Is your computer too slow for your needs? This is one of the main complaints from users. Especially from those who use very heavy programs that demand a lot from the system. But you don’t always have to spend a fortune to improve your hard disk’s performance. One of the options can be RAID 0, a set of two or more disks or SSDs that can make the device faster.
RAID is a technique developed in the 1980s, but which is still very successful. This is because the principle of how hard disks work hasn’t changed that much since then, even though storage and speed have evolved a lot. This technology usually has two objectives: to make the disk system faster or more secure.
When it comes to speed, RAID 0 is best. RAID 1 is responsible for improving disk reliability. It is also possible to use the two methods in combination, in what is known as RAID 10. But for now, we will explain how the first option works. Read on and see how this technique can help you upgrade these components!
What is RAID 0?
RAID is an acronym for Redundant Array of Inexpensive (or Independent) Disks, which can be translated as “Redundant Arrangement of Inexpensive (or Independent) Disks”. Basically, they are ways of connecting storage units to work together.
Within this technique, there are some variations and RAID 0 is one of them. In this case, it is a set of two or more hard disks that allows the recording of information to be divided between them. In this way, the data division records part of each piece of information on a disk, significantly increasing the speed of the device.
It is as if a file were half the size it was before, which greatly speeds up recording on the disks.
How does RAID 0 work?
Are you confused about this division? Then let’s talk a little more about how RAID 0 works. First, it is important to understand that each byte of information is made up of binary units called bits. When you use a RAID 0 system, these units are distributed and each bit is placed on one of the disks in this arrangement. This speeds up writing and reading, leading to an overall improvement in the speed at which data is written and read.
To illustrate, we can make a simple comparison: it is like having to read a thousand pages on your own or sharing them with a friend, where you each read half of them simultaneously. You will get to the end much faster.
The storage capacity of RAID 0 will depend on the disks installed in the array. To get a result, simply multiply the capacity of each disk with the number of disks that will be used simultaneously. For example, if you use 2 1TB disks, the result will be a capacity of 2TB.
But pay attention. If you use a smaller disk and a larger one, the capacity will always be limited by the former. A 2TB disk with a 4TB disk, for example, will only result in a total capacity of 4TB. After all, the information is divided between them and there is no possibility of writing more data to one of the disks in the array.
As you have seen up to now, the main advantage of RAID 0 is the speed gain. Arrangements of this type can double your computer’s performance. But pay attention: in some team collaboration systems, the speed gain may not be as significant as in those where the user operates the array alone. That’s why it’s important to assess whether RAID 0 is the best option for your needs.
Another factor you should consider when considering RAID 0 is security. As the data is divided between two (or more) disks, you could lose everything if one of the disks has problems. For this reason, this type of arrangement is not recommended for storing very important data or data that is not backed up, for example.
What are the risks of implementing a RAID 0 arrangement?
As we explained, RAID 0 has no way of mirroring data. In other words, it becomes much more difficult to recover your files if one of the disks fails permanently. This is the main risk when implementing such an arrangement.
In the case of RAID 1, for example, the data is copied from one disk to another. This doesn’t generate the speed gains of RAID 0, but it does improve reliability. It is therefore important to assess what your main need is when opting for these arrangements.
Is it possible to set up RAID 0 arrangements with different disks?
You may have a spare hard disk at home and want to try RAID 0. But be careful. It’s not always a good idea. Arrangements that use disks from different manufacturers, models or capacities can end up causing problems, because the system will need to constantly balance the performance of all of them. This can lead to overloading.
In addition, different components may have different capacities to support temperature variations, physical shocks, among other factors that cause disk failures.
What are the main applications for using RAID 0?
As you can see, the speed gain is RAID 0’s greatest advantage. Reliability, on the other hand, is not its strong point. That’s why it is best to use this arrangement in situations where performance is more important than security.
Examples include professional video and audio editing, rendering, post-production, transition files and other high-processing activities with low implementation costs. The important thing is that you have up-to-date backups of these files.
How to recover a RAID 0?
But, as you have seen, hard disks are susceptible to failure. And if one of your disks starts to fail, it is possible that all your data will become inaccessible. In these cases, the first step is to find out if the disk is disconnected or defective.
To do this, turn off your computer and connect the disk. Then turn it back on and see if the problem has been resolved. If the error persists, it is very likely that one of your disks is failing. Ideally, you should immediately seek out a professional data recovery service.
Recovery programs, especially on a RAID 0, can end up compromising your files even more. Avoid magic solutions from the internet and don’t open the disk in any way. This will only generate more physical damage, which is very difficult to reverse.
Companies like Bot offer secure data recovery. We have more than a decade’s experience in the field and have attended to more than 60,000 cases, with a 95% success rate. The chances of solving your problems with a professional are much higher, so trust those with experience.