My brothers small office server had a harddrive failure last week. The recovery was realativlty painless bu the downtime was a little longer then we would have liked.. We have a good backup procedure using nightly backups using acronis backup which are swept to both to on and off sight storage devices. Our biggest snag was that my brother couldnt find the acronis boot disk. I ended up having him re-install windows to the new harddrive. I remoted in and installed acronis and then initiated the restore.
All and all it worked well however we would like to limit downtime in the case of a future hardrive failure as this 'server' does run the point of sale system that he uses to check in and out customers(he own a dog boarding facility). My first thought was a basic hardware raid card would be of benifit however I was wondering if we could get away with mirroring inside of windows.
My concern is what limitations does XP have when mirroring the boot drive? If the primary drive fails am I going to have a issue with the computer not being able to find the MBR? Are there other limiations? He lives about 4 hours away and I am going there in 3 weeks. This gives me one shot to set this up, so if there is a significant advantage to buying a stand alone card I want to make that decision soon so I can order it. Is there any reason windows mirroring will not work on the boot drive?
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Assuming this is XP Pro, the software mirroring is limited in its usefulness, and I would not rely upon it with inexpensive hardware controllers available.
Thanks.. Any more dtails as to what specifically is limited? Or I guess more importantly can you(or someone else) recommend a basic raid card? Most important to me is that I can migrate to it without installing xp from scratch.
It has been a while since I worked with a system using software mirroring, but from what I remember if the primary drive fails you must manually reset the boot order in the BIOS and then make that drive the active drive before you can reboot successfully. And then the system response will be very slow while the mirror is rebuilt.