Woof 15:20 23 Jun 04

Am in the throes of purchasing a new motherboard. I see that the one I'm intersted in quotes 'IDE RAID' facilities. I understand what RAID is but cannot understand the total number of disk drives the system will support.

RAID will use two drives but how many other hard drives will be allowed on the system?

Will 'Windows ME' support IDE RAID?


  duckers 16:21 23 Jun 04

depends how many IDE slots are on the motherboard altogether, I have an Epox board with 2 normal IDE slots and two RAID IDE slots with 2 drives attached per slot that gives 4 IDE RAID drives and 4 IDE drives (8 total which could all be hard disks if necessary)..
I use it as a backup mechanism really, I have it configured to mirror drive one onto drive two (RAID 1 Mirror) so if either fails I always have a backup that can be used to run the system from while another disk is installed/etc. There are a number of configurations possible depending on what you realy need RAID for... "Do I REALLY need raid anyway" is the question you should ask yourself and then "should I buy a board with SATA RAID or IDE RAID" is the other,, SATA is the way forward and will add some future proofing for a little extra money.
If I was buying my system today I would definitely choose SATA RAID as the price difference is slim.

Also consider the setup, I have the mirrored drives running on opposite channels so thres always maximum available IDE channel bandwidth; All other drives (non-RAID) are running on the normal IDE channels..

You dont have to use two drives exactly the same (although its a good idea) as raid will simply use the smallest drive size across all drives in the configuration, ie if you had 100 and 120gb drives you would only be able to use 100gb in a mirror configuration, in RAID 0 stripe both drives are combined and you'd get 220GB striped across the two drives but viewable as a single volume (or somewhere near after formatting/etc).

  duckers 16:24 23 Jun 04

Ive never used RAID with ME but I think that providing you have the correct drivers for it then you shouldnt have a problem (someone please correct me if I am wrong there), The RAID drivers will normally come with the motherboard and as its hardware RAID you should have no problem.

Personally I would upgrade from ME to XP anyway if your building a new system, ME is a donkey compared to XP (in my oppinion) and offers so much more security/stability. I used to run 98SE as opposed to ME as it was so crap.

  Dorsai 18:07 23 Jun 04

As duckers said, it depends ion the IDE connectors. Wiltoug knowing which mobo yuo looked at i cant say, but most seem to have four. two standard IDE and 2 RAID IDE. as he said that gives you max of 8.

Win XP does work fine on a raid setup...I'm posting from one now...but as stated you will need the raid drivers on floppy (should ship with Mobo) to install Xp onto raid. www, for a site which goes ito great detail about setting up a new raid array, and installing Xp onto it. I followed the advice from there, and i'm here now, as it worrked for me.

As for 'do you want raid..'

The advantage if a mirrored array are as stated above, two disks, but one is 'hidden' from sight. it always has the same data on it as the one you can see, so if one fails, use the good other till the dead one can be replaced..

the advantage of striped array is faster disk access. each file is split between the two drives. so when the file is accesses, and as long as the two drives are on different raid slots, the system can read 1/2 the file from one HDD at the same time it reads the other half from the other HDD.

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