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I'm building a RAID-0 array as my main boot "drive" and was wondering how adding disks to the array works in implementation. I'll be using either the Intel RT3WB080 or the Intel RS2BL080, which are effectively the same with varying cache sizes (256MB vs 512MB).

I'd like to start the array of SSDs with either 2 or 3 drives, eventually expanding up to four in time. How does this work? Do I have to completely start from scratch after I add each drive, or is there a utility in the Intel cards which will redistribute and restripe the data across the new amount of drives? I understand that I'd have to expand the actual partition(s) and that's totally acceptable for me as I can take the drives offline and do that using GParted or a similar tool.

Is it possible to add physical disks to an Intel hardware RAID-0 array without completely wiping the array each time?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

It depends on the RAID card. Technically it is possible, but it is not entirely trivial and even if a card supports it I would create and test a backup before any attempt.

And if you already have a backup then wiping the existing array and restoring from that backup is likely faster.

So, technically the answer is: Yes, it is possible.
But in practical terms it is: No, do not do it.

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Just found it in the manual and it said pretty much exactly what you did: Please make a backup before attempting to add devices to an array.. Well done. – Naftuli Tzvi Kay Dec 14 '12 at 1:18
That's kind of silly. If you care about the contents, you'd have a backup anyway. RAID is not backup, especially RAID 0 which actually increases the chance of data loss. – David Schwartz Dec 14 '12 at 1:32
It makes sense from the manuals writer point of view. – Hennes Dec 14 '12 at 1:35

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