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Robocopy a single drive from pool


detto87
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Hello there!

 

 

I'm planning to use my pooling software DrivePool in a way that makes the most sense to me personally:

Simply pooling all my internal HDDs (4 x 3TB) and configure DrivePool so it fills up one drive after another.

Then I can easily make backups in an external single HDD case.

If one drive in the pool is full, then I archive the corresponding backup HDD and continue backing up the next HDD from the pool with a another new backup HDD, and so forth.

 

Does that sound reasonable and most important: does it work?

 

I'm still on the fence if it'll work because I practically have to robocopy a single drive from the pool with its hidden folder structure and don't know if I can easily replace a corrupted pooled drive with my corresponding backup drive.

 

Does PoolDrive detect the hidden folder and automatically knows what to do with it?

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Well, first of all, what operating system do you plan on using?  This makes a difference, because the built in tools have some serious limitations (especially for WHS2011/Server 2008R2 and earlier). As well as pricing for any 3rd party software.

 

.Also, I am guessing that you want actual backups, and not just redundancy/duplication.

 

Also, if you do want to use robocopy, I'd recommend using the actual pool for the source path instead of a single disk, especially if you have duplication enabled. You may need to split up the tasks, but this method may be more reliable 

Also, you could use the "dpcmd" tool to increase the duplication count to higher than 2 (so you'd have more than 2 copies)

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While I don't understand why you'd want to do things that way - I can only presume your work involves creating lots of read-only data that never gets renamed, edited or deleted, and that you don't have the budget for both backups and duplication - I think you would need to at least implement the following:

select "do not balance automatically" (so that DrivePool does not move files around the disks without your knowledge)
untick "allow balancing plug-ins to force immediate balancing" (ditto)
untick all balancers except "ordered file placement"
arrange the list of drives and fill limits in "ordered file placement" to your liking

And yes, if a disk in the pool corrupted/died and you replaced it with your robocopied backup disk, DrivePool should recognise the hidden poolpart folder. Although, you might have to be careful about preventing DrivePool from seeing both the original and backup at the same time in case it gets confused - perhaps robocopy the original into a subfolder, e.g X:\poolpart to Y:\backup\poolpart where X: is the original disk and Y: is the backup disk, and thus when replacing a bad original you would move the poolpart out of the backup folder into the root folder as the last step - don't know if this is necessary, but prevention is better than cure here.

 

Another thing to be aware of would be in case of moving the pool to a new machine, making sure the anti-balancing configuration was in place. Hmm. Might need to ask Alex/Drashna about where the balancing configuration is stored.

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Well, first of all, what operating system do you plan on using?  This makes a difference, because the built in tools have some serious limitations (especially for WHS2011/Server 2008R2 and earlier). As well as pricing for any 3rd party software.

 

.Also, I am guessing that you want actual backups, and not just redundancy/duplication.

 

Also, if you do want to use robocopy, I'd recommend using the actual pool for the source path instead of a single disk, especially if you have duplication enabled. You may need to split up the tasks, but this method may be more reliable 

Also, you could use the "dpcmd" tool to increase the duplication count to higher than 2 (so you'd have more than 2 copies)

 

I use Windows 7 Professional x64.

 

Indeed, actual backups is what I prefer. I want single encrypted backup HDDs that I can store at another place than my house. To keep things simple and manageable the internal HDDs should be filled up one at a time, and the best would be not to delete content from a full drive ever again, so I can be sure that my backup drives are 100% identical to the corresponding internal drives.

 

The whole pooling of drives only is there for me to have a simple folder browsing experience in the Explorer and don't have to dig 3 or 4 "Videos" folders from different drives.

 

If I'm not mistaken, using the pool drive as the source for robocopy may not really help me in the case when 1 drive is damaged and its content is lost. I wouldn't know which content got deleted from the pool, I would only know the drive number that now is missing from the pool. And using the pool as source for robocopy doesn't guarantee that I get exact copies from my drives where HDD1 == BackupHDD1. So I would have to remember/guess which files are gone and have to search through all my backup drives for those files.

 

 

While I don't understand why you'd want to do things that way - I can only presume your work involves creating lots of read-only data that never gets renamed, edited or deleted, and that you don't have the budget for both backups and duplication - I think you would need to at least implement the following:

 

select "do not balance automatically" (so that DrivePool does not move files around the disks without your knowledge)

untick "allow balancing plug-ins to force immediate balancing" (ditto)

untick all balancers except "ordered file placement"

arrange the list of drives and fill limits in "ordered file placement" to your liking

 

And yes, if a disk in the pool corrupted/died and you replaced it with your robocopied backup disk, DrivePool should recognise the hidden poolpart folder. Although, you might have to be careful about preventing DrivePool from seeing both the original and backup at the same time in case it gets confused - perhaps robocopy the original into a subfolder, e.g X:\poolpart to Y:\backup\poolpart where X: is the original disk and Y: is the backup disk, and thus when replacing a bad original you would move the poolpart out of the backup folder into the root folder as the last step - don't know if this is necessary, but prevention is better than cure here.

 

Another thing to be aware of would be in case of moving the pool to a new machine, making sure the anti-balancing configuration was in place. Hmm. Might need to ask Alex/Drashna about where the balancing configuration is stored.

 

You're quite right on the budget thing. Having basically 3 copies of each file is a bit too much for me and my wallet.

 

I may try it out soon with those settings.

 

Maybe there still is hope for a tool that 'mounts' directories into the same place and merges the contents recursively.

Basically what I would need is just a tool that helps me merge 4 HDDs and its contents.

So I can have Folder X, Y, Z on the root of drive1 with some content in them.

And the same folder names X, Y, Z on the root of drive2, 3 and 4 too with content in them.

The tool should then merge the 4 drives into one, so I can access X, Y, Z and get to the content from all drives, just like a pool.

Would make things so much easier.

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So, basically, you want a non-balancing read-only pool, to which you manually add new files via the poolpart folders on the individual disks?

 

Hmm. That's pretty much how the pool behaves when it detects a missing disk. I'd suggest making a feature request via http://stablebit.com/contact - it might be feasible to adapt that to your needs.

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