Help with automated backup

onuit

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Hello,

I am sorry if this has already been asked. I searched and could not find a good solution. I currently have 2 identical SSDs and a regular HDD in my computer. I want to have the two solid SSDs be totally identical. If the one I boot from crashes I want to be able to pull it out and boot from the other one with the OS, programs, and data all still intact. My initial though was just do a RAID 1 so everything is on both all the time automatically. I read however that it is not a good idea to RAID SSDs because the system then loses support for "trim" and the system gets slow over time. The only two alternatives for an automated full backup I can think of are 1) Have a program that runs on a set schedule do a full bit by bit backup and 2) Have a program that runs on a schedule make an image of my machine, puts it on the regular HDD, and automatically "restores" it on the 2nd SSD. I would love to know if there is any software that can do this sort of thing and if so what you recommend. As previously mentioned I would love to be able to just pull the first one out and boot from the second without loss of OS, programs, or data.

Thank you guys for taking the time to help out and I look forward to your responses :)
 

chugot9218

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Depending on the MOBO I believe some do now support TRIM in RAID. It is actually quite easy to create your own automated backup script, there are many examples out there, this is not the best example I have seen and it may be a bit dated, as ROBOCOPY has replaced XCOPY which will be deprecated, but it is still a good run through on the process: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/back-up-important-files-with-this-simple-batch-file/ look up hard drive mirroring with a batch file if you want other examples.

This is a good site for info on batch files, which is what you would be using for my recommendation, and they include a small script and the descriptions of each parameter near the bottom that keeps one server drive mirrored to another: http://ss64.com/nt/robocopy.html
 

mbreslin1954

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Nov 27, 2010
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You don't say what operating system you are running, but Windows 7 and Windows 8 both have built-in backup software that will make a disk image of your system, and then incrementally back up on a daily basis (or whenever you want). In the event of a failure, you would have to boot up with a Wndows install disk or a restore disk, then restore your backup to the other SSD.

I personally use Acronis True Image to make system image backups. It works just like Windows Backup. You make an Acronis boot disk and, in the event of failure, you simply boot from their boot disk and restore your backup to the other SSD. Windows Backup is free, Acronis costs money (never pay full price for it, it frequently goes on sale at Newegg and elsewhere).
 

onuit

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Thanks for the reply! I have an Asus Sabertooth 990FX R2.0. If this supports TRIM in RAID that would be fantastic. How do I find out if this is supported? If it is not supported I will definitely check into these scripts. Thanks again!



 

onuit

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Thanks for the quick answer. I am running Windows 8. I am aware or the built in backup feature but have never actually used it. If I cannot figure out how to mirror the drives I will definitely check into this. I appreciate the advice.



 

onuit

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Well I just read that no AMD motherboards support TRIM in RAID :( but I also read that not having TRIM is not that big of a deal because they still do some garbage collecting and "healing" in the background. It said if you just log off overnight every few weeks it will "heal" itself. What is your guys' opinion of this? How bad would the performance be affected? How bad would it be to not have TRIM? Would it be better to just do RAID 1 and forget about it or pursue a different mirroring method?
 

Hawkeye22

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RAID is not a backup. Accidental file deletion and viruses will effect RAID in the same way it effects a single drive. Basically any error or corrupted file on one drive is mirrored to the other drive so that you now have two bad copies.

RAID is meant for redundancy so that if one drive fails, the system can continue to run. you will still need backups.
 

onuit

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Thank you for your input. I am aware that RAID 1 will transfer such errors. This is indeed what I wish to do. I also plan to do these backups and save them on my regular HDD. I keep important files on the solid state and plan to run a business from this computer. I want to mirror the SSD so if one fails I have essentially zero down time and can continue running my business from it. I will be doing the backup you mention to protect against things such as viruses and other error that you mention. I appreciate the advice :) How many backups would you 'guys suggest keeping? Can I tell the built in backup to delete backups after they are so many days old? Thanks again.



 

Hawkeye22

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Good, that is the proper use for RAID. I don't know of any backup software that removes old copies, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Some backup software will allow you to run pre/post commands so you could have it run a program after backing up that deletes old copies. It's your business so you need to feel comfortable with the number of backup copies to keep. I like to keep at least 3 backups. Also, backup software has a "verify" option that will verify the backup after creating it. This will increase the backup time, but I recommend it. It sucks to make a backup only to find out later that you are unable to restore it.
 

onuit

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Fantastic advice! I will just write a simple app to delete the oldest file in that directory and have that run after backup. I will also make sure to turn the verification on.
 

mbreslin1954

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With Acronis True Image you can tell the software how many copies to keep around. Initially it makes a full system image, then after that incremental or differential backups, and you can set it to just keep the last, say 10 backups.
 

onuit

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Thanks! I will definitely consider this.
 

Hawkeye22

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I too use Acronis true Image and have been very satisfied with it. I run a post process ( a .cmd file) that renames the backups with a more appropriate name.

 

onuit

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Does the post process have to be a .cmd file or can it be something else, like a .exe? Sorry if this is a dumb question. I am unfamiliar with the product.
 

mbreslin1954

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It can be anything you want, but who wants to write an EXE program if they don't have to? You obviously can run an EXE from a command prompt, or just a script (or BAT file) to rename files or whatever.
 
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