MAG B550 Tomahawk RAID Setting

commo8158602e0

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I just installed my new B550 Tomahawk and re-activated my windows 10 that was on my NVMe SSD drive from my previous motherboard. I want to add a second NVMe SSD drive and use RAID 1 to mirror my boot drive. How do I do it so I don't lose the OS? I want to use hardware RAID, not software RAID. Its just in case my primary fails I will not have to re-install everything. I had lucked out and had win10 retail and not OEM so I could just swap my board without re-installing. But I would like to setup now for RAID 1 to mirror the drive in case of a drive failure. I know how to do software RAID for it, but would like to use hardware RAID. Running with the Ryzen 9 5900X CPU.
 

citay

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I would not advise this. It will increase complexity, so instead of reducing failure points, it adds them. When you use a good SSD model, a sudden failure is extremely unlikely. Failure rates of a proper SSD, from Samsung for example, are just a small fraction of a percent, making it the most reliable PC component that was ever sold (no exaggeration, they have proven that statistically). And for that minuscule eventuality, you just do regular backups. RAID is a relic from HDD times that maybe still has a place in some professional environments, but with SSDs, at home, i wouldn't use it anymore.

When you lose data, it will not be because the SSD broke, it will be because something happened in Windows for example. Most data loss happens because of user error, because of lack of common sense, stuff like that. This will immediately be replicated onto both SSDs in a RAID1. Then you need a backup that can fully restore the Windows OS with all the data, meaning, a disk image. How often you make a disk image depends on personal factors, this can be done daily, weekly, monthly... This is in addition to the smaller backups you should do anyway for just the user data.

If you put two SSDs in RAID1, you are creating a solution for the most reliable hardware in the PC (which therefore doesn't need a solution), but you are not protecting in any way about the real dangers such as user error, software mishaps, updates breaking something, and so on. For all these things, you need backups and not a RAID.

In summary, the SSDs themselves have an extremely low probability of failure. But Windows suddenly having problems because of a problem/misconfiguration? A lot more likely.
Solution for that? A recent backup.

Add to that the fact that RAID just has a tendency to create all sorts of problems along the way with the BIOS setup and so on, i read it regularly on this forum. So nowadays, especially with NVMe PCIe SSDs, a RAID delivers no tangible benefit, but can result in some clear disadvantages. That's why i do not recommend using it anymore.
 

commo8158602e0

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Ok that makes sense. I just had an issue when I swapped motherboards where a hard disk did not power up correctly. Currently diagnosing but thinking I forgot to swap a power cord when I upgraded my pwr supply, so the drive is dead in the water ATM. Was thinking if it was set for raid 1, I could have had a backup of the drive and could have just bought another 5TB drive to replace the damaged one. With that happening, the idea popped into my head to maybe RAID 1 my NVMe drive to protect that as it's 3 yrs old now. Granted my OS is on the NVMe and really nothing else. Here's my basic setup:
Samsung Evo 960 250GB SSD used for OS
Crucial 500GB SSD used for games (don't care if this goes I can always re-install)
Toshiba x300 5TB performance HDD used for storing programs, music, video, etc.
Backup storage-My server

My plan was to RAID 1 the Samsung NVMe with a new one and then to copy the Toshiba 5TB data to a 6TB and RAID1 the 6TB drives. Have a new 5TB toshiba on the way with same exact firmware, revision etc so should be a matter of swapping the boards between the drives to get this one working again.

Also, I wasn't sure if RAID 1 would help with the UEFI issue I encountered out of the box. I have Win10 Pro on the NVMe. I had upgraded to new hardware, and on boot, could not boot to windows under UEFI settings for some reason, so I had to switch it to get it to boot and then I could get into windows and re-activate with the new hardware profile. ( yes I have windows retail, so I didn't have to re-install.) Wasn't sure if RAID would also help me enable UEFI since that's the better standard of operation now.
 

citay

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The reason you could not boot with the BIOS in UEFI mode is explained here: https://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?threads/msi-mpg-z490-help.369442/#post-2092423

As for the RAID, honestly, i wouldn't use it at all. Put another 6TB drive in a USB enclosure and copy everything from your internal 6TB on there. Then, every week or so, connect the external drive, and perform an incremental backup, FreeFileSync is very good for that. I use FreeFileSync in Synchronize/Mirror mode, it will detect which files have changes and update the external drive accordingly. You can also use it in Synchronize/Update mode (which will not delete any files on the target drive if you deleted them from the source drive). This incremental update is a good quick solution, takes only seconds or a few minutes, depending on how much has changed since the last backup.

Then for the OS drive, you can use a drive imaging solution. As i explained, a backup is always superior to a RAID1, since the vast majority of problems occur within the OS itself, which you can't protect against with a RAID. Granted, a HDD is more likely to fail than an SSD (HDD failure rates should be maybe 1-2% instead of small fractions of a percent for SSDs), but are still rare enough that you're better off with an externally stored backup. Which will be unaffected by everything else that can happen inside the PC or in Windows.
 

commo8158602e0

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Could I just stick one of the drives in my server and tell freefilesync to backup to that drive since server runs 24/7? I could back it up weekly or something.
 

citay

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Yeah that'll work too, you can just add the drive on the server as \\SERVER\Backup or whatever path on the right (target) side of FreeFileSync. The frequency you do it with depends on how valuable the data is to you. If you couldn't bear to lose even one day's worth of changed data, you'd do it every evening. If not much data is changed or it's not so important, you could do it weekly.
 
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