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Issues with "Mirroring" (Raid1) Setup on Win7

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March 29, 2012 5:33:33 AM

So I purchased a new computer to specifically designate as my business pc after a hard drive failure that almost lost me all my sensitive irreplaceable data that I have not backed up in months. I purchased the computer with two 1TB hard drives with win7 professional 64bit and im trying to "mirror" my drives. Basically what I want to do is whenever i make/save/receive/download any form of data Id like it immediately copied on my secondary drive to back it up. From what I was explained its called "mirroring".

After countless attempts at forum posts and youtube vidoes Ive gotten to the point of mirroring the actual drive and for whatever reason its grayed out? Any help troubleshooting this would be much appreciated... Thank you!!!
a b G Storage
March 29, 2012 5:55:52 AM

RAID 1 (mirroring) is not a backup solution, it is a high availability solution. It will protect you against hardware failure, but it will NOT protect you against a software problem such as a virus, someone accidently deleting things etc. What I would recommend doing is not mirroring in this case. Get an imaging utility (r-drive image is pretty good and reasonablly priced r-tt.com) and image your first harddrive to your second harddrive on an automatic schedule, say once a week or once every other day. This will allow you to quickly be up and running by switching to the other drive if it fails and it will also allow you to roll-back if there is a software issue. Because mirroring instantly updates the other drive and keeps it in sync, any software problem will be written to the other drive instantly as well. I recommend 1 week since you can only really have 1 copy on the second drive. This gives you a week to figure out you have a software problem before the copy is overwritten but it also means you will lose a week of data. If this is not acceptable I recommend looking into an additonal backup drive thats large enough to keep a few copies of the primary drive. You can then mirror these two drives.


If you want to mirror the drives, convert the boot volume to a dynamic disk first and then the mirroring option should no longer be grayed out.
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March 29, 2012 6:15:31 AM

Thank you for the quick reply, as far as mirroring goes Im glad I was explained how it works in great detail. Keeping the additional large backup to mirror multiple copies of the boot drive seems like the most safe but at the same time quite cumbersome. I was considering using an online file storage system like carbonite as an alternative or as a secondory failsafe, but not sure how safe that is for business based data. Any thoughts?

As far as the mirror drives, my main disk is dynamic and ive tried making the backup dynamic and normal but I have yet to reformat it, im guessing either that or the fact that fry's may have not given me a similar hard drive may be the culprit. So are you suggesting the purchasable imaging program as an alternative or does automatically resave a backup image while keeping the backup safe from software based crud *viruses* ? Because I see the similar capability for windows 7 for free so Id like to know how these two vary. Thanks for the explanations in advance.
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March 29, 2012 8:28:31 AM

Mirroring is usefull for a Business perspective, this combined with a regular backup mechanism such as Cloud/External Drive/Tape/Backup Server is a safest way to keep your data

Mirroring will be useful as it will eliminate down time in case of a failure, even what has been said about Virii a good backup solution will resolve this, though in a proper work environment malware and such shouldn't be a huge issue unless you have no anti-virus software and have bad web surfing habits at work.

In regards to Win7 and Raid1 if windows is installed to the primary drive you want to mirror sometimes it cannot be converted to a mirror, usually the mirror would be done in hardware/software prior to the windows installation
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March 29, 2012 8:46:31 AM

tokencode may have a differing view but AFIK Win7 will make either a backup .iso which will need to be restored before using or an actual disk image which is just what it says.
I would think off site backup is good in case of fire, flood, etc. and is reasonably priced if you're just talking about a few TB. Those people wouldn't be in business if they didn't have some type of integrity.
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a b G Storage
March 29, 2012 10:45:00 PM

Windows built in imaging would work perfectly fine, it's just not the fastest nor does it compress the images so they take up a lot of space. On-line backups are a great option but if you have a lot of data the restore process can take a very long time depending on your Internet connection. Take a look at www.dynamicvault.com they offer on-site appliances, disaster recovery and cloud backup geared for enterprise customers. All data is encrypted on your side before it is sent over. You are the only one with the encryption so no one but you can have access to your data.
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April 22, 2012 5:46:42 PM

Darkfalz89 said:
So I purchased a new computer to specifically designate as my business pc after a hard drive failure that almost lost me all my sensitive irreplaceable data that I have not backed up in months. I purchased the computer with two 1TB hard drives with win7 professional 64bit and im trying to "mirror" my drives. Basically what I want to do is whenever i make/save/receive/download any form of data Id like it immediately copied on my secondary drive to back it up. From what I was explained its called "mirroring".

After countless attempts at forum posts and youtube vidoes Ive gotten to the point of mirroring the actual drive and for whatever reason its grayed out? Any help troubleshooting this would be much appreciated... Thank you!!!


Hi, I've just mirrored my HD (first time it did this). Did use WD world edition and set up as raid 0 but one of the drives failed and rather than buy new drive decided to install working drive as mirror internally.
Researched web and short version is it didn't work first or second time but did 3rd.
Win 7 Professional may not be same as other versions but it's what I have. Formatted installed drive with quick format as it was already NTFS. Changed C: to Dynamic drive and Mirror was not greyed any longer. Did mirror but as C: was partitioned 100gb sys and 400gb it took 400gb and mirrored successfully. I thought Sys not mirrored (wasn't). Broke Mirror on C: Deleted volumes on installed disk (it changed back to simple drive). Highlighted Sys 100 partition and mirrored on C: (still dynamic) - went fine. Mirrored second partition on C: and mirrored fine.
Not sure if techies would agree on methods, but ....
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