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I have 120GB Intel 330i SSD drive that I initially migrated my data from stock 250GB WD hard drive to with Acronis migration tool that Intel supplied. Since SSD was only 120GB I had to do some cleanup and resizing of my HDD to match SSD's capacity and migrate usign sector-by-sector method to make sure new SSD is a full clone of my HDD. I heard that in the process of migration certain bytes (63 or 64) in MBR of SSD must be changed in order for Windows to boot and work prooerly.

What I want to do is clone/mirror SSD to 160GB WD hard drive to serve as a reliable backup in potential emergency situations without causing downtime which would be the case with imaged backup. In other words I want to directly boot from HDD and keep working without losing time.

Is this possible?

I also would like to know if this would work without sector-by-sector cloning without including free sectors.

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can you clarify the emergency type you are trying to solve? hardware failure, damaged file systems, theft,fire,flood, or etc –  cybernard May 17 at 6:27
    
SSD failure mainly with complete data loss –  Boris_yo May 17 at 8:54
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I have 9+ ssd and have only had 1 failure to date. The drive that failed is over 5 yrs and based on generation 1 or earlier tech. All 9+ run 24/7/365. –  cybernard May 17 at 19:19
    
Spinning-rust HDDs fail too, all the time. Ones constantly brought back and forth are even worse off. And SSDs really aren't as bad as their earlier reputation might have you believe, at least if you get a good quality SSD suitable for your intended usage. Horror stories of SSDs that fail within weeks or months almost certainly indicate a device that was faulty from the beginning and can be replaced under any reasonable warranty. No matter the storage technology you must have a separate backup; what if you accidentally delete the wrong files? –  Michael Kjörling May 17 at 19:45

1 Answer 1

A hardware raid 1 or mirroring is partly the answer. If there is h(s)dd1 fails or h(s)dd2 the other drive is still always ready. Mirroring makes disk1 always the same as disk 2. However, that will not save you from damage to the file system, just drive failures.

Usually chkdsk /f or chksk /r will repair it, but that is certainly not 0 downtime.

If you virtualize with say VMware esxi server, it has features like that. Automatic snapshots and more. Most importantly, vmotion if you pay enough. Vmotion can migrate a running OS to another VMware esxi server,providing bandwidth isn't an issue, in some cases without missing even a single ping.

A lot of this depends on what services your running. For example if you use an SQL server you set up 2 independent ones and set the master to copy to the second on in real time. If the file system 1 is damaged #2 is the fail over so it can immediately fail over to that one.

If you were willing to settle for 10-15mins of downtown, you could setup a cloning server back up and the end of each day and restore in failure condition. There is also a local crashplan server you can use to back up files you use continuously. Alternately you could store your important file on a RAID 6 file server and access them over the network. A back server could then back up the RAID 6.

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It's just my office laptop. –  Boris_yo May 17 at 8:55
    
@Boris_yo the problem is data changes in real time. If you start copying the sectors of a file and the first half changes now you have a corrupt file because it contains half new and half old data. PS. You did ask for "zero downtime". –  cybernard May 17 at 19:13

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