost overall and I probably wouldn't do it again.

I do back up frequently so that isn't a major concern for me. If I didn't I wouldn't keep the RAID 0 configuration.
Old 07-30-04, 05:16 PM
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The RAM drive sounds pretty interesting. Must be almost instant-on...which is really cool. But I think I'm good with what I'm doing now. I use Adobe and Macromedia products a lot, but I'm not seeing much slowdown. And of course, my scratch disk and virtual memory are on the opposite drive as the OS.

Don't get me wrong, I like to keep backups too, but I just don't think RAID is the way to go for me.

Thanks for helping me see which road is the better one to take for me.

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