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Lturner

Mirroring Hard Drive

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Years ago, I took Brians advice and bought 2 WD Blacks and a dual bay system and set it up to mirror each other. 
Something's going out so, i'm looking to replacing the whole thing (its been like 5 years!). Im thinking I dont need a system like this anymore so, my question is basically what do I need now that Im in 2019? I feel like so much has progressed.  I do back up to Backblaze and would still like to have 2 hard drives mirrored. Whats the easiest way to do this? 
And what is synctoy? 

 

Thanks in advance!

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Not much has changed, really. Data is data. What has changed is the interfaces and speed. If you want a Mirrored System, that's still a RAID 1 setup and you will need a motherboard that supports RAID in order to do this, otherwise you'll need to purchase an External Hard Drive that has this feature. As far as a machine for 2019:

  • Intel i7 or i9
  • 16GB RAM at a Minimum - 32GB or more preferred.
  • 1TB Hard Drive for the main drive. If you are building your own computer, go with a SSD Drive. Please be aware, if purchasing a store-bought computer, I don't care how fast that 128GB / 250GB SSD Drive is, it won't to you a damn bit of good if it's full. Windows updates can be huge, so I would shoot for a 1TB at a minimum , though a person could get away with a 500GB SSD or M.2 HD for the main drive.
  • A video card that has separate & dedicated video memory and does not use the RAM for its memory. 4GB of video memory is fine and since Adobe's products are using the graphics cards for a performance boost, a video card with 8GB of Video Memory is a good thing. So call it 4GB recommended / 8GB preferred when it comes to Video RAM.
  • I like Windows 10 Pro but I'm more of a power user. Most people will be fine with Win 10 Home.
     

Synctoy is an old Microsoft program. It's mean to keep track of changes to a folder and then automatically backup that folder to another location at a certain time you configure it. It's not a "Mirrored" method, at least not in the purest sense.

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i have the xcellon drd101 set to raid 1. 
im not sure if its going out or if its the drive. 

Its been a great setup.....

 

 

Edited by Lturner

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Stupid question but, How do I separate these two drives to see whats on them? If I just undo the raid button on the back will it read as two separate drives?

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or at least separate them so, i can work off one for now. 
I flipped them and figured that it is definitely one of the sata drvies.

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Mirrored is Mirrored. What is on Drive #1 (Or it might be labeled Drive #0) is automatically / instantaneously copied on Drive #2 (Or labeled as Drive #1.)  So if you have a bad sector / data corruption on one drive...guess what? You have data corruption / loss on the second drive!!

There is no fail-safe, other than if one HD completely fails, you are still able to function with the working drive. That is a RAID1 by design, it protects you from a HD loss or failure, not corrupted / lost files. You then replace the bad / failed drive and tell the RAID to rebuild itself. If you want more of a fail safe with RAID 1, you'll need a second RAID 1 that you duplicate to, or simply a larger external HD that you duplicate your Mirrored Drives weekly, or at the very least monthly and kept off-site. This way you only lose a week's worth of data. Sometimes its really tough trying to figure out which HD is failing. You have a 50/50 chance and it's possible that you might have some diagnostic software that could let you know. That said, most of the software-based RAID systems aren't robust and don't give you a whole lot of info. 

My recommendation? Get a larger EHD and backup that RAID, like now and I'd replace both those drives at the same time. Since they were purchased & installed at the same time, have been running for the same amount of time, it is very possible that one HD is going and the other will then die a few months from now. Keep in mind, these are WD Caviar Black Drives, and while they are very good and I've used them in my systems for decades, they aren't meant to be in a RAID configuration. That's what WD RED drives are meant for and going forward, you want WD Caviar GOLD Drives. When I was really considering building a fancy NAS for a home media server, without question I was going to use WD Gold Drives. They are better / faster than the WD Red Drives and are meant to be in RAID Setups / NAS Units, etc.

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Thanks! Thats what I'm doing currently (bought a large external and am transferring everything over)... its all backed up to backblaze as well. 

Can i undo the RAID configuration to get the drives to read separately? Right now they are showing up as one drive.... not sure how to see them both. 

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You will need to delete the RAID Setup / Configuration to get them back to Single Drives. 

Then it’s just a matter of repartitioning / formatting. 

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It seems like I cant delete the RAID setup without deleting the drives. 
I also cant transfer files over to new external as the drive in RAID is shitting out on me. 

So, i'm restoring from Backblaze. 

What is the point of RAID if I now, cant use one of the hard drives independently? Or, what am i missing? I've called xcellon and they know nothing. 

I just want to take one of the drives and copy everything over to the new external. Why is this so hard?

And thank you B for your time. Shoot me your beer fund link. 

Edited by Lturner

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i just bought a SATA docking station.... hoping it'll let me read the single drive.

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It’s setup as a RAID. You can’t do what you want to do unless you delete the drives / the RAID configuration itself and start from scratch. 

Both drives are united as “one” with one drive automatically mirroring the other. Other RAID setups, like Zero, Five and “1+0” aka “Ten” treat the data differently across the drives. RAID Level 1 is mirroring. 

IF A FILE IS MISSING OR CORRUPTED ON ONE DRIVE IN A RAID CONFIGURATION, IT IS NOT GOING TO BE ON THE OTHER DRIVE. PERIOD. THEY STOPPED BEING SEPARATE DRIVES WHEN YOU SET THEM UP AS A RAID 1.

It’s not like they are two independent drives; you can’t just pull one and put it in another computer and have access to your files. That’s not how a RAID setup works. You have to get “independent” drives out of your head with dealing with a RAID. If you can’t find a file or it’s corrupted, it’s GONE.

What is RAID?

Multiple hard drives act in unison for a common purpose. All that is different between the RAID Levels is how the data is mirrored and striped (written) across multiple hard drives. As far as you are concerned, you only have one HD

So what’s the point of RAID?

Recovery from Catastrophic Failure. Meaning that in your situation, if one hard drive failed completely, you still have access to your files on the working drive.

That’s it.

It’s not like BackBlaze or some other service (like Time Machine on the Macs) that has a copy of a file that was accidentally deleted and you can restore; this is why the servers that I work on still backup to Tape or another backup destination and have RAID setups in them. Usually multiple RAIDs. 

Return that docking station. It’s not going to do what you want it to do. You are just wasting money at this point. 

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I don’t mean to sound like a Arse but you are headed in a direction that will only waste you time money and cause frustration. :) 

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No, I gotcha. Wasn't sure if it would work or not.
When i look at the drive, all the files are there. It just seems like one is going out...not, corrupted.. just not "spinning" as fast as it should.  I'm not sure what the easiest way would be to transfer my files over. And I cant figure out how to undo RAID without deleting both drives.  Ideally, I could drag and drop all the files over to the new external but that's not working.  I'm just going to have Backblaze send me a hardrive with all the files. Seems like the easiest solution at this point. If you have another suggestion, please let me know. 

 

Thanks for your help and I do appreciate you being straight with me. 

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Easiest way, copy everything over to a larger EHD. The Drag & Drop you mentioned. It’s not copying anything? You might have a problem with your RAID controller / housing / case and the drives are fine. 

After you are 100% sure that everything is copied over, you can then replace one HD, rebuild the RAID and see if that fixes it. 

Or purchase two WD Gold Drives and Setup a new RAID1 and then copy the files from the EHD back over to your RAID. 

Just make sure you have the latest firmware and software that controls your RAID. 

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You can not undo a RAID without nuking it. :) 

To undo a RAID Setup, you delete both drives. No way around it. 

My main concern is WHY you aren’t able to copy / paste your files to a new EHD. I’d attack that problem first. 

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Yes, thats the issue. I cant copy anything over.
Thats why I was going to try a different case..... 
but if doing a single wont work... I might need to buy another dual. IDK.

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How about copying a single file to your main HD? Does that work?

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Nope. Just plugged it back in and tried to transfer some files  to my desktop. Its WAY slow and estimating 5 hours to transfer over 367 items. The speed is incredibly slow (355KB/s) 

20190714_113624.jpg

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Wow, you have other problems than just a quirky hard drive.

Stupid question alert!

Are you sure you are using a USB 3.0 port on your computer? Have you tried using another port? Or are you using the eSATA option?

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