Go Back   Computer Forums > General Computing > Hardware
Click Here to Login
Join Computer forums Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-05-2011, 05:08 PM   #1
Solid State Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 11
Default Is it possible to create a poor mans RAID with 2 External USB HDs?

I got 2 1TB HDs both in USB Enclosures. The sole purpose is to keep the same files on each so when my house burns down, I can go to moms house and get my files back! But I find it a bit nerve racking to add new files to both or delete them.

Is there a way to mirror them or something? I tried to put them on there own drive letter but it doesn't allow for that? It's just not possible to keep up with both of them without just deleting the 2nd drive and re loading the new files again.

Thanks for any suggs! Johnny
__________________

jackasspenguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 05:49 AM   #2
Solid State Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 17
Default Re: Is it possible to create a poor mans RAID with 2 External USB HDs?

Hi,

I hope I can help you out with this. As you are probably aware there are 2 types of RAID; hardware-based (expensive) and software-based (cheap). As you have 2 disks you would technically be creating a RAID 1 configuration or 'mirrored set', this would allow . Ideally the drives would be best suited to be installed into your computer (unless you have a laptop, obviously!) this would give you increased data transfer rates, in comparison to USB. The benefits of RAID 1 are that you can have a larger number of disks (2+), giving greater fault tolerance and even if 1 disk were to die the RAID; even though down to 1 disk would still continue to operate and once the disk had been replaced the RAID would need to be re-built i.e. mirror the content from Disk 0 to Disk 1 or vice-versa.

First of all before I go in to how you would set up a mirrored set, a lot of it is dependent on your OS. Which OS do you currently have installed?

Hope this has been useful, get back to me and I will go through setting up the Mirrored drives.

Matt
__________________

mattjones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 06:10 AM   #3
Fully Optimized
 
~Darkseeker~'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom
Posts: 2,494
Default Re: Is it possible to create a poor mans RAID with 2 External USB HDs?

Theres no way to create a hardware array with USB disks, because you need to be using a SATA RAID controller to do that.

You can probably stripe, span and mirror externals using Windows, in disk management.
__________________
EVGA SLI Micro Z68 // Intel i5-2500k @ 4.4GHz // 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1866MHz // Overclocked ASUS GTX 660 Ti // Corsair Carbide SPEC-03 // Kingston Hyper-X 120GB // 2TB WD Green + 500GB WD Black
#JC4PM
~Darkseeker~ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 06:17 AM   #4
Solid State Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 17
Default Re: Is it possible to create a poor mans RAID with 2 External USB HDs?

As I put, yes you can create a RAID 1 configuration, basically a 'mirrored set' and yes, it is done through disk management - natively supported by Win7 but not available natively in XP.
mattjones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 06:30 PM   #5
Solid State Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 11
Default Re: Is it possible to create a poor mans RAID with 2 External USB HDs?

Well, as I have space inside my computer for the drives, I'm reluctant to keep some very important files like photos and my old music projects and the such in the same building. Meaning that, if my house were to burn down or something stupid were to happen I'd be screwed. I have some important stuff on my 4shared account and that's great but the free account is only allows 15G. I have over 500G of videos photos and the such.

When I started this thread, I did some looking around and found the Mircrosoft Syncbox. It synchronized my 2 drives after about 5 hours. I'm sure that having 2 drives mounted directly on my motherboards SATA controller would be faster but as far as music programs and audio files and samples, I pull them into my desktop and that's another drive altogether. So speed isn't really a factor. But I think I'll get 2 more 1TB drives and create a RAID 1 anyway. Just to do it! But, I think that the Syncbox program did what I need done today and will allow me to keep the other drive at my mothers house. Then I can go grab it and add to it from time to time when I build up more important items.

I'm running Windows 7 64 and 32 bit on the same machine on 2 different drives. They both share a 250G drive that I kept from a previous build. I only keep the back up files on it for both Op. Sys. Drives. When I back up, I don't have any files on my Op. Sys. drives only program files. That keeps the back up size reasonable and it doesn't take as long to complete either.

Thanks for the input and your time. It's very appreciated. This forum is great!
jackasspenguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 04:18 AM   #6
Solid State Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 17
Default Re: Is it possible to create a poor mans RAID with 2 External USB HDs?

If speed isn't an issue for you that is fine.

In order for the Mirrored volume (RAID 1 stylee) to work correctly the drives must be clean (i.e. formatted - during the wizard) Therefore you MUST backup all data on your 2 external USB drives first - otherwise you will loose everything! Please only continue if you have backed up everything from your disks and 100% confident in completing the steps. I take no responsibility for your data loss and this guide is provided for reference only.

1. Right click my Computer and select 'Manage' from the snap-ins on the left select 'Disk Management'
2. Ensure you're 2 drives are listed (more than likely as Disk 1 and Disk 2 - Disk 0 will be your OS install)
3. Right click on one of your USB drives and select 'New Mirror Volume' - A wizard will start
4. Click Next, move your 2 USB drives from the 'Available' list on the left to the 'Selected' section on the right
5. Click Next and select a drive letter
6. You will prompted to format the drive (a quick format will do):

Format the volume with the following settings:
File System: NTFS
Allocation unite size: Default
Volume Label: Backup (or similar)

7. Click next and then Finish.
8. An message will appear saying that completing the process will convert it to a dynamic disk. If you are 100% certain you wish to continue click 'Yes'
9. Once the operation has completed your new disk (clean, formatted and containing NO data) will appear in 'My Computer' as the drive letter you selected during the wizard.

Please note as you have created a mirrored drive of 2 x 1TB drives, your disk will appear as 1 x 1TB drive.
mattjones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 09:02 AM   #7
Solid State Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 11
Default Re: Is it possible to create a poor mans RAID with 2 External USB HDs?

OK, so it is possible to create a RAID array with USB external drives. Great. I'll certainly be attempting that when I get another drive.

Thanks!
Johnny
__________________

jackasspenguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0