RAID controller

GST-GRIDTECH
GST-GRIDTECH used Ask the Experts™
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Hi

I have what I hope is a quick, easy question.

But not being familiar enough with RAID HD controllers, I wanted to check.

Currently I have a  Dell desktop with a RAID controller and an SSD.  The drive, for the user is nearly full, so I wanted to add another SSD.

What is the best way to add another SSD to a RAID controller so it adds to the  HD space available to the user.

I just wanted to confirm I don’t, somehow do something that combines the drives and clears the current windows install of the SSD already in place.

Thank you
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Most Valuable Expert 2012
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
If you don't want to configure the drives in a RAID configuration, don't use the RAID software.

My guess is the drives are SATA.  It should be as easy as plugging the new drive into an empty SATA port and power up.  You shouldn't need to enter the RAID controller software at all.  Just let the machine boot naturally and see if you see the new drive.
Are you wanting it to add to the existing drive letter or to be a new one?

How many drives do you have installed presently?  If more than 1, what RAID configuration?
WakeupSpecialist 1
Commented:
Also to add, not just RAID software, as it potentially may be that you have a hardware RAID.  So same idea as Netminder, you would not need to 'change' anything in the RAID bios to turn it on that is.  Unless you need the RAID for whatever reason.

Also  CompProbSolv has a good question there, 'Are you wanting it to add to the existing drive letter or to be a new one?'
So you said 'What is the best way to add another SSD to a RAID controller so it adds to the  HD space available to the user.'

So in asking that, what CPS is asking, do you want to merge the two drives to give you maximum space on one drive letter (assuming drive C:).  Or do you want to add an Extra drive apart from the C: as a secondary drive that could potentially be drive D: or E: etc?

If you are wanting to combine the two drives, then RAID is certainly one way to do so.  However there are consequences.  You will most likely need to backup the drive, use the RAID hardware/software controller, and configure the two drives to combine themselves.  Stripped RAID 0, is one way, or JBOD is another.  However a word of warning when putting drives into RAID 0 or JBOD format, you can potentially have issues if the RAID breaks or one or more of the drives fail.  If a drive fails, you will lose all data regardless of the condition of the good drive.  
So you will want to consider that as well with your customer.  
I only mention these two options as you stated the customer is running out of space.

https://www.acnc.com/blog/jbod-vs-raid-cost-effective-network-storage-options/

Again the downfall here is no redundancy and potential for failure could be considered high.  Especially if the 'old' drive is old, and if the new drive is not of the same speed not similar enough of a drive.  
Which you can use JBOD, but again same situation no redundancy, and the old drive is still old.  But you can combine almost any type of drive to create one large capacity drive.  

If you don't need one drive letter and don't need to combine the drives together I would say stay away from RAID 0 and JBOD.  

If the customer is accustomed to backing up frequently and just needs space, then maybe it is ok, but they would need to be consistent.  And certainly you will want them to be aware of potential risks/rewards of using this technology.
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Top Expert 2016

Commented:
2 drives your limited to RAID 0 or RAID 1
RAID 0 will combine both drives into 1 drive BUT if one drive fails, you lose everything
RAID 1 no increase in capacity but if one drive fails then you have a mirror to fall back onto until you rebuild the array.
My suggestion don't do raid at all.  Add the new drive as a data disk (can be a capacity drive i.e. HDD vs SSD) and go into the user's folder and for documents/music/pictures/downloads/videos right click on the folder and change the location to the DATA drive
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
What RAID controller is it? Dell don't normally sell desktops with RAID controllers in them (except for the Intel chipset fakeRAID on the motherboard.
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
I've never done it but if you want one drive letter to span the two disks, you should be able to do it at the OS level.

Access will likely be slower with a software controller over a hardware controller but you don't need to mess with the actual RAID controller.

Windows 10 for example:
https://www.windowscentral.com/how-create-one-large-volume-using-multiple-hard-drives-windows-10
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
spanned or striped volumes don't have parity, lose one drive you lose everything
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
You cannot stripe or span C: using software because the driver that has those algorithms may get relocated to the second disk after a few service packs and then it couldn't boot.
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Maybe that's why I've never done it?

Author

Commented:
Ok, this is why I asked the question in the first place...I’m not very familiar with it. I was trying to see if I could extend current C:\ but in the end I just added a SATA drive as D. Not as nice as one expanded part. But it worked. THANK YOU
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
You never did tell us what RAID controller you had!

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