View Full Version : Cloning a SCSI Hard Drive for Backup

Tom Wood
05-21-2008, 07:19 AM
I didn't really know what I was doing when I specified my VT3 system way back when. It has a 73G Seagate SCSI drive as the system drive on SCSI Channel A, and 3 73G Seagate SCSI drives on SCSI channel B, which I can RAID or not.

I have Acronis as a backup program and I've made an image file of the system drive, but I don't really know how to test if it will work at crunch time. Acronis also offers the option of making a clone of the system drive.

Can I buy a regular firewire connected drive and clone the SCSI system drive to it? If my main SCSI system drive dies, could I then replace it with a new one and then clone that firewire drive to it? Does the presence or non-presence of the VT card mess any of this up? That is, if the whole system board dies, could I use the clone in a brand new computer that may not have the VT card installed?

The system dates to 2003 and I'm getting nervous about longevity...

05-21-2008, 07:27 AM
There is an option in the Acronis software to "validate" an image.

An unverified backup is not a backup </zen>

Tom Wood
05-23-2008, 11:18 AM
Thanks jcupp,

I found the validation option and ran it, and it validated. The thing is, I made that image weeks ago and the drive has new files on it since then, but it validated anyway? I guess it isn't checking the image against the current status of the disk, just that it's internally valid?

Tom Wood
05-23-2008, 11:33 AM
Just to elaborate, my main concern is that I have a lot of expensive software (like Dreamweaver Studio) that was installed via download, no disks. So I really, really, really, need to know that I can recreate the system drive in just a few minutes if I need to, including Win XP Pro itself in its current state.

05-23-2008, 02:44 PM
You will want to do a periodic "incremental" update of your image file to include more recent changes. Validate as part of the creation. This way you can keep it "current" as files change. I had good experience of backing-up the system drive on my old station from a RAID setup where I had two drives split. I pulled a backup of this, turned the RAID into a "mirror" across the two drives, re-instated the system and worked fine. Two weeks later, decided that I didn't want the mirror effect since I had an extra drive or two and Acronis did fine, so, once again, I "killed" the RAID entirely, and again restored the system to a single drive. The system migrated across all of these transitions, even though my tech guy said it couldn't be done. I suspect if you change the hardware enough, this may be true. Acronis seems to think it can be remounted on "bare metal" but you'll have to check with them.
Unrelated, a month later my motherboard died and I got a new system. I have kept the old "image" for reference but chose to re-install only what I wanted. It was time. If you have "downloaded" software, you are always on thin ice. I always make a CD/DVD backup of the downloaded file(s) for re-installation. Anything else is seriously perilous. I save all my downloads in incremented folders (Downloads25, 26, etc) and backup everything. As they say, "stuff happens," as I have had even "brand new" drives go belly up for no reason.
I have Acronis True Image Echo Workstation and Acronis True Image Echo Workstation Universal Restore. I found them to be very responsive to questions.
Good luck