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I just built a home server a few months ago with four 2tb drives for storage of media. It was booting from a 120gb Vertex3 SSD. That drive failed, now I'm realizing I don't need a SSD for the boot drive in a server.

I decided I want to RMA it, and put the replacement in my laptop. The performance is actually needed there. However, I'm extremely weary of its reliability.

Now, I have a 500gb HDD I took out of the laptop a few months ago, it had an issue with the g-sensor and locked up often when the laptop moved suddenly. I figured I could put that in the server and not have issues with the g-sensor. The replacement was a very similar model, same brand, except with better firmware where the g-sensor actually works. I'm thinking if I put the SSD in the laptop, I can RAID1 both of these 500gb drives in the server for backup purposes - just do a nightly backup sync with them. I'm scared to RAID them, though, because they're not truly identical.

These drives are all going in a 5.25" bay in the server, the adapter has space for four 2.5" drives. I was thinking I'd just pick up a WD3200BEKT laptop and boot from that in the server. Am I going to run into heat issues with these 3 drives? Will the vibration effect each of them? Is there a better way to go about this situation without wasting drives? Is this all a bad idea?

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Why not just let the server boot from the four 2tb drives instead of adding another drive? – psusi Jan 30 '12 at 16:55

The idea seems just fine. Depending on what kind of adapter you use for the 3 x 2.5" drives eat might be an issue. You should get one with active cooling (ie a fan installed).

As for backup, I would recommend you use some sort of software like CrashPlan (witch is free as long as the backup is taken to your server). I would also recommend taking a complete system image of your laptop with free (http://www.runtime.org/driveimage-xml.htm) or bought software like True Image or Ghost. Taking a complete image every month is enough for most users, if you run crashplan or the like.

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I should agree that SSD is better in laptop, than in home server. Weary of SSD reliability? In case of writes count or overall reliability?

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