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RAID question - Establishing arrays then NTFS format in Windows
1/8/08 4:44:50 PM
I am intending on establishing a RAID 5 array using 3 HDD's.

I am using a dedicated RAID controller card (Adaptec 5405).

Setting up and then verifying the array takes some time - I imagine due to the low level formatting going on.

Anyhow, once the array is verified and up and running, I then intend to install the OS (windows SBS 2003.. a basic version of win 2003).

During the OS install process, I will be asked to make partitions and which partition to install the OS to. I will just have one partition and install to the default C:

To my question...

The next stage of the OS install will be whether I want to perform a full or quick NTFS format.

This is where I get confused...

I thought I would already have 'formatted' the drives to establish the RAID 5 array.

Do i need to full format again in NTFS file system?

Or, will a quick NTFS format suffice?

Help/advice from a guru atomican with particular expertise in RAID and NTFS formatting would be appreciated.


A ship in a harbour is safe,
but that is not what ships are for.

1/8/08 5:00:19 PM


A RAID build does not mean a file system build.
The RAID is a level below the file system.

A quick format should suffice, but if you are paranoid then do a full one, it should only take a little while longer (in the scheme of things).


3/8/08 3:48:22 PM

A full format writes null bytes (all zeroes) to every sector of the partition + important file system info to the appropriate sectors.

A quick format just writes the important stuff and leaves the other sectors contents as-is, but allocated as "free".

A full format is a good idea for a new drive. A quick format is a good option for a reinstall when you're confident the drive is fine already.

Given the RAID array initialisation probably did verify the integrity of the disks, you should feel confident that the drives are just fine and go ahead and do the quick format.

A full format won't hurt, though, if you're paranoid/thorough. :)

"Grandfather had an accident, he got burnt." "Oh no, how bad?" "Well, they don't fuck around at the crematorium."

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