ryams27

Yet Another Stupid Question...

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Hey guys... If I buy a mobo with a built in RAID controller, I don't have to utilize it, right? Just making sure. After reading up about RAID (I have to admit that I'm still confused regarding many aspects of the topic), I've determined that I probably don't wanna mess with it on my desktop PC--particularly considering I wouldn't know what the hell I was doing.

One more question: Say I had two WD800JB HD's (or something similar) for my desktop...what is the best way to manage them. I mean, should I absolutely have all my mp3's, video files, and random other data on one drive, and my OS and apps on the other? I know this is a stupid question, one that I think I already know the answer to, but I wanted someone to maybe explain to me the benefit of maintaining HD's in such a fashion. FYI, I currently have all my major data (mp3's, etc.) on one drive (D:) and the OS/apps on the other (C:), but there are a few small apps on the D drive as well. Novice does not begin to describe me. Thanks.

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on every onboard ata/sata raid controller i've used the drives will act as if they're on a normal controller unless you create an array with them. the only exception to this was an intel board with onboard promise ata raid. in this case i had to create a 'single drive raid0 array' in order to get a usable disk in the windows installer

short answer: no

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The main reason to have data on one drive and OS on another is that in case of the OS screwing up somehow, you can reinstall, reformat, or whatever without worrying about how to back up your data files first.

And the main reason to put the apps with the OS is that when you reinstall the OS, you'll need to reinstall the apps as well so that all the relevant changes are made to the registry, etc. If you have an app installed on your data drive, you'll still need to reinstall it even though the files themselves are still there. This doesn't apply apps that don't really do an 'install' but are closer to just 'extracting' in nature.

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It also speeds up the occasions where the OS is accessing OS files and programs are accessing their data files at the same time*. It might help performance to install games on the second drive, too.

Of course, this means your second drive gets lots of bulky data and your OS drive is relatively empty. You could partition your OS drive into two, and put infrequently used large files like disk images and online backups on the 2nd partition of the OS drive.

*For a more in-depth explanation of how and why to split up concurrently accessed datasets between seperate physical hard disks, search the forums for terms like partitioning, "OS drive" and such like. And remember, you DON'T want to have frequently accessed data on two different partitions of one physical hard drive if you can help it, as this will slow you down. It only helps if you're putting it on two independent drives, preferably on different IDE channels (not an issue with SATA).

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