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Imaging an identical drive in Windows XP Professional as a backup solution.

Posted on 2004-08-12
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Was wondering if anyone has any input, or experience having two identical drives in a system, and using the second drive to image/mirror the first drive.  This would be a backup solution in the case of drive failure.  I know it doesn't cover in the case of OS corruption.  

I would be using Norton Ghost, or something like that at night to image the primary drive.

In the case of the primary drive failure, I'm thinking all would need to be done is open the box, unplug the bad drive, and use the second, backup drive, and the primary drive.

Is there some flaw to this that I'm missing?  ie: Windows not being happy with drive letters changing, etc.

Thanks!
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Question by:CraigSNYC
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Pete Long earned 200 total points
ID: 11781652
You best bet is to periodically drop an Image using norton ghost onto the second drive then if somwthing goes wrong you can just copy the image back to the primary drive (or if the primary fails you can replace an reimage it)

Using Ghost to Image a Windows PC

If you wish you can copy the windows setup files to the hard drive – though this will obviously make the image a LOT larger.
Defragment the hard drive then empty the recycle bin. (Unless you want to clone your rubbish: 0)
Arm yourself with a boot disk from www.bootdisk.com (Ensure it had RAMDRIVE on it and it works!) And a copy of Ghost.exe from Symantec
Boot with your boot disk
Type ghost then return.
At the welcome screen press enter to clear the message.
Using the Cursor Keys select Local, Disk, To Image then return.
At the select local source press enter
At the file name to copy to screen, Use the Tab Keys to navigate to the image location your second Hard Drive.
Press Tab to navigate to the filename box and give the image a name (i.e. image01)
Keep pressing the Tab Key till Save is highlighted then press return.
At the Compress Image screen Tab to "High" Then press return.
At the proceed screen Tab to "Yes" then press return.
When it is completed it should say, "Dump completed successfully"

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by:Pete Long
ID: 11781655
or simply do this


XP
HOW TO: Create a Mirrored Volume in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;307880
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by:crazijoe
ID: 11782995
I think your best move would be to get a RAID controller card and configure a RAID 1 array. This would give you the redundancy you are looking for.

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=15-104-214&depa=0
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by:CraigSNYC
ID: 11799982
I'm trying to stay away from RAID.  (Client wants to keep the cost, and "complexity" down.)  I'm thinking the Mirrored Volume is the best, and most straight forward approach.
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by:CraigSNYC
ID: 11804367
In terms of recovering from a disk failure, and keeping in mind ease of recovery for my computer unsavy client, what's the best route to go: Ghosting the drive, with imaging SW, or Mirroring the drive using XP?

About the RAID option: am I right in thinking that, with RAID the burden of the work, ie: mirroring, it put on the controler, and in Mirroring, the burden is on the OS?

Thanks for y'alls time!!!!!
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by:Pete Long
ID: 11804456
mirroing is easier to recover :)

with regards to your second question, if your using a RAID controller it takes the added processor hit on both scenarios

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by:CraigSNYC
ID: 11805139
...and you can't use RAID with XP Pro can you?
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by:Pete Long
ID: 11805167
in software yes http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;314343 but it dont perform too good :(

and if you have a hardware controller, yes also

Pete
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by:CraigSNYC
ID: 11805252
And does Microsoft even support Dynamic Disks.  Someone told me they don't.
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by:Pete Long
ID: 11807919
Yes of corse they do :) dynamic disks are a Microsoft invention :)
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by:crazijoe
ID: 11809161
If you have two identical drives you already have the most expensive part of a RAID solution done. All you  need is a card. It is very easy to set up.

<I'm thinking the Mirrored Volume is the best>
hmm, RAID 1 perhaps
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by:CraigSNYC
ID: 11809475
I asked the question about Dynamic Disks, and Microsoft supporting them because they're very hesitant when it comes to talking about them, or bringing them up as a solution. (At least this has been my experience.)

Okay, I'm going to price RAID controllers.

Again, thanks for everyone's input!
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by:crazijoe
ID: 11809574
You can convert to dynamic disc in XP but I don't think you can create a software RAID in XP without a 3rd party software. Software RAID is only supported in 2000 server or 2003 server. Your best solution would be a Hardware RAID controller.
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by:Pete Long
ID: 11814371
:)
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by:CraigSNYC
ID: 11821220
Okay -- I'm not going RAID, I'm going with imaging the drive @ night.  

I'm going to look at the answers and decide how to award the points.  

Thanks for everyone's input!!
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by:Pete Long
ID: 11828720
ThanQ
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by:CraigSNYC
ID: 11828989
One more thing. Imaging software: do you recommend Norton or Symantec? And does either one does the imaging/cloning without user intervention?  ie: schedule backup at night.
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by:Pete Long
ID: 11829197
Norton is Symantec :)

As for schedlued backups you would need the latest version of ghost to do this :)
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by:CraigSNYC
ID: 11837119
Perfect.  Not a problem.  But WHO'S Ghost??  Norton, or Symantec???
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by:Pete Long
ID: 11839397
ghost was Norton till Norton changed its name to Symantec :)
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by:CraigSNYC
ID: 11841422
Oh DUH!! I'm sorry, I missed the first line of two msgs. ago!!!

So, Norton/Symantec are the only company that makes ghosting/imaging sw?

Again, thank you so much for you time
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by:Pete Long
ID: 11841560
>>So, Norton/Symantec are the only company that makes ghosting/imaging sw?

No Powerquest (which confusingly is now also Symantec LOL) Make Drive image also
theres also an app called DiskCLone - though Ive not seen it for a while

but ghost is the best Ive used :)
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by:CraigSNYC
ID: 11843461
Thanks!!!  Going to buy a copy, and try it out...

And won't bother you anymore. ;)

Craig
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by:Pete Long
ID: 11844211
no probs

Pete
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