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Using two physical hard disk forces "mirroring"? - and off-site backups? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,
    I'd like to set up my WHS so that there is an external hard disk that contains a copy (master or shadow, as far as I can tell I don't care?) of all of the data that is contained on the internal hard disk(s). That way if some disaster befalls my home, I can either a) take the external hard drive with me before it happens (floods, hurricanes, etc) or b) it can be a disaster-proof hard drive (i.e. withstand fire, flood-proof, etc).

    Is there a way to get WHS to do this?

    One way I was contemplating was to just get two hard drives of the same size, one internal and one external. Then WHS wouldn't have a choice but to do what I'm wanting here. Right? Are there other/better ways?

    Thanks!
    P
    Monday, January 18, 2010 6:23 AM

Answers

  • Hi,
    I'd like to set up my WHS so that there is an external hard disk that contains a copy (master or shadow, as far as I can tell I don't care?) of all of the data that is contained on the internal hard disk(s). That way if some disaster befalls my home, I can either a) take the external hard drive with me before it happens (floods, hurricanes, etc) or b) it can be a disaster-proof hard drive (i.e. withstand fire, flood-proof, etc).

    Is there a way to get WHS to do this?

    One way I was contemplating was to just get two hard drives of the same size, one internal and one external. Then WHS wouldn't have a choice but to do what I'm wanting here. Right?

    In theory, yes (with the exception of the 20 GB OS partition).  While what you suggest would probably work, the problem is that using an external USB drive as part of the storage pool can cause unexpected results (typically because the enclosures have a power-saving feature that WHS in turn treats as a "missing" drive).  (Plus you could never add a third drive as that would throw your whole concept out the window.  :)  )

    Are there other/better ways?

    You could use the included backup feature of WHS, periodically backing up your data to your disaster-proof drive (or just take it off-site, which is what I would do as I wouldn't trust anything claiming to be "disaster-proof" because if it fails, you have nothing).

    Thanks!
    P

    • Marked as answer by ShadowTigerPK Monday, January 18, 2010 8:11 AM
    Monday, January 18, 2010 7:03 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,
    I'd like to set up my WHS so that there is an external hard disk that contains a copy (master or shadow, as far as I can tell I don't care?) of all of the data that is contained on the internal hard disk(s). That way if some disaster befalls my home, I can either a) take the external hard drive with me before it happens (floods, hurricanes, etc) or b) it can be a disaster-proof hard drive (i.e. withstand fire, flood-proof, etc).

    Is there a way to get WHS to do this?

    One way I was contemplating was to just get two hard drives of the same size, one internal and one external. Then WHS wouldn't have a choice but to do what I'm wanting here. Right?

    In theory, yes (with the exception of the 20 GB OS partition).  While what you suggest would probably work, the problem is that using an external USB drive as part of the storage pool can cause unexpected results (typically because the enclosures have a power-saving feature that WHS in turn treats as a "missing" drive).  (Plus you could never add a third drive as that would throw your whole concept out the window.  :)  )

    Are there other/better ways?

    You could use the included backup feature of WHS, periodically backing up your data to your disaster-proof drive (or just take it off-site, which is what I would do as I wouldn't trust anything claiming to be "disaster-proof" because if it fails, you have nothing).

    Thanks!
    P

    • Marked as answer by ShadowTigerPK Monday, January 18, 2010 8:11 AM
    Monday, January 18, 2010 7:03 AM
    Moderator
  • Ah...I had missed the "backup feature" on first read. <blush> My bad.

    I'd like to ask about making that backup online vs. to physical media (because I'll never remember to do it often enough, and I don't want to buy that many external hard drives...), so I'll post a new thread in the software section on that.

    Thanks!
    Monday, January 18, 2010 7:12 AM
  • ...
    I'd like to ask about making that backup online vs. to physical media (because I'll never remember to do it often enough, and I don't want to buy that many external hard drives...), so I'll post a new thread in the software section on that.
    ...
    Windows Home Server will only use a drive physically connected to the server for backup, I'm afraid.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, January 18, 2010 4:12 PM
    Moderator
  • Online backup for your WHS is a very viable option. One hurdle I have noticed is that many online providers try to sell you a Pro or Business level plan to accommodate the underlying Server architecture of the WHS, which can raise the costs and complexity of online backup.

    We don't think that's right - a Home user should be able to run a server and still get the Home user prices. Please visits us and maybe sign up for a Free Trial - you may find online backups are easier than you thought.

    Thank you,
    Bart Boryczko
    OnlineDataSavers.com
    Tuesday, January 19, 2010 7:26 PM