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Need recomendation for two computers (one as a backup).

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ico, May 4, 2010.

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  1. ico

    ico Thread Starter

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    Hello PC experts. :)

    Can you recommend me a good/great way to setup two computer, where one is for backup only?

    I have a photography business. I edit images using Lightroom and Photoshop. For those of you who doesn't know Lightroom, it uses database and contains info of each images (EXIF), and any edit changes to the image. If for some reason, the computer cease to work, I can just copy paste the database and the individual images to a new harddrive and will be able to continue my work.

    I do have a computer that I built (in 2007) and work with. It's a Pentium Core 2 Duo E6750, 2.66GHz with Win XP SP3, 32bit, and 4GB RAM. I don't have a backup computer. So if this computer crashed, I will have to order a new computer, build it, and then I will be able to continue again. I do backup my files off-site, though.
    Currently, my business has gotten a little better, so I better have a backup computer in case this one crashed or something.
    I wonder if there's a better way to do this. Maybe like a swappable HD where if the other computer crashed, I can just pluggin the old HD to the backup computer and continue my work?
    But I guess the Windows OS has to be purchased separately, correct? Or is it even possible to have an exact replica of the hardwares and I can just swap the harddrive and not have to purchase a separate OS?

    Actually on my current computer setting:
    The OS, and software are on one drive. The data, images, database are on two other drives.

    What do you recommend for having two computer/system where I can do a data transition easily and would be able to continue my work in no time if the main computer crashed or have problem.

    Should I have a system where I can swap the drives? Should I have a system where the two computer share the same data harddrive? Any other suggestions?

    Thank you,
    Leo Dj
     
  2. ico

    ico Thread Starter

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    No one can help? :(
     
  3. ico

    ico Thread Starter

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    I wonder if I'm asking on the wrong forum/heading. Please advise.
     
  4. ico

    ico Thread Starter

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    If no one can help here, can anyone tell me where I can get help?

    Thanks
     
  5. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    Wayne
    you really want two identical PCs with a HOT swappable OS harddrive - so if the PC goes down you can swap the Harddrive and carry on with the backup PC - BUT that does assume the Computer goes wrong and NOT the harddrive or cause any corruption to any of the software on the Harddrive

    What country are you in?
    And what would be your budget ?
     
  6. ico

    ico Thread Starter

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    Hi Etaf,

    Thank you so much for your response. I've updated my profile info and you can see my current computer setting. I spent almost $1500 for my current working computer 3 years ago.

    So with hot swappable HD, I can just install one OS on that HD?

    I am in the US and not sure how much I should budget for this kind of system. I guess the peripherals like keyboard, monitor, mouse, etc for the backup PC can be from the main PC. How much should I budget at least for this kind of system?
     
  7. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    Well that depends on if those items fail - and your time-scale for replacement .....
    I have been thinking about this - and worked with Disaster Recovery and Business Critical in the past, so went off at a bit of a tangent.
    Its quite simple to change Harddrives (HDD) in PCs - so buy two IDENTICAL PCs , Install all the software and drivers you need onto the main harddrive and then you can swap the HDD between the drives
    BUT - as said - that assumes the HDD does not fail or get corrupted
    Better still
    The other thing you could do - is take an image of the Harddrive/serial nos , theres quite a lot of software available to do that - Also clone the HDD, and i'm sure other posters here will have recommendations - heres a list http://disk-imaging-software-review.toptenreviews.com/
    Make sure all your Data and the Image is on a backed-up external drive - you could use one of the Raid NAS servers - using multiple Disks so again the the DATA and image is recoverable.
    Then if your main PC fails - you just re-image the HDD and off you go..

    Just a question if any of the software is linked with the hardware - so you may want a retail version of windows or Mac - That then begs the question, how long to get a NEW PC if your one fails and can you survive that long ... In theory, you should be able to walk into most stores and take a machine away ...so no need to buy a backup - remember you cannot run software on two machines without the correct license for each machine....

    others may suggest alternatives
     
  8. Compiler

    Compiler

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    Here is what I would do, if possible... that software allows installs onto two computers (they usually do) and that would improve work.

    Get a new computer with an i5 CPU, which are quite a bit faster than core2duo and many Quads... it'll be easier than buying an older core2 that is the SAME as from 3 years ago. Install all your software onto the boot/man HD.

    Store ALL client onto HOT-SWAP SATA drives (theres are cheap bays that can be installed into any computer) - get two bays per computers. Allowing quick BACKUPS to a 2nd SATA drive.

    So if your main computer fails, you can pull the SATA hot-swap data drives out, get out the dusty old computer and pop in the SATA drives and your done.
     
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