Twin drives — must cloned drive be disconnected?

  U. Surname 16:43 04 Aug 2009

I had twin SATA drives (40G) installed, thinking this would be very clever for backups and be more efficient (reading operational data from the second drive drive whilst the primary System drive also contained the back-up data partition).

That doesn't turn out to be very clever at all! Using an old Paragon 5, it requires constant disconnection and re-connection so that the PC cover screws have not been fitted for years!
On top of that, there have been problems with booting and with the re-naming of partitions.

Does any latest clone software eliminate this physical reconnection issue, or do I give up and use get an external drive?

And just where do I find a definition of the difference between a clone, a mirror and an image?

  johndrew 16:57 04 Aug 2009

I`m not totally certain about Paragon but for Acronis when you clone a drive, the PC will reboot on completion and use the `new` drive. The `old` drive needs to be reset as it contains exactly the same as the new copy and you can`t have two C: drives. Also worth mentioning is that cloning is generally used when replacing a HDD.

For backup purposes an image is produced which should be kept on a separate drive (not partition) or external HDD. This can generally be `updated` with `incremental` or `differential` backups although it takes very little difference in time to create a new archive. Using this method of `backup` rather than `cloning` is less time consuming and doesn`t require opening the PC each time.

The only other method open to you would be to use RAID click here but it reduces the space available and doesn`t sound as if it`s what you`re trying to achieve.

  johndrew 17:03 04 Aug 2009

Sorry didn`t answer your last question.

Cloning click here

Mirroring click here

Imaging click here

  woodchip 18:21 04 Aug 2009

Sounds like you have two Drives with same OS installed, Windows will not know which to load from, without dual booting them. Best way is not as you have done but use Acronis True Image to create a Image of the Main Drive, this then can be reloaded if you have problem with main drive. it puts everything back just as at the time you created the Image. Removing any Virus etc But you need to make Images now and again to keep things moving, to what you load and hardware fitted. I always keep a old Image to drop back on, yes it may not be up to date but may get rid of a problem that other Images may have within them from New Hardware and Software.

Images also take a lot less room on your drive

  U. Surname 22:37 04 Aug 2009

Thanks guys,

Definitions are helpful at first but the further you read, the more it seems that the terminology is very loosely defined or interchangeably used.

So, if Mirroring (which may or may not be the same as Shadowing) = using Raid 1, then it is too risky: a voltage surge from anywhere and both discs are corrupted.

If I get Acronis True Image to create an Image (which may or may not be an exact copy), do I put this image onto the second drive, or onto a third external drive? (Or can I use multiple DVDs?)

If HDD1 then crashes, can the second drive then be used directly? If the image has to be stored on an external third drive, how can this be restored to the internal backup drive?

Seems that if RAID is not wanted, a second internal drive is pointless?

  woodchip 23:32 04 Aug 2009

you can keep it on any drive you like only thing you must watch, is that if you put it on a external drive that as partitions, make sure you put it on the first partition as on my external Acronis only picks the first partition of that drive up. You can Put a Image on DVD using Acronis, you have to tell it the size of files and compression you wish to use, When loading a restore if using DVD's you have to take the Acronis CD out of the drive to put the last DVD in of the IMAGE backup set in first. it will then tell you to put the first disc in to restore from.

PS Acronis after loading from boot runs from Memory, so that you can change discs

  gazzaho 05:33 05 Aug 2009

I just thought I'd mention that you can have two boot C: drives connected at the same time. There are two drives connected to my first and second SATA ports and one was cloned with Acronis from the other, I use one for testing purposes (for windows update and the like) and the other for everyday use. The thing is I can select either at boot time by tapping the F8 key at the right moment, this brings up a list of drives on my system which I can select to boot from, if I leave it too late I get the safe mode screen instead.

  gazzaho 05:37 05 Aug 2009

I should have mentioned in my post that it would depend on the BIOS and motherboard you're using, not all have this functionality.

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