[Gllug] Hard disk recommendations please

Patrick Moody patrickmoody84 at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 7 16:48:11 UTC 2010

Taking on board various peoples suggestions I decided to buy a 2TB samsung F4 ecogreen drive so as to avoid needing to expand capacity again for some considerable time.  I also left it on my amazon wish list just in-case anyone from my family is feeling generous enough to buy a second one for me.
  RAID 1 seems like a good idea but as I've only bought the one disk I can't do it right away.  If no-one buys the second disk for me by the end of January(for my birthday) I'll buy the second one myself then.  In the meantime is there a sensible way to prepare the first disk for being made into half of a RAID 1 array?
  Ideally I'd like for it to be up and running now on its own, and when the second disk is installed to then mirror it and create the set.  Is this possible?  I'm not sure I could be bothered with the whole process if the act of creating a RAID 1 array would involve re-formatting both disks and therefore having to back up all the data first, then restoring again after the set is created.
One way or another and depending on the advice I receive I hope to have a 2TB(ish) RAID 1 array of 2 disks operating in the server sometime in feb.  In the distant future this storage may still be too little and I might want to expand it.  I have other plans for the 750GB drive which will be freed up this time round but the next time I'd like 2TB drives to remain in place.
  Another pair of drives could be bought and another RAID 1 array built and then using LVM, the volume on the first pair of disk could be expanded onto the second pair of disks.  Is this sensible or would I be making a schoolboy error here?  Presumably I'd need LVM already in place on the first pair of disks.
 What about only adding one more 2TB disk and creating a RAID 5 array?  There's the advantage of then having 4TB from 3 off 2TB disks(better value for money), but how would I make the transition from 2 disks in RAID 1 to 3 disks in RAID 5 and is that possible without having to re-partition the lot?  Again not keen on the idea of having to offload all that data to another storage medium(which I don't have available) during the process of rearranging the RAID setup.

Sorry if I'm asking a series of dumb questions but I'd really rather find out my ideas are dumb before I attempt to implement them than afterwards.

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