Question Backup Strategy Needed Following Hard Drive Crash

jblackmd

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I had a crash earlier in the week. I didn't think it would be a big deal since I had an image of the disc from May and I run the hourly file backup through Win 10. For whatever reason, Win 10 would not read the image backup, and I tried everything I could think of. What I ended up doing was reinstall Windows, and then restore all of the files. Of course then I had to reinstall all the programs. After it was all done, I did a fresh image save. So here's my question:

Given the issues that I had with the image back up, I wanted a quicker solution. I ordered a second hard drive identical to the main drive: a 2 TB SSD. Through a bit of research, it appears that I can mirror this drive to the main drive, so if the main drive fails I could boot from the mirror. Please correct me if I am understanding this wrong. I figure that if the main drive dies mechanically, this would be a good option. But what if the main drive doesn't fail mechanically? This past crash seemed to be due to corruption of the OS. If I had a mirrored drive, would that corruption also be mirrored? If so, that may not be a good solution.

Finally, if there is a third party option do do what I am describing, I'm all ears. There are two things that I want:

  1. an up to date identical drive
  2. a reliable backup strategy that doesn't take two days to restore the computer to it's prior state.
 

USAFRet

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I use Macrium Reflect for exactly this.
Writing Images, either Full or Incremental or Differential, off to my NAS box.
Each drive, each system, every night. Or week as needed.

That could just as easily be to an external drive.

Recovery time?
Recovering 605GB data to a new 1TB SSD that replaced a dead one took an hour or two. Across a standard gigabit house LAN.
Not "2 days"...:)

My basic routine. (changed a little bit since I wrote this, but the same general concept)
 

jblackmd

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Ok. I have the trial version of macrium Reflect and I installed it on my two computers. I also bought a new hard drive for each computer, identical in size to each C: drive. I thought that the thing to do was have a cloned C; drive for each one so that I could get up and running faster in the event of a crash. I tried to clone each drive using Reflect. Unfortunately, those clones wouldn't boot. I then cloned each drive using the software recommended by Samsung for the Evo SSD, which both of the new drives are. Those clones booted perfectly and are in my top desk drawer in case of emergency.

As for what reflect is doing, for each computer I saved an image and every night it does it's differential/incremental thing.

I also made new images of each drive using Win 10.

I also on each computer have a second drive for files. Those are backed up by Win 10 hourly file backup.

Is there anything I forgot?
 

jblackmd

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You're already covered with this:
"As for what reflect is doing, for each computer I saved an image and every night it does it's differential/incremental thing. "

Just be 100% sure you actually know how to Recover with one of those.
Have you created a Macrium RescueUSB?

Yep. The Rescue USB is also in the drawer. As for being 100% sure, I won't know that until the day arrives when I need it.
 

USAFRet

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Yep. The Rescue USB is also in the drawer. As for being 100% sure, I won't know that until the day arrives when I need it.
Test before you need it. Having the NEED to do it, but never having done it before, often leads to clicking the wrong thing.
Practice practice practice.

If you have a spare blank drive around, try it, just to get familiar with the process.
You can wipe that drive after.
 

jblackmd

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Test before you need it. Having the NEED to do it, but never having done it before, often leads to clicking the wrong thing.
Practice practice practice.

If you have a spare blank drive around, try it, just to get familiar with the process.
You can wipe that drive after.
True. I'll see what I have lying around.
 

jblackmd

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True. I'll see what I have lying around.
Test before you need it. Having the NEED to do it, but never having done it before, often leads to clicking the wrong thing.
Practice practice practice.

If you have a spare blank drive around, try it, just to get familiar with the process.
You can wipe that drive after.
I did happen to have a spare 1 TB SSD, and I do see what you mean. For one thing, the choices following the USB boot are not intuitive. What I mean by that is it asks which image you want to restore, and it looks like one of the choices is the C: drive, which after I put the new one in didn't make sense as that drive was blank. What I expected to happen was to be given the choice of where the image from the C: drive was stored, but in actuality I guess they were asking if I wanted to restore the C: drive.

Anyway, once I figured that much out, the image restored in about 15 minutes perfectly. So this does look like a very solid backup plan, which I hope I won;t have to use too often.

Thanks!
 

USAFRet

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I did happen to have a spare 1 TB SSD, and I do see what you mean. For one thing, the choices following the USB boot are not intuitive. What I mean by that is it asks which image you want to restore, and it looks like one of the choices is the C: drive, which after I put the new one in didn't make sense as that drive was blank. What I expected to happen was to be given the choice of where the image from the C: drive was stored, but in actuality I guess they were asking if I wanted to restore the C: drive.

Anyway, once I figured that much out, the image restored in about 15 minutes perfectly. So this does look like a very solid backup plan, which I hope I won;t have to use too often.

Thanks!
Good deal.
This is why we test, before we need.
 

jblackmd

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Good deal.
This is why we test, before we need.
Good deal.
This is why we test, before we need.
Sure, I get that. I was pretty much going to rely on the cloned disks I have, and Macrium was going to be my second option. Seems like it ran faster than is possible. Now, before it restored it said that the drive would be overwritten. Are they talking about the blank drive I was testing on, or the USB drive containing the image?
 

USAFRet

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Sure, I get that. I was pretty much going to rely on the cloned disks I have, and Macrium was going to be my second option. Seems like it ran faster than is possible. Now, before it restored it said that the drive would be overwritten. Are they talking about the blank drive I was testing on, or the USB drive containing the image?
It overwrites the target drive. Not what it is reading the Image from.
 

jblackmd

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Of course, as I would have expected. Just noticing you have an ASRock board. I put one of those in my latest build, so I could see what all the fuss is about threadrippers. I still don't know. My earlier build is a 4790 on a Gigabyte Z97, and in some aspects it's a bit faster, but that may be an AMD thing. I'm not a huge fan of AMD. How do you like the board?
 

USAFRet

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Of course, as I would have expected. Just noticing you have an ASRock board. I put one of those in my latest build, so I could see what all the fuss is about threadrippers. I still don't know. My earlier build is a 4790 on a Gigabyte Z97, and in some aspects it's a bit faster, but that may be an AMD thing. I'm not a huge fan of AMD. How do you like the board?
My ASRock is just fine.
Probably replaced early next year with whatever uber thing is in the budget.
 

jblackmd

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My ASRock is just fine.
Probably replaced early next year with whatever uber thing is in the budget.
That's good. It has a pretty bare bones BIOS, but it works for me. Basically, I make graphic comics using Daz3D and Iray. I post them every day, which is why I needed a fast solution for disc failure. The computers are networked. I set the scene up on the 4790. All the AMD build does is render. It has two 2080Ti's and a 1080 Ti. Mighty fast rendering! The 4790 has two 1080 Ti's. That's the one whose drive failed.
 

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