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About a year ago I was using the native Intel ICH9R Raid 5 an Intel P35 based motherboard. The system was running Vista x64 and when one of the drives failed Vista blue screened on boot until I had figured out which drive had failed and removed it (a rather nerve racking hit and miss affair). The same thing happened some months later on another similar system so it wasn't a once off. This wasn't the robust raid 5 drive failure behavior that I would have hoped for and expected.

I moved to Highpoint Rocketraid 2300 and haven't had any problems although I have yet to have a drive fail with this set up.

But I am now looking to build a new system based on an i7 and Windows 7. At the moment Highpoint doesn't have drivers for Windows 7 so I am considering moving back to the on board Intel Raid. Yes I know I that I might get away with using the Vista drivers but I don't really want to take that chance with critical data.

The question then is has anyone else experienced a drive failure with Intel raid and how did the OS and drivers handle it? Is it safe to go back?

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3 Answers

I have had no better experiences with one RAID over another.

I have used Intel in the past and it has worked fine.

Now, not an answer, but general advise -

As you are using this on a home computer, I would personally go for normal drives and just take regular backups... or if you must use RAID, spend a bit extra and go for enterprise disks - they are generally built better and last a bit longer when in high demand situations.

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I would generally agree with using a normal single drive for most home systems. However this is a software development system and I like the added safety of a raid setup. I do have proper backups kept in a fireproof safe as well. –  user10762 Oct 8 '09 at 3:09
    
@davpen: RAID doesn't provide safety, it provides performance and/or redundancy. If you want safety you're better off in a software-RAID mirroring configuration than a RAID-5 setup. –  quack quixote Oct 18 '09 at 21:07
    
By safety I mean redundancy as in some protection from a drive failure. Software RAID mirroring (RAID 1) is not any better than RAID 5 (software or hardware) in providing protection against a drive failure. Of course using a RAID array is not a substitute for regular backups it is just an added layer of protection. –  user10762 Oct 19 '09 at 7:15
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I hate the intel stuff! I've only used it for 1 and 10 modes (I've tried 5 but I couldn't get past the stop 7Ds) but the behavior is atrocious. I have never seen one boot with a bad drive in the array. The older version of the software had a massive resource leak--100k handles/hr.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I went ahead with the Intel Matrix RAID with a set of four WD 808GB green drives and lo, and behold! a couple of weeks after setting it up one of the drives failed. Thankfully, unlike my previous experience, it degraded elegantly and didn't crash the OS (Windows 7).

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We things didn't go well after all. The raid performance has been nothing short of dismal and a second WD 808GB green drive has just failed. Perhaps I have a bad bunch of drives of these drives just don't work very well in a RAID array. Anyway I have gone back to the RocketRaid 2300 which works perfectly. –  user10762 Nov 13 '09 at 2:14
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