How can I easily mirror a server's c and d drives onto another server?

Posted on 2012-08-31
Last Modified: 2012-09-08
Please advise the best way to create a mirrored configuration on my server. I have tried robocopy but keep getting access denied. I have tried adding everyone to the c:\ drives acls but I still get the issue.

I can copy files manually between the 2 locations but not via robocopy.

My robocopy command is very simple, I have networked a drive to the other server (z:\) and therefore my command is simply:

robocopy z:\ c:\ /MIR

The error is:

2012/08/31 17:58:47 ERROR 5 (0x00000005) Copying File z:\boot.ini
Access is denied.

Any suggestions anyone?
Question by:Lico_w
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    you'll never be able to copy the boot.ini file as it is always in use.  You need a real backup solution like Acronis or Backup Exec.
    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    After having made sure you have a good backup, check the Link below, it explains how to setup a software RAID 1 on Windows 2003 server:

    Expert Comment

    You can clone the drive using a device called DriveWire by Apricorn. That way you will not gat any errors about system files and will have an exact copy of the drive.
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    have a look at this :

    Some customers pointed out what they believe to be a bug in Robocopy.

    The situation is: suppose that you copy your files using Robocopy in Windows Server 2003 or XP. Then, file or folder permissions (ACLs) are changed wither on source or destination. You want to use the /MIR switch to mirror the permissions:

    > ROBOCOPY source destination /MIR  /SEC

    Robocopy fails to mirror file permissions – but works for folder permissions.

    This behaviour is by design. Robocopy focuses on copying just files that have changed (in size or modified date, by default). If a file looks like it has changed, Robocopy copies its data and, if you specified copying security as well, copies NTFS ACL from source to target after copying the data. If a file looks like it has NOT changed, Robocopy by default skips it, and copies nothing for the file, not even its security info.

    When I wrote the “security copy” part of Robocopy on 22 May 1997, I chose to do this for performance reasons, to keep Robocopy times for large trees down. This was an adequate implementation for most peoples’ needs at the time. Also, another reason I chose to do things the way I did, is that setting security on directories is sufficient for most people. Setting security on a file-by-file basis is a more granular approach, for sure, but incurs a larger maintenance overhead, perhaps too much for many users.

    Therefore, the solution listed as a workaround posted by Martin Zugec (MVP) is precisely what needs to be done in this situation, and this behaviour is expected:

    > ROBOCOPY /Mir <Source> <Target>
    > ROBOCOPY /E /Copy:S /IS /IT <Source> <Target>

    The first Robocopy command above will copy data and security for files that have been updated, and the second Robocopy command will refresh file security for all files, without copying any file data.

    If using a Resource Kit version of Robocopy, and wanting to keep security synced between two trees where the data is fairly static, but security is updated now and then. In fact, the “Copying NTFS Security Information” section of Robocopy.doc (from the Resource Kits) states:

    “To refresh security information for existing destination files and directories without copying file data, use the /IS switch together with the /COPY switch without the D flag. For example /IS /COPY:SOU would refresh all security information for all selected files, without copying any file data.”

    Things have moved on a bit in the past 11 years, security-wise, so I changed the way things work in this area slightly for the version of Robocopy that ended up in Vista, in that if you specify /SECFIX on the command line, Robocopy will copy security for skipped files that exist in both the source and the target trees.

    So, to maintain two trees in sync, including their security, using Vista’s Robocopy, you can use the following as your regular Robocopy command:

    > ROBOCOPY <source> <target> /MIR /SEC /SECFIX

    /MIR will replicate data and security (as /SEC is specified) for changed files, and /SECFIX will update just the security for unchanged files. Add /V to the command line if you want to see which files are having their security “fixed” without having their data copied.

    Kevin Allen

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the suggestions, but I'm ideally looking for a bit of freeware.

    Is there no simple software tool out there that can simply copy the contents of one drive to another, ignoring those files that it cannot access or that are in use?
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Double take replication will do the trick just fine....

    Accepted Solution

    That doesn't appear to be free either.

    I think I'm going to have to write a script to do this or see if I can use the net backup solution.
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    you have to weigh up time taken cost vs cost of simply buying the software,

    u probably already spent a good few hours looking into this which has cost money, then time to write, test etc again all costs money.....

    sometimes its more cost effective to buy rather than create your own

    Author Closing Comment

    No-one else could provide a free solution for what I wanted to achieve.

    Featured Post

    How to run any project with ease

    Manage projects of all sizes how you want. Great for personal to-do lists, project milestones, team priorities and launch plans.
    - Combine task lists, docs, spreadsheets, and chat in one
    - View and edit from mobile/offline
    - Cut down on emails

    Join & Write a Comment

    This is a fairly complicated script that will install the required prerequisites to install SCCM 2012 R2 on a server.  It was designed under the functional model in order to compartmentalize each step required, reducing the overall complexity.  The …
    Learn about cloud computing and its benefits for small business owners.
    This video Micro Tutorial explains how to clone a hard drive using a commercial software product for Windows systems called Casper from Future Systems Solutions (FSS). Cloning makes an exact, complete copy of one hard disk drive (HDD) onto another d…
    With the advent of Windows 10, Microsoft is pushing a Get Windows 10 icon into the notification area (system tray) of qualifying computers. There are many reasons for wanting to remove this icon. This two-part Experts Exchange video Micro Tutorial s…

    729 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    15 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now