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Trouble setting up software raid 1 with external usb 3.0 HDD's

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November 5, 2013 5:19:05 PM

I have 2 seagate external hard drives and I am looking to set up raid 1 with windows 8.1. I am running into an issue where I cannot find a direct answer to. When I try to set up a mirrored volume aka raid 1 there actually is no option to set it up there is simple, spanned, and striped spanned and striped are both grayed out. I was wondering if windows 8.1 did not support raid 1 anymore or something? otherwise if this problem is not resolved I will need to buy 2 new internal drives and raid 1 those witch is not what I want to do.

More about : trouble setting software raid external usb hdd

a c 901 G Storage
a c 466 * Windows 8
November 5, 2013 5:25:07 PM

I do not believe you can use external drives in a RAID array, without specialized software.
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November 5, 2013 5:29:13 PM

Dang is it a usb limitation or do they just not build the drives to support that kind of setup?
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a b G Storage
November 5, 2013 6:15:05 PM

USAFret is correct, in order to have external RAID functionality you will need to purchase external RAID storage devices and possibly a RAID controller card. Simply taking two or more external devices i.e. WD My books etc will not work.
Or you can simply rip the drives out of the external units and throw them into an external RAID enclosure as these enclosures have the RAID controller embedded within. However I do not recommend this path as you will void the warranty.
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November 5, 2013 7:25:21 PM

Thanks guys! Yea I am not gonna do that. I will just stick with manually copying the files over for now. Also I wanted to add for future reference if you really need to use raid 0 or 1 on an external drive I found a usb 3.0 raid controller on newegg although it is a little pricey.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b G Storage
November 6, 2013 3:32:21 AM

Joshontech said:
Thanks guys! Yea I am not gonna do that. I will just stick with manually copying the files over for now. Also I wanted to add for future reference if you really need to use raid 0 or 1 on an external drive I found a usb 3.0 raid controller on newegg although it is a little pricey.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


That sounds like an interesting product, I may have to look into this little unit myself.
Please understand that RAID is not a backup solution. It is used for redundancy of data (hardware) and does not offer any sort of data backup. If your RAID fails, you will lose your data. Always ensure you have a backup plan to go along with your RAID rig.
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November 6, 2013 4:20:33 PM

I am just curious but how is raid 1 not a backup solution? I am just asking because I have my files on one HDD and I want them to be on 2 so if one goes than I will have the other so my data wont be lost. As far as I know RAID 1 basically copies the exact data that is on your original HDD you set it up with am I correct?
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November 6, 2013 4:32:51 PM

Another thing I found that could help with a situation like mine is a HDD backup software. I just found this basic but really good HDD backup program it is called DriveImage XML.

http://www.runtime.org/driveimage-xml.htm
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a b G Storage
November 6, 2013 5:25:22 PM

Joshontech said:
I am just curious but how is raid 1 not a backup solution? I am just asking because I have my files on one HDD and I want them to be on 2 so if one goes than I will have the other so my data wont be lost. As far as I know RAID 1 basically copies the exact data that is on your original HDD you set it up with am I correct?


RAID 1 is a mirror set so all your doing is providing redundancy between the drives however if you delete a file or infected by a virus or if the controller of the RAID array fails then your data is gone.
RAID is Redundant Array of Inexpensive or Independant Disks, a storage technology that combines multiple disk drive components into a logical unit for the purposes of data redundancy and performance improvement.

Rule of thumb, with any RAID array, ensure a backup solution is also provided - preferably offsite if possible dependent upon how critical your data is.
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a c 940 G Storage
a b * Windows 8
November 6, 2013 6:00:28 PM

Raid 1 is not a backup because if you, or a virus, deletes files they are gone from both drives. A backup woudl leave you with something to restore from.

I suggest that you have a nightly copy of files from 1 drive to the other. You can set how often/how many times they copy in task scheduler, after you actually setup the task naturally. Synctoy2.1 and robocopy are both good at this.
Synctoy is a free micrsoft product :http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id...
robocopy is a windows command and thus a little more difficult to learn to use.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/ee851678.as...
http://www-pc.uni-regensburg.de/systemsw/tools/robocopy...‎ <-- will download an MS doc
http://burpee.smccme.edu/studenthowtos/robocopy.htm
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November 6, 2013 7:57:08 PM

Alright thanks guys but after hearing all that I really do not see the point in having a raid 1 setup at all. I encrypt all my drives so no one can access them without a password.
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a c 901 G Storage
a c 466 * Windows 8
November 6, 2013 8:06:24 PM

Joshontech said:
Alright thanks guys but after hearing all that I really do not see the point in having a raid 1 setup at all.


Most people eventually come to that conclusion.

Businesses? Yes.
Personal use? Not so much.
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November 6, 2013 8:12:50 PM

Thanks so much for giving me the sync toy idea its just what I needed!
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a b G Storage
November 6, 2013 8:14:15 PM

I use to mirror my drives but its somewhat redundant (no pun intended) so now I stripe my drives and have an external backup solution.
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November 6, 2013 8:58:48 PM

Yea see my problem is that I store some backups on my external drive and some other files like movies and music on it as well. I do have an internal HDD but I use that for my video editing and I need all that storage.
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a b G Storage
November 6, 2013 9:04:29 PM

I see your pain. I decided to stripe 2x1TB WD Black drives for my photo and video and other related data and another 2x1.5TB Green drives for video retention i.e. HD movies.
Then I back up the 2 sets of striped arrays to individual external WD 3TB My Book Essentials plus an additional external 2TB drive for offsite storage for my photo and video archives.
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