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Newb at raid how to achieve the backup i want under windows 7 ultimate

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Im becoming paranoid with hard disk drive beaking. I have 5 seagates 4x 1tb 4 to 3 year old and 1x320gb 6 to 5 year old.

At this point they are near to full, so i will replace at least one with a st3000dm01 seagate 7200.14 3tb .

But i want at the same time to make some kind of mirroring so my data is safer from now on.

Although im more or less savvy at computers and build mines (i dont work on IT nor i studied anything like that), ive never made a raid.

Ive found this:

SHarkoon 5-BAY RAID Box

There is a similar one from Lian li which seems much better as it is built on aluminium and uses a single 14cm silent fant. But while Sharkoon can use 5x3tb drives up to 15tb, Lian li can only use 5x2tb up to 10tb.

I like to buy only 1 or 2 platter hard drives to keep breaking rate low, but as you know, those smart asses at seagate are not using 1tb platter in their new 2tb disk.

So it makes no sense for me to buy 2tb seagate drives because they have as many platters as their 3tb drive but with lower quality, and 1tb 1 platter disks are not enough to fit all.

So im forced to do it all around st3000dm001 seagate 7200.14 3tb 3x1tb platter drives. Probabbly will swap one 1tb drive for a 3tb drive, and then in the external enclosure put 2 or 3 3tb drives for backup.

Now the question:

Using what i suggest or any other suggested materials or technologies

Which would be the best way to keep an updated backup (not necessarily in real time).

Considering that i have different uses and backup priority for my drives:

1tb seagate, windows bot drive only

1tb seagate, application software only

320gb seagate, personal data (HIGHLY IMPORTANT)

1tb seagate, games only (IF this one breaks and i have to redownload all my steam games and reconfigure every game options graphics and keyboard after install ill knock my head against the table XD)

1tb seagate, media only (UNLIKE EVERY OTHER DISK data on this disk RISE VERY FAST on daily basis and requires lot of effort on my part so dont wanna do it again)

I consider any option you suggest, from:

some kind of realtime mirror raid (all my sata ports are used so all raid drives should be kept in external enclosure like the suggested sharkoon, sharing a SINGLE ESATA PORT)

to some kind of on demand drive mirror synchronization (some kind of raid or just software driven mirroring or windows native function, that will copy all data to the bunch of drives in the external enclosure at pressing a button on some software)( in short, once a day press this and wait until it complete mirroring all new data storaged along that day in some kind of incremental mirror on demand)

Im running short on space so i would appreciate fast suggestions XD. my media drive has enter some kind of Kaneda mutant state and is taking over every free gb available on the other drives while shouting NEWZRRRR SEGATERRRRRR 3TB DRIVRRRRRZZZZ OARRRRGGGGG LOL

Edited by userwords

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Hi Userwords, here is my suggestion and I am sure somebody else will be able to give you more information.

My suggestion is that you create yourself 2 sets of arrays

1. Array 1 = RAID 5

- Create a RAID 5 array, meaning the total space available = number of drives, less one multiplied by the size. So, if you have 5 x 2TB drives, you will only use 8TB

- Install say four or five 1TB or 2TB drives in it, depending on how much “usable” space you need

- Move the following folders to that array:

o Application software

o Game installs

o Media

- RAID 5 means that should you lose any drive, the data will still be intact. So, you could lose 1 out of 5 drives and still not lose your data.

2. Array 2 = RAID 1

- Create a RAID 1 array, meaning that the drives will be mirrored in real time

- Unless you go with RAID 10, I’d suggest you just use 2 x 1TB drives for a total space of 1TB

- This array will host the following data:

o Windows installation / boot array

o Your personal data (photos etc)

- This means that you could lose either one of the two drives and still be able to go on with your business.

However, RAID is never an answer to having proper offsite backups, especially of your personal data (which I assume is irreplaceable such as photos). So what I am doing is I actually bought myself another hard drive, and installed it at a friend’s place. He did the same on my side. I created a truecrypt folder on my off-site drive, and every month or so make a full backup of all my photos and stuff (also around 400GB) and he does the same to his photos onto the drive I host for him. This means, that should my house burn down and all my drives are destroyed for instance, I still will not lose my photos.

I am just doing this offsite backup of mine manually every now and again (he stays about 3km away from me, so we just do it wirelessly) but I am using a program called “allwaysync” to keep my USB drive’s data synced / backed-up between various pc’s.

Anyevent, I am sure somebody else will give you other suggestions.

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