At today’s Bellingham DotNet meeting we got into a discussion of software mirroring (built into Server 2003, 2008, Vista and Windows 7). The consensus was that every desktop system should have all of the drives mirrored (by OS mirroring or hardware mirroring). An older machine may have 3 smaller SATA/IDE drives and the cost to mirror is $100 or less. Just buy a big drive (1-2TB) and drop it into the machine.
You can then mirror all of the existing drives to this one big drive (you do not need 1 physical drive to 1 physical drive), you can use a dynamic drive to mirror each drive on one drive. The drives do not have to be the same – you can mirror from an IDE to a SATA drive.
The second item discussed was buying a spare laptop/netbook hard drive, drop it into a USB holder and periodically at night mirror the internal drive to the USB external drive. If the internal hard drive fails, it’s just minutes to put the former-USB drive into the machine and you are up with a reasonably current images (and without having to do a restore or re-install).
It also means that some older dead laptop may give up their drives for mirroring (or for backups).
My favorite external drive USB kit is shown below:
Just plug in whatever you have for a drive.. 5.25” Floppy, 3.5” Floppy, CDROM, DVDROM, IDE, SATA.
No nice case (or heat problems), the true geek industrial look!