The topic header fairly sums up my question, I have two 500GiB WD RE4 HDD's, a bit too small to spend cash on for quality backup enclosures (aluminum or steel, not plastic). Yet I feel that these could be used for more than data storage, these has a 64MB cache, runs at 7,200 rpm, and intended for 24/7 non-stop data center use, though are really upscale WD Caviar Black HDD's with the same 5 year warranty, only the same gen (SATA-2) Caviar Black has a 32MB cache.
Rather than wasting the largest part of a SSD for a Linux Mint root partition, which I usually set at 40GiB, double that of a HDD because these requires more room, if on a HDD, would go 24GiB tops. What I figure or hope for, is a way to create two equal installs (or mirror the 2nd to equal the first install, however RAID works) that'll come close to being as fast as a SATA-3 SSD w/out having to waste the largest part of a 120-128GiB SSD for the 40GiB root & small 256MiB Swap partitions.
Which is how I normally install, then install /home to a 500GiB HDD, or the first half of a 1TiB HDD, then leave the rest for other OS's data partitions.
It would seem, that there would be a way to make this work, it's just that I've never done RAID in the past (turned down the chance to learn many times, to my regret now), and while I know that Intel has a way to make RAID possible, don't know if it would work with Linux & (2), if the same could be applied to an AMD build. Which is what I'd prefer, yet if an Intel install is more feasible, I'm willing to go either way, have just one AMD PC, and at the moment, two main Intel based PC's, until I get a replacement CPU for my XPS 8700, which did have a RAID option in the UEFI. Yet for now, that's out, because the CPU was too powerful for the MB, will be replacing with probably a 3.8GHz i3, so really won't be losing too much power, just half the number of cores & L3 cache. Which for that PC, will be fine.
For now, I'll deal with what I have, either the AMD build I performed except one drive & the case last year, or the 2nd of the two Intel PC's that I built this year (shown in 2nd Speccy link in my sig). I have these spare workhorse HDD's & would like to explore options available. As noted above, I'm a total newbie to RAID, so the more simple the instructions, the better, links to helpful articles will also be a plus. Here's the Speccy link to the AMD build (have removed Linux Mint 18 because I want proprietary drivers). Yes, that's right, don't let Intel users tell you wrong, this PC has been running for hours (actually much of the day with several reboots), only a single Arctic 92mm exhaust that I installed a week or two back, passive intake & stock AMD cooler, the CPU is running at 11C while not only 17 browser pages being open, am running a 10x wipe pass on the 3rd 500GiB WD RE4 that I've had since 2012 (my first) at the same time & to top all, has been running for 15+ hours. I'm a believer in NSA type wiping & secure erasure of SSD's yearly, just backup what's stored, perform the sanitation & restore the image. Or prior to erasure, will clone to another drive of the same size that has been sanitized. Yet AMD CPU's running hotter than Intel, that's myth & not fact in all except extreme cases, like the types that requires liquid cooling. It's about maintenance, keeping the computer clean as possible internally. The results below are proof of it, and in my opinion, the FX-6300 runs as good as many mainstream Intel i5's. The unlocked ones will pull away, though.
So for starters & please correct me if I've read wrong, having two drives in the right RAID setup will actually protect my data, if so, that's the version I want. Both drives, though advertised at 500GB, are actually 465.76GiB in size & both are fairly new, one shows below in my 2nd Speccy link in my sig mentioned above, booted for the first time.
The other, though have had a bit, hasn't really been used much, again why I'd like to put these to use for not only a backup (identical twin), also would come close to SATA-3 SSD speeds, at least the lower end versions, maybe 400MB/sec on both reads & writes or better.
My original plan was to do it with two SSD's of the same type, while I do have two of the same size (256GiB) & model, the Crucial M550 (only one's a mSATA in a 2.5 adapter & the other a native 2.5"), one's in use in a notebook & I don't feel that it can be cloned down further. Then there's the issue of conversion back from GPT to MBR, and it's not as simple as the partition tools makes it to be. GParted will still see these as GPT, or will ask. One has to use cmd (on Windows) to make it truly MBR again, and I'm positive there's a similar Linux Terminal option to do the same. While the below tutorial is by a partition/backup software distributor, note that they're also offering two other options (Solution #3 is the best & made one of the RE4's usable again after conversion from GPT back to MBR). Prior to that, the PC wouldn't boot if it was connected by SATA or USB, though could use in a docking station once booted. So unless needed, there's zero advantage to converting small (1TiB & below) storage drives as GPT that has no OS installed.
All opinions are greatly appreciated on this project & as long as it pertains to the same, a little 'chit-chatting' is OK.
Edited by cat1092, 24 October 2016 - 11:02 AM.