Hard Drive Duplicate for Crashes???

Hello everyone,

I want to be able to have an exact duplicate of my hard drive in case of hard drive failure.

What is the best way to do this or software to use.

I know I can get mirror, clone software etc but not sure the best for what I want it to do.

Thanks in advance,
WrightNetDesignsAsked:
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Thomas GrassiConnect With a Mentor Systems AdministratorCommented:
You need to make a baseline image first.

After that any time you add new software or apply updates and new image should be made.

Your data should not be part of the image.

All data should be backed up to an external source and kept in a safe place.
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TunerMLConnect With a Mentor Systems EngineerCommented:
clonezilla.org
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Paul MacDonaldConnect With a Mentor Director, Information SystemsCommented:
A mirror is easy and low maintenance, if you're sure you won't have to replace the whole server.  

Ghost is an option if you want to have a copy you can store off-site.  

Something like Acronis TrueImage will not only make a copy of your hard drive, but allow you (ostensibly) to restore it to different hardware (this is called bare metal restore), so if you lose your whole server you can still get your data back.
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rindiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
A mirror (RAID 1) keeps your system up and running should a disk fail. So that is a good option. Get a disk of the same size3 as the one you already have and then depending on your OS you can setup software RAID, which is very reliable.

RAID still isn't an excuse for not making backups. So you should additionally get at least one more HD and attach that via a USB dock to your PC. Then use a backup software (many make an image of your hard-drive, which you can easily restore to the PC and have it running again in short times. Depending on your OS it could already have such a tool built-in, or you can get something 3rd party. But forrecommendations we'd need to know your OS.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153066
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theruckConnect With a Mentor Commented:
best software for this is acronis true image.
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WrightNetDesignsAuthor Commented:
This will be on several operating systems.

Windows XP Pro
Windows 7 Home Premium 32 & 64 Bit.
Windows 7 Professional 64Bit
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rindiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
With Windows 7 you can easily setup RAID 1 by going into diskmanagement, converting the disk to dynamic, and then you get the options to create the RAID 1 array.

For Windows XP i'm not sure whether it is as easy.

Windows 7 has a built-in backup tool which can create image based backups and is easy to use. For XP you need a 3rd party utility. I neither recommend ghost nor Acronis (both mentioned above, although if I would be required to choose between both then acronis would be the less bad option). Rather I recommend Paragon's Backup and recovery. It is a very good tool, and if you are using this in a private environment you can get the free version. You can also use it for Windows 7 if you don't want to use the built-in tool:

http://www.paragon-software.com/free/
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Thomas GrassiConnect With a Mentor Systems AdministratorCommented:
Acronis true image works on all the OS you listed above

Great product.
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Paul MacDonaldConnect With a Mentor Director, Information SystemsCommented:
As you can see, others agree that TrueImage is a good solution.  I'd point out, however, you need a method to get the images off-site, or there's not much point in making them.  The same could be said of any backup, however.
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arnoldConnect With a Mentor Commented:
How current do you want the image to be?
A backup solution is required since you do not know when the drive will fail so imaging and even backup will not prevent some data loss, it can mitigate against all data loss.
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WrightNetDesignsAuthor Commented:
Thanks everyone
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