Q

Help with RAID 0 and page files

Learn why some experts feel that RAID 0 is a bad idea for administrators.

My platform is Windows XP Pro and I have four Western Digital 10,000-rpm Raptor drives for best performance. Should I stripe the operating system over three drives (RAID 0) and use the fourth as the paging file? Or should I stripe the operating system and paging file over all four drives?
In my opinion, RAID 0 is an incredibly bad idea for anyone, because if you happen to lose one drive in the array, you will lose all of your data.

If you're using a hardware RAID solution, RAID 5 (striping with parity) is your best option. However, the page file doesn't need the fault tolerance offered by RAID 5 and you lose a lot of disk space to fault tolerance.

As an alternative, you could simply stripe (RAID 0) the last two disks on your array and place your page file and non-critical data on the array. Or you could forget RAID altogether and simply move the page file off of your system/boot partition onto one of the other drives.

This was first published in April 2005

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