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About NovaTC

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  1. Thank you very much for this collection. While there is a lot of bitching about Tom's, I visit it from time to time and find it not that bad, too. I will look into these reviews. However, since I don't need the drives right now (capacity-wise, I could use a safer placer for my data, as traditional backup media are either too expensive or just uncomfortable), I might consider waiting for the next generation of Seagate and WD (which have mentioned in some postings in this board). The T7K250 is actually considered "next" generation, with 125GB/platter, isn't it? And then there is the upcoming "perpendicular" technology... the best time to buy hardware is always next month. BTW: Regarding perpendicular writing, if you are in for a Flash-flash, follow this link: Big weired flash animation by Hitachi GST
  2. @qasdfdsaq: Yes, there _are_ reviews, I should have written "reliable reviews". :-) Which reviews would you recommend? Storagereview doesn't semm to deliver, they have some catching up to do once they get that new testbed online... . And then there is the problem with reviews per se... a review in a very reliable paper magazine got completely different rankings for drive STR, noise, access time etc. than Storagereview... so whom should I believe? The 7200.8 is not a lot different from the competition, insome benchmarks it is a tad slower, in others a bit faster. So in the end, performance is hardly worth considering, its more the soft skills like low noise... but even there, idle different benchmarkers get completely different rankings. where e.g. the Hitachi's idle noise is considerably lower than that of Seagate. However, they don't measure in decibels but use "Sone", which is thought to better represent human perception of noise. Where Storagereview says Seagate is about one dB/a quiter than Hitachi, its 1 sone vs. 0.6 sone in the mag. The 5-year warranty is actually a very good reason for buying Seagate... they obviously trust their drives more than the competition does. @alexkraemer: I don't plan to boot from the RAID1, it is for data only. Is this still a problem then? Is it possible to dual boot Linux and Windows without corrupting the array?
  3. I consider finally putting that idle SATA RAID controller on my trusty A7N8X Deluxe Mobo to some good use, by buying two drives in the 250GB range and configuring them in a RAID 1 (Mirroring) configuration. The controller is a Silicon Image Sil 3112A. Does anyone have any (good or bad) experience with this particular setup? Are the drivers usable? Is Linux supported? Is RAID 1 noticably slower than a single disk? Is the total setup actually reliable? (Since I want to protect my data from faulty drives, not put it at jeopardy). And what drives should I buy? I currently consider - DiamondMax 10 250GB (16MB cache) Unlike some writers in this board I haven't had any issues with three different Maxtor drives so far (27GB, 80GB, 200GB). -Hitachi T7K250 (8MB cache) Unfortunately no reviews so far, but since it seems to have higher data density, I asume its STR is better than maxtor. - Seagate 7200.8 250GB My last Seagate drive was a 450MB (read: MEGAbyte), which served me well till I sold it off. But I am lacking more current experience. While I have a 120GB WD1200JB (PATA) in the same system which will receive the RAID1, I do not consider the WD2500JB... I can't actually give any specific reason, but IIRC the drive series is quite dated. And I don't like Samsung for some strange gut feeling, but maybe someone can convince me...
  4. Thanks for the info, I will order an adapter, since my power supply does not have SATA power connectors. I just hope the drive does not use the 3,3V supply on the connector, since AFAIK these adapters only supply the standard 5V and 12V lines.
  5. I plan buying a DiamondMax10 (200GB) with Serial ATA interface. Do these drives use the "old" standard power connector (like that found on optical drives and PATA-HDDs) or do they use the serial ATA power connector? If the use the SATA type, will an adapter do the trick, or do the drives use the extra 3,3V line?
  6. @mohawk: What you report worries me a little. I did not expect stellar support from a budget label, but still... . I hope the nForce3 problem you report does not translate to some nForce2 boards as well. You mention a conflict with the onboard serial ATA controller on the Supermicro board. How did you solve it? Did you disable the onboard controller or did you find a workaround? About RAID expansion... you might be able to increase the size of the existing partition with a tool like partition magic (which, at least in the last version I remember did most of the dirty work under plain old DOS, so you are probably out of luck if Promise does not supply DOS drivers for the card. But it might work under Windows as well, I always used it on a bare system without a functional OS.) Linux offers tools with a similar functionality, but I never used them. Of course, using any such tool means putting your data at jeopardy. I used PM to do some minor partition modifications (on an unRAIDed disk connected to an onboard controller), I had no problems but your mileage might vary. @VDPloeg Thanks, the reviews are interesting. As you can guess, I still have not purchased anythign RAIDish. I am no easy customer, and since my vacation is over, I might as well wait for a native card by promise (i.e. SX4 successor).
  7. I find it not too hard to imagine how data migration might work. For example, when going from a basic 2-disc RAID0 stripe set to RAID 5, e.g. by adding one disk, all that has to be done is moving one third of the data from the two existing disks to the new disk while at the same time using the now free space on the two "old" drives for parity info. From a RAID 1 to RAID 5 is comparable, just move some data to the new drive, add the parity information to the two old ones. You can do it in such a way that even a hard shut down (i.e. power switch or black out) won't compromise RAID integrity, you just have to be sure that the data is always stored somewhere, plus information about the current state of RAID level migration, so that the controller knows what it was doing last and where it has to continue migration. Removing disks is another matter. When going from 3-disk RAID5 to three -disk RAID0, you simply drop the parity info. When going two two-disk RAID-0 you have to empty one drive, by successively removing parity information on the two remaining drives and replacing data. You would hardly need any free space to do this. Perhaps some sectors reserved for RAID metadata will be sufficient (but more free space will likely migration faster) . Of course you will loose RAID5 benefits immediately after you start the migration. Whenever a migration reduces the capacity of the array, you will need to provide enough free space on the disks (and perhaps do a defragmentation and free-space consolidation on the file system level). Yet here I wonder, how the RAID controller (who should not have any idea about the filesystem on the RAID) knows which sectors of the array are empty. Any ideas?
  8. @Kakarot: Occupant mentions that Promise Linux support sucks. Did you ever try running your setup with Linux? Linux support is no issue for me right now, the system I plan to place the RAID in is currently my Windows XP gaming machine and will stay that for a while, I just need some handy and reasonably safe storage space, not 24/7 operation to serve media files to several clients at once. But I might be interested in Linux support sooner or later, as I consider building a Linux home server (for firewall/routing and file serving) if I ever find the time. @Occupant: It seems Promise supplies drivers ("kernel module" whatever) for specific Linux distros (Suse and Redhat), which indicates "binary only". I am no Linux expert, but AFAIK binary drivers are always locked to a specific kernel version, i.e. no security updates unless Promise delivers a new driver as well. Is there an open source driver available by the community?
  9. The problem with these two controllers is the steep price tag. Th 3Ware Escalade 9500S-4LP is about 330€ and for that price I expect native SATA support. LSI Logic MegaRAID SATA 150-4 would be more acceptable at around 250€ and seems to be native SATA, but is hard to come by. I know Promise isn't highly regarded here, but if it was only a minor loss in performance (i.e. throughput, not CPU load!), I would be willing to accept that. It is only about 170€, I can reuse old memory and it has hardware XOR. But if someone can direct me to (so far unsolved) critical problems with the Promise RAID5 controllers that actually compromise the integrity of the array, I *might* be willing to pay the price for 3Ware. Otherwise, while I still like the RAID5 idea very much, I will go with mirroring on my onboard controller for now and spend the money elsewhere.
  10. Forgot something, can't you edit posts in this forum? Can't seem to find a button... . "Giving it a try" is a problem. If I give Highpoint a try and decide it's crap, can I migrate the array to Promise without having to recreate it, loosing all data? I highly doubt this. This is especially a problem if the array is already filled, and if I don't have the capacity to store the files elsewhere. So I would like a solution that is an almost sure hit right from the start. No switiching controllers (what to do with the other one? Yeah, "ebay", but I loathe selling at ebay...), no crappy drivers, no drivges dropped for no apparent reason etc. BTW: Tomshardware (yeah, we all know it is crap, but better crappy numbers than none ;-) ) has a Cheap-SATA-RAID-5-controller review. Highpoint performs quite good, but good ol' Tom forgot to measure CPU load.
  11. I would really like to buy the Highpoint cause it would save me quite a few bucks. But I wonder how OS-dependet this half-soft-half-hardware solutions are. Not to forget CPU load. While Bit's calculations indicate that software RAID is faster, his observations only compare one 3Ware controller with pure software RAID. How high is you CPU load when copying large files, and what is your CPU?
  12. I am aware that the US have this doctrine, i.e. that they cannot use evidence they stumble upon by accident and that is not related to the reason for the search warrant, or evidence gathered by illiegal means. It is however not like this in every country. In my country, if they do stumple upon evidence that hints to other crimes, you can and will be charged for that as wll. Say, they come looking for warez and find your beautiful canabis green house and that cool Kalashnikow rifle in your closet, than warez will be the least of your problems. Depending on the amount of canabis,you will get quite a sentence either for drug consumption (if the amount is small, so that it might seem an apprioate amount for private consumption) or for drug dealing/production if you green house holds more than a few plants. Not to forget that gun... even if you had a gun license (which you can get if you make it plausbile why you would need a gun), in my country you still would not be allowed to have an automatic rifle, which is considered a weapon of war, i.e. not for civilian use under any circumstances. This would end you up in prison for sure. Back to the point... the "fruit of the poisonous tree"-doctrine that definitely lacks in my countries laws. Evidence that was gathered by questionable means _can_ be used against you. Not good.
  13. It is _not_ about cooperation. That would be the case if you are an (otherwise not involved) witness to a crime and refuse to help the authorities. It is about incriminating oneself. While it is not done directly (like in "yes, I did it, the skeleton is in the closet"), it is done indirectly by revealing the password. A "rogue country" will not accept that the suspect is not willing to help the authorities get to evidence against him. A _true_ democracy would have to respect it. Even if it leads to the perpetrator getting away. That is among other things what differentiates a democracy from a tyranny. It is not only about elections and free speech. Agreed. But Guantanamo is one such thing that I think, does not suit a democracy. Moving suspects to other countries where they can be tortured instead of interogated in accordance with human rights is a similar matter. (Note: AFAIK the later is only an unproven rumor) I am afraid not. While some countries come closer than my country or the US in some respect (like e.g. Switzerland), they often lack in other departments. The "degree of democracy" can oftennot be determined by reading a countries constitution. It can often only be seen in day to day life.
  14. The problem is: laws are made by humans. And humans are neither free of error, nor free of malevolence. In history, many laws have been passed that were injust, inhumane, simply "not right". Yes, it works like that in dictatorships, "communist countries" and all other forms of government that don't regard human rights very high. It just doesn't suit a democracy. It seems this discussion leads nowhere. Lets agree on disagreement.
  15. @track: Of course computer files are usually not random data. But if you want to securely erase a hard disk (perhaps before selling it on ebay), you can just write random data to it. So a hard disk full of random data could just be that. And about search warrants: judges tend to be very generous when signing them. I recently read about someone's flat being searched because he was accused of having used someone else's account to pay on a porn site. While this is certainly not something to be taken lightly, the evidence was not clear (the guy in fact _was_ innocent). Actually the attorney of the state had no clue about computers, as had the judge. They filled the search warrant. And all for about 50 euros (~60$)! So don't place a bet on a judge to protect your rights as a citizen. @pico1180: You quoted Future Shock and said that he is 100% correct. My point is: you _cannot_ conmpare a door to an encrypted disc. Cause there is no such thing as an impenetrable door. The door is there, they have a search warrant, they can ask(! not force!) you to open it, or they will open it for you, certainly leaving quite a mess. But how can they force you to reveal a password. Perhaps you forgot it. Of course, that is a lie, but what should they do? Put you in jail 'til you remember? For what, perhaps because of some hundred MP3 or warez? While RIAA and other lobby organisations would like to have jail sentences for that, the relation between the severity of the crime and the punishment should not be forgotten. Currently there is a development in many countries, caused by serios lobbying of the entertainment industry, to put severe punishment (even prison sentences) for non-commerical violation of copyrights. I say that here the balance between punishment and "crime" is no longer kept. I mean, five years of prison is less than a rapist usually gets! It can't be that you are (punishment-wise) better of when you rob your local CD store than when you download the MP3s them from the internet. And even for the most severe crimes, there are measures that simply MAY NOT be taken under any circumstances in a country that calls itself civilized and democratic. Torture, locking up people without giving them proper legal support etc. The problem ist, that if the apparent crime is severe enough, many people will happily agree to do whatever necessary to make someone speak. Should someone be tortured if national security is at stake (just think about the "24" TV-series, where Jack Bauer kills and tortures non-stop, and most viewers think that's okay)? Maybe. Should someone be tortured/locked up because he _may_ have some warez on an encrypted disk? - Definitely not. But since "we have the best politicians money can buy", we might soon see laws that allow just that. Perhaps that is the time to consider leaving a country (but go where?), not only because such a law might one day be applied to oneself, but because the fact that such a law was ever adopted shows that a country is no longer "free" or a constitutional state. Leaving a country because of questionable laws might seem extreme at first, but consider what many germans (especially those of yewish origin) did during the 1930s. They saw to what the political developments were leading to, and left the country. But unlike in the 1930s there might not be a "save haven" to go to.