I now have exactly half my data

For the past two years, my main desktop which is designed for high performance gaming (and occasionally, work) has had hard drives running in a RAID0 array. A RAID0 array takes two hard drives and combines them to form one larger drive, it also splits the data evenly across them

RAID0 Data Striping

RAID0 Data Striping

Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RAID_0.svg

However, by using RAID0 with two drives you automatically double the chance of failure. In a simple RAID0 array, failure of one drive leaves you with exactly half your data, pieces A2, A4, A6 and A8 in the diagram. You’ve got half the data, but it’s not usable in any shape or form (imagine reading a book with every other page missing).

Now after two years, one drive has finally failed – without warning. No smart errors, nothing. For a few days before, I had been receiving I/O related bluescreens however and I should have taken this chance to backup the entire drive.

Thankfully, most of my data is stored on a local storage server, running FreeNAS. The drives in here are thankfully RAID1 – where the data is equal on both disks so if one drive fails you have an identical set of data on the second. Therefore, the only thing i’ve really lost is installed programs, easy to replace.

I’ve now ordered a new single drive (750GB Western Digital Caviar Black). I’m done with RAID0!

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