How to Improve Your Mac's System Speed with RAID

Mac OS X Snow Leopard’s Disk Utility offers RAID (Redundant Array of Independent/Inexpensive Disks). Using RAID can improve your system speed and help prevent disk errors from compromising or corrupting your data.

RAID isn’t for everyone. It is most often implemented by Mac power users. You need at least two additional hard drives on your system besides the start-up disk. Don't use the start-up disk in your RAID set.

To set up a RAID array in Mac OS X Snow Leopard, follow these steps:

1

Open Disk Utility and click the RAID tab.

Disk Utility is located in the Utilities folder of the Applications folder.

2

From the RAID tab of Disk Utility, click and drag the disks from the list at the left to the Disk box at the right.

These are the disks you will use in your RAID set.

3

Click the RAID Type pop-up menu to specify the type of RAID that you need.

Striped RAID Set can speed up your hard drive performance by splitting data between multiple disks. Concatenated RAID Set allows several volumes (or even multiple disks) to appear as one volume within Snow Leopard. Mirrored RAID Set increases the reliability of your storage by creating a mirror backup of that data across multiple disks.

4

Click in the RAID Set Name field and type the name for your RAID set.

This is the name you will use for this RAID set.

5

Choose a RAID format and click the Create button.

From the Volume Format pop-up menu, choose a format for the volumes.

Use Mac OS Extended or Mac OS Extended (Journaled) from the Volume Format list unless you have a specific reason to use the MS-DOS File System (for compatibility with PCs running Windows) or the UNIX File System (for compatibility with UNIX/Linux machines). Journaling helps reduce the amount of disk fragmentation and helps speed up your hard drive’s performance.

6

Click the Create button.

Snow Leopard churns away and sets up your RAID set.

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