mirror volumes

Ever wonder what a volume mirror or drive mirror was?… or better yet wonder how do I backup my hard drive automatically?

Well Windows 7 has some cool features to setting up whats called a volume mirror really, really easily… which is what you want to do if your looking to automatically back up a hard drive… Doing this is also called Raid 1…

Essentially all you will need is another hard drive the same size or bigger than the one you want to back up…

1. Open up your computer case and install the additional hard drive as the instruction that came with it tell you.
2. Right click on the “my computer” icon either on the desktop or in the start menu… then click “manage” in the menu that pops up
3. Now go click on the “disk management” icon in the left hand menu and you should see all your disks available… including the new one you installed (probably black or olive in color) and the existing disk you want to backup (probably blue in color).
4. The Disks have to be “dynamic”… which you can do by right clicking on the disk# button and selecting “convert to dynamic disk”… follow the prompts until its converted.
5. Now you can click on the older existing drive with all your data on it (the one you want backed up that says D: or whatever letter) and select “add mirror” option from the right click menu.
6. Some menus will pop up and you should eventually see a menu and will probably see the new disk # you just installed as an option, which is what you want to select… it will then go about creating a mirror with that disk you selected.

and that is it… now all the data on that drive will be “mirrored” to the new drive… so if your main drive fails… you will not loose any data due to drive failure because you have the mirrored drive.

Some general notes:

  • Doing this will actually speed up your performance as well… because now when you tell your computer to access or execute a file on these drives it will have two hard drive needles (access points) to find it on your drives, rather than one access point to the file.
  • Both drives will show up as 1 drive letter in windows explorer/my computer. etc…
  • If the “add mirror” option is greyed or ggrayed or out, make sure the newer disk2 is larger in size… I had (2) 1 tb drives that i could not get this to work becuase one drive had 0.2 megs more than the new drive i wanted to back up too… if this is the case than just right clickthe original drive #1 and select “shrink volume”…follow the prompts  and make it a little smaller than the new drive that will be the backup… once its done the “add mirror” option should no longer be greyed out.
  • After you do this (depending on how big your drives are) the drive colors will be red as they are syncronizing… basically meaning windows  is automatically coping all your data to the new drive your backing up too… you should still be able to access all your files while it does this in the background.

Let me know if anyone has any questions or comments in the comments below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *