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Having had a complete disk failure the other day, and spending two days getting everything back to normal (read: i had backups of data, but re-installing apps and a million little configs were the killer), I am looking for a way keep a clone of my disk in sync (or at least no more than a day behind).

On my server I already do this with a nightly rsync command to keep a copy of my primary drive and Jeff's post http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2008/01/whats-your-backup-strategy.html made it sound like Acronis could do the same for me, but cloning isn't in the trial and reading the docs and digging around the menus i can only see full clone and incremental backup to a backup device. But a backup means i still need a drive to restore to. I just want to unplug the dead drive and run off the clone (and immediately order a new drive to become the new slave).

Can this be done with Acronis or other Windows software?

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if you have a WD drive support.wdc.com/product/… Somewhere in your system, there is this limited version, which you can create a bootable CD. it is not a full version, but it will clone disk and image partition. Clonezilla, and XXclone might be looked into also. –  Psycogeek Feb 9 '12 at 7:50
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2 Answers

If you schedule Acronis to do an incremental disk image backup, it will first make an entire disk image of the drive, then it will on a schedule you set append that image with any file changes that have been made, so in essence you have a complete disk image you can restore to a new hard drive at any time.

Acronis also has a nonstop backup feature that can incrementally back up all partitions on a continuous basis every 5 minutes, so if the hard drive crashes you will minimal data loss if any, which looks like what you need.

Acronis is very powerful backup software if you will take the time to learn about it and set it up properly.

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The problem is that this approach creates a back-up that needs to be restored, so if my disk dies, i cannot restore until i get a new disk. I want the backup to actually be a clone that is kept up to date. I don't actually care about intermediate states. As far as my research goes, Acronis can either do full clone or incremental backup, but not a clone that is incrementally synced, correct? –  Arne Claassen Feb 9 '12 at 20:03
    
You need a Raid 5 or 6 solution then. –  Moab Feb 9 '12 at 20:21
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Having been bitten by Raid more than once, i don't consider it a backup solution. There's a subtle but important difference between writing to two locations synchronously and periodic syncing –  Arne Claassen Feb 10 '12 at 17:25
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You can use acronis synchronization to do this if you have two drives with sufficient capacity for your data. just select each drive as the two folders to be synchronized and all actions on one will be applied to the other IMMEDIATELY.

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