Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17
  1. #1
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,680
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Moderators: If this should go in General Windows Solutions or elsewhere, please move accordingly.

    First the question:
    I'm looking for the best way to recover from a crashed hard drive or crashed system with the least amount of down time and obviously no data loss??

    Fortunately, I'm in a position to set this system up correctly from the start. I just completed building a new system. The new system has three hard drives: 80GB, 750GB, and a 1TB. I will install Win7 Home Premium (64Bit) as soon as I can get my hands on it, probably the 22nd of October.

    I don't mind installing additional hard drives if I were convinced it would help. I have on-board RAID capability but I just hate RAID from a previous bad experience... I also have an external 1TB USB drive and an internal 350GB HD at my disposal.

    My thoughts:
    I intend to install the operating system on the 80GB drive. Use the 750 for all other applications and data. Use some type of duplicating software to dupe the 750 to the 1TB. I figure I'm covered no matter what happens to the PC (except fire or theft). If the operating system goes awry, I can just replace the 80GB and reinstall Win7. If the 750 goes, i go everything backed up to the 1TB. If the 1TB goes first, I'll replace it and use the new one as before.

    I use my system for work (MS Office) and I also have years of family files (pictures and MP3s). Not so much videos. I am open to any and all suggestions in regards to general setup, software, etc. Your ideas would be much appreciated.
    - Ricky

  2. #2
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    A cultural area in SW England
    Posts
    3,413
    Thanks
    33
    Thanked 195 Times in 175 Posts
    [quote name='Tricky' post='797413' date='12-Oct-2009 05:51'][/quote]
    I would suggest That you look at either Shadow Protect or Acronis TrueImage, both of which have their adherents on these forums!
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Silicon Valley, USA
    Posts
    23,112
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 93 Times in 89 Posts
    [quote name='Tricky' post='797413' date='11-Oct-2009 21:51']I'm looking for the best way to recover from a crashed hard drive or crashed system with the least amount of down time and obviously no data loss??[/quote]
    Is this question hypothetical, or do you actually have a crashed system now??

    I do think this is not a Security/Backup question, but I'm not sure whether it is a hardware question or an OS question. Or something else.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    10,550
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by jscher2000' post='797418 View Post
    I intend to install the operating system on the 80GB drive. Use the 750 for all other applications and data. Use some type of duplicating software to dupe the 750 to the 1TB. I figure I'm covered no matter what happens to the PC (except fire or theft). If the operating system goes awry, I can just replace the 80GB and reinstall Win7. If the 750 goes, i go everything backed up to the 1TB. If the 1TB goes first, I'll replace it and use the new one as before.
    This won't work well as almost every application will have critical components on the operating system drive, for example registry entries or DLLs. When you restore the operating sysetm disk you will have to reinstall all your applications to get this right.

    My preferred approach would be to use one drive for your operating system and applications, and a second drive for all your data.
    • I wouldn't bother installing the 80GB drive.
    • Create two partitions on the 750GB drive, one for software and one for data.
    • Use a third party backup programme to do regular backups of both partitions to the 1TB drive.
    • Make sure you keep more than one generation of backups, sometimes you discover that an important file has been deleted or corrupted days or even weeks after the event.

  5. #5
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,572
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,057 Times in 926 Posts
    [quote name='Tricky' post='797413' date='11-Oct-2009 23:51']I intend to install the operating system on the 80GB drive. Use the 750 for all other applications and data. Use some type of duplicating software to dupe the 750 to the 1TB. I figure I'm covered no matter what happens to the PC (except fire or theft). If the operating system goes awry, I can just replace the 80GB and reinstall Win7. If the 750 goes, i go everything backed up to the 1TB. If the 1TB goes first, I'll replace it and use the new one as before.[/quote]

    I recommend that you install the OS & Programs on the 80GB drive. For the reasons Stuart stated you need to install the programs on the same partition as the OS for easy recovery. I'd use the 750GB drive for data only. That way if you have a hardware disk drive problem you'll only have to recover either the OS or the data.

    Use an imaging program to backup both the OS & data partitions. Periodically, backup the OS parition again keeping however many copies as required to make you feel comfortable. Backup the data partition regularly. Once again as frequently as necessary to make you feel comfortable.

    Also, on a regular basis copy the backups to an external drive.

    If you have a spare PC or spare $$$ if you want to buy an OEM version, you should check out Windows Home Server media server, backup and data recovery solution. It is easy to setup, and easy to use.
    Joe
    Joe

  6. #6
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,680
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    [quote name='StuartR' post='797423' date='12-Oct-2009 01:34']My preferred approach would be to use one drive for your operating system and applications, and a second drive for all your data.[/quote]

    This makes sense to me. Should've realized that the Win7 and the various applications would need to be kept together. That certainly makes the 80GB drive a bit obsolete.

    I still have the 350GB I could use for the OS and apps. That may make it less necessary to split up the 750. Any thoughts about using the 80 for the swap file (or whatever the Win7 version of it is called)?

    Thanks for your input; much appreciated.
    - Ricky

  7. #7
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,680
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    [quote name='jscher2000' post='797418' date='12-Oct-2009 00:14']Is this question hypothetical, or do you actually have a crashed system now??

    I do think this is not a Security/Backup question, but I'm not sure whether it is a hardware question or an OS question. Or something else.[/quote]

    Hey Jefferson. I do not have a crashed system. Just a newly built system that I want to setup properly. It will be another week or so before I even install the operating system. The question I had was primarily about backing up the system so I probably picked the correct forum. Although, I expected a fair amount of advice regarding the makeup of the PC, which could have made it a candidate for the hardware forum.

    Thanks,
    - Ricky

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    10,550
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    [quote name='Tricky' post='797819' date='14-Oct-2009 07:13']Any thoughts about using the 80 for the swap file (or whatever the Win7 version of it is called)?[/quote]
    I wouldn't bother. If you are swapping so much that this makes a difference then you should add more memory.

  9. #9
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,680
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    [quote name='BATcher' post='797417' date='12-Oct-2009 00:14']I would suggest That you look at either Shadow Protect or Acronis TrueImage, both of which have their adherents on these forums![/quote]

    I expected Acronis and/or Norton Ghost to be recommended. I know Big Al is a real fan of Acronis and I've tried to follow along several of the older posts to learn more about the nuts and bolts of the software. What I've gathered is that such products create an "image" file, that by itself, is fairly useless. And that worries me...

    In advance, I know I'm probably wrong about Acronis and Ghost - but,
    Assuming I have a drive containing the OS and all the applications (including Acronis), another drive containing data, and a third drive that maintains the "images" of the first two. If the data drive were to crash, then I could replace the drive and restore the data from the image file (simple enough). But if the OS drive were to crash, the image file would be of little use without Acronis to do the decoding.

    Just don't see how I could use an image file to restore the drive containing the operating system and all the apps. Not arguing; just thinking out loud. Probably boils down to my lack of understanding how the programs are intended to be used.

    Up to now, the only backup software I've ever used is Karenware Replicator (just to maintain backups of the My Documents folder.
    - Ricky

  10. #10
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,680
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    [quote name='StuartR' post='797822' date='14-Oct-2009 01:33']I wouldn't bother. If you are swapping so much that this makes a difference then you should add more memory.[/quote]

    Thanks. I'm installing the 64bit OS for just that reason; so I could up the memory to 12GB. I will follow your advice and remove the 80GB drive and keep the OS, apps and swap file altogether on one drive.
    - Ricky

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    10,550
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    [quote name='Tricky' post='797823' date='14-Oct-2009 07:40']...
    In advance, I know I'm probably wrong about Acronis and Ghost - but,
    Assuming I have a drive containing the OS and all the applications (including Acronis), another drive containing data, and a third drive that maintains the "images" of the first two. If the data drive were to crash, then I could replace the drive and restore the data from the image file (simple enough). But if the OS drive were to crash, the image file would be of little use without Acronis to do the decoding.
    ...[/quote]
    Acronis TrueImage has a bootable CD that can do a recovery. I assume Shadow Protect does something similar.
    You can also access individual files in an image, if you want to get a copy of an old version of a file.

  12. #12
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    12,107
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    [quote name='Tricky' post='797823' date='14-Oct-2009 02:40']... What I've gathered is that such products create an "image" file, that by itself, is fairly useless. And that worries me...[/quote]
    You haven't "followed" my behavior closely enough ( ) for I left True Image some time ago. I use Shadow Protect - would never use Ghost. Both True Image and Shadow Protect function in a similar way and, as Stuart said, both create a bootable CD from which you can recover ANY file from an image, on up to a full restore, including the OS. Yes, the image by itself is useless, but that's true of most backup application software, with the possible exception of file-by-file software like Replicator. Even then, in a substantial crash, you'd have to install the OS before you could retrieve anything from such a backup.

    You're right in that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend an imaging program and have used that image too many times to recall, for both single file recovery AND full restores.

    Good luck, whatever you decide!

  13. #13
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,572
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,057 Times in 926 Posts
    [quote name='Tricky' post='797819' date='14-Oct-2009 01:13']This makes sense to me. Should've realized that the Win7 and the various applications would need to be kept together. That certainly makes the 80GB drive a bit obsolete.

    I still have the 350GB I could use for the OS and apps. That may make it less necessary to split up the 750. Any thoughts about using the 80 for the swap file (or whatever the Win7 version of it is called)?

    Thanks for your input; much appreciated.[/quote]

    Unless you have a tremendous amount of applications the 80GB drive should be plenty for the OS & application installs. The one thing you want make sure of is that the OS is installed on one of your better performing drives. It is the drive that will be accessed the most.

    NOTE: I would keep any application setup/installation files on a separate drive - your data drive perhaps.

    Joe
    Joe

  14. #14
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,572
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,057 Times in 926 Posts
    [quote name='Tricky' post='797823' date='14-Oct-2009 01:40']In advance, I know I'm probably wrong about Acronis and Ghost - but,
    Assuming I have a drive containing the OS and all the applications (including Acronis), another drive containing data, and a third drive that maintains the "images" of the first two. If the data drive were to crash, then I could replace the drive and restore the data from the image file (simple enough). But if the OS drive were to crash, the image file would be of little use without Acronis to do the decoding.[/quote]

    If you have a spare PC or spare $$$ if you want to buy an OEM version, you should check out Windows Home Server media server, backup and data recovery solution. It is easy to setup, and easy to use.

    Once you install the WHS agent, WHS will backup all the PCs automatically according to the rules you setup. There are quite a few free addins to enhance the WHS functionality.

    With any backup solution you choose be sure to periodically copy your backups to an external drive that you keep in a safe place. You get to define the time period in "periodically" and the safe place.

    Joe
    Joe

  15. #15
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    84,353
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 29 Times in 29 Posts
    [quote name='joeperez' post='797884' date='14-Oct-2009 15:39']Unless you have a tremendous amount of applications the 80GB drive should be plenty for the OS & application installs.[/quote]
    If you play a lot of computer games, your disk can fill up suprisingly fast - it's not unusual for a game to take up 10-15 GB!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •