Jeffro's " I'm a complete noob and need help" thread.

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by JEFFRO503, Jul 17, 2011.

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  1. JEFFRO503

    JEFFRO503 Master Guru

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    Any of you guys jumping over here from overclockers.net.....just please look at my photobucket account and see what Nick built me >> http://s1234.photobucket.com/albums/ff407/Jeffro503/


    Ok guys....

    I wanted to start a new thread here , and try to keep things positive , so I can just move forward. A lot of you chimed in on the previous thread , which helped a bunch. I got a bad deal , and now I'm just wanting to move forward and learn how to work on my own PC with your help. I really have nobody around here that I know that is really any good at computers ( reason why I hired the last jerkoff!)......so I'm going to start doing all the work myself and see how it goes.

    I might as well start off the thread with a great first question. Ok.....I have 3 - WD 640's that are setup in a raid 5 array. Since one drive failed I am having to start over from scratch , but want to do it a different way.

    I'm ordering up a WD Cav Black 1.5TB HD from Newegg ( Probably tonight , depending on what advice I get here ). What my goal is , or what I would like to do , but don't know if it's possible is this. Use my 3 - WD 640's as one drive , then use the big 1.5TB drive as my second drive....setup in a raid 0 ( << is that the right number? ) As to have them "mirror" each other in case of a HD failure.

    If you take a look at my board here >>> http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1366/P6X58DE/ How would you recommend hooking the HD's up? I believe my raid 5 is setup so it reads as Drives 0 , 1 , and 3. Zero is the one that it's saying failed.

    If I hook the power up to the HD and then into the correct slot on the MB( What one would you use?)....is there a cable I need to connect all the HD's together like the old IDE drives? And also.....if you have the time , can you tell me what I should do in the bios on very first bootup?

    I'll order up my drive as soon as I can get some feed back in here....probably tomorrow morning. But first I'd like to know if it's possible to do it this way?
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  2. scoter man1

    scoter man1 Ancient Guru

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    edit -- thought I knew but I re-read and I dont think I know. Sorry bro :3eyes:
    I do know that raid 1 would be the exact mirror of a drive.

    oh btw, this should be in general hardware, not the pub :p
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  3. CPC_RedDawn

    CPC_RedDawn Ancient Guru

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    Sorry for your troubles there mate.

    If you live in the UK, I would be more than willing to help you out with your PC building. In terms of advice, and extra help out of these forums too if you like. I can assure you that I will NOT mess you around. However, I have had some serious internet issues recently and my isp is being a complete bitch about things so I do struggle to get online sometimes.

    On to your question above, I would test the "failed" drive on its own to see if its completely failed. If it is then I am afraid it belongs in the bin. Otherwise maybe a connection has come loose. If I was you I would just use the two 640's and set them up in RAID 0 for speed (which will appear as one drive in Windows) or in RAID 1 which to my knowledge is mirrored, to avoid failures and loss of data. Then have your new 1.5TB drive as storage.

    To set up a RAID array, please please read your motherboard manual carefully. If you do not have one, then download a .pdf from your motherboard manufacturer and print it off. Believe me this will come in handy in more ways than you could imagine. Most motherboard require you to enter the BIOS on post (spam DEL key when turning PC on). Once in BIOS enter "storage devices" screen and set the storage type from IDE to RAID. The consult your motherboard manual and look for the right keys you need to push on post to enter RAID creation screen. For instance on my motherboard I have to push CTRL+I to enter RAID creation when I turn my PC on. After this the on screen information should be pretty straight forward to set up your RAID array. After which you should reboot your PC, then at post spam F8 to enter Boot options and select your DVD drive (with Windows disk inside) and continue to install Windows on your newly created RAID array.

    PM me if you have any troubles mate. I too was once a victim of idiots on the net thinking they know it all.
     
  4. zinjin

    zinjin Master Guru

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    Why are you starting over if one drive failed in your RAID 5 array? If drive 0 failed, replace with same model as the other two, and rebuild array on drive 0. RAID 5 has redundancy. RAID 0 does not.

    As for hooking them up, they are S-ATA drives and one cable connects to drive then to either on the mobo or to a I/O controller card. If you look inside your case you will see how they are connected.

    For your viewing pleasure.........

    A RAID 0 (also known as a stripe set or striped volume) splits data evenly across two or more disks (striped) with no parity information for redundancy. RAID 0 was not one of the original RAID levels and provides no data redundancy. RAID 0 is normally used to increase performance, although it can also be used as a way to create a small number of large virtual disks out of a large number of small physical ones.

    A RAID 0 can be created with disks of differing sizes, but the storage space added to the array by each disk is limited to the size of the smallest disk. For example, if a 120 GB disk is striped together with a 100 GB disk, the size of the array will be 200 GB.
    Although RAID 0 was not specified in the original RAID paper, an idealized implementation of RAID 0 would split I/O operations into equal-sized blocks and spread them evenly across two disks. RAID 0 implementations with more than two disks are also possible, though the group reliability decreases with member size.

    Reliability of a given RAID 0 set is equal to the average reliability of each disk divided by the number of disks in the set.
    RAID 0 performance

    While the block size can technically be as small as a byte, it is almost always a multiple of the hard disk sector size of 512 bytes. This lets each drive seek independently when randomly reading or writing data on the disk. How much the drives act independently depends on the access pattern from the file system level. For reads and writes that are larger than the stripe size, such as copying files or video playback, the disks will be seeking to the same position on each disk, so the seek time of the array will be the same as that of a single drive. For reads and writes that are smaller than the stripe size, such as database access, the drives will be able to seek independently. If the sectors accessed are spread evenly between the two drives, the apparent seek time of the array will be half that of a single drive (assuming the disks in the array have identical access time characteristics). The transfer speed of the array will be the transfer speed of all the disks added together, limited only by the speed of the RAID controller. Note that these performance scenarios are in the best case with optimal access patterns.

    RAID 0 is useful for setups such as large read-only NFS server where mounting many disks is time-consuming or impossible and redundancy is irrelevant.

    RAID 0 is also used in some gaming systems where performance is desired and data integrity is not very important. However, real-world tests with games have shown that RAID-0 performance gains are minimal, although some desktop applications will benefit. Another article examined these claims and concludes: "Striping does not always increase performance (in certain situations it will actually be slower than a non-RAID setup), but in most situations it will yield a significant improvement in performance."

    A RAID 5 uses block-level striping with parity data distributed across all member disks. RAID 5 has achieved popularity because of its low cost of redundancy. This can be seen by comparing the number of drives needed to achieve a given capacity. For an array of n drives, with Smin being the size of the smallest disk in the array, other RAID levels, which yield redundancy, give only a storage capacity of Smin (for RAID 1), or S_{\mathrm{min}} \times (n/2) (for RAID 1+0). In RAID 5, the yield is S_{\mathrm{min}} \times (n - 1). For example, four 1 TB drives can be made into a 1 TB redundant array under RAID 1 or 2 TB under RAID 1+0, but the same four drives can be used to build a 3 TB array under RAID 5. Although RAID 5 may be implemented in a disk controller, some have hardware support for parity calculations (hardware RAID cards with onboard processors) while some use the main system processor (a form of software RAID in vendor drivers for inexpensive controllers). Many operating systems also provide software RAID support independently of the disk controller, such as Windows Dynamic Disks, Linux md RAID, or RAID-Z. A minimum of three disks is required for a complete RAID 5 configuration. In some implementations a degraded RAID 5 disk set can be made (three disk set of which only two are online), while mdadm supports a fully-functional (non-degraded) RAID 5 setup with two disks - which function as a slow RAID-1, but can be expanded with further volumes.

    In the example, a read request for block A1 would be serviced by disk 0. A simultaneous read request for block B1 would have to wait, but a read request for B2 could be serviced concurrently by disk 1.
    RAID 5 parity handling

    A concurrent series of blocks (one on each of the disks in an array) is collectively called a stripe. If another block, or some portion thereof, is written on that same stripe, the parity block, or some portion thereof, is recalculated and rewritten. For small writes, this requires:

    * Read the old data block
    * Read the old parity block
    * Compare the old data block with the write request. For each bit that has flipped (changed from 0 to 1, or from 1 to 0) in the data block, flip the corresponding bit in the parity block
    * Write the new data block
    * Write the new parity block

    The disk used for the parity block is staggered from one stripe to the next, hence the term distributed parity blocks. RAID 5 writes are expensive in terms of disk operations and traffic between the disks and the controller.

    The parity blocks are not read on data reads, since this would add unnecessary overhead and would diminish performance. The parity blocks are read, however, when a read of blocks in the stripe fails due to failure of any one of the disks, and the parity block in the stripe are used to reconstruct the errant sector. The CRC error is thus hidden from the main computer. Likewise, should a disk fail in the array, the parity blocks from the surviving disks are combined mathematically with the data blocks from the surviving disks to reconstruct the data from the failed drive on-the-fly.

    This is sometimes called Interim Data Recovery Mode. The computer knows that a disk drive has failed, but this is only so that the operating system can notify the administrator that a drive needs replacement; applications running on the computer are unaware of the failure. Reading and writing to the drive array continues seamlessly, though with some performance degradation.

    RAID 5 performance

    RAID 5 implementations suffer from poor performance when faced with a workload which includes many writes which are smaller than the capacity of a single stripe. This is because parity must be updated on each write, requiring read-modify-write sequences for both the data block and the parity block. More complex implementations may include a non-volatile write back cache to reduce the performance impact of incremental parity updates. Large writes, spanning an entire stripe width, can however be done without read-modify-write cycles for each data + parity block, by simply overwriting the parity block with the computed parity since the new data for each data block in the stripe is known in its entirety at the time of the write. This is sometimes called a full stripe write.

    Random write performance is poor, especially at high concurrency levels common in large multi-user databases. The read-modify-write cycle requirement of RAID 5's parity implementation penalizes random writes by as much as an order of magnitude compared to RAID 0.

    Performance problems can be so severe that some database experts have formed a group called BAARF — the Battle Against Any Raid Five.

    The read performance of RAID 5 is almost as good as RAID 0 for the same number of disks. Except for the parity blocks, the distribution of data over the drives follows the same pattern as RAID 0. The reason RAID 5 is slightly slower is that the disks must skip over the parity blocks
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011

  5. Chillin

    Chillin Ancient Guru

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    OK, let's start from step one before you go ordering anything, what do you want to use your computer for (e.g., gaming, video editing, music editing, general internet, large storage, etc).

    Step 2 - What parts do you currently own/have on hand after this whole ordeal

    Step 3 - What budget do you have for everything else, please specify if this includes monitors, speakers, etc.
     
  6. Finchwizard

    Finchwizard Don Apple

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    Firstly. Probably the wrong section.

    I'll move it to the SSD and Storage section.

    Secondly. RAID5 is redundant. If a drive fails, you can replace the failed drive and keep going.

    RAID1 is mirroring, not RAID0. That's striping.

    With RAID you're better off sticking to the same drives and manufacturers, so you can't have a RAID5 array and then mirror it to a standard single drive.

    Thirdly and most importantly. Remember RAID is not a backup system. You still need to backup data to a secondary location properly. RAID arrays can fail, and do fail. Trust me I know. I lost a 10TB RAID6 array not long ago.
     
  7. Chillin

    Chillin Ancient Guru

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    How did you manage to do that short of blowing up the computer/array?

    P.S. - I think this thread should in general hardware and not storage :) .
     
  8. Finchwizard

    Finchwizard Don Apple

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    There was a fault with the NAS and 3TB drives.

    Luckily I had the majority of it backed up in another location.

    It was going into General Hardware, but he is talking purely storage at the moment so I figured that was a better section.

    If he decides to create a thread about the computer parts, he can do that in General Hardware.
     
  9. JEFFRO503

    JEFFRO503 Master Guru

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    Hey Finch....could you possibly move this to the general hardware forum instead? I am going to be keeping this thread alive and kind of use it as a personal blog for myself and be able to keep all the information i'm trying to learn in one thread. I have a bunch of questions about pretty much everything. Sorry for posting it in the wrong section before BTW. There were a ton of guys already helping me in a previous thread I started , but that was based more on this whack job that built my computer. I'm over it.

    Also...thanks guys! For all the info you have given me so far. I'm heading out to dinner and will catch up on reading all this later tonight and in the morning.

    Brute : I am going to be using this machine as my "do everything" pretty much rig. Except for my business stuff....that will stay on a completely different machine. So mostly gaming , internet , maybe mess around with some video editing and stuff like that. I'll have that guy paid off within the next month or two.......so basically , yeah I own the whole thing and he has nothing to do with it. The budget.....well , there really isn't one. I'll buy piece by piece of whatever I need and just keep upgrading it as I go. After this HD issue is resolved....my next goal is to find a really good 27" gaming monitor. can't find anything in a 120Hz....so just a nice 60Hz I guess.
     
  10. Brendruis

    Brendruis Maha Guru

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    Jeffro looking at your other thread that case will probably have to be emptied and start from new with proper cable management. Everyone here can help you along the way with that.

    I don't think hard drives are your problem unless you need massive storage volume. Un-RAID your drives and use one separately for storage and one for image and file backup with a program like Acronis maybe. If you want extra fast drive then pick up an SSD.. someone here can recommend a good one. I use OCZ personally..

    After your drives are sorted so you can use your PC (which includes a fresh Windows install) then you will want to move onto step #2 which will be replace the fan unit on your 6870. It is fairly easy to do and all you need is a small screwdriver and some thermal paste.

    I'm not pumping eBay or anything but here is a new fan assembly for 6870 for $27.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Asus-6870-Video...610?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item415a88c75a

    There are video on YouTube for how you do it.

    This is all assuming you want to keep that current gear.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011

  11. deltatux

    deltatux Ancient Guru

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    I'm also starting to question the RAID idea since it doesn't seem you'll be storing mission critical data or what not which would require RAID.

    So, I suggest disassemble the array and just use the drives separately. Less headaches too. Remember, the more complexity, the more problems will arise. Don't complicate things unless necessary.

    deltatux
     
  12. Bilderberg

    Bilderberg Active Member

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    I agree, using the 2 good drives would be the cheapest bet.

    Reformat Win7 on one and use the other as a data/backup drive. A single 640gb Wd Black will be plenty fast for a general use machine.

    Then Clean up the case wiring to get some better airflow to those 6870's.
     
  13. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    first to all gurus that provided such quality info about RAID and whatnot -Thank You guys ,one of the very reason i visit/post here.

    second...probably you will hate me for saying it ,but guys for first time computer build isn´t the old K.I.S.S principle applies?
    Let´s keep it simple,guys.....simple because the more complex a build is, the more chances are things can go wrong,and Jeffro already has his share of anger and time lost.Let´s value time and offer him the best we can ...
    why we stuff Jeffro with all that info,we should focus and what parts,how to properly assemble everything ,then gettting the computer up and running.

    i repeat ,i respect you guys a LOT ,you provided the best info this man can get ...but let´s stick to K.I.S.S.

    Jeffro,look at many computer builds pictures,see what computer case has the best cable management,and when you build your own it is simple as hiding cables from view.nothing more is that simple.
    i will let our local guru Deltatux to provide you the list with the best parts money can get and he knows to apply the best for the buck principle...you are in good hands...
    the are many ways to build a computer,but we complicate things because it is a computer.... look at it as it were Lego parts.it is always fun right?
    i instructed my 19 old sister by phone to build hers and everything went more than beautifull,and she never touched computer parts before
    find a large space at home ,please turn off your phone,no TV running in background,cancel everything for a few hours,relax and do your thing
    what i would do
    1 put the cpu in the motherboard´s socket*see motherboard´s manual*
    2 mount the cooler onto the cpu *see manual*
    put the motherboard´s backplate into the computer case,the optical drive properly screw the optical drive.
    the next step is better watch the video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5EjNiRyHAg
    after that put the PSU into the computer case,.try to route each cable zip the cables tight,mount the video card ,properly secure it with screws ,connect the PCi E cable from your PSu to card´s connector,try to zip the cables...
    double check everything you are almost done..
    install windows when ready
    ...
    anticupidon
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  14. JEFFRO503

    JEFFRO503 Master Guru

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    WOW!!....Man , i got hit with a ton of great info here! To sum things up , I will scrap the idea of getting as larger drive and just use my 640's since I already have them. I really like that idea of having raid 1 though , in case one drive fails. I'm terrible and keeping things back up and the raid 1 in a couple of my old computers saved me some big head aches. That article that Zinjin posted has some really good info there for sure. I'll have to re-read it a couple times to see if I can understand it fully.

    Thanks again guys! Anticupidon , that's an awesome start list! I think I may just tear this thing down , manage all the cables so everything is neat and clean and just take it one step at a time. I have to empty all the water out of the water tower and separate both cases to get anything done. he only left me like 10" of hose between both back sides of both cases.....so they have to sit dang near back to back , or in an "L" posisition.
     
  15. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    RAID 1 is mirroring but what you want is a Spanned array on the first 3 drives (they appear as 1 disk) then create a mirror (RAID 1) using the fourth drive.

    Plug your HDD's into any port you want, you'll be able to configure them once you enter the RAID manager in the BIOS.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011

  16. Chillin

    Chillin Ancient Guru

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    To be honest, if there are files that are that important to you, then your backup should be an external drive and kept in a different location to begin with.
     
  17. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    Errm, without trying to sound like a wanker, if you're gonna copy & paste text from another site like Wikipedia, it's common courtesy to provide a link to the original article...

    I'll save you the trouble..
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_RAID_levels






    Oh mate...not the pron collection...? :eek:
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  18. TruMutton_200Hz

    TruMutton_200Hz Ancient Guru

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    Like I already explained in your other thread, it's possible to put the 640 GB Western Digital harddisks in RAID 0 using the onboard Intel ICH10R SATA2 controller of your motherboard. This will improve their performance but like I also already explained in your other thread, if only one of both harddisks fails you'll still lose all data stored on the entire RAID 0 array.

    So to work your way around that problem, while at the same time not sacrificing too much storage capacity, I suggest you split up the RAID 0 array into two separate, logical volumes and then mirror only one of both of these two logical volumes (the one on which you're going to always store all of your critical data). To be able to add a Windows 7 software mirror to a basic disk, you need to convert it to dynamic disk first. This, as well as adding the Windows 7 software mirror, can be done in Windows Disk Management (type dskmgmt.msc in the search box of the Windows Start Menu) but it requires the Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate edition of Windows 7. Since you already have Windows 7 Ultimate x64, all you still need is one more harddisk to place the mirror onto.

    In Windows Vista, this is also possible but dynamic disks in Vista have been known to be shamefully problematic. In Windows 7 however, it's a hundred percent reliable and in fact I believe software mirroring to be THE most useful Windows 7 feature of them all. Like Finchwizard pointed out, though, mirroring is not to be confused with a backup system. All it does is protect your critical data against the potential risk of a harddisk failure.

    As an alternative, you could just mirror both of your 640 GB Western Digital harddisks onto oneaonether using either Windows 7 software mirroring or onboard Intel ICH10R SATA2 RAID 1 but anyway, backups are still always necessary no matter what you do.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  19. zinjin

    zinjin Master Guru

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    You're right I should have, forgive me, I forgot.
     
  20. TruMutton_200Hz

    TruMutton_200Hz Ancient Guru

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    That's alot of cable zipping TBH. So, what if I install my Windows AFTER all that hard extra work like you suggest, and THEN find out my motherboard is glitching? Cut the zips and start all the way from scratch again? Sorry but zipping the cables ALWAYS comes after anything else. Oh boy...
     
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