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.


  • 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.

  • 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
  • 2
    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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.