Vista Ultimate backup vs raid 1 and which controller

First, sorry if I put this in the wrong part of the forums and add that my home backup practices are just about non-existent. So on to my problem.

I'm replacing my system I'm planning a 3 drive build, 250GB ES2 and a pair of 500GB .11s. The first being OS, Programs and stuff that I won't be too upset if I lose it. The other two I was planning on running in a raid 1 array for things like family pictures, music, videos, etc. The last four years of my families life and growing. I really do not want to lose that unless I hit delete. Oh and my wife would kill me. :sweat:

My questions:

Can I install the OS and what not and come back after... say a week to install the raid on the 500s?

Would configuring Vista to backup one 500GB to the other be a better solution than using them in a raid array? Disk space really isn't an issue either since I can always by another drive, or two later.

Finally, which controller on my GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3P should I use ICH9R or GIGABYTE SATA2? Does it even matter which one I choose.

Thanks in advance for any help
27 answers Last reply
More about vista ultimate backup raid controller
  1. I'm running a similiar system with a single .11 for my OS and games and a 3xWD3200KS RAID 5 for data.

    Jumping to your last question first, use the ICH9R as the Intel controller tends to be better than any other integrated option out there.

    Next, if you put data on one of your .11 drives and then try to setup a RAID 1, you could wipe the data depending on how you do it. Assuming you use the Intel controller, you can use the Intel Matrix software in Windows which lets you setup the RAID without data loss.

    Last, I would say go with the RAID over the backup. Backups are nice if you want to undelete something, but a RAID 1 is best for preventing hardware failure. Since backups only run at scheduled times, you could potentially upload some pictures to the PC and then lose the drive before the backup runs.

    One more suggestion would be to get an external hard drive or use an online backup system. This would help if something ever happened that completly wiped out your PC.

    Hope this helps.
  2. You should really burn your pictures and family movies and stuff to DVD. If you don't there is potential that you'll wish you did.
  4. I am in a similar boat but I am going to try RAID 0 with a system already running vista 64 on a single disk. Anyone with experience doing this should definitely chime in.
  5. I agree with skittle. If the controller fail, and ruin the array, you won't be happy.. And the fact that RAID don't migrate well between controller, that means you'll have to stick to Intel controller.

    RAID 1 is for system that cannot afford to loose data AND not allowed to stop for replacing a drive (read, mission critical environnement,..)

    A better solution would be a good backup strategy on CD media done for this purpose. They offer better stability than normal CD. They cost more, but may well worth it.

    You can also use both drive separately, and have a program like second copy to synchronize a backup folder with a main folder on their own drive. So, if one drive fail, then there will be another folder on the other with the exact same content.
  6. pat said:
    RAID 1 is for system that cannot afford to loose data
    due to drive failure.
  7. Are you using a intel mobo?

    You could go with two drives and use matrix raid.
    use two 500gb drives.

    Partition one section as 50Gb + 50Gb raid-0
    and one section as a 450Gb raid-1
  8. RAID 1 works great for preventing drive failure and data loss from that. If you controller fails, you can still pull data off the drive.

    I think backups are smart idea still because you never know when you may accidentally delete something or your computer might get stolen/destroyed.

    I personally do not like to rely on either solution by itself as there are weak spots. RAID doesn't help with data that is deleted and backups aren't real time so you could potentially lose data still.
  9. Funny how topics seem to be hot for a few months and then die off, only to be resurrected later with the same questions.

    You can absolutely play with RAID configurations and both onboard and independant controllers but it never changes the basics that have been echoed here many times before. You'll save much effort and frustration by disciplining yourself into good backup habits and strategies.

    Believe me, if you don't practice good backup strategies, you'll eventually be looking through the threads dealing with data recovery. Most of us echoing this same sentiment of backing up data have reason to do so - we've screwed up and paid the price!
  10. important data that you do not want any downtime for, and get the most effective solution for your space - go with 3 or more drives in raid 5. 1 drive can fail without interrupting the operation of the system. Primary drive? Get the system installed, clone that hard drive, test it, and leave it unplugged in the system. reclone it if you make any major modifications. Data backed up, and primary drive taken care of, its just going to cost you a couple more hard drives.
  11. As said above, RAID 1 is NOT a backup solution since its always making a copy, so if you get viruses or accidentally delete a file its gone in both places instantly. With a backup system you can go back to get lost files. Even running a backup for each day allows you to have multiple days so even if you don't notice right away you can go get something back you lost lets say 5 days ago....

    Raid 1 is a great way to avoid the down time of loosing a drive(since you can hot swap for a replacement when a drive fails), but thats about it.
  12. skittle said:

    Like Spud would say, Word, playa.

    To emphasize:
    RAID 1 IS NOT A BACKUP SOLUTION. In fact, no RAID is a backup solution. It is redundancy solution.

    Please, please people. Do not mess with a technology you don't understand.
  13. Take it back. People that want to use RAID 0 for back up should go ahead and do so. Darwinism at its best.
  14. piratepast40 said:
    Funny how topics seem to be hot for a few months and then die off, only to be resurrected later with the same questions.

    The search function remains the most closely guarded secret of the forums. No matter how many links to Posting and You there are.
  15. Well I dcided to go with the Vista backup because I wasn't smart or patient enough to Raid. So All my pics and what not are backed up onto another HDD until I start burning DVDs.

    To clarify way after the fact though. It was more raid1 vs Vista backup utility for redundancy not backup purposes. Sorry for the confusion and thank ou all for your input.
  16. Backup does not achieve redundancy. Different things. Backup - you can restore to a point in the past in case of data loss, etc. Redundancy - you can more likely cotinue operating in case of a drive failure without disruption. Entirely different concepts. That is all RAID is deisgned to achieve, plus maybe performance benefits; it is a moot point precisely what purpose it was conceived for between the two, there were other considerations involved in the creation such as cost (but not RAID 1).
  17. Last but not least - get WHS from HP (MediaSmart server). It actually does what you need it to do wihtout problems (it does have issues at the present time); unless you have Vista x64 - then you have to wait 'till the summer when an update enabling that functionality is expected.
  18. If ya have more than 1 PC, ya might want to consider an NAS solution:

    For a 2 disk system:


    $399 for the NAS with one 500 GB drive
    $114 for a matching 500 GB drive

    So for about $500 you have a fully functional NAS, w/:

    -The spare hard drive will keep an extra copy of all the data and instantly take over if the first hard drive should fail.
    -Hot Swap capability....yank and replace a drive while watching a movie and NAS just keeps on playing the movie w/o a burp
    -Advanced media streaming support allows the ReadyNAS to directly serve media, with no PC required, to devices such as the NETGEAR EVA8000, Sonos® Digital Music System, Logitech Squeezebox™, Apple iTunes® clients, Sony Playstation® 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360®.
    -Directly stream music, photos and video to existing network media players without a computer
    -simultaneously accessible via all connected Windows or Macintosh computers.
    -the ReadyNAS can be set up to provide secure access to all the stored files remotely via the Internet.
    -Officially licensed BitTorrent client allows downloading to occur without the need for an additional computer.
    -3 year warranty on NAS, 5 year warranty on HD's.

    I make the following backups:

    NAS to laptop (daily)
    NAS to desktop (daily)
    NAS to DVD (monthly)
  19. The value of raid-1 for protecting data is that you can recover from a hard drive failure quickly. It is for servers that can't afford any down time. Recovery from a hard drive failure is just moments.
    Fortunately hard drives do not fail often. Raid-1 does not protect you from other types of losses such as viruses, software errors, operator error, or fire...etc. For that, you need EXTERNAL backup. If you have external backup, and can afford some recovery time, then you don't need raid-1.
  20. geofelt said:
    pes of losses such as viruses, software errors, operator error, or fire...etc. For that, you need EXTERNAL backup. If you have external backup, and can afford some recovery time, then you don't need raid-1.

    To my mind in order to properly weigh your options, there are four "times" you must consider.

    -Recovery time is both consequential and inconsequential. If you can't afford to be w/o access for a few hours, it really isn't a big deal and the time spent here is inconsequential. If not, than RAID 1 isn't even a choice, it's a necessity.

    -Backup T,C & E (time, cost and effort) however is quite consequential. If those (daily / weekly/ monthly) backups are to multiple DVD's say, how much money being spend on media ? How much time spent swapping DVD's when you could otherwise be productive.

    -Down time ..... RAID 1 goes down, one can yank it out, cross ship it and get a warranty replacement and risk the other drive not dying within a week or still have access to your data. Otherwise you are probably going to have to order a new drive overnight mail. Keep in mind, with some vendors warranty replacements can take forever. Some will not cross ship. WD quoted me 3-6 weeks with my last HD failure so I just bought a new drive and said the hell with the warranty.

    -If you are doing manual backups, what is the TC & E associated with replacing the data that is "lost" between the last backup and the "death".

    I wouldn't do RAID 1 in a workstation or game computer but a RAID 1 NAS makes a lotta sense. With Netgear's new ReadyNAS Duo line, and the cost being what it is, I think it's almost a "no brainer". And if you ahve a newtowrk of 2 or more machines, the 'almost" goes away.

    As a side note ...... Another thing nice about NAS's is that they are generally Linux based making them free from Windows viruses, they also generally come with backup software with multiple client you can back up or do "versioning". For example, if I delete a file from my NAS, the file goes into a special Recycle Bin that empties itself on a set schedule.....I have mine set to 30 days....deleted files remain there for 30 days and then go "poof".

    Another thing I like about NAS's is their size compared to bit tower desktops. In case of fire, I can grab the handle, yank the plug and run like hell .... then go back inside for wife and kids :)
  21. JackNaylorPE said:
    Another thing I like about NAS's is their size compared to bit tower desktops. In case of fire, I can grab the handle, yank the plug and run like hell .... then go back inside for wife and kids :)

    I just don't know what to say about that one.
  22. You can use norton ghost or similar back tool

    Save your back file on DVD or network drive.

    This will enable you to restore your OS drive(c:\) or File Drive(d:\, e:\...etc) to any new drive RAID or not RAID. As long as there is sufficient space.

    Restore process normally takes 15 minutes to 45 minutes.

    This product use to be DRIVEIMAGE from Partition Magic. Norton purchase the company and rename this product to Norton-Ghost.

    The original Norton-Ghost product is not even close to this.
  23. Hey, my kids are 17 and 18 and the older one is in the fire department ...I'm 53....they should be pulling my tired old ass outta the burning building :)
  24. /\__too funny....
  25. All, thanks again for the info all.

    For now I'm using Vista Ultimate's backup utility to back up my data drive to another drive. Also I'm planning on monthly DVD burns. Is there an option in some back-up programs to just move to disk files modified since last burn? (Sorry I know it's prob a dumb question)

    Jack thanks for the info on the NAS. It'll have to wait till next year's tax return but since the number of machines I have at home is increasing, central storage seems like the way to go. I was thinking about using the system I just upgraded from but that's going to my daughter for webkins and fisher price drawing thingy.

    leon- I absolutely positively hate norton ghost. I haven't built an image with it, but my software guys like to create images instead of building from scratch. Too bad their images never work or they do something else not so smart. Like take an AMD gateway image and try to put it on an intel dell, then wonder what went wrong.
  26. The Netgear NAS Duos just hit newegg.

    $399 for the 500 GB model....$505 with twin 500 Giggers.
  27. ICH9R may be the better. I personally like to rely on some freeware backup software to protect the data on my drives even I also uses the raid1. This make feel more secure about my data(losing them was really a disaster for my job). I can't estimate any other reasons of crash on my computer. :( I had been using free todo backup for a long time. You can get more information on this page
    To get away from your wife's anger, be careful about the safety of your data. :D
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