View Full Version : Mix 200Gig IDE's in RAID?

04-23-2003, 08:55 PM
We have been happy with an IDE RAID made up of four 40Gig Western Digital drives. But, we desperately need more space since we sometimes have several projects on our T2 at the same time. I see WDs and Maxtors with 8meg caches for less than $200 after rebate but you can only buy one per household. Since my son and I have different charges cards and households, we were thnking of mixing them. What do you think?


Paul Lara
04-23-2003, 09:16 PM
Unfortunately, any difference in size on a RAID configuration will cause the OS to stripe each drive based on the smallest drive in the set. So, if you added a 200Gig drive to your set and re-striped, it would essentially ignore 80% of that larger drive.

Probably not what you wanted. :(

04-24-2003, 11:02 AM
That bugs me too - great deals down at the CompUSA, but the rebate only applies to one per household (probably to keep you from reselling them, but they could limit it to <10 or something, sheesh). I wouldn't hesitate to have other family members do some shopping for you; you're certainly not breaking any rebate rules. I probably wouldn't mix manufacturers, though, even if they were the same capacity and buffer size (as Paul said, the array will only work as well as the worst drive). I and other people have had success with the Western Digital "special edition" (xxxJB, not xxxBB) series. I personally haven't tried the Maxtors.

Good luck, -MG

04-24-2003, 07:54 PM
Paul and Mgrusin:

Thanks for the reply. I do know it will stripe out to multiples of the smallest drive in the array. But thanks for the warning since there are many things I don't know.

We were thinking of buying two 200gig Maxtor and two 200gig Western Digitals and putting them into a single 800 gig (I know it won't format out to the full 800) WIN2000 software array-not on a hardware RAID controller.

MG, any danger here other than performing to the level of the weakest drive in the array? The four WD 40''s we have are plain 7,200 RPM ATA 100's I believe. Generally, if frequently defragged, we're able to play 3 or 4 layers without a lot of rendering.

If that won't work, could I put the two drives of each brand into two 2 drive arrays and still hope for workable performance?

Thanks Again.

04-24-2003, 09:42 PM
FYI ask to speak with the store manager and let that person know you are trying to build a RAID array and the you would like 4 of the drives. Most likely they will approve the sale to you. Like you said they just do not want someone comming in and buying 20 of the drives just to be sold on eBay.

One time I need 10 matching 20" tvs for a project and Fry's had a sale where they were only like $150 each but limit one. I spoke with the store manager and he sold me the 4 he had in stock and called all of the other stores in the area to find me the rest all at the lower price.

04-25-2003, 05:33 PM
Hi Dave,

To be honest, I'm guessing here. Theoretically a RAID with drives from different manufacturers should work, since the IDE interface is (theoretically) standard... It's just that in this business there are so many variables, that any you can eliminate (like mixing manufacturers) is usually in your favor. So I'd recommend trying for 4 identical drives first using bbenan's shopping advice (again the IDE-toasting folks around here including me highly recommend the Western Digital "specials"), but if not, there's a good chance it will still work fine (or at least as good as the worst drive). And you're right, you can make two (slower :() RAIDS if they don't play nice together (and you have enough IDE ports - remember that each IDE port should only hold one RAID drive).

Before you try this, and especially since I don't recall reading anyone's experience with the Maxtors here, I recommend doing a little research on them here, at the other Toaster BBS', and at StorageReview.com (http://www.storagereview.com/).

Hope this helped, let us know how it goes! -MG

Maybe we need a "VT buying club", where members can ask a member in another city to buy them those "limit one" deals. ;)

04-26-2003, 11:44 AM
I was browsing through www.storagereview.com (http://www.storagereview.com) myself, and it looks like the new Western Digital "Raptor" Serial ATA drives are going to make life interesting in a year or two... really fast, 5-year warranty, but very expensive (for now) at $160 (list) for 36GB...


04-26-2003, 09:57 PM
Thanks, MG. I'll be checking the Sunday paper for deals and let you know in a week or two how it worked.