View Full Version : RAID questions for my new build....?

12-30-08, 01:28 PM
Hello All,

I have a few quesations about a new build I am going to start here at the beginning of January.

My systems is going to consist of:
1. GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 (not going i7 for the time being)
2. E8500
3. G.Skill 8800 (2X2GB) 1100MHz RAM
4. Corsair 750W PSU
5. 3X500GB WD hard Drives in RAID 5
6. GTX285 (when they are released)
7. G92 8800GTS running PhysX
8. Vista 64bit

So , I am looking to go RAID 5 with my system, for increased speed and data protection. My questions are concerning being able to back up my system and being able to restore an image from a known good state.

I guess the way I would like to use the system is to:
a. Get windows installed on my system with all necessary software, games, and files.
b. Begin my overclocking efforts.
-I know that there will be multiple restarts of the system and many system crashes while I am trying to optimize my system.
c. After the system is running how I like it, restore the system image to correct any system files that were corrupted during the O/C process.

My questions are:

1. Can I create a image of a RAID array either with "System Restore" in windows or with Norton Ghost or other utility?

2. If I have 3 HD at 500GB in a RAID 5, how big does my backup volume need to be in order to hold the image of my Array?

3. Do I need to worry about this at all?

Thanks for your help!


12-30-08, 02:16 PM
1. System Restore just backs up changes to some files, so it will not back up the entire drive. Norton Ghost might be able to do it. I know that the latest version of Symantec Ghost can image Nforce Arrays and should be able to do Intel Matrix arrays. Norton Ghost is kind of like the home version of Symantec. Another good program to consider purchasing is Partition Manager. It images a computer while the OS is loaded so you don't need to worry about gaining access to files.

2. You're backup drive only needs to be as large as the data being stored. So if you're install of Windows / Programs / Games is under 100GB, you'd only need a 100GB of HDD space for the image. A lot of backup programs can also use compression so it's likely that it would be under that.

3. It's definitely a good idea to backup your important data. Even if you have a RAID 5 array I would definitely have another solution in place to store the important information. For testing your OC's it would just be more simple to have another drive reserved for testing, or just use 1 drive without the array first to make sure everything works fine, then build your array. If something screws up while you're OC'ing it would be more work to recover data from a RAID array than a normal disk.

IMO Skip the RAID 5 array anyway. It is going to have extra overhead that will put increased load onto the CPU if you use the onboard controller. Stick with 2 drives in a RAID 0 array, then you could use a 3rd Drive as a backup drive to save important data on. (preferably in another pc or in an enclosure, so if you knock your tower over or the PSU explodes into a fiery inferno one of the copies will not be affected. ;))