Setting up a hard drive mirror

After a backup/restore to replace my hard drive, I thought of a way to make a lowend RAID system

I have an IDE drive I currently use and when I upgrade my machine, I want to install a large SATA drive, partition it into 2 logical drives. C: will be all my apps and D: will be all my data (word files, save game files, etc). I will then have this IDE as drive E and mirror the D drive to it. That way if the main drive goes out I still have my data.

Is there a good program to take care of the mirroring automatically?

What operating system are you using? Various versions of Windows will do it automatically for you, using Disk Management. I believe Windows Vista and 7 can do it, but not XP.

Win7 - 64

Sure. This is built into Windows 7. Go into Computer Management, Disk Management, and use the Add Mirror function. You need to make sure that the D: drive is small enough to be wholly mirrored onto the IDE drive.

That said, for RAID 1, you’re better advised to buy two identical drives and use the disk mirroring functions of your motherboard, if present. Otherwise, keep the old IDE drive as an external drive mounted in a USB caddy and back up to it using Windows 7’s Backup utility.

RAID is a poor choice for backups. It protects you from hardware failure, but not from accidentally deleting a file.

Yeah, this is a bad idea. Any number of things could cause you to lose data on both drives simultaneously.

You are much better off just getting an external enclosure (USB or Firewire) for your IDE drive, doing backups to it on some regular schedule (nightly, weekly, etc.), and keeping it disconnected the rest of the time.

The plan was to mirror the D drive once a week so it is more of a backup than a true RAID

I’d go for an external NAS that has mirroring. That way you are saving your files to an external drive that is hardware mirrored.

This is only part of the backup solution. You must also have, as others have mentioned, a complete backup that is detached from your hardware, so you don’t delete files either accidentally or by virus.

An additional step would be to have offsite storage.
I simply do full backups of my important stuff to those little WD Passport drives. I have two that I swap out, one is at the office and the other is at home. That way, even if a fire consumes my home, I still have my important files.

Remember that it isn’t just a fire you have to worry about. If someone breaks into your home, the odds are good that they will take every nice shiny bit of technology they see, including your backup drive.

Ah, if that’s what you want to do then look into SyncToy, from Microsoft (it’s free, and now works on 64-bit Windows). I think your mention of RAID confused a lot of people, including myself. What you want is a scheduled backup of your files onto an internal hard drive. A lot of commercial backup products will do this, but I’d look into SyncToy first, just to see if it was enough for what I needed.

You can configure how you want the copy made, and using Task Scheduler you can set it up to run regularly.