Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Raid1 or Windows backup : what is best?

  1. #1

    Posts : 59
    Windows 8 PRO 64bit

    Raid1 or Windows backup : what is best?


    I am setting up a new PC with Windows 8 clean install. In the past, I used an external drive for backup, but I was not systematic and disciplined enough. The human factor.

    So this time with a new PC I wanted to do better.
    I will have a 128GB SSD for system and programs, and then I will use 2TB WD 20EFRX for data and backup.

    I see two possibilities:

    System A:
    I setup the 2 WD20EFRX (2TB each) in a RAID1. That provides the mirroring of the data. Then at regular intervals, or at least after a system change or program install, I will make an image of the SSD and store the image on the WD's.
    I have an Asus P8Z77-V motherboard with Z77 chipset that supports RAID.

    System B:
    The 2TB are not setup in RAID but used as normal AHCI hardisks. I will use disk1 for data storage and use the Windows 8 backup features and disk2 for the backup.

    Which of the 2 systems would you recommend? I am not an expert and prefer uncomplicated setups, but I know how to make the RAID1 on this system.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Raid is not a backup. If you do something stupid, it will happen to both drives at same time. If machine is stolen, both drives go with it. If your house burns to ground, raid won't protect you.

    Raid provides redundancy, but is not a backup.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Quote Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
    Raid is not a backup. If you do something stupid, it will happen to both drives at same time. If machine is stolen, both drives go with it. If your house burns to ground, raid won't protect you.

    and Virus too.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 59
    Windows 8 PRO 64bit

    hello pparks1, molebo
    Tanks for the answers.

    Ideally I would do a backup on a separate drive every day and store it in a different house. But that is the ideal unrealistic world.
    Does anyone do it?
    I had a separate drive in the past, and I did not do the backup (several drives in the house, not disciplined etc...)

    So having 2 drives in the PC makes it more likely that I do the backup.
    Having a RAID, it is done automatically. But if I delete something and empty the recycle bin, then it is gone.
    If I have two drives in the PC, maybe I forget to do the backup. Or is that done automatically?

    I know myself, and with a separate drive, there is a high probability that I do not do it.
    Anyone in the same situation. For my situation, what would be better: A or B?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    I keep a pair of drives off-site. Bring them home about once a month and use robocopy to quickly sync them.

    I use acronis backup to back up my server data more frequently within my house.

    Remember with raid 1, if you get a virus and it wipes out files, it would happen instantly to both drives. Raid 1 mirrors are best for servers to store the OS, so the box keeps running if a drive were to fail.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    I would probably go with Windows 8's Storage Spaces feature. The main feature I like about it over RAID 1 is that you can connect external hard drives and use a RAID 1 like redundancy setup. It's easier to maintain in general.

    If you prefer internal hard drives over external, I'd still do Storage Spaces as it's much easier to increase the size of the storage space over RAID.

    One must also do backups of vital data. I recently lost a 500 gig hard drive that I was going to start doing backups of until it died. Completely dead. That scarred me to the point where I might actually consider doing tape backups or something, gee... More likely than anything, I probably do a clone of my future SSD, along with backing up my documents, pictures, and music onto a smaller 2.5" hard drive externally, as well as using SkyDrive. Backup for the backup to the backup.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7

    Tape backup is probably not required. Use something like robocopy with an external hard drive. With the MIR switch, robocopy only copies changes. Plug in your drive, rub robocopy and within minutes it is likely done. Take your drive off-site (work, parents house, girlfriends house, storage facility, etc). This way if you have a catastrophic failure, you will only be out the changes since you last synchronized.

    I keep two external drives off-site, just in case the external cannot be read or data was damaged on one copy. When 2tb drives were only $79, this was a no brainer. I just use a thermaltake external esata dock. Copies at nearly 85MB a sec.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8

    What I would do is put those large capacity drives in an older PC with 2GB of RAM and run Windows Home Server (WHS) v1 runs on 32bit CPU's and WHS 2011 requires a 64bit CPU. The OS costs $50 and you will have a system that backs your PC's up and you can set the server up to duplicate the data on two different physical drives so if a drive fails, you don't lose any data. Since the drives are formatted as NTFS, if the server fails, you can retrieve the data directly from the drives using a Windows PC. This is what I do at home and for small clients since the WHS will support a max of 10 PC's.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Raid1 or Windows backup : what is best?
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