Transform old disks in a super fast RAID 0 drive

Many drives, small capacities

Casually, I found two old Seagate hard drives in the basement.

What to do with these?

On my GNU/Linux system(Cassiopea, a lovely Xeon), there are many free bays, so I have quickly put they on. I had idea to use them to some experiments, some backups, some shared folder over my LAN. The drives are too small nowadays, because they are two drives of 160GB of capacity. So.. not a lot!

The magic idea is to merge the two drives into a fatest one and I can do this by the use of the RAID 0 technology. Ubuntu provides raid software system easily, so create and use a RAID drive under Linux is quick and easy. And all is fun!

The RAID technology

If you never heard about RAID, it’s a super useful technology for the security of the data. RAID is a nice and fast way to secure data over disks and it’s available also in software and hardware way.

RAID, according to Wikipedia, is a data storage virtualization technology that combines multiple physical disk drive components into a single logical unit for the purposes of data redundancy, performance improvement, or both.

Mirroring, redundancy, copies, parity are all about security of the data. But RAID technology offers more and more features.

The Zero System

RAID 0 consists of striping, without mirroring or parity, so NO SECURITY. The capacity is the sum of the capacities of the disks that you put into a RAID 0 drive. There is no added redundancy for handling disk failures, so if a drive breaks, all your data are lost. Pay attention to your data on a RAID 0 drive!

RAID 0 is the base level of the RAID technology.

RAID 0 has also a big surprise for us: a RAID 0 drive is fast as a SSD drive, or something nearby.
If you don’t have old drives, you can buy a modern RAID Nas for your private network.

Set our super fast RAID 0 drive

Mdadmis a Linux utility used to manage and monitor software RAID devices, so we need it.

To install mdadm, open terminal console and type:


sudo apt-get install mdadm

To learn about the correct use of mdadm:


mdadm --help

In my situation, the two old drives are located in /dev/sdb and /dev/sdc, so to make a RAID 0 set I used the command:


sudo mdadm --create --verbose /dev/md0 --level=0 --raid-devices=2 /dev/sdb /dev/sdc

After that, the answer is esplicative:


mdadm: array /dev/md0 started.

So now my RAID 0 set is located in /dev/md0 (md is for multiple drive) and I can use it also from Nautilus. It’s fast and reliable, but not secure. For me, it’s enough.

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