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Is it possible to setup a RAID using already owned external hard drives?

Tags:
  • Western Digital
  • NAS / RAID
  • Storage
  • External Hard Drive
Last response: in Storage
December 26, 2013 6:02:46 AM

Hello,

I have a few WD My Passport drives and I want to set up something where everything I store on drive #1 will clone to drive #2, so I will have a backup in case either one of them crashes. I'm not familiar with RAID but I've heard it can be quite useful to keep data safe, and I've had multiple crashes this year so I want to start using a new, more efficient backup system.

Is it possible to set up some kind of mirror operation so I will have two of every file I move to either drive? I want to try and accomplish this without buying anything I don't need, and I already have 3 WD My Passport USB 3.0 1TB drives, which hopefully I can use? I'm also on a newer ASUS laptop, running Win 8, in case that matters.

EDIT: I know I'll need to buy a RAID enclosure, I would just like to avoid buying more hard drives if possible.

More about : setup raid owned external hard drives

a b G Storage
December 26, 2013 6:13:25 AM

You cannot setup a raid with external hard drives unless you use a raid enclosure. Since you are using a laptop, the external raid enclosure is going to be your only solution.
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a c 395 G Storage
December 26, 2013 6:21:19 AM

You can't put them in an actual RAID, but there are several ways to make them copies of each other. Windows Disk Manager is one option; you can make one mirror volume out of both of them (you may have to wipe them first; I haven't touched this in years). Or you can download some sort of realtime backup software to copy all changes on one to the other. I use a paid product for this, and I understand that this is out of scope for you.
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a c 161 G Storage
December 26, 2013 6:23:33 AM

You can use a program like Syncbackse (there's a free version) to auto mirror your data.

It's not ideal for USB drives because the drive letters can change around when you remove them and reinsert (so Drive#1 becomes Drive#2).

If you plug them back in the same order you probably won't have an issue. You can setup the software to run at a pre-determined date and time or just do it manually.
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a b G Storage
December 26, 2013 6:27:40 AM

for synchtoy, not as automated but allows for easy periodic synching.
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December 26, 2013 6:33:36 AM

I don't mind buying an enclosure, I just want to avoid the need to buy two more hard drives if possible. I was thinking I could remove the outer shell and use the WD's with a RAID enclosure, but I'm not sure how to make them mirror each other properly. I also wasn't sure if I could use the WD's out of their shell because I've heard some people mention something about WD having some form of hardware encryption? Forgive me if I'm mistaken, I've never busted one out of the shell and tried to use it so I really don't know if the newer ones have some hidden encryption.
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a c 161 G Storage
December 26, 2013 10:25:06 PM

KurtisL said:
I don't mind buying an enclosure, I just want to avoid the need to buy two more hard drives if possible. I was thinking I could remove the outer shell and use the WD's with a RAID enclosure, but I'm not sure how to make them mirror each other properly. I also wasn't sure if I could use the WD's out of their shell because I've heard some people mention something about WD having some form of hardware encryption? Forgive me if I'm mistaken, I've never busted one out of the shell and tried to use it so I really don't know if the newer ones have some hidden encryption.


Some drives have hardware encryption, but it involves putting in a PASSWORD so even if you had one that was capable you haven't enabled that feature.

The product you are looking for is something like THIS:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It takes two, 2.5" SATA drive and they can be set up to mirror each other in RAID1. There are better, more expensive solutions obviously.
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