After listening to another friend’s “my-backup-drive-died-and-I-lost-everything” story, I decided to set up RAID-1 mirroring for my own backup drive. Essentially, 2 drives are set to “mirror” each other so that when one fails, the data is still available on the surviving drive. Moreover, when a replacement drive is installed, it’ll also start mirroring the data on the surviving drive. Cool huh?
Initially, I contemplated getting a RAID-1 capable NAS (network attached storage) device. But the cheapest I could fine, the Thecus N2100 cost just below S$700 – an amount I wasn’t really willing so spare. So I explored software alternatives, to be used on the old AMD Duron 800MHz PC that used to be my dad’s main machine.
FreeNAS seemed very promising, but at this early stage of its development, it doesn’t seen to have mature software RAID-1 recovery tols (and I’m still too cheap to buy a hardware RAID controller).
Finally, I settled on ClarkConnect which isÂ also available for free use at home. Thanks to these guides on configuring partitioning and RAID and setting up Windows file sharing, I quickly had a functional RAID-1 (2x 200GB) networked backup machine serving up a single “public access” shared folder, and a password-protected folder for my personal files.
Also found a very nice thread on the newbie-friendly ClarkConnect forums on how to rebuild the RAID-1 array with a new replacement hard drive when one of the drives fail.
ClarkConnect is also capable of many more – perhaps when I am more free at the end of the school term I’ll be doing more exploration of its other features.