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Mirror Hard Drive

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Anonymous
April 13, 2005 12:57:03 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

I recently experienced a hard dirve failure and now that I have my new hard
drive up and working I am interested in adding a second hard drive and read
somewhere that I can set the second hard drive up as a mirrored drive so in
the case of a failure in the main hard drive my second hard drive would have
all the info and I would not loose everything.

My question is .. is this assumption accurate? I am running XP Professional.
Is there other hardware such as a controler card needed?

Other than doing a back up each day to a network drive is there a better way
to safeguard my data and have the fastest back in operation time?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Mike

More about : mirror hard drive

Anonymous
April 13, 2005 1:28:40 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

"Atl-Mike" <AtlMike@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:730A6E93-ADD6-4063-8B3F-AE3DD10B3DCF@microsoft.com...
>I recently experienced a hard dirve failure and now that I have my
>new hard
> drive up and working I am interested in adding a second hard drive
> and read
> somewhere that I can set the second hard drive up as a mirrored
> drive so in
> the case of a failure in the main hard drive my second hard drive
> would have
> all the info and I would not loose everything.
>
> My question is .. is this assumption accurate? I am running XP
> Professional.
> Is there other hardware such as a controler card needed?
>
> Other than doing a back up each day to a network drive is there a
> better way
> to safeguard my data and have the fastest back in operation time?
>
> Thanks in advance for your help.
>
> Mike

Hello Mike,
Some motherboards include a Raid adapter. Usually Raid0 and Raid1 or
both can be used at the same time.
Yes they will protect you from hard drive failure. But not from
operating system (software) failure.

You can buy Raid adapters that plug into a PCI slot. Adaptec should
still be making them. Raid1 is what you are looking for unless you
have a server with 5 or more hard drives. Then Raid5 or 6 would be a
better solution.

You should not rely on Raid1 (mirroring) alone. Mirroring will allow
you to take the mirror drive and hook it up in the primary mirrored
drive and keep running as irf nothing happened. But if you get a virus
or a curruption in software, it is tranfered (mirrored) to the other
drive as well. So, it is only half the solution. If yopu run a mission
critical machine (data) then you need other forms of file back-up as
well as Raid.

READ!
http://www.cheap-hard-drives.com/raid.htm
"RAID 1 - Hard Disk Mirroring
RAID 1 simultaneously copies data to a second drive. The
mirroring method offers data protection and good performance in the
case where one of the mirrored drives fails. RAID 1 is the simplest
RAID configuration, requiring only a minimum of two drives with equal
capacity, and also that the drives be added in pairs. The main
disadvantage of RAID 1 is that it uses 100% drive overhead (the
highest of all RAID levels), which can be considered an inefficient
use of drive capacity."

100% drive overhead means one drive will be doing nothing other than
backing up your stuff and otherwise not contributing to the system
performance. Innexpensive controllers make it good for what you need.
When you get/build a system, it should be a consideration in the
motherboard choice!

Looks like they have SATA Raid controllers now also. Cool!

Adaptec 1210SA from $47-$80 US

I might get one myself!
April 13, 2005 4:50:50 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

"Atl-Mike" <AtlMike@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:730A6E93-ADD6-4063-8B3F-AE3DD10B3DCF@microsoft.com...
>I recently experienced a hard dirve failure and now that I have my new hard
> drive up and working I am interested in adding a second hard drive and
> read
> somewhere that I can set the second hard drive up as a mirrored drive so
> in
> the case of a failure in the main hard drive my second hard drive would
> have
> all the info and I would not loose everything.
>
> My question is .. is this assumption accurate? I am running XP
> Professional.
> Is there other hardware such as a controler card needed?
>
> Other than doing a back up each day to a network drive is there a better
> way
> to safeguard my data and have the fastest back in operation time?
>
> Thanks in advance for your help.
>
> Mike


Mike:
You would probably be interested in a disk imaging program such as
Symantec's Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image (there are others) which have
the capability of "cloning" the contents of one hard drive to another hard
drive. For all practical purposes the clone would be a bit-for-bit copy of
the source drive. It's a very effective and practical solution given your
objective. The great advantage of a disk imaging program is that the cloned
hard drive contains *all* the data that resided on the source disk,
including the operating system, registry settings, programs, your created
data -- in short, everything. And the destination disk (the cloned disk) is
bootable.

While you can use this process to effectively clone one internal HD to
another internal HD, for better security it's wise to use an external HD
(USB/Firewire) as the recipient of the clone. (Still better, in my opinion,
is to configure your desktop computer (assuming we're talking about a
desktop computer and not a laptop/notebook) with two removable hard drives.
The only disadvantage in using a USB/Firewire EHD is that it is not
bootable; however, you can clone back the contents of that external drive to
the internal one for restoration purposes should the need arise.

But if for one reason or another it's not feasible for you to use an EHD or
removable drives, have no hesitation in using two internal drives. You don't
need a controller card. Presumably your two internal drives will be
connected to the motherboard's IDE/SATA connectors as they usually are.
Anna
Related resources
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 5:26:08 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

"Anna" <myname@myisp.net> wrote in message
news:ejvI2jEQFHA.2584@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl...
> "Atl-Mike" <AtlMike@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
> news:730A6E93-ADD6-4063-8B3F-AE3DD10B3DCF@microsoft.com...
> >I recently experienced a hard dirve failure and now that I have my new
hard
> > drive up and working I am interested in adding a second hard drive and
> > read
> > somewhere that I can set the second hard drive up as a mirrored drive so
> > in
> > the case of a failure in the main hard drive my second hard drive would
> > have
> > all the info and I would not loose everything.
> >
> > My question is .. is this assumption accurate? I am running XP
> > Professional.
> > Is there other hardware such as a controler card needed?
> >
> > Other than doing a back up each day to a network drive is there a better
> > way
> > to safeguard my data and have the fastest back in operation time?
> >
> > Thanks in advance for your help.
> >
> > Mike
>
>
> Mike:
> You would probably be interested in a disk imaging program such as
> Symantec's Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image (there are others) which
have
> the capability of "cloning" the contents of one hard drive to another hard
> drive. For all practical purposes the clone would be a bit-for-bit copy of
> the source drive. It's a very effective and practical solution given your
> objective. The great advantage of a disk imaging program is that the
cloned
> hard drive contains *all* the data that resided on the source disk,
> including the operating system, registry settings, programs, your created
> data -- in short, everything. And the destination disk (the cloned disk)
is
> bootable.
>
> While you can use this process to effectively clone one internal HD to
> another internal HD, for better security it's wise to use an external HD
> (USB/Firewire) as the recipient of the clone. (Still better, in my
opinion,
> is to configure your desktop computer (assuming we're talking about a
> desktop computer and not a laptop/notebook) with two removable hard
drives.
> The only disadvantage in using a USB/Firewire EHD is that it is not
> bootable; however, you can clone back the contents of that external drive
to
> the internal one for restoration purposes should the need arise.
>
> But if for one reason or another it's not feasible for you to use an EHD
or
> removable drives, have no hesitation in using two internal drives. You
don't
> need a controller card. Presumably your two internal drives will be
> connected to the motherboard's IDE/SATA connectors as they usually are.
> Anna

Anna is right on about the external harddrive and backup software.

I have used an external (USB2) 120Gb harddrive and Norton Ghost for several
months without one complication or disappointment. I backup up the three
(3) partitions (apps & files, OS, swap file) on my internal drive once a
month to the external drive and then disconnect that external drive. I
sleep better at night knowing that the external backup drive is turned off,
disconnected, and secure.

Once, I encountered a strange Internet Explorer behavior that I couldn't
immediately rectify. Instead of screwing around for hours or days, I
reconnected my external harddrive and, using Norton Ghost, I restored all
three partitions and was surfing again within an hour.

Norton Ghost, and surely other similar programs, can backup a drive to
writable CDs (and writable DVDs, I think) in case you don't trust another
hard drive. This will give you an even more secure, long-term solution,
although it's slower and the incremental costs of the writable DVDs begin to
add up quickly.
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 7:15:22 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

"Non-Offensive, Professional Sounding Name" <a@a.com> wrote in message
news:%
>
> Anna is right on about the external harddrive and backup software.
>
> I have used an external (USB2) 120Gb harddrive and Norton Ghost for
> several
> months without one complication or disappointment. I backup up the
> three
> (3) partitions (apps & files, OS, swap file) on my internal drive
> once a
> month to the external drive and then disconnect that external drive.
> I
> sleep better at night knowing that the external backup drive is
> turned off,
> disconnected, and secure.

Doesn't always work. Most important thing to do is make sure you
verify the image before having to rely on it. Problem is that you
don't know until you need it. Then it's to late if it doesn't work.
Seen it happen a few times. It is also only good for a last known good
image restore where a Raid mirror will be good up to the time the
drive failed. Ghosting and external drives okay for home systems but
should not be relied alone for mission critical machines. It would
give you a false sense of security.
April 13, 2005 11:17:54 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

>
> "Non-Offensive, Professional Sounding Name" <a@a.com> wrote in message
> news:%
>>
>> Anna is right on about the external harddrive and backup software.
>>
>> I have used an external (USB2) 120Gb harddrive and Norton Ghost for
>> several
>> months without one complication or disappointment. I backup up the three
>> (3) partitions (apps & files, OS, swap file) on my internal drive once a
>> month to the external drive and then disconnect that external drive. I
>> sleep better at night knowing that the external backup drive is turned
>> off,
>> disconnected, and secure.
>

"Slippery_one" <Slippery_one@nospam.net> wrote in message
news:e83kGZHQFHA.3544@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
> Doesn't always work. Most important thing to do is make sure you verify
> the image before having to rely on it. Problem is that you don't know
> until you need it. Then it's to late if it doesn't work. Seen it happen a
> few times. It is also only good for a last known good image restore where
> a Raid mirror will be good up to the time the drive failed. Ghosting and
> external drives okay for home systems but should not be relied alone for
> mission critical machines. It would give you a false sense of security.


Slippery_one and others:
Everything "doesn't always work" when you're talking about personal
computers. There's always a chance that this or that process, this or that
hardware, this or that software, this or that *anything*, will fail. All of
us who have worked on PCs know & accept that. I learned early on in working
with personal computers to purge words like "always" and "never" from my
vocabulary. S*** happens.

But for what it's worth, let me relate to you and others my experience using
the Ghost disk imaging program over more than four years time. During that
time I've used that program to clone one HD to another at least one thousand
times - probably considerably more. In doing so I've used
I-don't-know-how-many different makes & models of HDs, both internal &
external that I used within a host of different operating systems. The
computers involved ranged from home-based machines to small & medium sized
business machines. Perhaps they would not be what you referred to as
"mission critical machines", but they were certainly considered that to
their users let me assure you. Anyway, I would be hard-pressed to relate
more than a handful of instances where the Ghost program failed me because
of some inherent defect in the program.

When we did run into problems in cloning one drive to another using the
Ghost program, it was invariably due to one (or more) of the following:
1. The source disk contained corrupted system files (If you clone garbage,
garbage is what you'll get)
2. The source and/or destination disk was defective
mechanically/electronically.
3. Incorrect drive connections/configurations.
4. User error, e.g., confusing the source/destination disks.

Was the program infallible? Of course not. There was a time when Ghost had
problems with NTFS partitions. And a time when the program had problems
cloning to a USB external HD. Fortunately, Symantec rectified these problems
(and others) within a reasonable time. As I've remarked time & time again, I
wish every piece of software I work with was as simple & straightforward to
use and effective in what it does as the Norton Ghost program.

So Mike, my advice still holds. Seriously consider using a disk imaging
program such as Ghost or Acronis True Image to accomplish your objective of
a near-failsafe backup system. You won't regret it.
Anna
Anonymous
April 14, 2005 3:48:57 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

"Anna" <myname@myisp.net> wrote in message
news:o zyyH8HQFHA.2520@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...

> So Mike, my advice still holds. Seriously consider using a disk
> imaging program such as Ghost or Acronis True Image to accomplish
> your objective of a near-failsafe backup system. You won't regret
> it.
> Anna

Sure Mike, she's mostly right.
Further, like I was trying to tell you, if you are in a mission
critical situation where you cannot afford to lose your files, have
multiple backup paths. Do not rely on just one (my point). Mirroring
is a good way to go, especially in accounting systems, like now (1 day
before the deadline!). Drive electronics fail, guess what, you have
one ready to go with a mirror set up and ready to take it's place.
Sure your ghost image will save your behind. But you still have to get
a new drive, install it and then perform the ghost. ;) 

So without knowing how critical your system is, you at least have
enough info to determine if one or the other or both might be good for
you. I use mirroring and export all my critical files to CD or DVD. I
design circuit boards for a living, my custom parts libraries alone
represents 100's of hours of my work to rebuild. Am I going to lose
them? NO! Am I going to lose a day finding, replacing and ghosting a
drive? Not if I can help it!

I remember getting that sick to my stomach feeling the day my system
made it past POSTing and then the hard drive started making a
repetitive screeching sound. That was the worst day I ever had! I have
used Raid1 ever since on my work systems.
April 14, 2005 5:29:14 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Disk Mirroring is a term used in conjunction with RAID, where the automatic
recording of redundant data is performed to allow for fault tolerant
operation. Data are written on two partitions of the same disk or on two
separate disks within the same system. Disk mirroring uses the same
controller. RAID 1 provides for mirroring, which is usually accomplished with
SCSI drives and, increasingly, with SATA IDE drives.

Disk cloning is a term that implies the manual process of physically
generating an exact copy of one hard disk to another.

Shuold you choose, then you can follow all the good advice on 'cloning' with
Ghost or you can go the automatic route if you have an SATA drive.

"Atl-Mike" wrote:

> I recently experienced a hard dirve failure and now that I have my new hard
> drive up and working I am interested in adding a second hard drive and read
> somewhere that I can set the second hard drive up as a mirrored drive so in
> the case of a failure in the main hard drive my second hard drive would have
> all the info and I would not loose everything.
>
> My question is .. is this assumption accurate? I am running XP Professional.
> Is there other hardware such as a controler card needed?
>
> Other than doing a back up each day to a network drive is there a better way
> to safeguard my data and have the fastest back in operation time?
>
> Thanks in advance for your help.
>
> Mike
!