RAID Tip: Which Drive Crashed?

RAID Tip: Which Drive Crashed?


In Building the Perfect PC, 2nd Edition, authors Robert Bruce Thompson and Barbara Fritchman Thompson suggest a way to tell which drive is which in a RAID array: use a felt-tip marker to label each end of the cable (no stripes for drive 0, one stripe for drive 1, and so forth).
Brady was perusing one of the Ignite speaker Leo Parker Dirac’s blog, and came across a different approach:

If you’re building a RAID array for your home, or somewhere else that isn’t super-industrial-strength enterprise, here’s a tip. Get each hard drive as a different brand. That way it’s way easier to tell them apart.

For more details, including another good reason to do this, read Leo’s full entry here.


  • Building the Perfect PC, 2nd Edition — Link
  • Building the Perfect PC Figures: Extra Crisp —Link
  • PC Hacks — Link

1 thought on “RAID Tip: Which Drive Crashed?

  1. not_starman says:

    >Get each hard drive as a different brand.

    No! for a raid to work properly drives must be identical. This will help to prevent your cheep card from miss mapping data off of the drives or creating a performace bottle neck.

    Just follow the cabels from the board. I have never seen a board that wasn’t labeled. With PATA the master drive is alwas the first on the channel.

    My Tip: Write your config down and tape it to the inside of your case. Its what pros do. I know its not cool but realy if you took 10 seconds to write your config down you would not have these problems.

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I'm a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I'm not tinkering, I'm probably editing a book for Maker Media.

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