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  #1  
Old 01-31-2013, 10:36 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Automatic system drive backup and restore software

I use WHS (currently v1 but moving to 2011) to backup all of my PCs, including my SageTV server. I have had to restore my Sage system drive a few times so this has been very helpful, but it probably takes close to an hour to do the full process.

Is there some software available that will not only backup your drive but also restore it to an alternate drive automatically on a regular (ie daily) basis? In other words Sage will be running on SSD-1 and I would like to clone SSD-1 to SSD-2 in the background at 4am every day and have SSD-2 ready to be the system boot drive on a moment's notice.

That way restoring your system should take less than 5 mins as you just have to (at worst) change the boot order of your hard drives and you are good to go.
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2013, 03:54 AM
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Acronis TrueImage, it takes a bit longer than 5 mins. You can set a schedule backup to backup the whole C drive to a file. And if you need restore, you can boot off a disc that runs Trueimage, then select your backup file, and restore it to whatever harddrive you want. It should take like 15-20 mins depending on the size of your C drive.
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Last edited by mayamaniac; 02-01-2013 at 03:58 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2013, 06:33 AM
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http://lifehacker.com/5839753/the-be...pp-for-windows

Apparently Drive Image XML will "Live Clone" while you work to another drive.
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2013, 07:19 AM
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Confirmed. I just tested the Drive to Drive function of DriveImageXML, and it cloned live. One note, make sure you create a parition on your target drive before you launch DriveImage, and make the partition active before you try to boot off it. You can even schedule jobs, so that might be useful.
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2013, 06:11 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Acronis True Image is ow different than WHS. it does the backup but you still have to go ahead and do the restore.

DiveImageXML sounds more like whati am looking for, assuming it can be automated.
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  #6  
Old 02-02-2013, 05:56 PM
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Wayner, once you get this up and running, I'd be interested to hear a follow-up. There are not a lot of options for live cloning like that, and I have to assume somewhere in your setup of this hardware that you will run a fire drill to see if that second (clone) hard drive boots up on its own.
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  #7  
Old 02-02-2013, 06:00 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Will do, I don't know if this will happen in the short term as my technology to-do list is pretty long and this is a nice-to-have that is a little bit down the priority list.
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  #8  
Old 02-02-2013, 06:30 PM
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Myself, I'm a little concerned about the testing of the backup hard drive, and how touchy Win7 activation has been for me lately. I changed a couple hard drives out of my Sage system the other day, leaving the OS hard drive entirely unchanged, and I ended up having to do a live person phone activation (Win7 family 3-pack update install).
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  #9  
Old 02-02-2013, 07:15 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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I have actually restored my Sage server at least 5 times without having activation issues and I have also restored other PCs without issue - all using WHS backups/restores. I also have a 3 pack upgrade but I can't say for sure that one of those systems have been restored
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Old Server - Sage7 on Win7Pro-i660CPU with 4.6TB, HD-PVR, HDHR OTA, HVR-1850 OTA
Clients - 2xHD-300, 8xHD-200 Extenders, Client+2xPlaceshifter and a WHS which acts as a backup Sage server
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  #10  
Old 02-02-2013, 07:42 PM
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Are you restoring to the same hard drive/hardware configuration?
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  #11  
Old 02-02-2013, 07:49 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Not the same hard drive but everything else in the system is the same. I have swithced back and forth between two or three SSDs and also at least one mechanical hard drive, at least in my Sage server.
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Old Server - Sage7 on Win7Pro-i660CPU with 4.6TB, HD-PVR, HDHR OTA, HVR-1850 OTA
Clients - 2xHD-300, 8xHD-200 Extenders, Client+2xPlaceshifter and a WHS which acts as a backup Sage server
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2013, 09:10 PM
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That activation (for those family 3-paks) has been a real pain in the butt. After Internet activation failed, it failed again with the automated phone system, but not before it asked me how many computers I had this license installed on. When I replied, "Two," the computer system said, "this license can only be installed on one computer, goodbye," and hung up.

I ended up having to call a third time to get a human being. What a Microsoft fiasco.
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  #13  
Old 02-04-2013, 11:31 AM
will will is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
In other words Sage will be running on SSD-1 and I would like to clone SSD-1 to SSD-2 in the background at 4am every day and have SSD-2 ready to be the system boot drive on a moment's notice.
It sounds like you would want a RAID 1. A RAID 1 creates a continuous "copy" of drive 1 to drive 2. It isn't done at a certain time but as the data is written to drive 1.

If drive 1 fails the system will still boot from drive 2. Once you replace the failed drive the system should automatically rebuild the RAID array.

I'm not positive, but I believe WHS supports a software RAID 1. If not, your MB might support it or you could always purchase a dedicated card.

Otherwise, I would also recommend Acronis. I use that for my system backups.
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OS: Windows 7
Hardware: Intel Core i7-920 with 12GB RAM & an Adaptec 5805 with a Chenbro 36-port SAS Expander
Case: Antec 1200 with 4 iStarUSA trayless hot-swap cages (20 drives max)
Drives: 8 Toshiba/Hitachi 2TB drives in a RAID 6 & 7 Toshiba 3TB drives in a RAID 6
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  #14  
Old 02-05-2013, 09:39 AM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will View Post
It sounds like you would want a RAID 1. A RAID 1 creates a continuous "copy" of drive 1 to drive 2. It isn't done at a certain time but as the data is written to drive 1.

If drive 1 fails the system will still boot from drive 2. Once you replace the failed drive the system should automatically rebuild the RAID array.

I'm not positive, but I believe WHS supports a software RAID 1. If not, your MB might support it or you could always purchase a dedicated card.

Otherwise, I would also recommend Acronis. I use that for my system backups.
Only thing about RAID and SSD's is that most SSD's will loose TRIM functionality if they are in a RAID array. There are newer drives that will maintain TRIM when in RAID, so if that's the route you choose, then get one of those drives.
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  #15  
Old 02-05-2013, 11:00 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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Is there any downside to using RAID1 on my Sage system disk? Does it slow performance at all?

I just bought 2x120 GB Samsung 840 (not 840 Pro, just 840) SSDs - would these work well in a RAID 1 config?
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New Server - Sage9 on unRAID 2xHD-PVR, HDHR for OTA
Old Server - Sage7 on Win7Pro-i660CPU with 4.6TB, HD-PVR, HDHR OTA, HVR-1850 OTA
Clients - 2xHD-300, 8xHD-200 Extenders, Client+2xPlaceshifter and a WHS which acts as a backup Sage server
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  #16  
Old 02-05-2013, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
Is there any downside to using RAID1 on my Sage system disk? Does it slow performance at all?

I just bought 2x120 GB Samsung 840 (not 840 Pro, just 840) SSDs - would these work well in a RAID 1 config?
No, you probably won't notice a performance difference in speed. I didn't bring up the Raid1 option on my first post because it sounded like you wanted to be able to go back to your last good backup pretty quickly. The one thing a software mirror cannot save you on is if you mess up something in your install or the OS. If all you care about is the OS drive failing, then, yes RAID1 is the way to go.
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  #17  
Old 02-05-2013, 09:23 PM
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The only issue that I ever had with RAID1 (on motherboard feature) was that if the system ever had an abnormal shutdown/restart, the RAID would do a verification on restart, which took about 20 or 30 minutes as I recall on those older 1TB spindle drives. Maybe there is a way to disable the verification on startup, but I never found it.
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  #18  
Old 02-06-2013, 08:36 AM
will will is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejaner View Post
I didn't bring up the Raid1 option on my first post because it sounded like you wanted to be able to go back to your last good backup pretty quickly. The one thing a software mirror cannot save you on is if you mess up something in your install or the OS. If all you care about is the OS drive failing, then, yes RAID1 is the way to go.
That is a great point. Any system admin will stress that a RAID is not a replacement for a backup.

I would recommend going with the RAID 1 to guarantee maximum up-time but still use Acronis to create a differential image every night.
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OS: Windows 7
Hardware: Intel Core i7-920 with 12GB RAM & an Adaptec 5805 with a Chenbro 36-port SAS Expander
Case: Antec 1200 with 4 iStarUSA trayless hot-swap cages (20 drives max)
Drives: 8 Toshiba/Hitachi 2TB drives in a RAID 6 & 7 Toshiba 3TB drives in a RAID 6
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  #19  
Old 02-13-2013, 11:18 AM
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Protoman Protoman is offline
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will is correct. RAID is not backup! The main reason being is that you are unable to go back to a known good file if it is changed on a RAID, since changes are made in real-time. All it would take for the system to go belly up is one bad firmware update or OS update, or accidental deletion of a file.



I wanted to throw my hat in the mix, because I am the go to guy for backups at my company, and wanted to give my advice on backups for at home.

For files and folders that I deem important, like photos, home videos, and documents. I have implemented a 3-2-1 Backup strategy. 3 copies of the files, 2 different media types for the copies, and 1 of those copies off-site (encrypted of course). How I have done this is using an application called SyncBack. I have it setup to sync my NAS and my Server at certain times throughout the day. Every night my Server backups to an external hard drive. If need be I can take the external drive with me. Periodically, once a month or quarterly, I burn a Blu-Ray disk that is put into a Safe Deposit Box in a completely different county (about 15 miles away).

For system backups or migration to different disk, I use a product called Drive Snapshot (http://www.drivesnapshot.de/en/) that I paid a reasonable price for. It does a live backup on a running Windows system fairly quickly and even allows restoration of individual files within that disk image. I have also used True Image as well, just not as extensively.

Now with my soapbox speech out of the way...

The aforementioned software Drive Snapshot could perform a restore on a drive at what time you wish. The reason being is that you would use Task Scheduler to configure it to do that.


Code:
Snapshot V1.40 - Aug 18 2011 - Copyright 2001-2011 by www.drivesnapshot.de

[backup a volume]
  Snapshot C: X:\C-DRIVE.sna
         -A    - save ALL sectors, ignore free cluster info (maintenance)
         -L650 - Limit resulting imagesize to 650MB (CDROM size)
         -T    - Test generated image file (verify correct checksums)
         -W    - suppress <Hit any key> if started from scheduler
         -R    - Empty Recycle Bin for this drive before Backup
         -G    - Graphical status display for command line mode
         -PW=MyPassword    (also used for restore and viewing)
         -C="My comment" add a comment to the image
         -o[path][filename]  generate hash file with name "path\filename"
         -o    - don't generate hash file
         -h<HashFile> make a differential image

[backup multiple volumes and drives without drive letters]
  Snapshot C:+D:+HD1:3 X:\$disk-DRIVE.sna
          HD1:3 is the third partition on the first disk
          HD1:* can be used to backup all partitions on the first disk



Options for command line substitutions
Possible values for substitution are:
         $disk  is substituted with the drive letter
         $date  results in 050131 which represents January 31 2005
 $computername  is substituted with the computername
         $type  results in "dif" or "ful" for differential or full image
      $weekday  is substituted with the first two characters of the Weekday
         $year  is substituted with the year (4 digits)
        $month  is substituted with the month (2 digits)
          $day  is substituted with the day of the month (2 digits)
         $hour  is substituted with the hour
       $minute  is substituted with the minute
       $second  is substituted with the second

[restore a volume]
  Snapshot X:\C-DRIVE.sna C:

[view a saved file]
  Snapshot X:\C.sna Z: -V
       explores X:\C.sna as virtual drive Z: (-VM for mount only)
       (-VQ for mount only and wait for event. Use --unmount to terminate)

[generate a new hash file from a full image]
  Snapshot X:\C.sna -h<HashFileName>

[info about a file]  Snapshot X:\C-DRIVE.sna    -I
[partition info   ]  Snapshot X:\C-DRIVE.sna    -P
[validate  file   ]  Snapshot X:\C-DRIVE.sna    -T

hit ANY Key to continue

Sorry for my long windiness but this is a topic I am fairly passionate about.

Hope this helps,
Protoman
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  #20  
Old 02-13-2013, 02:32 PM
will will is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protoman View Post
For files and folders that I deem important, like photos, home videos, and documents. I have implemented a 3-2-1 Backup strategy. 3 copies of the files, 2 different media types for the copies, and 1 of those copies off-site (encrypted of course). How I have done this is using an application called SyncBack. I have it setup to sync my NAS and my Server at certain times throughout the day. Every night my Server backups to an external hard drive. If need be I can take the external drive with me. Periodically, once a month or quarterly, I burn a Blu-Ray disk that is put into a Safe Deposit Box in a completely different county (about 15 miles away).
I have a similar backup regimen for my important files.

Documents, photos, music, etc. are stored on my main PC on a 2TB drive in a RAID 1. Every night those folders sync to my main server and are stored on RAID 5. The server then syncs the files to the cloud using CrashPlan. CrashPlan enables me to keep an unlimited number of versions of each file (even files that are deleted) so I can always restore versions.

I also sync the most current version of my files to a secondary server at a family member's house 60 miles away over a VPN connection. I do this as a backup to my backup and if I had a catastrophic loss it would be a lot faster to restore from a local backup I can pickup than re-download 300gb of files from the internet.

Finally, all these processes run automatically every night and I wrote a script that sends me an email report with verification for everything (including hash file compares for uploads).

It is a pretty good system and I haven't lost a file since implementing it.
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OS: Windows 7
Hardware: Intel Core i7-920 with 12GB RAM & an Adaptec 5805 with a Chenbro 36-port SAS Expander
Case: Antec 1200 with 4 iStarUSA trayless hot-swap cages (20 drives max)
Drives: 8 Toshiba/Hitachi 2TB drives in a RAID 6 & 7 Toshiba 3TB drives in a RAID 6
Capture Cards: HDHomeRun Connect Quatro 4, Hauppauge 60 HD-PVR
Players: 5 HD300s, 2 HD200s
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