RAID-0, RAID-1 on Guardian MAXimus

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by lukasc, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. lukasc macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2009
    RAID-0, RAID-1 on Guardian MAXimus drive

    Some time ago, a user posted the question about whether the MAXimus external hard disk, which is sold as a RAID-1 (mirrored) device, could be used for RAID-0.
    I could not find any reference to this. Previous posts suggested using other products to achieve this.

    The answer is below. Indeed, by changing the jumper configuration, it is possible to obtain all 4 RAID configurations that one can imagine with 2 separate disks.

    What prompted this investigation for me is that the RAID-1 kept failing after copying files on the unit. So I wanted to access only one disk to test each one. Unplugging one disk seemed to do this, and I was convinced it is not the disk problem, and there didn't seem to be any problem in usage. But, can I access both disks?

    Jumper configuration for: RAID-0 Striped, RAID-1 Mirrored, Concatenated Disk Set, Separate Disks

    How to find the jumpers: with open unit, lights facing you (south), the fan facing away (north). The jumpers are at the NE (right side, away from you) end of the board.

    RAID-1 - Mirrored (default)
    :: Both jumpers not connected

    RAID-0 - Striped
    [:]: Left jumper on

    Concatenated Disk Set
    :[:] Right jumper on

    Separate Disks
    [:][:] Both jumpers on

    Test methodology:
    Read: sync; time (cp test.out > /dev/null) (ensuring the file is not in the cache)
    Write: sync; time (dd if=/dev/zero of=blah3.out bs=1m count=1000 ; sync )
    Write 1 GB
    Monitor "Disk Activity" in Activity Monitor.App
    Speed = 1 GB / time

    Hard disks: 2X Seagate Barracuda 7200.11, 1 TB
    Firewire 800


    Raid 0:
    Write speed: 49 MB/s
    Read speed: 56 MB/s
    Note: in test, both LEDs for HDD1 and HDD2 were on.

    Raid 1:
    Write speed: 62 MB/s
    Read speed: 70 MB/s
    Note: in test, both LEDs for HDD1 and HDD2 were on for write, only HDD1 for read.

    Write speed: 39 MB/s
    Read speed: 50 MB/s
    Note: in test, only LED for HDD1 was on.

    Separate Disks:
    Write speed: 62 MB/s
    Read speed: 73 MB/s
    Note: in test, only LED for HDD1 was on.

    Separate Disks, Mac OSX software Striped:
    Write speed: 48 MB/s
    Read speed: 55 MB/s
    Note: in test, both LEDs for HDD1 and HDD2 were on.

    For reference, My MacBook Pro internal hard disk
    Write speed: 59 MB/s
    Read speed: 60 MB/s


    For highest performance, I will use "Separate Disks". Then I will do backups using ChronoSync. The RAID-1 was unreliable over the past year, and the individual disk will give me more confidence in data reliability.
  2. bigvb@hotmail.c macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2006
    can anyone confirm this, and is it easy for n00b like me to do?

    plus is it reliable as say a JBOD config
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Compared to what level?

    If you mean a stripe set, the answer is No, as in that particular arrangement, if a drive dies, all the data is gone. Fix the hardware, and restore from a backup.

    In a JBOD, if one of the disks dies, the other still works, so only part of the data is gone. The missing data again will have to be restored from a backup.

    In any event, you must run a proper backup with any storage system, RAID or not (level does NOT matter, as any of it can fail, resulting in data loss).

    The simplest way I can put it, is RAID /= backup. Period.

    Hope this helps. :)
  4. lukasc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2009
    I've been running it in non-raid mode, ie separate disks, since august with no problems at all and great performance.
    It was very easy to do, just move the jumpers after opening the box.
  5. bigvb@hotmail.c macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2006
    To follow up, i just spoke to the Customer Service at OWC, and they informed me that only the OLD version of the Guardian MAXimus could be reconfigured into all 4 raid modes. The new one can only be used in RAID1.

    The woman sounded like she really knew what she was talking about, so im guessing the guy above has the older model.
  6. bigvb@hotmail.c macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2006


    i sent her this link,

    and she confirmed that this was the newer model, and could not be changed from RAID1 as it doesnt have the jumpers.


    Just spoke to NewTech CS, they confirmed that the new model does NOT have the jumpers to do this. You can only use it for RAID1
  7. Pakkorro macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2011
    We know some of the new models if you can change the RAID 1?

    Although we have to weld some point in the Guardian motherboard?


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