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Author Topic: Like a RAID copy but not...*tech problem*  (Read 203 times)

freemen2

Like a RAID copy but not...*tech problem*
« on: August 19, 2008, 08:22:58 am »
Hey folks,

Ok, years *music starts playing* back I had this idea to do this but just kept running into hard brick walls, anyways.

I want to have a working mirror copy (like RAID, but not) of my OS on another drive.
This copy is NOT an image, it is a bootable copy of what you just spent days setting-up, nearly having repeated nervous breakdowns and a couple, complete, meltdowns O.o

Now the main problem was/is(?) the fact that seeing the OS you want copied as it's drive letter (ie c:/) paw-prints all over the registry and protected files so it was just plain impossible...
Anyone know if know it is possible to do, now?

And, please, I don't want to hear about RAID LoL

Thanks in advance :)
 

Lareth

Re: Like a RAID copy but not...*tech problem*
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2008, 09:56:19 am »
Are you looking to just have a working snapshot / clone of the drive you set up, or do you want the data to replicate back and forth?

If you just want to have a clone of the drive you have a few options, use something like Norton's Ghost or Acronis to make an image of the primary drive.  You should be able to copy the image over using ghost / acronis and set up a backup drive that way.  

Another method is to just do a straight disk to disk copy, set your drives up using cable select (make sure that the drives are jumpered correctly for this) with drive you want to clone set as primary (on the cable).  Boot your pc, make sure that the secondary drive is recognised in the bios.  After the pc comes up start your image software, Ghost will present you with a source disk and a destination disk (I think acronis is similar to this also), select the source and destination and next to start the copy (Ghost will reboot the system and open a copy window showing the process).

If you want to replicate your data live - well that's the stuff you didn't want to hear about ;)
 

vgn

Re: Like a RAID copy but not...*tech problem*
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2008, 10:26:47 am »
Yes, Acronis is exactly what you want. Every time I set up a new system I snap an image with Acronis. If anything happens to my system, I can always start exactly where I was when I last finished it.

You can store images on internal drives, external drives, DVDs, etc.

Acronis also lets you update your image over time. So you can use it as a back up solution as well.

You can also "mount" an Acronis image if you want to just pull a few files off.
 

freemen2

Re: Like a RAID copy but not...*tech problem*
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2008, 05:09:39 pm »
Well not exactly what I want, vgn ;)  But it looks like it's either an image or I gotta go RAID and I ain't doing that *shrugs*

@ Lareth:

Nope it's just like I said, I was looking for a soft that would copy my OS onto my second drive and I could boot from that copy.

In anycase, thanks :)
 

vgn

Re: Like a RAID copy but not...*tech problem*
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2008, 05:35:28 pm »
Not sure why you would want to do what you just said, but you can still do it with Acronis. Just make your image and then write the image to the second drive. You can then boot that second drive if you want.
 

Lareth

Re: Like a RAID copy but not...*tech problem*
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2008, 06:56:02 pm »
Absolutely, like VGN says:  Use either acronis or ghost and copy to the second drive, you can boot from that one or the original.  Just remember, although it's referred to as an image, once it's deployed to a hard drive it basically is a fully functional clone copy of your original drive :)
 

freemen2

Re: Like a RAID copy but not...*tech problem*
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2008, 11:19:59 am »
Clone, image...maybe it's my fault for using the word copy *frowns*

Seems to me What you guys are talking about is an exact copy, paths and all, of the original drive...what I want is something that'll "copy" "OS on C: to X:" In other words have 2 working OS that can be booted-up at start-up...if you lay down your image of C: to X: it'll never boot-up because it isn't on C:.

You guys understand or am I missing something, here?

Basically I don't want to have to reinstall everything on another drive, so I can have a back-up OS.
 

darkstorme

Re: Like a RAID copy but not...*tech problem*
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2008, 11:30:04 am »
Ghost will allow you to image your whole drive to an external drive.  That gives you a backup of everything, including configurations.  It sounds more like you want to have a realtime mirrored dual-boot of the same OS... which is a lot harder than a simple backup.

(Also, it's kinda silly.  If something goes wrong with your current install, you don't want the other copy to be up-to-the-second up to date..)
 

freemen2

Re: Like a RAID copy but not...*tech problem*
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2008, 11:41:23 am »
No not real time, always thought that's what RAID did...well realtime as when you turn off your machine or something like that.  And yeah it is silly to want a realtime backup heh heh

I just want to copy my OS once, now that everything as been installed and it's purring and use it as a back-up and solely for games.
 

Weeblie

Re: Like a RAID copy but not...*tech problem*
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2008, 11:52:41 am »
A low level byte-for-byte copy to another disk with a tool like, say, "dd" will make you a fully bootable copy, as long as you make sure to unplug the first source disk and connecting the copy to the same SATA port (or whatever) whenever you want to boot into the copy. Or you can have both plugged in, but make sure to swap the cables, at least. That will work with a 99% probability.

But to have both bootable at the same time without performing the cable-swapping magic, that requires some experimentation.

As long as you can make "Disk 1 showing up as C:\\, Disk 2 showing up as X:\\ while being logged in on OS 1" and "Disk 1 showing up as X:\\, Disk 2 showing up as C:\\ while being logged in on OS 2", it will surely work. It might potentially be very easy to do that, perhaps even if you do nothing. Edit the boot.ini file on the first disk and try to boot into the OS found on the second disk? What happens?

Sponanteous, it feels like Windows might skip assigning the first disk any drive letter and instead just letting the second disk be your "C:\\".

There are also other possibilites, of course. Like perhaps using a better boot manager which is capable of "swapping the drive IDs" on booting... though I'm not sure if that will work against a non-DOS-like OS like Windows nowadays are...

All in all, heh, the risk of data corruption is potentially high if you try to do this. I personally would not attempt it before at least trying it out in VMware or similar.

ps 1. Oh, by the way, what you try to do sounds more like you want to "branch off" (to steal a term used in source control software). If I understand you right, you want to install Windows + Basic apps only once but then split it into two, the first "branch" would be used for, say, office applications, while the second "branch" would be used for games.

This is far, far easier done with merely installing Windows twice, heh.

ps 2. Had this been any *nix-like OS, it would have been trivial. :p
 

freemen2

Re: Like a RAID copy but not...*tech problem*
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2008, 12:06:10 pm »
*Reads Weeblies' post and thinks about shooting himself* :p
Yeah the whole point of seeing if something came out, software wise, was so I wouldn't even need to think about things you just posted LoL

The goal of this is not to have to install another OS and all its installed softs as well as reg hacks, various twiks and what not which right now am way too bloody brain fried and even lazy to redo again as I spent way too much time just doing heh heh ;)
 

Eight-Bit

Re: Like a RAID copy but not...*tech problem*
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2008, 01:31:19 pm »
Just do what everyone suggested, all at once, and the best one will work.
 

freemen2

Re: Like a RAID copy but not...*tech problem*
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2008, 02:25:25 pm »
*wacks 8-bit over the head with 25lbs sledge hammer*
 

 

anything