Making mirror images of hard drives
Posted on 2003-11-17
I've been pretty fortunate over the years, and I've never had a hard drive crash that contained a boot partition (c:\) or that contained any data that wasn't backed up. I have currently 7 PCs, with a total of approx 15 hard drives between them. I just recently had one of the hard drives go bad, but it was the drive to which I stored BackUp EXEC QIC files to. In other words, I lost the my backed up files. That's no big deal, since the original files were intact. The defective drive has been replaced with a new one, and I'm back to where I was before the drive crashed. Like I said, I've been lucky.
I do back ups to external drives, to internal drives, and to tape. I do not have to fear losing data. However, I have a major weak spot in that if one of drives that contain the boot partitions (that contain c:\) goes bad, I'm looking at having to reinstall Windows, and all of the hundreds of programs installed on C:\, along with all of the tweaks, etc. Since some of these 7 PCs are servers, and have been tweaked and configured to a point I'd spend days, if not weeks trying to reconfigure them back to their original state, I need to get more serious in having a mirror of the entire hard drive (or boot partition) on hand in case disaster strikes.
I purchased a copy of Drive Image v 4.0 a few years ago, hoping that it would be able to create mirrors of the drives. But alas, the fine print says that it will not work with Windows 2000 Server or XP. I have 3 PCs running W2K Server, and 1 running XP.
There is a version 5 of Drive Image available, but to the best of my knowledge, it still doesn't suppot W2K Server.
The question(s) is:
1) What is the best way to periodically make mirrored images of partitions on a W2K server?
2) Is there some other software available that will handle all versions of Windows, including Server?
3) Is there a hardware device that will mirror an IDE hard drive to another IDE so that I can have a complete twin CD waiting in the wings should I ever need to replace a drive?
Any other comments are appreciated.