Question Cloning a Raid 1 Drive

capd72

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Hi, I have build a PC 4 years ago and I have a Raid1 Drive with 2 x WD 500GB hard drives, wich I use for software storage (where I install all my software), and it is kind of slow for some photo/video edition or 3d modeling.

So I would like to add a Pcie Nvme M.2 card and create a new Raid1 volume with 2 x Samsung 970 pro 512 GB, in order move all my programs I have already installed in the old raid1 volume, so those programs would work faster in the new Nvme M.2 Raid 1Drive.

I have cloned my Windows 10 OS Drive many times, but I do not know if I can clone a Raid1 drive into another Raid Drive, specially when there are folder paths to programs installed and that folder path might chage if the new Raid1 drive appears with another Drive letter.

I use Total BackUP for cloning my OS drive.

So, anyone know if is it possible to clone a drive with software installed to another drive?

Thanks!
 

Grobe

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If you had said HW raid I would have had a suggestion on software to perform cloning.

In your situation, the RAID is bounded into windows, so you probably need to run that particular windows installation to be able to access the drive.

So what I suggest is that you - when running both raid sets siultaneously and in Windows safe mode - copy all files from the old raid set to the new raid set.
Then use Disk management to remove the drive letter from old raid set and assign that same drive letter to the new raid set (all while running in safe mode).

Then you shut down the computer, removing the old raid set and turn it back on again...
 

capd72

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If you had said HW raid I would have had a suggestion on software to perform cloning.
I think it is a HW Raid as I have a Gigabyte GA Sniper 1 motherboard and it uses the marvell chip to do the Raid in the SATA ports, but I do not know if that is what you sugest as HW Raid. Can I still do a software cloning?

In fact I use the Raid application in the BIOS to create and manage the Raid volumes, is that a HW raid?
 
Hi, I have build a PC 4 years ago and I have a Raid1 Drive with 2 x WD 500GB hard drives, wich I use for software storage (where I install all my software), and it is kind of slow for some photo/video edition or 3d modeling.
I have to ask - why are you using RAID 1?

The point of RAID 1 is reliability. Even if a drive dies, your system still works. So there's little point running RAID 1 unless it's your OS drive. It doesn't sound like your OS drive is RAID 1. Using RAID 1 for just your programs or data doesn't help - your system can still go down (making the programs and data inaccessible) if the OS drive dies.

A lot of people have the mistaken belief that RAID 1 saves you from having to make backups. RAID is not a backup. If you accidentally delete or overwrite a file in RAID 1, the file is immediately deleted or overwritten from both drives. So even if you run RAID 1, you still need to be making backups.

If the goal for this system is zero downtime, then you want to use hardware RAID 1 to allow you to install and boot Windows from the RAID array. This will likely necessitate a complete reinstall of Windows, since cloning to a RAID boot drive typically doesn't work. Your boot environment has the RAID drivers to access the RAID 1 array you wish to boot from. Most cloning tools don't have a way for you to load the RAID drivers, so you won't be able to clone to the RAID array..

If downtime is acceptable, then just install everything onto a single drive, and make backups religiously to protect your data.
 

USAFRet

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For a non-OS drive, you do not need to clone anything at all.
A simple copy/paste of the data to some other drive works just as well.

And I absolutely agree with the above comments regarding RAID 1. There are much better ways to protect your data.
 

capd72

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I have to ask - why are you using RAID 1?

The point of RAID 1 is reliability. Even if a drive dies, your system still works. So there's little point running RAID 1 unless it's your OS drive. It doesn't sound like your OS drive is RAID 1. Using RAID 1 for just your programs or data doesn't help - your system can still go down (making the programs and data inaccessible) if the OS drive dies.

A lot of people have the mistaken belief that RAID 1 saves you from having to make backups. RAID is not a backup. If you accidentally delete or overwrite a file in RAID 1, the file is immediately deleted or overwritten from both drives. So even if you run RAID 1, you still need to be making backups.

If the goal for this system is zero downtime, then you want to use hardware RAID 1 to allow you to install and boot Windows from the RAID array. This will likely necessitate a complete reinstall of Windows, since cloning to a RAID boot drive typically doesn't work. Your boot environment has the RAID drivers to access the RAID 1 array you wish to boot from. Most cloning tools don't have a way for you to load the RAID drivers, so you won't be able to clone to the RAID array..

If downtime is acceptable, then just install everything onto a single drive, and make backups religiously to protect your data.
Well, the way I think is that following advices of having an SSD as an OS drive, the SSD's are very small in capacity o better say very expensive for a large capacity, so I choose a 256 GB SSD for my Windows 10 OS Drive.

Then, that is a very small drive for sofftware, so I installed a second drive for everithing else, software and user data. I did it in Raid 1 because that is better than not having Raid 1 at all.

I DO NOT BACK UP MY OS DRIVE, as I clone it regularly to a second drive wich is permanetly connnected into the machine, so it always has a "C.\" Drive and a "A:\" Drive, so if the Windows 10 OS "C:\" drive fails. I have a Clone ready for use. I just neet to turn the PC off, take the failed drive out and turn on the PC again, and the PC will boot from the Cloned drive and it will apears as a "C:\" Drive now. I have done it thousand times! as a test. This is betrter that installing a backup wich is a terrible slow task and some times fails!!!

I do not Back Up programs because it is not necesary, Raid 1 is enough if a drive fails, and if everything else fails which is not that common, I have the instalation programs to reinstall everything again, so it is not big deal.

BUT I SAVE A LOT OF TIME IN BAKUP TIME as I have a lot of programs and backups will take a lot of time, not saying reinstalling a backup.

I just chage my 120 GB OS drive to a 256 GB and it tooks like 5 minutes after the cloning. So NO BACK UPs better Cloning.
 

capd72

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For a non-OS drive, you do not need to clone anything at all.
A simple copy/paste of the data to some other drive works just as well.

And I absolutely agree with the above comments regarding RAID 1. There are much better ways to protect your data.
...but programs are subject to paths stored it the OC Drive, so if I move a program from one drive to another, porbably the OS will never find it. For data is ok but programs must be more complicated.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
...but programs are subject to paths stored it the OC Drive, so if I move a program from one drive to another, porbably the OS will never find it. For data is ok but programs must be more complicated.
If you're copying ALL of it, no problem. And with a clone, it would have been all of it.
Just swap drive letters around so that the new drive has the same drive letter as the previous drive.

Trying to move individual programs...now THAT is an issue.
Don't go down that path.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Well, the way I think is that following advices of having an SSD as an OS drive, the SSD's are very small in capacity o better say very expensive for a large capacity, so I choose a 256 GB SSD for my Windows 10 OS Drive.

Then, that is a very small drive for sofftware, so I installed a second drive for everithing else, software and user data. I did it in Raid 1 because that is better than not having Raid 1 at all.

I DO NOT BACK UP MY OS DRIVE, as I clone it regularly to a second drive wich is permanetly connnected into the machine, so it always has a "C.\" Drive and a "A:\" Drive, so if the Windows 10 OS "C:\" drive fails. I have a Clone ready for use. I just neet to turn the PC off, take the failed drive out and turn on the PC again, and the PC will boot from the Cloned drive and it will apears as a "C:\" Drive now. I have done it thousand times! as a test. This is betrter that installing a backup wich is a terrible slow task and some times fails!!!

I do not Back Up programs because it is not necesary, Raid 1 is enough if a drive fails, and if everything else fails which is not that common, I have the instalation programs to reinstall everything again, so it is not big deal.

BUT I SAVE A LOT OF TIME IN BAKUP TIME as I have a lot of programs and backups will take a lot of time, not saying reinstalling a backup.

I just chage my 120 GB OS drive to a 256 GB and it tooks like 5 minutes after the cloning. So NO BACK UPs better Cloning.
A RAID 1 only wards off a physical drive fail.
It does nothing for all the other forms of data loss. Virus, accidental deletion, other corruption...
A RAID 1 is presented to the OS and user as a single item.

A full clone as a backup? Sure, if you only have one or two drives.
My current system has 6x drives, all SSDs. A full Clone for each of those would take another 6 drives. That's not happening.
Time it takes for backups? Minimal. A Full drive image every 14 days, and Incremental images every day in between. The daily incrementals take only a minute or two.
And that is all automated. Happens every night between 1AM and 4AM.

And with the proper software, you can go back in time. I can retrieve a single file from "last Tuesday" if needed. Or a full backup from 2 days ago, before the massive virus attack.
A clone is only a single snapshot in time.

But, good on ya for even doing what you're doing. Far too many people don't do anything.
If your procedure works for you, great. It wouldn't work for me.

 
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capd72

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If you're copying ALL of it, no problem. And with a clone, it would have been all of it.
Just swap drive letters around so that the new drive has the same drive letter as the previous drive.

Trying to move individual programs...now THAT is an issue.
Don't go down that path.
...ok yes, sounds logical, clone my software-installed drive, then change the drive letter of the destinaton drive for the one in the origination one, in computer management. I would neet to change, first the drive letter in the Originating drive, so I can reuse that letter in the destination drive.

...sounds ok, but I do not trust windows. But it is an option.
 

capd72

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A RAID 1 only wards off a physical drive fail.
It does nothing for all the other forms of data loss. Virus, accidental deletion, other corruption...
A RAID 1 is presented to the OS and user as a single item.

A full clone as a backup? Sure, if you only have one or two drives.
My current system has 6x drives, all SSDs. A full Clone for each of those would take another 6 drives. That's not happening.
Time it takes for backups? Minimal. A Full drive image every 14 days, and Incremental images every day in between. The daily incrementals take only a minute or two.
And that is all automated. Happens every night between 1AM and 4AM.

And with the proper software, you can go back in time. I can retrieve a single file from "last Tuesday" if needed. Or a full backup from 2 days ago, before the massive virus attack.
A clone is only a single snapshot in time.

But, good on ya for even doing what you're doing. Far too many people don't do anything.
If your procedure works for you, great. It wouldn't work for me.

I think that when you can handle Backup configuration 100% and understand how it works as you say, it is clear it is the best option, but the reality for most users is that we do not hadle back up cofiguration at 100%, in my case the incremental backhup sounds great but I do not know how to do it, and as me there is most of everybody.

On the contrary Cloning is super simple! ....I know about back up decades ago and I have never done one I have tried but never done it satisfactorily, but I just knew about clonning the OS drive 2 year ago and I am doing it since then on a regular basis. It was very easy to learn.

Backup seems like a nighmare. Beside I can always test my cloned drive every time I want, to se if it is working. Instead of backup that you can not test your backup unless you restore your PC wich is kind of crazy. Then if theres is something wrong with your backup, you will never know until you need it and then you can be in a problem!.

As with many things, some times people does what it is more convenient instead of the best thing to do.
 

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