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Discussion Starter #1
Hi again. I have the K8n-e Asus. I once had a raid 1 setup and was great. had a cpu problems and HD problem and rebuilt in Dec. but with one drive.

Now I want to have a mirored drive. I love the fact that there is always an exact duplicate. THus quick and easy and no downtime. The problem is I have a drive in use already. Can I just ad another drive and create a raid 1 array?

Or am I better getting the external backup drives by maxtor. I never used backup much before and don't know how easy it is to recover when using backups.

What do you guys reccomend?
 

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I use an external backup. It is very simple to use and you can transfer it from one pc to another. Maxtors are great - just ignore the Dantz software that comes packaged with them (unless of course you are a university professor who is highly skilled in problem solving).
I only ever backup personal files and folders. I don't bother to backup the o/s. If everything goes pear shaped all I need to do is a simple reformat reinstall and restore the files.
Part of the program is an incremental backup which allows you to only backup those files and folders that have been changed since the last backup.
Using that the whole program only takes a few minutes.
 

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I too have an external USB Disk. It's great for backing up personal files. I find that I usually reinstall XP on a regular basis as I find it gradually corrupts and start giving me problems after 6 months or so.

I might considar ghosting the initial instal and back up my personal data on the USB drive. This would avoid the 200 step install process for XP Professional. :grin:
 

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Yes, you can add a second drive of at least the same capacity and build a RAID 1 array. It takes a while since the entire contents of your drive is being copied to the new, empty drive.

I run a RAID 1 configuration, but also do backups to an external USB drive. If a drive fails, I can keep going. But if I have a different failure, such as a power supply, motherboard, OS problem or what-have-you, I can simply plug my external USB backup drive into another PC. RAID 1 only protects against hard drive failure. And, like Andrew and Peter, I only back up my personal data files (word processing docs, photos, bank records, etc.), although Peter makes a good point about making an image of your entire drive, as well.

I do straight copies to the USB drive -- I never use compression software. That way, any PC can read the files.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well here are some other questions:

1) Can I make a raid 1 even though I have a drive in use? or do I need to back that up and then setup a raid 1 system?

2) Using the maxtor external, say I back up files, but don't I have to reinstall programs and everything( like Pagemaker, PS, studio 9, then restore files?

3) using the maxtor ext., what backup do you do so that if main drive fails you can replace it with another, reinstall windows and then have everything put back like the original?


I agrre with comment that raid 1 only prevents hard drive failure, nopt power zap and such. But I tell ya, the simplicity of having a drive go bad and just plugging in te mirrored drive is wonderful, NO downtime.

thanks for your commetns.
 

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I'll try to answer your questions the best I can and in the same order you asked.

1. You can add another drive and create a RAID 1 array. During the creation process, your current drive will be duplicated on the new, empty drive. BUT, it is always advisable to back up prior to performing any action that may go asunder -- if something goes awry during the procedure, you could lose everything.

2. Yes, if you only back up "personal" files, then you must reinstall XP and all your programs prior to copying your backed-up files to your hard drive. As Peter_UK said, to avoid having to reinstall XP and your software, it would be good idea to make an image of your entire drive using a utility such as Norton/Symantec Ghost or Drive Image. You could then restore your operating system and your programs from the image, followed by copying your personal files from the USB drive back to the hard drive.

3. In my case, I am running RAID 1. If a drive fails, my PC continues to operate and I lose nothing. Of course, I would replace the failed drive with a new one and rebuild the array and I'd be back in business. But, let's say I accidentally delete a file, a file becomes corrupt or somehow a partition gets accidentally formatted (my wife and daughter also use the PC), I am able to copy it back from the USB drive where I have everything backed up.

I am a firm believer in backups. As a network administrator, I have seen many, many hard drives fail. At home I run RAID 1 for the security of it, and I back up personal files to a USB drive, a network drive, and, additionally, every so often I burn CD's or DVD's of what I consider my most important files -- my digital photos.

Look at it this way: if you can reinstall it (XP and your programs), it's not important. If it can never be re-created (i.e., photos), it darned important.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Ksteiger. Sounds liek you have what I am looking to have, a raid 1 and a backup for the just in case.

So If I do the raid 1 how does that work. I put in a 2nd drive plug it in and then what? YOu see, Ithought raid 1 HAD to be done from the start.

Do you find your machine is louder with a raid 1 setup?

OH, just put in a xp-90 thermaltake cpu cooler, WOW, quiet!
 

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My experience with RAID 1 has been with ASUS and Soyo motherboards, and each had a different controller and a different method for building the array. I've always been able to add a second drive and build a RAID 1 array -- you'll have to check your motherboard manual to see how to create the array.

RAID 0 arrays must be created from scratch since each drive holds half of the data. An existing drive would be wiped out while creating a RAID 0 array.

I'll see if I can find your manual online and find out how you can create a RAID 1 array.

I suppose my PC is louder with RAID 1 since both drives are reading and writing at the same time, but it's hard to tell with the constant drone of my case fans.

Talk to you soon.

Kevin
 

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I downloaded your motherboard manual and, well, it sucks. My ASUS manual has a section on RAID, but I didn't find anything in your manual. Did you receive any documentation regarding RAID arrays?

I also went to the nVidia site and searched for information on RAID, but it wasn't specific, and, a bit scary. The only mention of RAID I found was a how-to on installing the RAID drivers, which included one step that said "clear the hard disk."

If I were you, I'd call ASUS and find out the procedure to create a RAID 1 array from an existing disk. I wouldn't want you to suffer a catastrophe due to my advice, which in this case may not be accurate.

Wouldn't it be nice if motherboard documentation was complete?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
well I am considering getting the A8n premium Asus MOBO. maybe I might wait. butyour right, a call to Asus would be best.

RE: fans in the case. I put in the thermalright xp-90 and love it, nevere heard such a quiet case. my previous cpu fan was the amd stock.

If I get new drives I might go with the M,axtor 300gb 16mb buffer drives they have. people seem to love them.
 
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