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I'm thinking about setting up my next computer with RAIDed external storage.

I've looked into the various kinds of RAID and their advantages and disadvantages, so I'm happy about the various consequences of a drive failing.

What I'm unclear on is what happens if the RAID enclosure or controller itself fails somehow. Is it generally just a case of moving those disks to another controller which supports the same RAID? Or is RAID implementation specific, so that one controller's RAID5 might be incompatible with another?

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There is no one answer fits all. It really depends on the make and model of Raid controller.

Some have built in storage/memory, others can use a part of the hard drive itself to store its firmware.

You can be pretty guaranteed (but not always) that in case of a failure, getting another identical model will just work, but do not count that switching manufacturers/models will work.

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If you are using software RAID on a AMD motherboard, I think that all you need to do is purchase another motherboard that supports the AMD chip, install the same operating system, and then you are good to go. At least that's how I remember it for Ubuntu (using the mdadm commands):

http://tjworld.net/wiki/Linux/Ubuntu/HardyRAID5EncryptedLVM

This probably isn't directly answering your question -- but I've found that RAID controllers are kind of a pain to figure out.

Let us know how it works for you, if you get one.

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