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About dkazaz

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  1. dkazaz

    Cloning software

    Thanks! I found that the branded versions are crippleware e.g. Wd align only works on wd 4k drives. Not on wd standard format drives or other brand 4 k drives. Fortunately I found an online calculator for the offsets at: And I also learned how to do the alignment with gparted, so I'll be saving my money. Paragon charges $30 for the tool or $80 for the partition management suite. I think they must be insane! Now I just have to study the clonezila partition restoration options a bit to make sure I don't screw up there. This is the first time I'll be using it on a disk other than the one where the partition image came from (I usually use it to recover messed up configurations over themselves). If I manage it, I'll post them here in case anyone's interested.
  2. dkazaz

    Cloning software

    Thanks Brian. When you say software to fix alignment, can you be specific about some? I have heard of paragon alignment tool only... If there is something that works, then I could, presumably restore a partition image with clonezilla and then use such a tool to re-align to partitions. Thanks for any advice!
  3. dkazaz

    Cloning software

    Back to the question of cloning software... Those of you that responded seem to be fans of Acronis TI, but I have read that it doesn't respect sector alignment e.g. the 4k sectors used in many SSD's. Does anyone know if this is true or not? I've just bought an SSD anbd would love to clone rather than re-install my OS on it. I typically use Clonezilla with ntfsclone or partclone but I'm open to using anything that will get the job done right. Unfortunately I'm not very knowledgeable about sector alignment so I'm weary of doing something I don't understand well. Perhaps someone can enlighten us?
  4. dkazaz

    Samsung SpinPoint F3EG Review

    One area where these drives excel compared to the competition is price. They are typically 15% cheaper sometimes more and this seems to be the case in most regions of the world. This is not important when one is buying one drive, but for those ordering say 5 drives for a RAID NAS, this makes a difference of $/€ 100 in total cost.
  5. I think the new Western Digital advanced format with 4k clusters is designed to improve this, by improving the ECC effectiveness of existing algorithms, however neither WD nor anyone else seems to have discussed this in detail. It's notable that at the moment, advanced format WD drives have the same specs on unrecoverable read errors.
  6. Of course it helps if the people handling the packages don't treat the boxes as footballs - I remember someone explaining that airport baggage handlers are called "throwers" - probably applies to a lot of similar professions
  7. dkazaz


    So presumably this tweak is only useful when hardware raid controllers are used? Dows it make a difference in software raid systems like BYOD NAS servers etc which are usually linux softraid over ich contollers?
  8. Its a topic concerning many people these days! I have to say that despite all the comments about "statistically insignificant sample" I actually think the newegg numbers are pretty good if you can adjust for the packing policies. That is, when did they start packing disks poorly, did they stop at some point due to complaints? Regarding the main question however, if you look at popular hard drives e.g. Seagate barracudas you will find at least a few hundred reviews for each and some will have satisfaction ratings in the 80-90% range (4 & 5 stars), while others in 40% range. Invariably the ones with higher ratings are older drives with lower capacities.Compare the same drive at 750, 1TB, 1.5TB and 2TB and see if the pattern doesn't hold true. Not scientific, but to me that says something. Granted there's a lot of satisfied people who don't post reviews but calibrating for those in reviewing the data is trivial. As to the sample size, I confess, being a statistician, this is not how I'd construct a survey, but as a shopper, this is certainly better than nothing. I'm thinking about going with samsung ecogreens - the ratings are higher but on top of that samsung apparently insist that customers do read/write tests on their new drives for several hours with a utility from their website. No idea if this is the same as the tests done by seagate seatools or WD data lifeguard tools, but it makes me feel more comfortable. Anyway they're going into a raid 5 and are on the HCL, so that's the most important thing. Oh, and backups of course!
  9. dkazaz

    Storage Review Site Update

    Wonderful news! Very few websites have provided quality content on storage in recent years, and none to same in-depth level as storage review used to. Attempts to build storage performance databases by the larger IT review sites (Anand, Tom's hardware) have also never matched the quality of the SR database. I am looking forward to becoming a regular visitor once again. On the subject of content which some members are discussing, I would say that as the storage world has significantly developed in the last few years, it would be useful if SR, could address a wider spectrum than just hard drive performance. By that I mean that there are important developments happening in interfaces (SATA 3), controllers (RAID5 is becoming widespread even in home environments, and RAID edition discs following suit), SSDs of course and even emerging storage technologies (like multi-layer or holographic optical discs with multi-terabyte capacities). In time, it would be great if SR can grow to encompass some or all of these areas, but let's get going with material on traditional storage and go from there. Welcome!
  10. Thanks, I just had a loot a this, but all the product literature says this is a 64-bit PCI-Z card - it will fit into a universal slot but still work as a64-bit card. Do you have experience of running this in a PCI 32-bit slot?
  11. Unfortunately you're right... Having done tons of reasearch, the spec is insufficient for my purposes (keeping important data safe), and not just in the way you mention. The mobo is PCI only and there are no hardware RAID cards for SATA that are PCI. All the current models from LSI, 3ware, areca etc are PCI-X or PCI-E x4, x8 (Plenty of fakeraid cards are PCI or back-compatible PCI-X, but I don't want those). This means none will fit the motherboard or any consumer mobo. A w/station-server mobo will do, or I could try messing about with a high end SLi mobo (don't ask!) to get the PCI-E cards to work in an SLi slot. Then find a PCI VGA card since the SLi slot will be taken and then pray the Bios lets me use a RAID card win that slot. I'd also need a new CPU, RAM, PSU, and case. And then I'd need to install and configure ubuntu linux server, which I've not done before... Since my time is pretty expensive, this crosses the line from a fun side project to re-use some old hardware to a big pain in the a**. So instead I'm getting a 2TB Infrant ReadyNAS NV for my backups and turning the old kit into a simple Linux desktop to surf the web from. That'll be fun and maybe I'll play with software RAID 0 to make it run faster.
  12. Hi and thanks for your response:) I was afraid everyone was on vacation or found my topic deadly dull! To answer your question, the drives are going to be SATA. This is because there are more choices and more future support for SATA drives should I need to replace one. As for the PCI controllers, many PCI-X cards are backwards compatible with PCI. Of course the performance is decreased accordingly. I am not that concerned about performance since network will never equal the performance of direct attached storage or a fast RAID array anyway. The safety of my data is more important to me. The key question I guess is whether RAID 5, is safe enough to use, or am I risking my data to save some money on disks? As far as cost of controllers is concerned, I think I'll leave that decision till after I decide the RAID level. Any thoughts would be welcome. Thanks!
  13. Scratch my comments on the Highpoint 2320. It's a PCI-E only card, so I can't use it without a full system upgrade. So your reccomendations would be even more useful.
  14. I have over 1TB of Data (and growing) floating around various disks, DVD's etc. I've been using DVD-R's for backup, but most of my files are 10-50MB's (mostly graphics work) and archiving to DVD is really tedious (sorting, categorizing, etc). Also I'm sick of loading DVD's every 20 mins. I'm thinking of setting up an inexpensive NAS which will (a) keep safe backups of my data using some RAID configuration and (b ) use as online storage to allow me relatively fast access to the data (well faster than DVD anyway ) At the moment I have some old kit lying around which I can use and later upgrade: P3 800MHz 384MB PC100 SDRAM Intel PCI Mobo (100MHz bus) 10/100 NIC System Disk: 80GB IDE HDD. Storage: 4x500GB HDD's (probably Seagate) DVD-ROM Linux (Ubuntu or Suse) for OS. My clients are WinXP (desktop/laptop/HTPC). I do Not want to use software RAID because I want to keep my options open for future hardware/OS upgrades, reinstalls etc. I'm likely to upgrade the CPU,mobo etc. So I propose to buy a decent RAID controller with preferably 8-channels, using the 4 now and 4 for future expansion. I'd really appreciate it if the more experienced members would advise me on the following questions: 1) Which RAID level? RAID 5 seems best value for money though people say performance is poor (don't know if that matters much) but also that its relatively risky for data loss. This is much more serious. I know that RAID 1 or 10 have good redundancy but I was hoping to keep disk costs down. 2) What RAID controller? Bearing in mind that that I don't want to risk my data, but I'm not after top of the line performance. Here in the UK, the easiest RAID cards are Highpoint. The 2320 seems to fit, as it is 8-channel PCI-E/PCI. Better kit (3ware, Areca's etc) cost double or more. Are they worth it for my purposes? Are they much safer than the highpoint? I guess the question of RAID level used is relevant here too. 3) There's an easy alternative: buying an Infrant ReadyNAS NV, but that only supports 4 HDD's and apparently performance is poor given the cost. Has anyone used this? Should I be thinking about this seriously? I'd really appreciate some advice because I've been reading forums, product guides and reviews for a week and my head has exploded. Thank you in advance
  15. Apologies for the delay in responding (due to a business trip). Thank you all for your advice. It's been incredibly useful! I have in fact traced the problem to a faulty power supply combined with frequent current fluctatuations in my area. It seems that every summer we get brownouts (possibly due to AC use). Some of these have gradually messed up the power supply (I had it tested by a friend who's an expert). I've replaced the PSU and will be investing a UPS soon, which apparently solves the problem. No need for the storage server yet, although given the size of my data store (over 400GB) and the need for backups, it may not be a bad idea. After all, how long can I keep adding drives to my system? I found the discussion on p2p load particularly interesting. I personally think that although they don't put the disk under great load they do cause a fair amount of tear and wear due to the constant seeks/writes. There are things that you can do to help optimise those but still it must impact time to failure somewhat.