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I need to expand my media storage and am looking for a new solution. I have been using Drive Bender for JBOD with parity. The first time I lost a disk, the entire volume was unrecoverable. It has been about 2 years and one of my drives is dying and I want to save my media before the drive goes out entirely.

I'm done with Drive Bender. It consumes a ton of CPU, and requires a complete uninstall to upgrade to the new version.

My goal is to pick up a number of 4/6/8 TB WD and/or Seagate NAS drives. I have done a lot of research on the different options and I feel like I'm not coming up with any good options especially concerning drive failure. I don't care enough about my data for full mirroring or anything, but I also don't want a single drive to take out everything. I would like parity, but not losing everything in one go is more important. Ideally, the drives could appear as a single volume to make organization easier.

Research so far:

Drive Bender - No faith in this solution

Building a linux server isn't an option.

Raid 1 - too costly

Raid5 - looking at 6TB drives in a 4 port hardware card. Since they spin at 5400rpm, sata II cards should work however I haven't found any that support large drives. sataIII cards are $$$. Also rebuild time on a 6TB drive is dangerous.

Raid6 - way too expensive to get a 8 port card and eat two drives for parity

PCI Hardware JBOD - Looks like a single failure kills the pool, also $$$

Storage spaces - Looks the best right now, but I haven't been able to find out if the disks are readable outside of the volume when using JBOD or what the volume looks like after a drive failure. Also curious about CPU overhead on JBOD and parity modes.

Just mounting the drives - organization will be painful

Size of drive is somewhat based on the solution(i.e. PCI card needed)

Additionally I would transferring current data to the new volume, then rebuilding some of the old drives into a secondary volume, so any PCI cards would probably need to be purchased twice.

Thanks for your help

NOTE: CPU usage is a concern. I was smart enough to get in on the last round of 1150 socket chips, so upgrading CPU would be a whole thing. Memory is not a concern.

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A few ideas in random order:

  • HP P812 Raid controllers (with FBWC) and 8 internal drive connectors can be picked up on eBay for between 50 and 100$. These are capable of RAID6 out of the box and have a very good track record. They are also well supported and Windows and Linux
  • How many SATA ports does your mainboard have? Are there any unused?
  • Why is building a Linux NAS out of the question? It is rather easy these days and gives you a complete new world of storage options
  • The cost per TB is usually less with last generation's drives - I have very good experiences with the cheap-as-chips Toshiba 4 and 6TB drives. I suspect 8 of those in RAID6 might come in as a very reliable and cheap solution.
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  • Thanks for the tips. My mobo has 8 onboard that are all currently in use, but this project would free up a few after it is done. They are really hard to get to though, my GPU overhangs the ports. Linux isn't really an option because this PC is multi use right now so I can't really switch over, and I don't want to buy components I don't have to. Also I don't want to have another system I have to mess around with. Where would you find older drives eBay? – Buzkie Aug 17 '17 at 18:07

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