Question

How to use 2 Equal Size Hard Drives In One Computer

I bought 2 One TB Hard drives with the idea of having a RAID1 for redundancy. I ran in to problems with the SATA PCI card not being able to act as a bootable RAID1. I also read [after buying this PCI card] that software RAID slows the system down. So I am wondering is there a way to use the second internal hard drive as a back up drive for the primary drive? If so how do I do this please? This is in case the primary hard drive fails then I can boot up the computer from the second hard drive. But I do not know how to do this. When I went my computer, disc management it showed the second disc and asked me if I wanted to make it dynamic. I said yes. But I do not want to do anything else before I mess up real bad.
Please help. I would like to have an internal back up, I do not know how to set it up. Thanks in advance.

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Clarification Request
Need some details.

A link to the maker's web page and manual on this RAID card would be needed to see if they document how to not only install but if said RAID 1 actually lets you do what you asked. The sad truth is that I've encountered some RAID1 cards that don't work very well.

Alternatives are to book something like CLONEZILLA and clone the drive when you feel like it.

Also, real time RAID1 is no substitute for backup since all the other reasons folk can't boot will wipe out both drives. Malware, virus, trojans, etc. While the CLONEZILLA copy is slightly better since the changes don't wipe both drives we are never sure about what the malware does to any attached drive.

Many tried RAID1 thinking it could replace backup.
Bob

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Answer
That's a little different from basic backup

You said you want both drives to be bootable. This means you need to install an OS on both. You didn't mention what OS you want to use but Windows licensing doesn't want more than one occurrence of an activate OS. What you can do is use imaging software which allows you to make a compressed image of entire partitions or drives. This doesn't allow you boot immediately in the event of a failure of the primary drive but can allow very quick recovery of an OS or HD failure.

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The second drive is purely for backup only

Hi Steve
Thanks for the reply. No, I do not want to boot from both discs. I want to boot from my primary disc. But I want to have redundancy that is all. Now that the disc has been installed and recognized by the windows. Do I now give it a drive letter, and then use a back up software like Easeus back up or acronis and copy the whole C: drive to the new D: drive? Or do I have to do any sepcial formatting of the new drive before I can do this?

And in the event of a primary drive failure, how do I then use the second drive or the copy that was backed to boot the system back up again?

Appreciate your input.

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You could just clone the drive and leave it detached

That would be one way but it wouldn't be that much different from doing regular backup imaging. The clone just remains the same as when first made and never updates. It's not a bad idea you just want a chance to start from scratch if disaster strikes. A good backup plan is better but I can't put one together that's going to work for everyone. I use Acronis to make regular complete images of my primary hard drive and will keep several such images including the one made just after activating the OS. That would allow me about the same function as having factory recovery disks for a brand name PC. I will always create a complete image just prior to any hardware change or installation of some program I purchased. This takes me but a few extra minutes and allows me to return to the beginning if needed. The images are kept on multiple larger drives. I'll have at least two copies of each image. I delete older images as needed. I'm never more than 10 minutes away from completely restoring my HD but using this method.

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Backup.....bootable

A method.....it's not real time....see if it fits.

I have two spare HD's .....external......which I rotate.

Once a month I clone the system HD to a spare via e-sata.

Doesn't take very long.....boot the clone util.....connect the external.....hit GO.

If the system HD fails and I can't fix it.......it only takes a few minutes to replace it with a spare.

I suppose you could change the timing to weekly/daily/hourly.

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That is what I want to do - But with Internal Disc

Bob
That is what I want to do, but with internal drives. I am not sure how to set it up correctly.

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Internal....hmmm.

I suppose you could do that.....plug/unplug ....sounds like a pita if your going to do it on a regular basis while it's in the case.

External is just much easier......when you need it plug it in......when your finished unplug it and safely store.

Then there's the matter of not having all your eggs in one basket......which is why I use two and rotate.

Backup+restore is a method.......there is no one size fits all.

A clone works for me......other folks have a different method......your call.

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