I read your two part article on the topic with interest (b.t.w. where is that third part that you promised?)
I was thinking quite some time about using RAID as part of my newly built computer. But then I came up with a different solution. Let me explain...
After two hard disks died on me in the past years and all with the system on them, so it was not only the loss of data but also the incredible agony of reinstalling your computer and bringing it up to the same config as before, I started thinking of using Raid inside my box. With the prices falling to 500GB for 130 Euro and the modern Intel "southbridge" bringing RAID for free it was almost a no-brainer.
: Reading a lot of reviews and forums I found it quite irritating what additional problems occurred with having or (re)installing a raid system. And there are even some probs that only occurred when one of those drives fails. Thinking of a situation where RAID should help you with your data and system and then being let down or having trouble was not something that I wanted to face.
So I opted for a classical backup solution with a cloning software (I use Acronis TrueImage for around 40 EUR). What I did was the following: I had a 200GB system-drive and a 300GB data-drive. I bought a 500GB backup-harddisk, plugged it into the system, cloned the system-drive first, than made a complete backup of the data-drive. This takes about 1.5h including verification and you can even work at your computer while the data-backup is made.
The benefit: If the system-drive dies on you, just swap it for your backup, set your boot drive and you're up and running in 1 minute
(tried this several times to be sure it works).
In my configuration I have the backup-drive on external SATA and plug it off after the backup to store it somewhere else. I do this regularly once a month for the system. If you prefer you can leave the backup-drive always on and let TrueImage do automated backups of your data. I personally love to take the drive away and thus extend its useful life...
So I totally agree with you: It's too darn cheap to buy 500GB drives today to take this as an excuse for missing protection of your valuable pics, other data and your computer system!
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews
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