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Poor Man's Offline Server Raid 5 Drive Image

By NTHNTH ·
Hello all, we (a small bus.) have a gateway SBS2003 server that is working ok and was/is setup as RAID5, 4 physical drives, and we have ntbackup jobs that run each night. However, we would like to periodically have something better than ntbackup without spending a fortune. We would like to have at least one or two server offline drive image backups per year to fall back on. The server has an older ver. of paragon backup I think that is not starting up right for some reason. Please comment on the following. Here is the root of the question:

It's no problem for the server to be down all weekend sometime so I was thinking of the following. Shutdown the server, and one at a time, remove a server SATA drive, physically reconnect it at a known-good workstation, use an xp-pe boot cd to boot/run xp & observe that the sata drive now has a temporary drive letter at this workstation, then drive image that one drive to an external usb drive at the same workstation. Verify the backup then repeat the steps for the other 3 server SATA drives one at a time keeping orig RAID5 slot position(s). It's no problem if it takes all weekend, I can work on other things while waiting.

Please comment on the following. IS THIS A SAFE THING TO DO. Is there any risk at all that connecting a server SATA drive from a known good RAID 5 setup temporarily to a workstation for the purpose of reading it and drive-imaging it, would windoze or anything else try and "signature" the drive or anything else? I desire a read-only process, but I suspect windoze can't really be trusted. The server would remain down/off during this proposed scenario/procedure. A UPS would be used at the workstation.

(Please avoid comments such as "go spend $1000 get acronis true image etc." all that stuff is outside the scope of THIS question. I prefer an OFFLINE image backup. Please do not ask abstract questions like "why" etc.) Thanks.

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Why not image the whole thing?

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Poor Man's Offline Server ...

If you can take the server off line, and you have the storage space, why not boot from the CD and image the whole partition in one operation? That way, if you have to put the image back in an emergency, you don't care what size drives are in use, how many physical drives are in the array, etc.

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