Keeping Your Data Safe with a RAID 1 Setup
There's an old adage that states, "The more you have, the more you can lose." In the world of computer hard drives, this adage is all too true. The bigger your hard disk drive, the more data you can lose in the event of a hard drive failure. Although we should all be model computer citizens and back up our data on a regular basis, let's face the truth: We don't always back up regularly (if at all). This practice—or more appropriately, this malpractice of not backing up—can lead to you losing your precious data when and if your hard drive fails.
Given that today's hard drives are pretty massive (some models reaching into the hundreds of gigabytes), you can lose a ton of data. At this point you are probably reaching for your antacid, wondering why you are still reading this seemingly bleak article. Don't worry, this article is meant to teach you how to protect your data. In particular, in this article I'll be teaching you how to set up a RAID 1, which can protect your hard drive data by the mirroring technology.
I assume that you have a desktop computer in which you want to put a RAID 1 setup. You'll be installing Windows XP from scratch, so you'll need your Windows XP installation disk handy.
RAID, an acronym that stands for redundant array of inexpensive disks comes in many flavors. For example, RAID 0, known as striping , is a technology designed to increase the speed of the reading/writing process to your hard drive disks. This article takes a look at RAID 1, which is known as disk mirroring . With RAID 1, a drive has its data duplicated on two different drives. If either of the drives fails, the other drive continues to function as a single drive until the failed drive can be replaced.
In the past, creating a RAID 1 setup was an expensive endeavor and was reserved for only the computing elite. With hard drive prices falling, now even the frugal computer user can implement a RAID 1 setup.