Setting up mirrored raid vs something else

So my Seagate hard drive kicked the bucket last week. It couldn’t possibly have been heat or power related as I have 4 fans (including TWO hard drive fans) and a 430 Watt Antec power supply and I only have a ECS K7VTA3 with an Athlon XP 2200+ and a Ti 4200.

Also, when I tried recovering data off the drive after reinstalling Windows on a new WD Caviar it made a horrible grinding sound.

So I’m guessing good old mechanical failure.

Anyway, my question is this:

I have the Promise Fastthing Lite RAID controller on my motherboard. How hard would it be to set up a mirrored setup?

I already have one drive set up…can this thing clone that drive over to the second drive? Do I even need a second drive? I already have another 30 gig 5400 RPM Caviar in the machine…can I use this drive? I was under the impression that you have to match speed and capacity.

Or alternately, what software would somebody recommed to simply do an automatic backup of certain files (baby pictures, etc) over to the second drive once per day?

All hail Robocopy. Yeah, its command line, but it can do everything that one wanted to do from a batch file which can then be launched from a scheduler.

There was an earlier thread that talked about backups, mostly simple and/or cheap setups.

At my company we use external USB drives and scheduled batch files that are mostly XCOPY. With NTFS compression, we easily fit 4 full backups on an “80” GB drive, so one drive backs up Mon, Wed, & Fri night, and I swap in another drive Monday morning.

For mirroring, I don’t think the drives need to match, but you’d be limited to the capacity of the smaller drive. The details may depend on the hardware RAID controller you have - but I think the Pro versions of windows can also do software RAID 0. But I wouldn’t do either. Once you set up a scheduled backup, it’s simple too and the latency of the updates is a feature - if you accidentally delete a file for example. Mirroring ‘only’ protects against hardware failure, separate backups cover errors and viruses too.


Do you have a separate hard drive that you boot off of? Cuz if you do, it makes it much easier to manage RAID.

I suppose I do because if I were to go the RAID route I would probably buy another WD 400BB 7200 to match the one I just got.

Having read some of the ideas here though I’m more inclined to go with a scheduled backup to the second drive rather than RAID. RAID seems a bit like overkill at this point since all I’m backing up are digital photos.

You really should use ROBOCOPY… much more robust and much better logging. Its got some neat options that can really reduce copy time (like – don’t copy if the file hasn’t changed)