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So, what is a RAID?
A RAID is a Redundant Array of Independent (originally Inexpensive) Disks. What this means is, that you have more than one hard drive in your computer, and the hard drives are either copying one another, or sending information to several drives at once.
There are various types of Raids. They are usually numbered (Raid 1 – 10). There are differences, but we really don’t need to go into that.
Here is the important part, the part I want to hit home.
On your computer, the hard drive is the one component that is really important, and moves really fast! That also means, it is the component most likely to wear out first.
Now, I don’t know if you have ever had a hard drive fail. In some cases, you can get the data back. In others, it is gone. That can really be a situation that lacks all humor if it is the QuickBooks Enterprise or Point of Sale data for your company. So what can we do?
Windows 7 has a built in capability to run a Raid 1 mirror. This means you can add a second hard drive to your system (preferably the same make, size and model to the one already in there) and set it to copy any data you write. If the main hard drive fails, the second hard drive takes over. When it is run from windows, it is called a Software Raid.
Is it a perfect system, no. You usually do not find out one hard drive has failed until the next time you reboot. But your data is there, and the system will continue running so you can keep working.
It is relatively cheap insurance to make sure you stay operational.
A raid should not be considered a reason not to backup your files. It is not going to save you if the building burns down, floods, or the computer is stolen. But it does offer peace of mind and stability in your day to day operations.
Talk to your IT person, or do some research on the web. I think you will find this to be a cost effective peace of mind.
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