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  1. I have Ubuntu & Windows 7 installed on my hdd. Can I mirror the image of the hdd to the second identical drive? Is this not recommended (i.e have to re-install every OS)? If it is okay to mirror, is there anything else to do to make hw RAID 0 work?
  2. Does RAID 0 have the same risk as a single drive?
  3. What sector size would you recommend for read/write/extract video files (mostly each around 2 GB)?
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Do you want RAID 0 (striping) or RAID 1 (mirroring)? The answers are completely different, and if you're confused about what you're doing, now is the time to dispel the confusion. –  Gilles Jun 29 '11 at 7:03
    
@Gilles: RAID 0 (striping) is what i want –  sterz Jun 29 '11 at 7:06
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up vote 2 down vote accepted
  1. No. You cannot do this without reinstalling (or moving your data temporarily, setting up RAID, then moving it back). If you were doing RAID 1, you might be able to do it, if you have a fancy enough RAID controller, but even then it's doubtful.

  2. No, RAID 0 has higher risk than a single drive, and for pretty obvious reasons. Suppose that one drive has a 10% chance of failure over the course of a year (that's an unrealistically high failure rate, but it's a convenient number). That means that in a given year 1/10 drives will fail. Now, if you add a second drive to a RAID 0 configuration, then you have a 2/10 chance that at least one drive will fail in that year--so you've effectively doubled your failure rate. A third drive brings that up to 3/10, and so on.

  3. For video files, I wouldn't recommend RAID 0 at all, because speed is not important and, as explained above, you double your failure rate. Instead, I would just use two drives. (I might use LVM if I were only using Linux, but that's not much of an option with Windows).

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