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Author Topic: RAID 1  (Read 5220 times)
dmerger
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« on: June 23, 2005, 09:53:58 PM »
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SD, my RAID drives will be the exact same models of HD, Seagate 160gb SATAs, which I purchased at the same time.  My new, third HD is also a Seagate 160gb SATA, but a slightly newer version.

Jack, mirorfolder looks good.  According to their web site, mirrorfolder should be able to function very similar to RAID 1.  I don't know enough about RAID 1 or mirrorfolder, however, to determine if one is better for my purposes than the other.  I'll investigate further, while also pursuing RAID 1.  

With three HDs, only one of which contains any data, I suspect that there must be a realtively simple way to end up with RAID 1 with a mirror of my existing drive.  For example, maybe I could copy virtually all of my existing data to my new drive, set up my two old HDs as a clean install of my operating system in RAID 1, then copy all my old data from my new HD back into the new RAID 1. I just don't know enough about computers to know if that idea will work.  

I tried to copy my old "C" drive onto my new HD using Seagate Disc Wizzard 2003.  All but six files were copied, which prevents me from using my new HD to boot.  I assume that those six files are related to my OS and couldn't be copied while my OS was in use.  If so, then maybe my idea described above would work.  Or, maybe there are better solutions.  I know that there are a lot of computer experts on this forum and hope to hear from them.
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Dean Erger
dmerger
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2005, 11:34:33 AM »
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I'm leaning toward a true RAID 1 including my OS.  My tentative plan is as follows:

1. Use Norton Ghost (or maybe MirrorFolder) to make an exact  "image"/copy of my current "C" drive.  The copy will be on my new drive, "Drive 3".  

2. Create RAID 1 using my current "C" drive and my other old, identical HD.  I expect that this step will "erase" all data on those drives.

3. Use Norton Ghost (or MirrorFolder) to make an exact "image"/copy of Drive 3 onto my new RAID 1.

4.  Reformat and partition Drive 3, which will "erase" all data on Drive 3.

If my plan works, I should end up with my current "C" drive now in a true RAID 1, plus another blank HD, with a 25gb partition for my Photoshop scratch disk and 135gb for storage of non-critical data.  

If anyone sees any flaws in my plan, or has any other suggestions, I'd welcome your input.
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Dean Erger
dmerger
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2005, 02:31:08 PM »
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I want to set up a RAID 1 to mirror an existing SATA hard drive.   My motherboard, Abit IC7 MAX3, supports RAID.  I use Windows XP Pro with SP2.  I plan to end up with a RAID 1 for my operating system, programs and data files, plus another SATA hard drive for Photoshop CS scratch disk and non-critical data storage.  

I understand, however, that I can't just mirror my current hard drive when setting up RAID 1.  I've read that my current hard drive will be reformated when I set up my RAID and thus all data on my existing drive will be lost.  Surely, people must routinely set up a RAID 1 after they already have a lot of data that they don't want to lose. So, I assume that either I'm mistaken or there is some way to set up a RAID 1 and end up with a mirror of an existing hard drive.  All advice will be greatly appreciated.
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Dean Erger
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2005, 06:38:47 PM »
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An easy solution might be software like mirrorfolder. I like it because you can schedule it and run it at the drive, foler or file level: http://www.techsoftpl.com

Cheers,
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jani
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2005, 02:52:05 AM »
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dmerger, what you need is a piece of software similar to Norton Ghost. That allows you to make a "perfect" copy of your hard drive, ready for duplication to another hard drive.

It may be possible to repair your copied installation (the one with the missing system files), have you tried booting with the Windows installation CD and selecting the repair option (I trust there still is one ...)?
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Jan
Jack Flesher
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2005, 10:18:26 AM »
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What you need to do is "image" the drive to get an exact copy.  Ghost will do this, but you want the latest version for Ghosting the XP OS and associated drivers.

As far as a RAID 1 for your data only, the mirrorfolder program works very well and for $29 will solve your problem.  

However, if you want true RAID including the OS, then you will need to start over -- IOW wipe the drives and re-initialize the system with RAID 1, having specified which drives are to be RAID-ed.

Cheers,
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2005, 03:32:58 PM »
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Quote
If anyone sees any flaws in my plan, or has any other suggestions, I'd welcome your input.
I don't think that will work.  I think you're going to have to start from scratch and re-install your OS and all software AFTER you designate the RAID configuration.

True RAID knows which drive to boot from if the main drive fails.  Second, while Ghost will image the drive, you have to execute (expand) it on the bootable drive before it can do so -- I'm pretty sure expanding it on a second drive will confuse the bios on boot.
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CJD
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2005, 05:25:03 PM »
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Just to add my pennyworth...

I've been using MirrorFolder for a good few months now and find it very useful and flexible.

I have four internal drives and two externals drive.

Internal
1 x 40GB 10,000 rpm IDE for windows/programs
1 x 250 GB SATA for work files and non-image documents
1 x 250 GB SATA for images (getting full now!)
1 x 320 GB IDE for backup

External
1x 250 GB USB-2
1x 120GB Firewire

With Mirrorfolder I can be selective which folders to back up (e.g don't back up mp3 & old video as these are low priority and are backed up on DVD).

I use Mirrorfolder to backup in real time to the 320GB (which is compressed to make more room) from both of the SATA drives and I can also backup to the externals in either realtime or automatically whenever I turn them on.  This means it is hassle free for taking the external drives out of the house when necessary - vacations etc.

When the time comes I'll opt for a couple of Lacie Bigger Disks external units!!

We are also looking into an online backup system/intranet to provide adidtional peace of mind for key dosumnets etc.

Cheers

Chris
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dmerger
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2005, 09:34:51 PM »
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I'm considering either Norton Ghost 9.0 or MirrorFolder.  It appears that each can make real time mirrors of my entire system drive, similar to RAID 1.  They also can just make periodic mirrors or copies of just selected files.  I'm interested in making a bootable mirror copy of my entire system drive.  I'm not sure that real time is essential, but it would be nice if it consumes only a nominal amount of RAM and CPU, and doesn't exact a performance cost.

Jack, jani or others, are you aware of any pros & cons of Norton vs. MirrorFolder?  Which would you recommend?
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Dean Erger
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2005, 05:13:31 PM »
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Usually the lowend RAIDs allow one to construct a mirroring array without reformat. If that is really not possible, you could try to use the new empty disk to create the "array" (with only one disk) and then do the transfer with DriveImage (or any other similar program). After you have succesfully made the transfer, you can add the "old" drive to the array. Be advised that RAID arrays should generally have identical disks in them. Some RAID controllers do support different drives but then you'll be generally working on the level of the lowest common denominator.

Hopefully some of this was helpful.

-SD
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Rami Aapasuo
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dmerger
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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2005, 10:05:05 AM »
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jani, I haven't tried to repair my copied hard drive.  I still have the Windows installation CD, so I'll try your suggestion.  

If I'm successful in making a complete copy of my "C" drive, I'll feel more comfortable in trying to set up my RAID.  If I mess up my original "C" drive, I can then use my copy.
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Dean Erger
dmerger
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« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2005, 04:02:18 PM »
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I was able to set up my RAID 1 and mirror my existing system drive.  It took me quite a while to figure out how to do so, but once I discovered the method, migrating to RAID 1 was very easy.  

I also tested MirrorFolder.  It worked very well to create a RAID 1 type mirror of my system drive.  I'd recommend it for anyone who doesn't have a RAID option.  The only drawback that I found was that MirrorFolder doesn't provide a warning message should the mirror drive fail.
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Dean Erger
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