Windows 10: Hard disk failing, robust backup strategy, raid 1? Solved


  1. Posts : 6
    windows 10 Version 1709
       06 Mar 2018 #1

    Hard disk failing, robust backup strategy, raid 1?


    Hello All,

    Great forum, has helped me setup a backup strategy I am happy with... since discovering the forum I have:
    • Found my E drive (2TB Seagate) is slowly dying (using Crystal disk info);
    • Copied all data, with only minor loses, to my F drive (another 1TB Seagate);
    • Backed up my C drive (128 GB SSD) using Macrium Reflect paid version (I liked the folder and file backup feature);
    • Have made no less than three complete C and F drive backups to separate USB drives with Macrium. One to keep at work, one to keep attached to my computer at home, and one in a drawer at home;
    • Have discovered the joys of Teracopy for moving data around;
    • Installed CCleaner and got rid of heaps of duplicate files.


    Here in Australia, the 2 TB Seagate Barracudas are super cheap, and I want to replace the failing one, now that I am happy all data is safely backed up.

    Is it too much hassle to setup the two drives up as a software raid 1?

    I know that these drives don't have the best reputation. But now that I have good backups, I am not fussed with another failure some time in future. I don't really want to spend the money to up spec the new hard drive...

    Back in the 90's I had a SCSI / raid 1 setup with my hard disks that was super robust and completely transparent in general use.... everything just got written to both drives simultaneously with no fuss. (It was a daisy chain SCSI cable arrangement)

    I am surprised there is not much talk of RAID 1 setup on this forum... is it not a valued method of backing up?

    I know that Raid 1 won't help with a ransomeware attack.

    I think I'll have to reformat both drives to setup the RAID.

    I have looked at the Toms Hardware resource on SCSI.

    I have heard about "bit rot" but that is a discussion probably best left to another thread.

    I am not fussed by a slight loss in performance in reading and writing using RAID 1.

    Some advise that the drives should be identical for RAID 1 to work? But different drives may work.

    I just want the second drive for a bit of redundancy should a HDD failure occur.

    Alternatively, I could just attach the second drive in under 10 minutes and be doing my Macrium backups super quick and conveniently to there...

    Any thoughts/advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 7,590
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       06 Mar 2018 #2

    juzzie said: View Post
    I am surprised there is not much talk of RAID 1 setup on this forum....
    What do you mean? There's a whole set of tutorials on it :)

    The name 'RAID' isn't used much, Windows 10 calls it 'Storage Space' but it's the same thing and can create Mirrors.

    Start here, then see the list of 'Related tutorials' at the bottom of this one.

    Create a New Pool and Storage Space in Windows 10
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 6
    windows 10 Version 1709
    Thread Starter
       07 Mar 2018 #3

    Awesome - thanks Bree! Soooo much info on this forum... was searching under the wrong terms.

    That it is a tutorial even better - as I have already used the Macrium Backup tutorial which was extremely helpful and useful for a total amateur like me...

    :)
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 7,590
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       07 Mar 2018 #4

    juzzie said: View Post
    ... was searching under the wrong terms.


    Yes, MS does like to use 'friendly' names for technical terms these days, probably so as not to frighten off people from using them :) (only the 'PC-literate' tended to use Backup & Restore, but File History get's used by anyone).
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 2,611
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1803 - 17134.5 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       07 Mar 2018 #5

    Personally your suggested true backup strategy would be better than a raid 1 setup, You should not keep a backup constantly connected to your system at any time other than whilst actually in use.

    Whilst it is true that you can create a raid with dissimilar drives, the resultant drive will be limited to the size of the smallest drive.

    If you used a new 2TB drive as your main data drive your backup drives should really be larger or the same size as the this storage drive, you would need to check how much actual data you have to backup and what size that backup will be on the backup drive, backup images can, and normally do, use compression of the raw data.

    Assuming the Actual data you have will fit on to each of your three externals you need to implement a Grandfather, Father, Son, strategy, where one backup, (a), would be with your system, (disconnected), the second, (b), somewhere else in your property and the third, (c), in Work. (the actual data you need to backup is rarely 100% of the drive capacity)

    When it is time for a backup you take the current local copy, (a), and swap it with the second copy, (b), then swap it for the the work based copy, (c), and then you use this copy for the backup which becomes , (a), for the next cycle

    This backup set up over a weekly basis should give you redundancy for two weeks to cover for issues that are not seen immediately

    The disk change routine can be varied to reduce swapping as, a, a, a - b, b - c which would cut down the amount of swapping, but also the level of protection
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    07 Mar 2018 #6

    The purpose of RAID1 is to maintain access to your data in the event of a drive failure, allowing drive replacement to be deferred to a more convenient time. With appropriate hardware this can be done without downtime at all. This is a big deal on a busy server where downtime can be very expensive. On a workstation this is a lesser consideration and the cost is often difficult to justify.

    But however useful RAID1 might be, it is not a viable backup solution. No form of RAID can do that. It provides some protection from drive failure but for other causes of data loss, and there are many, it provides no protection at all. For that you need to maintain backups. At least 1 backup copy for data of any importance and 2 or more backup copies if the data is of particular importance.

    If RAID1 is used for the right reasons it is a good thing. If used as a backup solution, and it often is, the story often ends in data loss.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 6
    windows 10 Version 1709
    Thread Starter
       08 Mar 2018 #7

    Bree said: View Post


    Yes, MS does like to use 'friendly' names for technical terms these days, probably so as not to frighten off people from using them :) (only the 'PC-literate' tended to use Backup & Restore, but File History get's used by anyone).
    I have read elsewhere that file history is getting dropped... Is it worth me using for the time being.... I have never used it before but willing to give it a go.. are many people on this forum using it?

    Just as a thought - much the same as you directed me straight to the right part of this forum regarding raid/storage pools...

    Is there an area where people describe their backup strategy? A bit like "Show off your internet speed!" thread?



    Barman58 said: View Post
    Personally your suggested true backup strategy would be better than a raid 1 setup, You should not keep a backup constantly connected to your system at any time other than whilst actually in use.

    Whilst it is true that you can create a raid with dissimilar drives, the resultant drive will be limited to the size of the smallest drive.

    Assuming the Actual data you have will fit on to each of your three externals you need to implement a Grandfather, Father, Son, strategy, where one backup, (a), would be with your system, (disconnected), the second, (b), somewhere else in your property and the third, (c), in Work. (the actual data you need to backup is rarely 100% of the drive capacity)

    Grandfather, Father, Son strategy - yes I like that... think I'll just put a new hard drive in and run the Greatgrandfather, grandfather, father, son strategy.


    LMiller7 said: View Post
    The purpose of RAID1 is to maintain access to your data in the event of a drive failure, allowing drive replacement to be deferred to a more convenient time. With appropriate hardware this can be done without downtime at all. This is a big deal on a busy server where downtime can be very expensive. On a workstation this is a lesser consideration and the cost is often difficult to justify.

    But however useful RAID1 might be, it is not a viable backup solution. No form of RAID can do that. It provides some protection from drive failure but for other causes of data loss, and there are many, it provides no protection at all. For that you need to maintain backups. At least 1 backup copy for data of any importance and 2 or more backup copies if the data is of particular importance.

    If RAID1 is used for the right reasons it is a good thing. If used as a backup solution, and it often is, the story often ends in data loss.

    For purely backup reasons.... Leaving the new drive standalone seems would probably be safer in a disaster/recovery scenario...?
    Also I feel that during windows upgrades etc. less chance of things going wrong when disks aren't pooled...?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 18,479
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       11 Mar 2018 #8

    Sometimes Macrium may fail to backup a drive and display error messages and codes.
    The opening post indicated that E was failing.
    Backups using Macrium were made for drives C and F.
    With 2TB super cheap was a Macrium backup of drive E an option or did it fail?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  9. Posts : 6
    windows 10 Version 1709
    Thread Starter
       13 Mar 2018 #9

    zbook said: View Post
    Sometimes Macrium may fail to backup a drive and display error messages and codes.
    The opening post indicated that E was failing.
    Backups using Macrium were made for drives C and F.
    With 2TB super cheap was a Macrium backup of drive E an option or did it fail?
    Yep you are right - Macrium kept giving errors reading from the e drive.

    I then used Crystaldiskinfo to ascertain that e drive was failing.

    I then used Ccleaner to trim down duplicate data.

    Then used Teracopy to get all the data off E and onto a healthy F drive.

    Then MAcrium worked perfectly.

    It was only through this forum I found out about Macrium, CrystaldiskInfo, Teracopy and CCleaner.

    So for that I am truly grateful for this forum and reckon it is a great resource if you want to know how to backup with confidence.

    Thanks for the help, I am marking this thread as solved.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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