Mirror Hard Drives

  Goldcroft 15:27 06 Feb 2003

Went to a small business yesterday which used mirror hard drives. Seemed like a good idea as one of the drives had failed and they just switched to the other. As a small (non-IT related) business myself it would seem to solve all the probs of back up also. But was told that the second HD would have to be not less capacity than the original HD. As I have a 120Gb drive this would be expensive. Is this right, bearing in mind I am never likely to fill more than a half of this drive?

  AndySD 15:32 06 Feb 2003

Its usefull although it slows the system a little. It also works best if you use two identicle drives.

  €dstow 15:40 06 Feb 2003

You may be best getting a drive of any size you want (so long as it's big enough) and doing a full system backup using something like Drive Image click here You can get it for about £35 or less.

Takes less space up than a mirror and is only marginally less convenient.


  BrianW 15:47 06 Feb 2003

If you are sure that you will never use less than half the capacity of your main hard drive then you can get a similar effect by using a hard drive of around 80gb combined with either Power Quest Drive Image 2002 or Norton Ghost. With either of these you can make a copy of your main drive on your secondary hard drive. You can then set your CMOS to boot in the sequence, main drive first, secondary hard drive second. I use this system at present, backing up weekly. If you read the threads posted in Helproom you will see that many others do as well. (Edstow advises that this process is accompanied by cream cakes on Friday afternoon - sounds good to me!).

  BrianW 15:48 06 Feb 2003

Ed, I'm slow again!;>}}

  Goldcroft 15:56 06 Feb 2003

Thanks Edstow. Had a look at the Drive Image site but couldn't find answer to one question: can you programme it to do an automatic regular backup, say once a day or every two days?

  Squall 16:04 06 Feb 2003

Can be done on different size drives. The only requirement is that free disk space used to place the mirror on be equal to or greater than the size of the primary partition.

However, it is advisable for both the drives to be identical, as if they are not you might get trouble booting off of the mirror should your primary disk go down.

As for backups, it is not a replacement. If you are talking about business critical information then you should always have off site back ups. After all, what would happen if your building burnt down? Both your disks would be destroyed

  €dstow 16:05 06 Feb 2003

Just checked and it can be set up to use the task scheduler in Windows.

We don't use that - as BrianW says we have cream cakes, a glass or three of wine and a meeting Friday afternoons while all this is going on.

We only do a full system backup once a week but we do incremental backups during the day, every day and put our day's work on to a separate hard drive at the end of each day as well.

As you have a business, I would fix this up as a matter of urgency!!


  Goldcroft 16:09 06 Feb 2003

Thanks Edstow and others. Cream cakes and wine! As i am a dry red fanatic will forgo the cakes. Either you're very quick eaters and drinkers or the process takes a long time, or is that what you told the boss?

  BrianW 16:19 06 Feb 2003

Squall has a good point - if you are backing up business critical data it may be worthwhile thinking of having your second hard drive as a caddy mounted removable hard drive, or even a usb-2 or firewire external hard drive if your system will allow. It is always good practice to have your key data stored off-site as a disaster recovery strategy.

  €dstow 16:25 06 Feb 2003

I am the boss!!

Takes about an hour to do a full system backup on our machines. The weekly studio meeting starts at 3:00pm and goes on 'til 5:00 ish when all is then done and dusted.

Like Squall suggests, our backups are on a disk in a removable caddy and I take them off the premises.


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