Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: Reflections on RAID 1 for Win 7

27 Sep 2010   #1
Louisaz

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 
Reflections on RAID 1 for Win 7

Is RAID 1 (2 mirrored disks) a reasonable and logical safeguard? Given the reasonably low cost of large capacity HDDs and the fact that they WILL fail, I think so.

RAID 1 configuration will create two identical HDDs. Ergo, if either disk fails the other HDD will still be in operation. However, RAID does not protect or prevent corruption or loss of FILES and will duplicate whatever defect exists in both HDDs.

RAID 1 does provide hardware protection if either HDD fails -- you have a duplicate and will still be in operation, assuming that you have a hardware failure and not a software failure. This is an important redundancy as HDDs have a limited lifespan and do fail predictably.

IF you have an external HDD for data backup AND a RAID 1 configuration for HDD hardware redundancy, IMHO you have excellent protection against HDD failure -- that is inevitable.

On my new build, I have my OS (Windows 7, Professional 64-bit) on my 0 drive (Drive C), which is a 650GB SATA. My second internal HDD, Drive 1 (Drive E), is a 500GB SATA. I have used Windows 7 backup to place and image of Drive C on Drive E. I have a 500GB external HDD for DATA file backup. I also have used Win 7 to create a recovery CD that can boot and repair my PC if the OS is corrupted.

My initial theory was that IF my primary C drive failed, because I have an "image" of it on my E drive, I could install a new primary HDD and copy the backup image of my (failed C) from E to my new C drive -- and I'd be back in business when I rebooted. That sounds good theoretically, I'm not sure it will work in reality.

IMO, two identical, redundant HDDs (RAID 1) sounds like the best way to prevent downtime and to ensure you'll continue with at least one good primary HDD.

IF I were starting from scratch, I think I would use an initial RAID 1 configuration with two (2) 1TB SATA drives and an 1TB external backup for data.

Comments?

Louis


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
27 Sep 2010   #2
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello Louisaz.





To me, it's less trouble to use Windows on 1 Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and when installed and all programs/apps are loaded to make an image; then if anything goes south in 15 minutes I can be back in business without all the RAID hassles; have a look at the link below though I use Paragon, Macrium is free for home use.


Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2010   #3
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

As long as you don't assume that RAID is equivalent to a backup, I think you are ok. With RAID 1, you ensure that you can keep running and continue to reboot and have a working system in the event that 1 physical disk dies. That's all you get. You get no protection from doing something stupid, a virus/worm wiping everything out, an accidental delete, etc. Also, in the event that you get a power surge or your house is struck by lightning, you might lose both hard drives if they are turned on and running at the same time.

I'm a firm believer in keeping 1). backups of actual data on external drives and offsite 2). Keeping periodic images of your OS drive that you can restore in the event of a failure. To me, this gives you the most robust backup solution with the least amount of complication. Not to mention, you could buy 2 drives...and store your OS images on that second drive and also use all of the left over capacity for additional storage...unlike a RAID 1 config where 50% of the drive space is completely lost.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

27 Sep 2010   #4
Louisaz

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
Hello Louisaz.

To me, it's less trouble to use Windows on 1 Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and when installed and all programs/apps are loaded to make an image; then if anything goes south in 15 minutes I can be back in business without all the RAID hassles; have a look at the link below though I use Paragon, Macrium is free for home use.


Imaging with free Macrium
I've been looking into Paragon, Macrium, and Casper. They all look like they can make a clone of a HDD, which IMHO is very desirable. I know from many hard-won experience that HDD are finicky and they may have a MTBF of 100,000 but that's the average and they can go anytime.

I can afford to purchase one of these and don't have to stick with freeware. I think that these mirror (cloning) softwares MUST have a simple way to do incremental backups -- once the initial clone is created. What's your personal experience with Paragon and Macrium. Both are on my list. FWIW, I really like the looks of Casper and it's easy incremental backup. It does have a relatively small user base, but those who have it love it.

Thanks,

Louis
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2010   #5
Louisaz

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
As long as you don't assume that RAID is equivalent to a backup, I think you are ok. With RAID 1, you ensure that you can keep running and continue to reboot and have a working system in the event that 1 physical disk dies. That's all you get. You get no protection from doing something stupid, a virus/worm wiping everything out, an accidental delete, etc. Also, in the event that you get a power surge or your house is struck by lightning, you might lose both hard drives if they are turned on and running at the same time.

I'm a firm believer in keeping 1). backups of actual data on external drives and offsite 2). Keeping periodic images of your OS drive that you can restore in the event of a failure. To me, this gives you the most robust backup solution with the least amount of complication. Not to mention, you could buy 2 drives...and store your OS images on that second drive and also use all of the left over capacity for additional storage...unlike a RAID 1 config where 50% of the drive space is completely lost.
Have you considered one of the cloning softwares with incremental backup. It seems to me that having an external, cloned 3.5" HDD that is easy to backup (and take with you) may be the way to go. I am not finding Win 7, very easy to make images or backups, and I'm not sure if it will make a cloned image of a HDD. I could be wrong about that.

Louis
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2010   #6
gregrocker

 

Cloning is to copy one HD to another when replacing HD's, not for backup.

Win7 Backup Imaging, Macrium, Paragon are three excellent apps that can save reliable backup images - even incrementally. I would save a baseline image and then do separate incrementals and it should be failsafe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2010   #7
Louisaz

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Agreed. I'll use Windows 7 Professional to create incremental backups of the image I've already created. Just for grins, I downloaded, installed and tried Casper ver. 6.0 (trial version). No problems. Very direct interface. I like it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2010   #8
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Louisaz View Post
Have you considered one of the cloning softwares with incremental backup. It seems to me that having an external, cloned 3.5" HDD that is easy to backup (and take with you) may be the way to go. I am not finding Win 7, very easy to make images or backups, and I'm not sure if it will make a cloned image of a HDD. I could be wrong about that.

Louis
Yes, I actually own Acronis True Image 2010 and it does incremental backups. However, I choose to backup my data with robocopy and put it onto my external drive. The reason I use robocopy is because it synchronizes only the files that have changed since the last time I ran it..so my backups are super fast. And by not using software to backup my files, I don't have to have the software to restore it. Just plug it into any computer and my files are right there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2010   #9
Louisaz

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Hmmm...Robocopy. Let me look into that. I like the idea of automated backup so that the when the primary HDD fails (which it will eventually do) you have CYA and your redundant HDD is current.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2010   #10
gregrocker

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Louisaz View Post
Agreed. I'll use Windows 7 Professional to create incremental backups of the image I've already created. Just for grins, I downloaded, installed and tried Casper ver. 6.0 (trial version). No problems. Very direct interface. I like it.
I would save that image as a baseline, too. Having more than one imaging app and image makes it more failsafe. Win7 backup image can fail although I haven't had it do so yet - even to another HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Reflections on RAID 1 for Win 7




Thread Tools




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
RAID - deleted RAID array, Windows 7 ok but I have questions
Hi all, My RAID 1 (I think? I have two equal drives that are mirrored) array was causing me a lot of pain. It kept freezing up my system and having me to had to rebuild the RAID too often. After a number of tests and browsing info online, I've decided that the RAID was the culprit of the freezing...
Hardware & Devices
Win 7 raid 0 setup / missing raid controller driver
Installed a new M4 ssd today and loaded windows on it. Previously i was using 2 raptors in raid 0 for the os and programs. I re raided the 2 raptors and connected them to the jmicron ports and set them up for raid in bios, then created the raid 0 array no prob. Windows doesnt see the array when...
Drivers
RAID 5 switched from single storage to raid 5, lost drive letter
I am running 7 pro 64bit on a ASUS p8p67 deluxe mobo and I copied all data from my 1tb storage D: drive to a backup external and proceded to install raid 5 with 3 single 1tb drives and the raid is up an running. However using Intel Rapid Storage Technology to setup the raid inside windows I had to...
General Discussion
Cannot boot from non-RAID image restored to RAID SSD
OK, I was using one Vertex 120 as my Windows 7 C: drive and bought another to take advantage of RAID0 performance. Did a system image backup of the C: drive to my 1TB D: drive, installed the 2nd Vertex 120 (both are FW 1.5), enabled RAID in BIOS and created a RAID0 in the Intel RAID launch...
Backup and Restore
Windows 7 System Image - Restore Non-RAID to RAID 0+1
I created a windows system image with the backup and restore utility built into win7. This windows install is on a single hard drive. I built and onboard RAID 0+1 array and used the windows 7 install disk to restore the image on to the new RAID volume. Windows starts to boot up but the screen goes...
Backup and Restore
Reflections
I've been running dualboot vista and windows 7 now for quite a while. At first, with the 7000 build there was a striking difference in os footprint. The GUI is question of taste, for me i don't like it, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So i focused on overall usability, does windows...
General Discussion


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:39.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App