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Mirroring an existing SATA drive


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#1
dcstanle

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After recently suffereing a hard drive meltdown (actually a two hard drive meltdown), I decided that I was going to mirror my data so that a hard drive failure would not result in a complete loss of my data.

I have one hard drive loaded with XP and all of my software right now. I set that up while I was waiting on the delivery of a replacement drive from Maxtor. Now that the replacement drive is here, I was hoping that there was a way to copy my existing drive onto the new one, and then set them up to mirror each other.

I know that mirroring is possible when a computer is first set up, before the operating system is installed. However, I have not been able to locate any information on adding a drive and then setting up a RAID 1 situation.

Thanks in advace for your help!
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#2
Neil Jones

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The problem you have when setting up RAID 1 (or any other variation of RAID) is that it will wipe all the disks used for that RAID. The other issue of course is if you clone your existing installation to a separate drive, set up the RAID, ghost your installation to the new RAID and then try to boot off that, Windows quite often sticks two fingers up at it and gives you a blue screen.

You may be better off just using your replacement drive as new storage space and backing up of stuff you can't afford to replace. Just plug it in inside the case when you want it and unplug it (after shutdown of course) when you're finished with it. Therefore when the main HDD fails again, all your stuff is safe on the other drive. Or you can do semi-regular ghost copies of your installation to it instead.
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#3
dcstanle

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Thank you for your reply!

I was afraid that I would not be able to do that, but I thought that I would ask.

I definitely want to back up the primary drive, but don't care to unplug it and plug it back in. What do you think about using the Windows Backup Utility to back up the important contents of the main drive to the second drive periodically?

Thanks again for your suggestions!
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#4
Neil Jones

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It'll get the job done :whistling:

See here:
http://www.microsoft...t_03july14.mspx
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#5
warriorscot

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There are better applications if you look around i prefer the manual method as settings arent important its the data and i keep that backed up in DVD and a flash drive, i prefer DVDs myself as they are a little more resilient as a medium than HD drives because they themselves arent a mechanical device they last a while.

Mirroring is hard to get right, it can work well but it wouldnt likely be a boot and go thing if one drive fails and because of the nature that it writes everything to both drives it would be used and thus worn down as much as the other, but of course it can work, its mostly a coroporate thing where you would mirror non OS drives so bootability wasnt a factor.

I would just make sure you have the OS on a seperate partition to important data and keep stuff vital on both drives or on DVD.
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