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Pepsione1

Yet another failure in raid0 setup. Please help me.....

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Since everyone stop giving me help, I've decided to buy a new Promise Ultra100 and hack it to a Fasttrak100 TX2 card.

Is this a good choice of controller card for the maxtor?

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Here's an alternate suggestion. Just buy a card, and don't try to hack it. You'll be better off in the long run.

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My advice:

Use a separate boot drive.

Use your RAID controller as a standard IDE controller.

Setup your RAID under Windows 2000.

Make sure you have DMA enabled.

Do NOT partition the drives for your testing. They should be completely blank.

Until you try it under these optimal conditions, there is no point in blaming any hardware problems.

If this doesn't perform to your liking, bench the drives individually (again, completely empty without any partitioning).

As Jason said, you are already using software RAID, so that's a non-issue. Anyway, true hardware RAID 0 is slower than software RAID 0. 2.5% of your CPU power is much faster than i960 RAID logic chips and the like. Of the common RAID types 0, 1, and 5, you only need hardware RAID for level 5, which is not meant for pure performance but rather capacity and redundancy.

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Ok, why not hack it? If it works the first time, its most likely to work for a long time.

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DMA, I thought you said enable DMA for the controller card. Sorry I read your post wrong and ignore my last question about DMA settings.

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I don't have a third drive for software raid and I don't want to spend the money for a third drive at the moment.

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Those are some good selections of IDE controller, but they are kinda of out of my price range. I don't really want to spend more money on a "IDE" controller then on my harddrive.

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I still wonder what could be wrong with my setup. Would the chipset of the motherboard have anything to do with it? It uses BX chipset and I think its prolly one of intel's most stable and efficient chipsets. I couldn't find any updates for the mobo and the bios is up to date.

Its a Abit BE6II, if you know anything about this board or found anything driver updates on it please let me know (i couldn't find any driver updates).

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how do you enable DMA in windows 2k, I've wondering abou this for a long time.

You must have service pack 2 installed, then you need to go into device manager and set the IDE ports to DMA

Jason

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Ok, why not hack it?  If it works the first time, its most likely to work for a long time.

Oh, personally I don't see anything wrong with hacking it, if you know what you're doing.

The fact that you can hack the basic controller should tell you something about how the RAID is really working, i.e. it is just software RAID with a fancy interface...

I don't have a third drive for software raid and I don't want to spend the money for a third drive at the moment.

Oh, well now we see. :D

You cannot bench a drive you're running the OS from and bench software from, all bets are off as to the results...

I still wonder what could be wrong with my setup.

Maybe nothing is wrong... You're benching from your test drives, that is a no-no.

Until you test the array while it is blank, nothing you get back really means much. The results are meaningless...

Jason

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Ok, why not hack it?  If it works the first time, its most likely to work for a long time.

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DMA, I thought you said enable DMA for the controller card.  Sorry I read your post wrong and ignore my last question about DMA settings.

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I don't have a third drive for software raid and I don't want to spend the money for a third drive at the moment.

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Those are some good selections of IDE controller, but they are kinda of out of my price range.  I don't really want to spend more money on a "IDE" controller then on my harddrive.

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Go ahead and hack away--there's no discernable difference in the performance of hacked Promise controllers to their counterparts. Like you said, as long as it works the first time, you're ok...

I know you said ignore DMA question, but I just thought I'd remind you that for Win2K, under the device manager, you have to set it on the hdd controllers, not on the drives themselves.

Regarding the third drive, don't you have 2 30GB 75GXPs? One of those should make a fine boot drive.

Don't get one of those fancy IDE controllers... I think it's a waste. You only need a hardware controller for RAID 5, and if your data is that important why bother with IDE?

I still wonder what could be wrong with my setup.  Would the chipset of the motherboard have anything to do with it?  It uses BX chipset and I think its prolly one of intel's most stable and efficient chipsets.  I couldn't find any updates for the mobo and the bios is up to date.

They've already told you! If the array is not empty (including paritioning), it may affect results. If there is data on the array, it will affect results. If you're booting from and running the benchmarks from the array, it will definitely affect the results.

Until you boot from a separate drive and bench the array empty, you can't be sure if there is a problem!

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I was going to bench the array when they are blank using hdtach, but the computer kept on crashing. I was using win98 too so I guess I should've used win2k because that I'll use for my OS anyway.

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I do have a third and fourth drive, but they are barely still holding together otherwise I wouldn't have made this upgrade. lol Even if I got a RMAed, I still don't want to use it because of how loud they are (defeats the purpose of have two liquid ball bearing drives). So I will have to buy another maxtor in the end if I want software raid.

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I am pretty cofident in hacking the promise card, its nothing but some simple soldering and bios flashing. I've done it to my Ultra66 controller and I am sure I could do it again for the Ultra100. hehe

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Is HDTach the only benchmarking program that will allow a blank drive (no partition right?) to be benched? Will ATTO do the same?

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If having a partition and doing benchmark will alter the results so much, does that mean the drive will never perform as good as it was benched after its partitioned?

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I am kinda busy right now, but i will try and bench those drives again. Check back for more results tonite at about 8:00 - 9:00est

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Thanks for all the help given so far, you guys are great. :wink:

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If having a partition and doing benchmark will alter the results so much, does that mean the drive will never perform as good as it was benched after its partitioned?

That is correct...

Drives will never perform to their max, but that should be obvious...

Does a CPU always run at full speed? Does a graphics card always render at its max level? :)

Jason

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I was just trying to move files around on my array to see what kinda of results I'd get. To copy&paste a 790mb file from the second primary ntfs partition to the first primary ntfs partiton took 80secs. So that's roughly about 10mb/s.

Does this sound normal?

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Yes, 10MB per second for a normal copy these days is normal, for moving files on the same drive...

You should get about twice that, perhaps 25MB per second, moving files from one drive to another...

Jason

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I was just trying to move files around on my array to see what kinda of results I'd get.  To copy&paste a 790mb file from the second primary ntfs partition to the first primary ntfs partiton took 80secs.  So that's roughly about 10mb/s. 

Does this sound normal?

Whole new can of worms!

There's a discussion on this right now:

http://forums.storagereview.net/viewtopic.php?t=1631

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If you only get about 10mb per sec for moving files around on the same drive. Does having a raid have to speed up the process at all?

Anyone want to explain what sequential transfer rate for me?

I thought I could benefit from raid because I work with larger files all the time. Such as unzipping, moving and ect. 1+gig files.

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Sorry, my last post was kinda messed up because I didn't proof read and i was talking to other people on the phone when i typed it. can a message be edited after its been posted? anyway, here's what i was trying to say.

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If you only get about 10mb per sec for moving files around on the same drive. Does raid0 help to speed up the process at all?

Anyone want to explain what sequential transfer rate means?

I thought I could benefit from raid because I work with larger files all the time. Such as unzipping, moving and ect. 1+gig files.

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Anyone want to explain what sequential transfer rate for me?

I thought I could benefit from raid because I work with larger files all the time.  Such as unzipping, moving and ect. 1+gig files.

If you have only two drives, and you work with large files, you'll get more speed by having them seperate.

At best, RAID 0 can double your STR, and it often doesn't for various reasons, but it doesn't help seek time.

When moving a file from one drive to another, little seeking is required so the drives can run at their full STR.

When moving a file from one spot on a drive to another spot on the same drive, TONs of seeking is required, slowing down the whole process.

Moving a file to another drive, rather than the same drive, is often 3 times faster, or better...

If you had 5 drives, a good way to hook them up if you wanted to put the space together and reduce the number of drive letters would be this:

C: - Boot drive, standalone - programs and OS go on this

D: - RAID 0 - two drives together

E: - RAID 0 - two drives together

If you're running Windows 2000 or XP Pro, you can span them instead of striping them, if you want to be a bit more secure at the cost of a little bit of speed.

If you just have 3 drives, I would keep them all seperate... This way you could do work on the files, and have the source files on one drive and the destination files on the other drive, and leave the OS and apps out of it.

I always prefer to have at least three drive letters in a system for this very reason.

Jason

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Me too, I always keep three drive letters on my system too so I can keep the OS from messing with my data. I just don't trust microsoft since the days of win3.1.

Is software raid os dependent? meaning that if the os gets corrupted or deleted, will the array get destroyed too?

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Let me get this clear.

I usually use download accelerator to download 1+ gig zip files. And it needs to rebuild the temporary file it created from downloading to the orginal zip file. Would having a RAID0 help in this situation?

Also, unzipping and build 1+gig large files. Would having a RAID0 help in this situation?

More, moving 1+gig across different drive letters (but on the same array). Would having a RAID0 help in this situation?

At last, move many (300+) tiny files (3-10mb) across the array. Would having a RAID0 help in this situation?

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That's about as file transfer intensive as it gets mostly but I do this quite often. Would I really benifit from raid?

If not, what other situations would I benifit from by using RAID0. Examples of applications (i already know raid is mostly for high STR in video editing).

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Guest russofris
I usually use download accelerator to download 1+ gig zip files.  And it needs to rebuild the temporary file it created from downloading to the orginal zip file.  Would having a RAID0 help in this situation?

No, you are better off unzipping to seperate physical drive

Also, unzipping and build 1+gig large files.  Would having a RAID0 help in this situation?

No, you are better off zipping to a seperate physical drive

More, moving 1+gig across different drive letters (but on the same array).  Would having a RAID0 help in this situation?

No, you are better off copying/noving to a seperate physical drive

At last, move many (300+) tiny files (3-10mb) across the array.  Would having a RAID0 help in this situation?

No, you are better off copying/noving to a seperate physical drive

That's about as file transfer intensive as it gets mostly but I do this quite often.  Would I really benifit from raid?

No

If not, what other situations would I benifit from by using RAID0.  Examples of applications (i already know raid is mostly for high STR in video editing).

VE is better off with 2 seperate drives. The only reason that people "used to" use RAID 0 for VE is that the capture TR used to exceed the Write TR of the drive, resulting in dropped frames. Nowadays, most 7200rpm drives can cap quite well without dropping frames.

Video "editing" does not include the "capture" though.. For editing, two seperate drives (source/destination) are the way to go. If you find that you are exceeding the R/W rate of the drives, you would use two seperate raid 0 arrays and keep the source/destination theme.

A situation where RAID 0 would be effective is one which the drive is either always reading or always writing, not both simultaneously.

Hope that this helps,

Frank Russo

PS...I believe that these conclusions have been reached by the community hundreds of times. Try the "Search" function in the upper right.

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Ok, thanks. I think i'll just use two seperate drives from now on.

oh, this is kinda stupid, after spending so many hours, I ended up not using raid. :lol:

So everyone agrees that if a file needs to be unzipped, its better to download to the first drive and unzipped to the second. Rather than having the file download to the first and unzipped to the first. And this is probably true too for all other hd intentsive tasks right? ie. swap file, abobe ps temporary space and download accelerator temporary files.

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Me too, I always keep three drive letters on my system too so I can keep the OS from messing with my data.  I just don't trust microsoft since the days of win3.1.

Is software raid os dependent?  meaning that if the os gets corrupted or deleted, will the array get destroyed too?

No, you can pull the array out and put it in another machine and it will come up just fine.

The array info is stored on the drives, not in the OS.

Jason

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I usually use download accelerator to download 1+ gig zip files.  And it needs to rebuild the temporary file it created from downloading to the orginal zip file.  Would having a RAID0 help in this situation?

No, you would be much better off to have the temp files on one drive, and the final file on another drive. It will go at least twice as fast, and more likely three times as fast.

Also, unzipping and build 1+gig large files.  Would having a RAID0 help in this situation?

No, you are always better off with two seperate drives rather than one single RAID 0 array here.

Of course, a pair of seperate RAID 0 arrays would be fine as well, but a single RAID 0 array would be worse.

At last, move many (300+) tiny files (3-10mb) across the array.  Would having a RAID0 help in this situation?

This might be as much as 5 to 10 times faster moving from one single drive to another, rather than across a single RAID 0 array.

If not, what other situations would I benifit from by using RAID0.  Examples of applications (i already know raid is mostly for high STR in video editing).

You don't, this is what most people don't seem to get.

Video editing DOES NOT NEED RAID 0, people continue to believe this, this is wrong.

Even the slowest modern 5,400 RPM IDE drive is plenty fast for uncompressed video capture, and non-liner video editing is seek limited, not STR limited.

RAID 0 has almost ZERO use for almost anyone... The only real time it is useful is if you have serveral RAID 0 arrays and you move files between them.

I have 4 - 120GB drives in my video machine. I have them setup into a pair of RAID 0 arrays (two arrays of 240GB each, two seperate drive letters). I do not have them all as one big RAID 0 array because that would be slower...

You can ask it all day long, but the answer won't change.

RAID 0 is more a marketing gimick than anything else...

Jason

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