Retreat!!! It's a RAID!!!

So after a stunning weekend of hiking here in the Pacific Northwest I have once again retreated back to the comforting glow of my CRT. I have recently brought another old friend into the family of Macs I have at the house through the generosity of a mac-using couple of my acquaintance. An AGP-Graphics, "Sawtooth" G4 400Mhz with a DVD-RAM and internal Zip100 is now keeping my iBook and G5 company.

My ultimate goal is to set up a RAID 1 array, with (2) XX-GB hard drives in a striped array. Not for backup, but as a file/media server. Using a striped array rather than mirrored is inherently more dangerous, as you are effectively doubling the chance of losing all your data from a HDD failure, but it is so much faster on an older machine like this that it makes it worth the extra risk, especially considering I do make regular backups using the DVD-RW that came with my G5. Really.

Having started the machine from the OS X "Tiger" DVD volume, I proceed to create a RAID 1 array using (2) 30 GB disks I have in the shop. This is accomplished through the Disk Utility application, located under the pull-down menu in the install screen. Clicking on the RAID tab, I select a striped array and drag my 2 disks to the window. Do I really, *really* want to do this and erase everything on these disks? Sure. Verification and partitioning successfully complete, and Voila! RAID 1, ready to go. Now for the install. Straightforward, except now the install location is a multiple-disk icon, representing the new RAID array. I never did understand why Windows had to do the "push F6....................NOW!toolate. Sorry--reboot and try again" rigamarole when it was that easy on a Mac. Oh, well. And now for the install. Please hold--this article will return in 11 minutes...

Install successful, and reboot. Uh, oh. Taking waaaay to long for the spinning fan icon to start. Post-install cleanup? Nope. Black screen with a flickering "disk2: media not found" error. AAAAAARRRGGHHH!!! Bad Hard Drive! Sit! Stay! Play Dead! Oh, wait... it is. Pull the drive and reinstall... and it works. I am now on a quest for a 30 GB drive. Next comes the saga of networking it so it can be accessed from the Worldwide Net rather than just my personal network. Until then, fellow Mac fans: Think Intel!