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Windows 7: Windows mirroring

06 Apr 2017   #1
FuryoftheStars

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
Windows mirroring

Hello,

I have a work laptop, HP ZBook 17 G2, with a 256GB SSD and a 1TB HDD. This laptop I use with the HP 230W Advanced Docking station that has an integrated SATA upgrade bay. I have an identical 1TB drive plugged into that.

Windows is installed to the SSD on C:\. I have my profile folder and several program installations located on the 1TB drive on partition D:\. I then have another partition, E:\, on the same drive for work data storage. (EDIT: Should probably mention that this 1TB drive is the one installed in the laptop.)

What I want to do, for hard drive failure purposes (I have separate backups I do as well), is mirror D:\ and E:\ to the other 1TB drive using Windows.

I know how to do this and have successfully done so. However, when I shut down the laptop, pull it off the docking station, then start it back up, it shows the mirror status as failed and will not allow me to access either D:\ or E:\ until after I break the mirror. This means it creates a temp profile to log me in with, etc.

So my question is pretty much this: does anyone know if this is normal behavior for Windows mirroring or if there's something I need to do to correct this? Logically, to me anyway, this doesn't seem like the way it should work.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Apr 2017   #2
samuria

win 8 32 bit
 
 

Mirror isn't a good idea if one drive is corrupted so is the other if one s infected so is the other by the time you find the fault it's to late. It's better to create images using cloning software it's takes less room so you can keep a few copies so if one's corrupted you have another and it's safe from ransom ware
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2017   #3
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

If (Mirroring = a Raid configure) it's fine but not safe.
It will not replace proper backups and or Clones to a separate drive that is only hooked up when in use.

Backup up's/Clones are one of the best methods to fight against Ransomware when they are only hooked up as needed.
They can't get infected if they are not hooked to the computer.

Jack
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Apr 2017   #4
FuryoftheStars

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Hi, thanks, I know this, but cloning for me would take a long while and would have to be done on my own time (talking over 700GB between the 3 partitions).

EDIT: I have backups I run. I'm not looking for the mirror/RAID 1 as data protection against virus or whatever. I am looking at it purely for hardware failure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2017   #5
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

My method is Cloning the 'C' partition and making backups of data which I believe in your case would be separate drives.
That is helpful when it comes to infections. Raid for hardware problems is also a great idea where needed.
The point I was getting to, is one method does not replace the other.
My understanding of your case is you need the Raid and a separate operation of storing Clones/backups to their separate drives that are only hooked up when needed.

Does it take time. Absolutely it takes a lot of time when one has a lot of GB's. It takes less time than it does to build another complete system because a infection has locked up you system.

I'm a home user without Raid.
I got hit by a virus just a few days ago. It took less than 5 minutes to up and running on a Clone, just like nothing happened. Updated a few security programs and Windows Updates and I was like new again. You can't do that with Raid alone.

P/S:

Because I'm a small time home user I use nothing but SSD's and Hot Swap bays so the time is a lot less.

Jack
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2017   #6
FuryoftheStars

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

I do appreciate what you are saying. I do have other measures in place. It won't be the end of the world if I can't get the mirror setup and I'm not trying to use the mirror to protect against anything other than straight up hardware failure. But as this is my work laptop, I am not going to spend hours of my personal time performing clones.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2017   #7
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Your the boss.
Just my suggestions.
Hang in there I'm sure other will reply.

Jack
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2017   #8
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

There are situations when mirroring (RAID 1) is perfectly acceptable and this is one of them. FuryoftheStars has made it clear to me that the only expectation he has from using Mirroring is to protect his data from drive failure, which is exactly what RAID 1 is designed to do. He has also said he does not consider his RAID to be a backup and has other backup measures in place.

While cloning is a useful tool, it is too time consuming and it also takes up too much space, especially if versioning is desired (I highly recommend versioning, btw). Imaging takes up less room but also wastes too much space and time unless incremental imaging is used (which I do not recommend do to higher risk of failure) or only the System (OS and programs) are imaged, which is why I strongly recommend segregating system files from data files by either using separate drives or partitions for them. Imaging is the best way to backup System files only. System files need backing up only when a change is going to be made to the System, such as changing a setting or updating the OS or a program. Keeping multiple images allows for versioning and is practical since System only images are far smaller than System plus data images and, since they are smaller, take less time to make and restore. Exceptions to this may include people who have very little data or need to be able to get back in operation almost immediately (in the latter case, RAID 1 plus an image or clone may be the better option).

Data is best backed up using a folder/file syncing program such as FreeFileSync (my personal choice) or Sync Toy (also popular). Since only files that have been added, changed, or deleted are involved in updating a backup, it is much faster than imaging or cloning. I like FreeFileSync because it also has a Versioning feature that allows files that are deleted from the backup to be sent to a versioning folder or drive. This protects the user from accidental deletions and allows retrieving earlier versions of a file.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2017   #9
FuryoftheStars

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

I understand what you're saying, Jack. However, while I know everyone here is volunteering their time and knowledge, I'd still appreciate not having someone attempt to convince or lecture me on how I should be doing something different. Suggest it, sure, that's perfectly fine. But then please leave it at that. Regardless of whether or not you are right, and regardless of whether or not I decide to do that, it does not answer my question.

Please understand, I am fully aware of the setup and situation that I have here. I've been working as an IT Analyst/Tech for the past 7 years and have been tinkering with computers on my own time as well even before that. I know the pros and cons of each of the various solutions. I have decided that as a means of live data protection against hardware failure that I would like to setup a RAID 1/mirror. The problem is that it is not working as expected and I'm trying to figure out why.



Jeannie, thank you for the comments. I am actually using Sync Toy for weekly backups to an external USB drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2017   #10
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

I'm not familiar with actually setting up and using RAIDs since I have no need for one (that doesn't mean there are not good reasons for others to use them) but I do know that, depending on the kind of RAID, removing more drives than the RAID is designed to allow (such as removing two drives from RAID 5) will break the RAID. I suspect that what is happening to you is, when you disconnect the external drive, you are breaking the RAID 1, requiring you to rebuild the RAID afterward. What you need is a software or hardware solution that will allow you to achieve what you want but, sadly, I am not familiar enough with any to be able to recommend any. Sorry !

I suggest that you go to the Hard Drives & Storage Forum of OCN and ask you questions there. There are several people there who are very knowledgeable when it comes to data storage, etc. (some do it for a living) and someone may be able to help you out.
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