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I am setting up a new Windows 7 x64 workstation with 2 identical hard drives. The system drive is fully encrypted with truecrypt, and I would like to also encrypt the second drive.

What is my best option to mirror/shadow the entire system drive over to the second encrypted drive? Can I use Windows 7 mirrored volumes?

I would prefer not to buy a hardware RAID card, and I do not care if the mirror is 100% real time. I would be fine with backup software that performs this process in the background.


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Robocopy starting regularly? – sinni800 Jun 16 '11 at 13:32
I like the fact that robocopy is a light weight, built in tool to Windows. Would it perform well in the background? Could it launch without a terminal window popping up? – ProwlingPurplePanda Jun 16 '11 at 14:08
I think it could, look into the planned tasks section. You can give Windows tasks it executes regularly there. Like a cronjob. – sinni800 Jun 16 '11 at 14:12

RAID is for minimizing downtime because of disk failure. It doesn't provide protection from higher-level errors such as accidental file deletion, etc. Plus, I've never used TrueCrypt's system encryption, but I think it's not so simple to build a RAID-like configuration with it.

So I think that you should use TrueCrypt's system encryption on the first drive and create an encrypted volume on the second drive. Then create backups regularly with either Windows' built-in Backup tool or a scheduled XCopy (RoboCopy) job (tutorial). You don't have to worry about encryption, because it's done on a lower level by the TrueCrypt "driver".

If you need a backup of your whole system, then the built-in tool is the one you should choose (it creates bootable VHD files) - or some kind of RAID. However, if you only need your data safe, then XCopy will do just as fine.

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This is what I was thinking, too. (+) But you're missing something: Theres no Truecrypt file he could copy. The whole partition is encrypted with TrueCrypt. – sinni800 Jun 16 '11 at 14:13
I hope it answers your questions now @sinni800. – KovBal Jun 16 '11 at 14:19
My main concern is disk failure. The optimal solution would be to have a bootable replica of the first drive, which may not be possible without RAID 1 mirroring? At the very least I just need to clone the data. – ProwlingPurplePanda Jun 16 '11 at 14:23
RAID-1 creates a bit-for-bit replica. XCopy and Windows Backup are not capable of that. But disk failure is not something that happens every day. For home a regular backup is a much better than RAID. – KovBal Jun 16 '11 at 14:33
@KovBal now it's a complete solution! This is how I'd have done it too. – sinni800 Jun 16 '11 at 14:56

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