I would like to hear from people who configured a computer with these properties:
1) The computer has exactly 2 identical hard-disks, i.e. no additional internal hard-drives are available. There is CD/DVD drive and USB.
2) The 2 disks, or their portions, are in RAID-1 array.
3) The OS is Win XP or Linux. I am interested in solution for both OSes, but each machine is single-OS (no dual-booting).
I have had several such boxes and laptops. I used on-board INTEL RAID support, HiPoint sw-based (fake-RAID) PCI controller and an Adaptec PCI controller. Overall I had OK results, but I did face these hassles:
a) Upgrading LINUX kernel on a machine where one boots from RAID-1 was major pain. It took me several painful long days to get it done, later I was reluctant to do kernel upgrades because of this.
b) When doing backups and/or partition management, one has to have a tool that can deal with the RAID. I use Acronis True Image; Acronis support recommends using the Live Bart PE CD to load the RAID driver, in place of the Acronis bootable CD implying that backing up a bootable RAID-1 partition is an "advanced" task with Acronis.
c) On laptops and often also on desktops I have no PCI slots available, if I wanted to buy a quality hw RAID card, I have no slot to install it in. So the choices are often sw raid or BIOS-level on-board RAID.
Quite often I hear a recommendation of creating a non-RAID boot-partition. How large should this partition be? Is the info on this partition read-only? Is the info on such partition accessed by the OS only during boot or also after boot is complete, during normal operation? I reboot my machines only once every few months, I do not mind a slower boot process if I gain in simplicity / robustness.
Does anybody have 2-disk boxes with RAID-1 that they are happy with?