Jump to content
Covecube Inc.
  • 0
Bryan Wall

Can I set up a pool on multiple external drives to use as offsite backup?

Question

I have a pool consisting of local disks that I need to find a backup solution for. I purchased a couple of 8TB USB drives that I would like to use for backup. The easiest way for me to back up would be to put the two USB drives in a pool and use a utility like Fastcopy to copy everything from the local pool to the external/USB pool a couple of times a month.

Is it possible to do this? Once the files are copied, how can I "eject" the pool safely so I can reconnect it the next time I want to do a backup? I had the idea of putting the USB drives in a pool so that I wouldn't have to manually sort which files to copy to each external drive and just let Drivepool handle that by making the two drives look like one big drive.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

9 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

I was going to suggest using Hierarchical Pooling to make a top-level pool consisting of your normal data pool, and a new 'external pool' made up of your USB drives.  However I'm unsure of how Drivepool treats removing sub-pools that have duplicated data on them.  Normally when you remove a standard drive from a pool, DP tries to migrate files off that drive, and then copy duplicate files it's holding to another pool drive (which in this case would be another sub-pool, that doesn't exist).  I'm thinking that DP would flag the duplicated files on your primary pool as read-only if you just unplugged the external drives, which isn't helpful either.  There are more command-line options for DP that might accomplish what you're looking for.  Someone more knowledgeable might have to help, as I don't have a concrete answer.

Backup software like Macrium might be more efficient however, since it can do compression (which affects both space used and throughput).  It would end up giving you a true backup.

The other option would be to setup your external drives as a new, separate pool, and then use Sync software to mirror both pools from a file-level (with the data pool being the master).  It would really be the easiest and cleanest option, in my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
29 minutes ago, Jaga said:

The other option would be to setup your external drives as a new, separate pool, and then use Sync software to mirror both pools from a file-level (with the data pool being the master).  It would really be the easiest and cleanest option, in my opinion.

I tried doing this before posting my question, but when I try to safely eject the drives using the normal USB drive eject option in the system tray, it says the drive is in use and can't be ejected. It even did that after I created the pool but hadn't copied any files to it. I tried that to see if it would work before wasting time copying a bunch of files to it. I assumed that it must be Drivepool that has a lock on the drive that's preventing it from being ejected. 

I've used Goodsync in the past to do this to a single drive. I'm just trying to get it working with multiple drives in an external pool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Yes, you can do this. And there are several people that do.

However, there is no good way to eject the disks, as the normal way will likely fail (i've had issues with regular disks being ejected...)

5 minutes ago, Bryan Wall said:

I tried doing this before posting my question, but when I try to safely eject the drives using the normal USB drive eject option in the system tray, it says the drive is in use and can't be ejected. It even did that after I created the pool but hadn't copied any files to it. I tried that to see if it would work before wasting time copying a bunch of files to it. I assumed that it must be Drivepool that has a lock on the drive that's preventing it from being ejected. 

Exactly. And I get that with regular disks, even.

 

You could set the disks as offline in disk management. But you'll need to remember to set them as online when you reconnect them.  Or .... you can just pull them, if you're sure they're done being written to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
5 minutes ago, Christopher (Drashna) said:

Yes, you can do this. And there are several people that do.

However, there is no good way to eject the disks, as the normal way will likely fail (i've had issues with regular disks being ejected...)

Exactly. And I get that with regular disks, even.

 

You could set the disks as offline in disk management. But you'll need to remember to set them as online when you reconnect them.  Or .... you can just pull them, if you're sure they're done being written to.

 

It would be great if Drivepool just had an "eject" button of its own, which just closed all files it had open on the selected pool/drive. It's impossible to really be sure that nothing is writing to the drive at the moment you pull the power or set it to offline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
1 minute ago, Bryan Wall said:

It would be great if Drivepool just had an "eject" button of its own, which just closed all files it had open on the selected pool/drive. It's impossible to really be sure that nothing is writing to the drive at the moment you pull the power or set it to offline.

Something similar to CloudDrive's "Pause uploads" menu option.  It would flush any pending data transactions and put the pool in to an offline mode.  Sounds handy for some situations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
 

It would be great if DriVepool just had an "eject" button of its own, which just closed all files it had open on the selected pool/drive. It's impossible to really be sure that nothing is writing to the drive at the moment you pull the power or set it to offline.

IIRC, the problem with that, is that we could really only ensure this for stuff accessing the pool.  
While it may be possible to do this for other file access, I'm not sure that's a good idea (or even safe, really)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
 

IIRC, the problem with that, is that we could really only ensure this for stuff accessing the pool.  
While it may be possible to do this for other file access, I'm not sure that's a good idea (or even safe, really)

I don't think you need to handle it for file access outside of the pool. Windows and other apps already do that.

If Drivepool would "eject" the pool, at least in the sense that Drivepool itself wasn't holding a lock on anything on the drive, the drive(s) could then be ejected in Windows like any other drive. Ideally the Drivepool eject would pause any duplication or balancing operations for the ejected pool. I mention that because of a post I saw about a bug that was causing either Drivepool or Scanner to run unnecessary operations on a drive under certain circumstances. Maybe the eject needs to pause Scanner also?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Good day.

I'm not sure about this, but you /could/ disable the DrivePool service and reboot, THEN disconnect the USB drives, and finally restart the service. I say I'm not sure, because even when I disable the service and reboot, the pool's drive is still there in Windows (the CoveFS device stays enabled) so I'm not sure if that would free-up the locks or not; you could try it...

Regards,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Actually, this was the exact motivation that got me interested in Drivepool in the first place. I wanted to set up Drivepool as a backup drive consisting of two drives in the pool with file duplication within the pool. The folder that I wanted to have backed up was my Documents folder in Windows. To do this, I simply used synchronization software to keep a sync'd copy of the Documents folder in the Drivepool and have Drivepool do it's Duplication magic. This way, I always had 3 copies. The only true and safest way I "ejected" the drives was by properly shutting down the computer and having both external drives on a power strip that I can switch on or off. So, once the computer shut down, I turned off the power strip so that next time the computer was powered on, it wouldn't load the the two pooled drives. 

If and when I need to run another backup, I just turn on the power strip and both drives come back online in the pool.

As you know, you can just click the USB device icon and "safely remove" the drive but then you risk getting the typical "drive in use" error. To get around that, you could try to stop the Drivepool service temporarily (typing services.msc in the Run textbox and look for Stablebit Drivepool, right click and choose Stop) and then try to "safely remove" the drive. I still think a complete shutdown is probably the safest solution. I'm sure you've already got a solution figured out by now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...