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Help Mirroring 2 External Hard Drives

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  • Storage
  • External Hard Drive
Last response: in Storage
March 25, 2014 12:25:54 PM

I touched on this at the end of another thread I created. I am running windows 7 home premium 64 bit, with 16GB RAM, Intel i7-4770 Haswell processor on an ASUS H87-E motherboard.The boot drive is a Samsung 840 EVO SSD 120GB and I have another internal drive which is a 1TB Seagate Barracuda. I apologize if all this info is not necessary. Anyway, I have 2 2TB drives that are in external enclosures and I have them connected to the PC via e-SATA cables. These drive enclosures alos have USB 2.0 in addition to the e-SATA, but no USB 3.0. One drive is going to be used to stream media to Apple TV devices and for other computers in the house to be able to access media and the other is for backup. I would like to mirror the data from one drive to the other but I am afraid I know nothing about this subject. I am looking for advice on the best way to do this. All help is greatly appreciated.

More about : mirroring external hard drives

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a b G Storage
March 25, 2014 12:30:39 PM

just use something like synctoy to regularly synch the two drives.

Mirroring is a term used in a raid1 array, which would require some changes to your OS to make work and to be honest it's a right pain if you want to change back to not having raid.
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a c 395 G Storage
March 25, 2014 12:36:45 PM

yea synctoy is one program you can use. You can always use other programs that are meant for disk cloning like Marcirum Reflect or EASEUS partition manager to clone the drives.
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a b G Storage
March 25, 2014 12:40:17 PM

I'm thinking more of a 'backup' cloning as opposed to 'live' cloning, and partition level cloning is a bit heavy for that compared to file level cloning.
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March 25, 2014 12:49:38 PM

OK, Not following or understanding live cloning vs. partition cloning. Out of the programs recommended, which one is the best?
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a b G Storage
March 25, 2014 1:31:05 PM

You need to understand what you are asking properly first.

Mirroring in Raid = taking a hard drive and keeping a second live copy of it at a very low level (tiny fragments of a file).

I don't think you need that.

A backup = copying the content of a hard drive to another drive, very easy to maintain and update, any files that change are updated - synctoy.
A cloned partition = a single copy of the whole hard drive, when you want to make another copy you copy all of it, rather than just the bits that have changed. these use the partition software.

Which do you want to do, I'm thinking you want a backup.
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March 25, 2014 1:53:53 PM

I told you I was a newbie to this :)  I will be adding, removing data on one external hard drive. All of my media will be on that drive (photos, music, movies) plus a folder where I store other data such as MS office documents, etc. Whatever files or folders I add, remove or modify, I would like to have all of that data on the other external drive. I would like to do this in the most automated way possible instead of manually copying and pasting individual files, folders, etc. I have Acronis True Image Home 2011 that I used to clone my SSD when I first did a clean install of Windows 7. I hope this clearly states what I want to do.
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a b G Storage
March 25, 2014 2:57:25 PM

download synctoy from microsoft and give that a go. It will recognise changes to folder contents and synch accordingly.
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a c 1299 G Storage
March 25, 2014 3:10:28 PM

I would not recommend using anything to live sync the two drives. Anything accidentally deleted would also be deleted on the backup drive and be lost.

I suggest you have synctoy or robocopy run on a schedule several times a day.

I started with Synctoy but have moved to robocopy after having some issues with Synctoy. Robocopy is command line driven so may be more difficult for you to work with. Synctoy is very easy to learn and understand but it does not have a built in scheduler so I've linked a guide below.

Synctoy guide: http://www.pchell.com/support/synctoy.shtml

How to schedule synctoy: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/25046/schedule-synctoy-t...

robocopy guide: http://burpee.smccme.edu/studenthowtos/robocopy.htm
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March 25, 2014 4:21:12 PM

Sweet. I will give this a go. I am not going to be changing my data that often, so should I still schedule the backup several times a day? The drive I am using for backup will be off most of the time unless I make changes to the other drive. Then I will turn it on to backup. My main external drive will not be running 24/7, but rather when people in the house want to access media from it. That reminds me, is there a way to protect the data on the drive so people accessing it from other computers can read it, but cannot delete or modify it?
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a c 1299 G Storage
March 25, 2014 5:52:34 PM

How often you schedule it depends on what you want. I myself have 3 'syncs'. Once after my wifes soaps record (4pm), another after she goes to bed (midnight) and a final one (4am) the first two are writes only (only copies new files to the backup drive) so if she accidentally deleted something I can still restore it. The 4am backup is a full sync deleting any files that aren't on the source.
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March 25, 2014 6:15:32 PM

Thanks. Cute baby!
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