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Adding New 2TB external HDD for automatic mirror for Win7pro 1TB HDD system OS

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I have just restored windows 7 Pro to a Dell Intel i7, 12GB, 1TB HDD system thanks to Acronis. Help needed for the next step.

Dell Waranty support ONLY suppled the replacement HD via useless local support. There online support was absolutely NO support. The MBR was corrupt, although there was no such message. Another program, Spotmau Power Suite, was also helpful. Microsoft Windows 7 repair also added to the receipt.

I now have a NEW 'clean-unformated' Segate 2TB external eSata drive. I would like to make this drive an external Growing [mirrored], New, OS drive to replace the internal drive when it fails. IE, this becomes a growing total immediate backup/replacement system drive with "Everything" on it.

Can Disk Director 11 do all of this? Do I need the help of other programs? Which ones?

Thnx, cactusstuf...

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Posts: 19
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#1

Larry:

I have an alternative suggestion for you to consider, from someone who has used mirrored RAID for several years. Having a mirrored disk is NOT a good backup solution. A mirrored disk will ONLY be of help if one of your disks suffers a hardware failure. Mirrored disks do NOT protect against the most common problems, which are software-induced errors like viruses, corruption, failed Windows Updates, and all other kinds of software glitches and problems. Any kind of software-induced error will be happily replicated on both disks in a mirrored array, leaving you with two corrupted disks that are identical copies of each other.

In the 7 years that I've been running mirrored disks I have not had a single hardware failure but I've had lots of software failures that required recovery steps. Software errors are much, much more common than hardware failures in my experience.

A way to protect yourself against both types of failure is to use imaging software, like Acronis True Image, to make periodic images of your disk and to store these image files on your external hard disk. An image is a file that contains enough information to restore your disk to the state that it was in at the moment that the image was created. Depending on what you have on the main disk, an image of a typical Windows system disk will produce an output file that is about half the size of the occupied space on the source disk.

You can then store multiple images taken at different times on your external disk, and even keep the external disk in a different physical location to protect your data against fire, flood, burglary, and the like. Having multiple image files will allow you to restore your main disk to a previous point in time in case you discover that a virus or other problem has gone undetected for a long period of time. Plus it's always good to have multiple copies of backups so that you aren't relying on just one backup.

If you do have a problem someday then you just restore one of your backup images to the disk to recover. The restore process doesn't take too long - rates of a few GB/minute are common - and then you're back up and running.

I know this isn't the answer that you were looking for, but it's food for thought...

Beginner
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#2

Thanks Mark.

Your response should be posted many other places on the Web. It is the best written explaination as to how and why to do a backup. You might be suprised to know that I really was not looking for a specific answer but was looking for an approach that would be reliable. You hit it dead on.

I will go with Acronis for the hard back-up and Mozy online for offsite data storage. I alrady have Acronis Disk Director 11. Should I also get True Image Home?

Thanks for the help, Larry

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#3

Thank you for the compliment, Larry.

Disk Director 11 is for partitioning hard disks and not a backup solution. Yes, I would recommend Acronis True Image Home 2011 (TI) for your backups. Use TI to make backups of your disk or of individual partitions and use Mozy to back up your important personal files.

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#4

Hello all,

Thank you for posting and thank you for helping Mark.

Larry, let me please add something to your discussion.

Just in case, we also offer online backup services. If you are interested, we have an Online backup subscription which can be accessed either from Acronis True Image 2011 Home or from the Acronis Online Backup standalone utility.

You can check our main product overview page, download a trial version which offers 2GB of space for 30 days and take a look at the following KB articles that show a little bit more about program functionality:

 - Acronis True Image Home 2011: Online Backup

 - Acronis True Image Home Online Backup (Standalone)

 - Acronis True Image Home Online Backup (Standalone): Backing Up

 - Acronis True Image Home 2010 Online Backup (Standalone): Restoring

- Acronis Online Backup Subscription

If you need additional help, please let me know.

Thank you.