ICY DOCK is a leading manufacturer of removable hard drive enclosures. Since our company has always been about the customers, we wanted to create an informal avenue for us to communicate with you! Hopefully, these blogs will provide you with insights and opinions about ICY DOCK products.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
ICY TIP: How to setup a RAID in a Small form factor case with a single 3.5” hard drive bay?
Mini ITX motherboards and small form factor cases are becoming very popular with system builds. An application where they have become very prevalent is in Home Theater PC (HTPC), small home server or low profile desktop computers. The key benefits of the Mini ITX PC are low power consumption, space saving and portability. But what comes with a small case is limited 3.5” HDD bay space.
Most Mini ITX cases are limited to a single 3.5” hard drive bay. This can be a problem if you would like to have more than a single drive or would like to have two drives to run a RAID 1 array for data security or RAID 0 for fast speed, as both of the setups required 2 hard drives or SSDs. With the standard case setup this would not be possible. Icy Dock has a solution to this problem that allows you to mount 2 x 2.5” drives in a single 3.5” bay with a screw-less design for fast and easy installation.
Using the MB990SP-B 2 x 2.5” SATA/IDE SSD & HDD bracket is the most simple and economic way to run a RAID array with your Mini ITX case. Thanks to the MB990SP-B’s completely tool-less design, you can simply slide the drives into the bracket and lock them in, press the two tabs of the bracket and slid the bracket into a 3.5” bay. Connect the SATA cables from the drives to the motherboard. Setup the RAID in BIOS and now you have a RAID array in your ultra small system. There are many brackets on the market, but none of them are as easy as the MB990SP-B. Keep in mind that the case is so small and space is very limited which makes it difficult for drive installation; you definitely don’t want to deal with 8 screws for 2 x 2.5” hard drives and then 4 screws for the bracket. That’s why we designed the MB990SP-B which makes things much easier for you.
It is not possible to run a RAID array on a Mini ITX motherboard that doesn’t have an onboard RAID chipset since there’s no room for a RAID card, not true. The MB982SPR-2S has a built-in RAID chipset that supports RAID 0, 1, PM and BIG functions. It allows you to use two 2.5” SATA HDD/SSD in RAID in a single 3.5” bay. With its screw-less design, you are able to put two drives in without tool or screws. Screwing the MB982SPR-2S into a 3.5” drive bay only required 4 screws. Setting up the RAID array can either be done by using the built-in hardware RAID switch or the RAID manager software. Next connect the SATA cable from the MB982SPR-2S to the motherboard, plug in the SATA power connector and now you have a standalone hardware RAID array in your system.
Setting up RAID in a Mini ITX case or other small form factor cases can be a challenge due to the bay limitations. Icy Dock offers a quick and easy solution for your small computer cases. Now you can rest assure that your data/OS is safe and secure in a RAID 1, or enjoy the fast data transfer rate in RAID 0 setup.