Macbook pro 2011 17" Raid help needed....

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by claythrow, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. claythrow macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    #1
    Hello all,

    I'm the proud owner of a 2011 macbook pro 17" 2.4 i7. I have 16g of 1333 ram installed, also 2 (two) Crucial M4 256 SSD's via a data doubler. I also have a Wintec file mate 96g SSD for the express34 slot. I have access to lion and snow leopard, and all the external storage I could ever use. One External Raid enclosure totaling 1TB (the patriot convoy xxl), one network 2tb drive, as well as a few 2.5" mechanical drives, a couple 500's, one 750, a 120gb ssd, and another standalone external 500gb drive (non network) I probably have a couple more laying around that I've forgotten about as well.

    Please bear with me here. I've done all the searching and experimenting I can handle but I had a gran mal seizure (second one, and it was very bad) about a month ago and my mind is still not right so I might not make sense, I'll do my best. The main reason for telling you this is because some of the searching pulled up some answers but I'm having a hard time comprehending them.

    I'm not new to computers, I've built lots and lots of them, some liquid cooled ones too, and built a liquid cooled machine like no other I've ever seen. I sold that, and took the plunge into the Mac world and got this macbook. So hardware I've got an ok handle on. However, I've always been a windows guy. This is my first mac. Even in windows though Raid was something I would not consider myself fluent in. I manage, but I don't understand it inside and out.

    So here it is. I know all this is excessive, but I do it for fun. So we're kind of designing a dream machine here, not a practical one. I need to use the equipment I have, but "you don't need all that speed" answers aren't going to be helpful. I'm well aware of that from the start, I'm just an overkill kind of guy.

    My issues are:
    First off, the wintec drive IS bootable, there was some confusion I read on line about that but it's what I'm running off of now. I intended to get it just put bootcamp on and let windows have its own little drive. I absolutely need windows for many programs I used for audio engineering/design. They only work in windows so I must have it.

    I've read mixed stories about lion and hardware raid 0, but I'm one of the ones who cannot get it to work. It won't install on it's own, i can't clone it on, and time machine just keeps hanging up...it's just not happening. I think I liked snow leopard better anyway (I miss front row) so I may just go back to that anyway but I haven't tried the hardware option under that system yet. My questions are what would be the optimal way to set this up considering I need 50gb-ish for windows. Initially I thought the express card ssd for W7, and raid 0 the two ssd's. But the hardware raid is not working. Is it simpler under Snow leopard? Or should I do the soft raid I've been reading about?

    Raid 0 is more volatile but I back up a lot so I'm not terribly worried. I was thinking I could just back up to a single drive, but the fact that it's raid...is that going to require me to back up each individual drive to it's own backup drive or partition? It's not a problem if it does, but it might be a problem in usig my existing time machine backups. And if i go the soft raid route, is there a way to build in some sort of redundancy since I have the 3 ssd's? WIth mechanical drives taking two drives and partitioning them into 4 won't gain much if I understand it correctly because you only have one writing instrument. But with SSD's is that the case? Could I cut the 512 gb into 4 120gb drives and use the 96 for something as well? They don't have the same read/write and overall performance so I can't just lump the express card 34 into the mix if I do it that way.

    I like the cleanliness of leaving windows on the 34 card but if I could have better reliability by doing it differently I would. The separate drive for W7 is just kind of an OCD thing for me but I would prefer a safety net (all be it a small one) than the clean break I initially planned on. THe Raid's I've done in the past have always been enclosures. I've messed around with bios Raid both marvell and jmicron and had less success which is why now (on top of the seizure brain cloud) I'm not quite sure which way to approach it.

    So what would be the optimal setup considering
    1. I need windows, 50gb would do, a little more wouldn't hurt but 50 is very manageable.
    2. I don't need a ton of room for mac stuff. I store all my music and audio test material in uncompressed lossless flac on a network drive which also gets backed up. Mostly what I would need space for is I have the full Adobe suite (everything) a few other programs, and about 120gb of photos and the test material audio I need on hand. I'd like to keep as much room as possible, but speed is my main priority, but if some safety could be built in I can afford a some hard drive space. If the redundancy takes up too much space I can take care of that with regular back ups. I do them everyday anyway
    3. My macbook has the 6gb throughput on the optical sata as well as the standard drive spot
    4. What is the best stripe size. I do a little bit with photos, not much with movies, it's mostly audio and business files, I was thinking 32?
    5. I'm not married to Lion so I can change that if it helps.
    6. My time machine backups though are Lion, and they are based of a single disk, is having a raid setup, or perhaps moving back to snow leopard going to cause a problem folding the old into the new? I know I can move the files manually but I would prefer not to.


    I know this is all overkill, but it's an overkill project...thats the goal. If I had the funds I would have gotten two 512gb ssd's, but that leads me to my final question. Because I tinker with this thing so much, my wife often wants to use it or browse the net and I've got it apart (either physically or software) so we were going to get her a tablet. Is an iPad worth it for better integration with everything else now that our only computer is a mac and the network stuff is formatted to mac or will most of the tablets in that league do as good a job? I need to research this a little more after I fix the main problem but some food for thought wouldn't hurt. I got to mess around with an iPad 2 today and was pretty slick, but it's the first one I've ever handled.

    Thank you for your help. I hope I was coherent enough and if you need any questions answered to give me your opinion let me know.

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    SOrry, I forgot one thing. I've read conflicting info on Softraid options, some saying they are bootable, other's saying no. The actual company Softraid from what I could find said theirs is not, so is there another soft raid program that people are talking about when they say it's bootable? Thanks again. - Josh
     
  2. claythrow thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    #2
    Ok

    So I think I,ve figured out that the problem is that the optical bay will not run sata 3. My quest at this point is is this an issue with lion or are the people with snow leopard not having a problem? And does anyone know where I check to see what Efi update numbers I have?
     

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