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donpick asked on

How to mirror an existing drive

My operating system:  Windows 7 Pro

Overview:   I have 4 terabyte drive filled with music and video files.  I am not a Windows expert.
I have a StarTech disk enclosure.  It has one drive in it now; it can hold one more.

What I'd like to do is add another drive and somehow mirror the existing drive files to the new drive.  Then, any time a new file is added, I'd like to have the new file written to both drives.  
My question:  What procedures would I need to perform to accomplish this?  Please include details or a web site explaining what must be done.  Thank you.
Windows OSWindows 7

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donpick

8/22/2022 - Mon
ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
Jackie Man

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NVIT

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E C

Working with what you have, you can achieve a backup of your external drive (to another external drive) using Acronis TrueImage 2020. Cost is around $49. They will try to upsell you to a cloud subscription. If you're interested in backing up your data to the cloud, that's fine. Otherwise stick with the $49 version.
Website > https://www.acronis.com/en-us/personal/computer-backup/

Add the second drive to your drive bay, If it's a new drive you'll want to format and initialize it. Ideally the second drive should be the same size (or bigger) than the drive you currently have.

Install Acronis and the backup wizard will ask you questions - select the drive you want to back up. Select the backup destination (this would be your NEW (second) external drive. And then set a schedule - how often you want to back up from disk 1 to disk 2.

A better option (in my opinion) but one that requires investment:

Instead of using the StarTech disk enclosure, invest in a NAS device. A NAS device probably looks similar to what you have now, except it has 2 main benefits:  

(1) Storing your files on a NAS will allow you (optionally) to access those same files from any/all the computers on your network. It's like an external hard drive, but "shared".  

(2) A NAS device will *AUTOMATICALLY* protect your data by mirroring (in real time) anything you write to it. When you insert 2 disks into the NAS it does not double your capacity. Instead it creates a redundant mirror of your drive. So once it is set up, anything you write to the NAS device is automatically written to both disks. A decent entry-level 2-bay NAS will probably run around $350-$400. Here is one example > https://www.amazon.com/Synology-bay-DiskStation-DS218-Diskless/dp/B077PJX8TH/ref=sr_1_2



So to recap:
Option 1: Acronis TrueImage software
Option 2: Use a NAS instead of your disk enclosure
E C

Also, just a comment:  
Windows 7 is officially "end of life" which means no more security updates from Microsoft. It was a great operating system but it's about 12 years old and Windows 10 is a solid replacement. My advice is to consider upgrading sooner than later.
arnold

StarTech Dual enclosure, does it support Raid 1?
Your setup might be a sing,e drive raid 1, meaning all it takes is to insert the new drive and tell the config that this is the new member where the device should start copying the data ...

Model of the StarTech enclosure.
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rwheeler23
David Johnson, CD

Software RAID not hardware RAID via the OS only
CompProbSolv

Jackie Man provided an answer that will do the trick nicely and doesn't require any additional software.   It should work in Windows 7 Pro, too (not just Ultimate).
Lee W, MVP

Keep in mind, redundancy is not backup.

If you mirror the disk, you protect against hardware failure.  You do NOT protect against theft, fire, flood, ransomware, or accidental deletions.  Redundancy means whatever you do to one drive gets done to the other.  Great to protect against drive failure, but not all the other issues.
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ASKER
donpick

Thank you all for your prompt replies.
Hello Jackie Man:
  Thank you for the link.  Very interesting and useful

Thank you, NVIT
  I did not know about Robocopy.  I have been looking  for something like this for quite a while
  also, thank you for the detailed answer.  Detailed answers like this are why I pay for EE

Thank you, EC:
  I have looked at NAS solutions. I am on a budget and I am now, like millions of others, unemployed so money is tight.
  I have a computer whose case provides for 5 internal drives to be installed.  I can create a share and all the other computers can access the files on the share.  This will have to do for now .

Hello arnold:
  Yes, the StarTech enclosure supports RAID 1

Thank you, Lee W:  I wil invest in a better backup solution when circumstances allow.
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ASKER
donpick

Thank you arnold.  I will check this.