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Raid 10, 5 with different drive sizes on windows 7

Hi, I had some questions on raid 10 and raid 5 and also 0.

Here is the scenario: a primary drive (C:) SSD 160 GB. I wish to later add on additional drives like the Seagate hybrid 500GB. It'll be a desktop with Windows 7 Pro 7.

1) If I was thinking of creating a RAID 0 or RAID 5 or RAID 10 then is this possible? They are different drive sizes. Also, I'm adding the drives after the fact that OS is installed.

i) What things should I be considering?
ii) How is this set up (if possible)?
iii) What difficulties would I encounter?

2) This is not really related to a RAID question in particular but I'm wondering if it's possible to add in a 500GB hard drive later and install larger programs such as the Adobe Master collection to the secondary drive.

Thanks,
Victor

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Commented:
RAID 10 and RAID 5 will only use the size of the lowest sized drive. So if you mix 320gb + 500gb drives, you will only be able to use 320gb of the 500gb drives.

You also can't create a RAID 10 array without 4 disks or a RAID 5 array without 3 disks. Wikipedia has a description of the various RAID levels and the disks required vs space usable.

You should not use RAID at all, just add disks as you need them and use them individually i.e. JBOD.
With 2 hard drives never can create a RAID 5 because you need as least 3 drives. On this way, RAID 10 is not possible because required drives are 4.

Creating a RAID must be a rational decision based on stability, redundancy and performance criteria. Take a look to this website: http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/perf/raid/whyShould-c.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID
Most Valuable Expert 2015
Commented:
If you add a larger drive to your system and create a RAID array with it and the already used drive, that is possible, but you loose the extra size of the new disk. So that won't give you any advantage except maybe redundancy. Also, if you mix an SSD with a hybrid drive you will loose speed, even if you go for RAID 0, as the hybrid is slower than the SSD (you'd probably also run into timing issues which could destroy the array, as the speed of the 2 disks is that much different). Whether you can go from no RAID to RAID with the OS already installed, depends on the RAID controller used.

Also, with only 2 drives you could only think of using either RAID 0 or RAID 1.

In your situation it would be better to add two equal sized disks or more later and just create the RAID you want with those additional disks, and not with the already used disk, then use that for your data or programs. You could also add another SSD like the one you already have and then setup a RAID 1 so you have redundancy for the OS.

But remember that RAID doesn't mean you don't have to take backups to some external media.
2) This is not really related to a RAID question in particular but I'm wondering if it's possible to add in a 500GB hard drive later and install larger programs such as the Adobe Master collection to the secondary drive.

Normally a program will tie with the OS (let say your OS is at C: , 160GB, then the program that you installed, will be saved under C:Program Files) and in your case here, seems like 160GB is your primary hard disk with OS, then the software / programs that you installed will be at C: Drive, unless you reinstall the PC and make the 500GB Hard Disk as the Primary Hard Disk with OS.

Raid 5 need at least 3 Hard Disks, and Raid 10 need at least 4 Hard Disks, you may refer to the link below:
http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2010/08/raid-levels-tutorial/
Most Valuable Expert 2015
Commented:
Installing the software to other partitions or drives shouldn't be an issue, most installers allow you to select where you want it installed. You don't have to take the default C:\Program Files path.
Victor KimuraSEO, Web Developer

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Commented:
Thanks everyone for your feedback.

1) So if I, say hypothetically, add in an extra 4 x 500 GB hybrids can I create these as RAID 10 after I have my 160 GB SD drive with my OS on the 160 GB (primary drive)?

The reason I ask is because with the Adobe Master collection it comes with Adobe Premiere and if I had to do some rendering of some large-sized videos then I believe they suggest RAID 0 but I know the RAID 10 is basically a RAID 0 and RAID 1 (for redundancy). It's just something I would like the option of adding a RAID 10 after the fact I get a 160 SD drive with Windows 7 Pro installed on it.

I'm thinking the Raid set up from within Windows 7. Does Windows 7 Pro have it's own RAID software controller? Is it good?

Thanks,
Victor
Most Valuable Expert 2015
Commented:
With the same 4 x 500GB HD's you can create RAID 10 (but I'd probably not use hybrids for that, but rather standard SATA or SAS disks). Hybrids are a special type of disk that work in a rather complicated way, and they do some automatic adjusting where they "learn" which data is needed often and stored on the SSD part, and which data is used less often and stored in the HD part. I don't think they will run optimally in a RAID setup (and I can imagine that you'll get RAID failures from that). Conventional SATA or SAS HD's will run better in that environment, and the speed should be OK with RAID 10. But there is no problem adding the RAID after the OS is installed. You just need to install the Controller's driver and utility software and then build the array.

Windows 7 can do some software RAID, but probably only RAID 1 and maybe RAID 0, but probably not RAID 10. You should get a good hardware RAID controller, and enterprise class HD's to connect to it.
Victor KimuraSEO, Web Developer

Author

Commented:
Thank you.