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Hot Swapping IDE

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by DVation, Oct 20, 2003.

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  1. DVation

    DVation Thread Starter

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    I need somebody to help clarify a few things for me. I was under the impression that IDE was *not* hot swappable. However I have seen, on many occasions, hot swappable ide hard drive bays. Is there any extra software that is required for this to work or is there something in the hot swappable bay itself that makes it hot swappable. On example can be found here...
    TigerDirect Hot Swap Bay
    I've heard some people say it can't be done, others say it works fine! I don't know what to think anymore, but I need to put together a dedicated backup server so if I can hot-swap IDE drives I'd really like to know how...thanks.
     
  2. LONGHAIR

    LONGHAIR

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    I have a very similar removable bay set-up in my box. I have used it for quite some time BUT..........I use mine for Bootable drives. My storage drive is internal. If you used it as a storage drive or even as a place to send back-ups and then take the drive with you it should work fine. The "key-lock" feature shuts off the power to the unit before it is removed. So, that being said, "It depends" is the best answer I have for you.
     
  3. GwizJoe

    GwizJoe

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    I've done it before,with good success...(BUT VERY CAREFULLY)
    As long as the hard-drive you are swapping out is exactly the same(number of cylinders,heads,etc.),otherwise you may have problems reading the disk.
    Obviously you are not talking about the main system drive,and you wouldn't want that drive being accessed mid-swap.
    Personally,it takes so very little time to shut down and reboot,I'd wait for the system to be off before I'd swap the drives.It is a lot safer and gives the BIOS a chance to detect the drive correctly.

    But before I go on,let me see if I have this set up right.
    You are going to have one main Server 'A' serving a small network.Files from the workstations are being backed-up on to Server 'A'.Then,you are then going to have another Server 'B' idle waiting for server 'A' to break down.At which time you want to swap the drives from 'A' to 'B' and have it serve the same network...,right?
    Why not back-up all the files to both servers and eliminate the need to swap drives? Just curious...
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    FWIW, I have a bunch of these drive drawers, and the hot-swap software driver. It works about 90% of the time, but not every time. I've retired the software and just use them as removable storage, it's not that difficult to shutdown to swap them. :)
     
  5. DVation

    DVation Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the input. GwizJoe let me clarify...
    I have three servers on a small network, each with different tasks (i.e. fileserver, exchange server etc). On each of these servers is data I want to have backed up. My plan was to build a 4th server that would use microsoft backup to perform late night daily backups of the critical data from these other 3 servers. I wanted the backup server to have hot swap drives so I could just swap them out daily and have two off-site at any given time. I may have to just use removable drive bays and power it down during the swap, although thats what I was trying to avoid. anything that saves time is welcome by me :)
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Actually, let me offer you another alternative. USB 2.0 external drives. I use these extensively, and I've setup a couple of customers with them for backup. They're usable on any machine that has USB, and obviously they're faster with USB 2.0 ports. They're truly hot-swappable on any machine, and 2K & XP support them without any additional drivers.
     
  7. DaveBurnett

    DaveBurnett Account Closed

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    I've got removable/swapable bays with USB2 connections.
     
  8. DVation

    DVation Thread Starter

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    Yea thats what I have implemented now...but I dont want 6 usb drives all over the place...I want to try to merge everything into just one dedicated machine...
     
  9. DaveBurnett

    DaveBurnett Account Closed

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    These are standard removable drive trays, but the bays in the server are internal and are USB2 connected so that the drives are hot swappable.
     
  10. DVation

    DVation Thread Starter

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    Ahhh, I just might have to look into that. Thanks.
     
  11. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I guess I'm confused. If you have a bunch of USB 2.0 disks, and a nice little rack to stack them on, is this really that different from removable drives? Why fix something that doesn't appear broken? :confused:
     
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