Should I use Windows 8 Storage Spaces or Set up a Raid 5

Posted on 2014-11-27
Last Modified: 2016-12-08
I want to know the best way to utilize my SDDs and backup hdds.
My system is an
I7 4770k @ 4.3 Ghz
Z87-D3HP-CF MoBo
2 x 8 GB RAM STICKS of Corsair Dominator 2100 Mghz
Windows 8
Hardware:  I have:
1 (one) Corsair Neutron 480 GB SDD
2 (two) Corsair Neutron 240 GB SDDs
2 (two) 1 TB WD HDDs (one green; one black)

I have Win 8 OS on Corsair 480 GB.
I have a data back up (complete) on the 1TB WD Black HDD
I have no data on the remaining three - 2 x 240 GB Corsairs SDDs and 1x 1TB WD Green HDD

Is it better to set up a Windows Storage space or to create a Raid 5 array?
What are the advantages to using a Raid 5 over Windows storage, if any?
If I am to set up a Raid 5, I want to use my two Corsair 240 SSDs and the 1TB WD Green...
I wonder how I can set up a Raid 5 with these three disks and also put the OS onto the Raid array?  Can I do that?  Or does the OS have to be on another SDD (my Corsair 480)?
If I decide to setup Raid 5 with those three, I know I set it up in Bios... but now I have to boot from the 480 Corsair which is not part of the array.  So do I
  1. restart the computer with Bios set to start Raid for Windows 8?  And then
      1.1 boot from my CDRom into Paragon Disk Copy... where I can copy the OS off of 480 Corsair onto the Raid array
  2. restart the computer with Bios set to AHCI and boot into Windows 8 from the 480 Corsair and then...
     1.1 use Paragon Disk Copy to Migrate the OS from the 480 Corsair onto the Raid Array?
    1.2 if I do this, then when I restart do I go into bios and make the Sata Mode a Raid?  And if so, then the OS will boot off of the 240 Corsair in the RAID array.

I would like to keep the 480 out of the system (and sell it).
I would use the 4th 1 TB WD (black) as a repository (keeping all the data it already has on it, backing up what I need to safeguard onto the Raid array???)

BUT IF USING THE 480 CORSAIR in ANY configuration is better... than I would do that.
Please be more specific (meaning don't skip any steps) because I'm a newbie (sort of -- at least to this Raid thing).

Thank you all.
Question by:jmterry2014
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Author Comment

ID: 40469572
I just looked at a YouTube Video.  Raid 5 is probably not what I want.
I want to have a faster performance overall.  So would I use the two 240 Corsairs and the 1 TB WD Green in a Raid 1 setup?  With the OS being bootable off of this Raid 1 array?

If so, what steps do I follow to set up Raid 1?
how do I get the OS migrated over to the Raid 1?

Finally, if I use Win 8 Storage Spaces -- with the three drives -- do I have to use the 480 Corsair as a C drive (with O.S. on it) because the the three drives are "storage" and not bootable....
Or would it just be fastest to keep OS on 480 Corsair as C and have the three be in Raid 1 or in "STORAGE SPACE" as 3 drives in the arrangement?

Accepted Solution

Dawid Fusek earned 500 total points
ID: 40469724

so many questions U asks, and so many options, features and technology U talk about and ideas how to use it...

I will talk U what I will do with such circumstances and assumptions:
- U have Win 8.0 OS Boot on 480GB SSD
- U have 2 free 240GB SSD
- U have 1 free 1TB HDD
- U need a performance
- U need a backup
- U probably need a redundancy
- U compromise some space for backup and redundancy

so if U are here, I assume you have some knowledge of the features of Windows greater than a standard user, I would not have to be exactly describe how and where of clicking the mouse. Just giving U a proposition what to do and what U will get from it.

so in few steps what to do:
1. put all disks to the computer in normal sata/ahci mode in bios (but dont change this settings for actual boot ssd/480GB), dont create any raid in the bios
2.boot to win 8 os, shrink os partition on SSD 480GB to less than 240GB (space on yous 2 smaller ssd's)
3. add a mirror to boot disk (that boot ssd 480GB) with one of SSD 240GB (as a mirror), it will also inform U that this will convert your boot disk to dynamic which is irreversible (ant that is a poor fact until U dont use 3th party tools)
4. wait to mirror sync
5. boot computer and start from second mirror (this SSD 240GB what U added to the mirror)
6. break the mirror by removing mirror from this 480GB SSD (do it wisely)
7. add a mirror to actual boot SSD/240GB to another SSD/240GB so U have RAID1/mirror on both 2x 240GB SSD
8. use a 1TB drive as a backup drive (Win 8 backup name is as I remember "Files History" or "File Recovery" and here U have Windows 7 File Recovery (in Win 8) or just in "File History" in WIn 8.1, or buy some more professional backups sw like Acronis True Image or something similar

why not do other options?
1. because win 8 dont have tiered storage spaces what may be benefit when have SATA HDD and SSD
2. and additionally as I know U can't boot from storage spaces volume in even win 8/8.1 and win 2k12/2k12r2, it will be probably implemented in future versions of windows
3. raid 5 is not a solution here, 1 because U have mix of different disk size and mix of ssd and hdd, coz raid 5 will have speed of 1/2 of one hdd which will be tragically poor performance for a boot drive, additionally ssd's dont like RAID5 because they dall lot of faster because of too much writes (3 times more on general), and additionally U dont have HW raid controller which is much faster for RAID 5/6 than sw raid which is raid from intel bios

kind regards

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40469740
NTShad0w shines the light on the problem revealing a brilliant solution to my issues!
I get my OS moved over to a 240 Corsair then mirror that and I use the 1TB WD as a backup with a backup program.  I use Paragon, but I also have Acronis.  

Perfect, brilliant, NTShad0w is a chess master for sure!
And I agree with all his comments about Raid 5, Storage Spaces, etc.


Expert Comment

by:Dawid Fusek
ID: 40469763
good for U mate,

1 correction here,
I didn't notice U have 2x 1TB HDD, not 1x 1TB HDD

So In my example I shall use them both as a separated disks, first (WD green) for backup, second (WD black) for data (and create a additional backup plan to backup that second disk on that fist)


Author Comment

ID: 40469825
Got it!

Thank you, thank you for you expertise and your thorough answers!


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