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Backup Strategy

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February 15, 2012 1:36:57 PM

So I just built a new machine and the main set up is 2 SSD drives in raid 0.

What I want to do is to add 3 more drives in a separate raid 5 configuration which will be used as data storage and back up for the raid 0 set up.

I will also back up the files on the raid 5 set to a separate machine on my home network so it is at least one other location.


My question is this, when I was building the machine the MB died on me after 2 days, no big deal I rma'd it back to new egg and got a new board and I hadn't gotten very far on installing stuff yet.

The issue this brought to mind though is if I use the MB raid controller (which is what I used for my raid 0) and it craps out how easy is it to recover the information from the raid disks once new hardware is added i.e. the MB is replaced? What if the new MB has a different controller? I know if one of the disk dies I can replace it and rebuild the array and all should be fine.

I know with having the important stuff on the raid 5 and another machine I should be pretty safe, but I am paranoid about loosing stuff, in all my years of working with computers I have never lost a file, but I have always been religious about backing up to external drives and/or DVD/CD's.

I just want to simplify my backup process and get away from having a bunch of DVD's laying around.

More about : backup strategy

a c 314 G Storage
February 15, 2012 2:08:10 PM

First, congratulations on asking THE RIGHT QUESTION!

Second, my usual rant. Don't RAID0 SSDs. Too much risk for too little gain. Do me a personal favor and read this; then I will shut up: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/kigsto...

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All backups should be done to drives on other systems. If you back up your SSDs to your RAID5 and the system is fried by an exploding power supply, rain coming in an open window, a virus, or your cat, then your SSD backups are lost. Use either external drives or network drives.

I recommend external drives because, except when you are doing a backup, they are offline and immune to viruses and lightning strikes. If you have two external drives (or sets of drives), do one backup to one and then the next to the other. That way, if the world goes boom during a backup, you still have a valid one.

My personal choice is to back up my system drive (SSD) and data drives with different strategies. For a system drive, a complete image backup that could be restored to a new SSD and booted. Well, in your case, a new RAID set.

I am ruthless about restoring old images. Any question of a virus, I restore. Before I do a major install, I restore the last backup, do updates and scans, do the install, and backup again. It's a very aggressive way to keep my system clean.

For your data, occasional full backups and regular incrementals to the other machine should be sufficient. There is plenty of software that will do this automatically, so that you can just check up on it occasionally.

Win7 is pretty tough and smart. I would not hesitate to re-load one of my backups to a new machine, in case my machine dies. I would then do a Repair Install to make sure that I have correct drivers for the new motherboard, and a full set of online updates. Even with a RAID 0 set, my guess is that this would work.

If you have a spare machine, try it! Build a RAID 0 with HDDs, if you don't have spare SSDs lying around. Do the restore and a Repair Install. If it works, you can sit back and enjoy your confidence.

Final note: I backup to external bare drives. I've accumulated fourteen of them (not all used for backups). I like to use this device to let me drop in any of my bare drives, even while the system is running: http://kingwin.com/products/cate/mobile/racks/kf_1000_b....

Please let me know if I missed the point of one of your questions.

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February 15, 2012 2:21:37 PM

Thank you for your response. Your link was interesting, I did not realize that trim doesn't work with SSD's in raid.

Your point about backing up to an external drive is good, and I have done that, however right at this minute I am doing a recovery on a drive where the controller failed so now I am trying to recover the files I had on it. (I could pull out the DVD back up but using this as practice)

So external drives are still a single point of failure unless you have multiples like you mentioned. I think I will set up a raid 5 in my spare machine and use that as my back up, that way if the disk fails I can rebuild, I would still be screwed in the event of other hardware failure, so I will use another external drive to back that up.
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February 16, 2012 8:59:50 AM

I wonder if you guys could shine some light on my problem, I have on my system a raid card with a expansion 2 ssd in raid 0 for the OS, 6 hhd (13TB) in raid 6 which I dedicated a 500gigs partition for back ups, I have there A disk image and also some other back up. Yesterday I decided to update my SSD firmware and also do a clean windows install on the same raid 0 with no issues, now I am trying to restore using the disk image using a repair disk I have created earlier but every time I select find a disk image the raid card alarm goes on and windows scan but never find the image.
Do you guys have any Idea? I even tried using Windows installation DVD with no avail.
the image is about 138 gigs and my raid 0 is 480 gigs.
Any input would be most appreciated.
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a c 314 G Storage
February 16, 2012 12:17:54 PM

angeli662

Please start a new thread. Among other things, you are more likely to attract the attention of the people who know this stuff by using a good subject, such as "Cannot restore backup made with <software> to RAID"

Regards
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