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I see that the Gigabyte GA-7NNXP motherboard supports IDE Raid.


That being said, can anyone tell me what I would need to do to take advantage of that?


Is it as simple as:


Purchase minimum of 3 IDE Drives

Hook to Raid Controller on motherboard

Chain together with cable

Configure and format


On my PC, I have duplicate drives, so that I can backup one to the other. I've been thinking about what I want to do on the HTPC that I want to build. I have been thinking I would buy a smaller one for the system, and a 250 for the second drive; Backup the system to the 250, and store media on the 250, assuming for the most part a HD failure on the 250 would be easier to restore from other media, than re-installation of the system should the system drive fail.


If I can raid the drives, that would theoretically protect everything. (I have had 2 drives fail simultaneously on servers in our IT environment, but that is rare).
 

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Odds are it only supports RAID1. Which means you'll need (2) identical hard drives if you want to do RAID1.


For a HTPC, I'd recommend instead a pair of goodish sized drives, the second one larger (or using an external usb drive). Create a 16Gb partition at the start of the first drive for the O/S, partition the rest as a 2nd partition for the capture files. The 2nd drive is only for backups.


Once you have the O/S installed and apps configured (installing everything to C:\\), use Symantec's Ghost and make an image of the drive onto the 2nd hard drive. (May even want to do this monthly.) That way, if the O/S or primary drive croaks, you can get back to a starting point quickly. Consider even off-loading those image files to DVD-R (if they'll fit) or external USB.


Use the 2nd drive as backup, either by scheduling a cron job to copy files from the data partition to the 2nd drive, or with something like Second Copy 2000. Advantage here is that you can recover from accidental deletions (the windows trash bin is useless if files are over 4Gb in size).
 

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It actually supports raid0 and raid1. However do yourself a favor and do not use the horrible Gigaraid function that board. It is extremely slow, and very unreliable. Your much better off if you already bought the HD's by going to the vendor of your choice, and getting a couple of PATA to SATA convertors. It will seriously run 2x faster than the gigaraid (IDE) on the SATA raid. I learned this the hard way so I am trying to save you the trouble..:)


Edit - I wanted to add that the 2x speed performance is not from the SATA just being faster as IDE on this board as it's not. All Nforce2 boards with SATA only run at 133 anyway. This is because the chip is run off of the PCI bus. The speed increase from gigaraid to SATA raid is from not using the very poorly designed IDE raid chip that Gigabyte used. This is only bad thing I can say about this board (well don't use Corsair ram). Other than that it is a rock solid board, and I am extremely glad I purchased one.
 
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